Dialectics of identity and development : A new outlook
- Part 2 -

Dr Longjam Krishnamangol *

But, the person will have only one identity of the Nation (ie the National identity). What is emphasised in our analysis is that apart from the "National identity" of a person, there may be different identities of the person, which may be called "plural identities" and these plural identities have different roles in promoting the society and economy of a Nation or country. Thus, in redefining the concept of "identity" , the person may be a member of "social identity" or "social group"/ social affiliation.

And non-member also can be identified to join the group in the relevant context of any programme or activities. Thus, in a particular context, they also join the social group or share the group for promoting socio-economic and other aspect of development. Likewise, a person can have the qualities of plural identities. And, in democratic societies, the door is also opened for them to participate in any programme/activities or event in different ways to live in a system of social harmony and avoid the clash of civilization.

In the final analysis of the concept of identities, it can be concluded that although there are different identities of a person in various forms or features, there is only one identity of a person which is called national identity. Likewise, there are different identities of different persons or citizens in different countries. Thus, there is the need to properly (i.e. legally) recognise the identity of any person under the existing rule to confirm him or her as the citizen of the country.

This requires proper political and "social caring " of the recognised citizens or of the people of the country.

And, this will also avoid the clash of civilizations or groups in order to move toward the goal of peaceful co-existence of different communities or social groups and also towards the goal of new international or new global order in various fields of development. Having analysed the various aspects of the concept of "identity" of a person and its relation with religion and culture, civilization or any other group, we may now seek to answer the question.

Whether Meitei/Meetei should be included in the Scheduled Tribe category or "status" under the Indian Constitution. In fact, it is now time to argue against the inclusion of Meitei or Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe list under the Constitution of India. Here, our answer or argument shall be very brief to make the point more precise and avoid fresh confusions.

In the first place, the confusion on the nomenclature of Meitei or Meetei needs to be resolved in order to avoid the double saying in the name of the community as Meitei or Meetei. It is observed that the civilization of the community long period of historical development has revealed that the community or is called known as Meitei and not as Meetei.

Some local historical (s) have called the community as Meetei due to lack of knowledge either from the records or from the saying of the ancestors or forefathers. The classical literature or the short play also used the name of the community as Meitei. The early Administration Report of Manipur also recognised the community as "Manipur Meitei".

Thus, until the difference in the nomenclature between Meitei is resolved, there will be two classes of the community, which will ultimately lead to clash of civilizations or groups. The clash of interest is also frequently reflected in the media. This is an unhealthy trend in our society. And, as a result, there is also social division due to the differences in the use of language.

Thus, it is now high time to resolve or address the differences in the use of the two words (ie between Meitei and Meetei) instead of demanding for claiming tribal identity. And, there should not be human rights violation in the demand made by a particular section of the society or a particular interest group which will be at the cost of the some other groups or some section of the same society.

Thus, the claim for tribal identity has to be immediately rejected as the tribal has also achieved yet another socio-economic development. And, it need not be supported or unduly encouraged by any unreasonable political praxis and pressure groups. In case of failing to do so, there will be social division, conflicts and tension in the society, which will affect socio-economic transformation and development in Manipur.

Next in importance, it can be pointed out that our views against the movement for the inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe list will not proceed in terms of chronological orders as there are different theories and practices in the field of socio-economic development.

And, the argument in favour of claiming for the tribal identity by the Meitei/Meetei is not relevant in the present context as there has been rapid socio-economic changes over the last few decades. Again, the argument that Meitei or Meetei was once a tribal community is not relevant now. How far it is true is questionable and without any foundation. Sometimes, the census data are fraud and subject to correction. The classifications and methodologies were also poor in determining the status of the communities in those days.

The enumerators might also apply wrong judgement and the field workers might fail to understand the characteristic features and history of the Meitei/Meetei population as the non-tribal community (presenting called the general population). And, the census data were not perfect in determining the tribal status of any community. Thus, there need not be vested interest group in the general movement for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe list under the Indian Constitution.

Thus, it would not be wrong to say that there is now "fear factor" in the minds of a large section of the Meitei thinking that their identity may be changed without their consent and this would psychologically affect the aged old civilization of the Meitei population. We may now turn to the general psychology of the people of Manipur, particularly the Meitei Population on the inclusion of Meitei in the Scheduled Tribe list under the Indian Constitution.

Here by the term " psychology" we mean the state of mind of the peoples. To avoid the concept of the vagueness of the phrase "state of mind" it can be pointed out that psychology is the thought process of the individual or the person. Indeed, it indicates how the thought processes react and functions.

And, it also reflects the attitude and behaviour of the person. Thus, without going into the various definitions of psychology, which is also not attempted here, it can be pointed out that there is now increasing trend of strong motivation from the side of demand group among towards the large section of the Meitei/Meetei populace to choose for tribal identity. Of course, tribal have rich cultural heritages and there are evidence that most of them have also reached advanced stage of civilization in the present context.

And even the President of India is now from the tribal community. And, there is now rising claim that tribal are not the mere beneficiaries, but they are also contributing to or participating in the Nation building development. Indeed, this is a great achievement of the Central and State Government. The time is therefore, ripe for abolition of the concept of tribals in India by a new Parliamentary and State legislation.

The Latin American concept of the tribes or the tribals need not be applied in India now. Instead, the concept of "clans" of the tribes or the tribals as used in the evolution of the human society or civilization (i.e. original concept, "clans" that is available in the socialist literature) need to be used.

As already not, it is now the time to abolish or remove the concept or the term "tribe" (earlier concept) or the tribals (modern concept) with a view to removing class contradictions and bring about total or full social justice. At this stage of analysis, it can be pointed out that only the "economically weaker section" /individuals or economically backward persons of the community (i.e. non-income youths or non income educated youths (i.e. the educated unemployed youths). need to be protected in terms of government benefits of job reservation at the level.

And the creamy layer categories or the upper income groups/individuals along with the general mass population need to be provided with all benefits of the overall development process irrespective of caste, creed and other criteria. It is therefore necessary to recast the present job reservation policy of the centre and the states.

And along with the job reservation for the educated youths/the educated unemployed youths belonging to the economically and financially weaker sections of the society, it is necessary to frame economic policy for generation of adequate and sustaining employment opportunities for the growing labour force (i.e. particularly for the unemployed persons and those who fail to get income generating economic activities).

In the above new model of development, we can think of the same identity of the people of India (i.e. in terms of national identity). In fact, if we think in terms of national identity, there is no question of tribals, non-tribals or any other community. Thus, we have the same identity (i.e. national identity). Again, if we apply the concept of "social identity", there is no difference between the identity of a person and that of another person.

As already noted, this is a concept of "shared identity" or the same identity. However, if we think in terms of " Plural identities " or varied identities of different persons, we have different identities in terms of skills, professions, knowledge, status, classes etc. and they are the different qualities /attributes or characteristic features of the persons.

But, in spite of the difference in the identity of the persons, we have the same "identity" known as national identity. Thus, there need not be conflicts in the identity of different persons or different groups in our society or in the country including Manipur.

In what follows, it can be pointed out that the history of Meitei or Meetei is well known and that it needs no repetition here. And, there seems to be different theories of the history of Manipur. But, the generally accepted "theory and practice" (i.e. the historical records and the evidence/experiences available in various authentic sources) is the history of Manipur.

And, the scope and freedom of history research need not be underly restricted in order to expand our understanding of the history of Manipur and the reality of the history of the state. In fact, given the history of Manipur, it can be pointed out that "Manipur was a princely State of a different kind" In fact, it was an independent kingdom or an independent country.

What is emphasised here is that there was historical evidence, which proved that the tribals were brought into the mainstream in most of the European countries in ancient times (eg. in Rome). And, it is well known that in some advanced countries, there are no tribals now. Thus, the conclusion is obvious that there is no difference between tribals and non-tribals.

And, whatever tribal class existed in many advanced nations are now subsumed as the general population or in the citizens of the country without any class differences. And in a princely state (with monarchy in the nation state) or in the erstwhile independence kingdom of Manipur the Meitei whose historical development is well known was never a tribal community.

In fact, the historical development of Manipur cannot be twisted by a piece of information available from the earlier census and other sources. Thus, the current "demand" that the Meitei/Meetei be included in the scheduled tribe list under the Indian Constitution has no reality.

To conclude, it would not be a rational decision to demand for inclusion of the Meitei or the Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe list under the Indian Constitution. In fact, it is now widely agreed that the new political economy of development or globalisation seeks to bring about changes and transformation in the "old mode of production" in order to promote faster social and economic development in different parts of the world.

Again, the system which was dead in one historical context has been replaced by a new system of development. And, it is now commonly agreed that the concept," development" includes all-round or all-embracing aspects of changes and development. And the changes and development cannot be interpreted in terms of primitive society and retrogradation. However, the ideas dead in one historical context may reappear in another context.

As Key stated in his general theory : "But soon or late. It is ideas, not vested interest, which are dangerous for good or evil "(p.384). Thus, there is the need for developing new theories and policies for "maximum development" in terms of modern concept of development economics .

This requires heavy investment in different sectors of the economy of Manipur in order to move towards the goal of new full employment level for the educated unemployed youths and the growing labour force in the state. In fact, the demand for tribal is not the solution to save Manipur, which is already protected under the Indian constitution and the existing laws of the State.


* Dr Longjam Krishnamangol wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is the author of several books on Development Economics. He was formerly a teacher of Economics .
This article was webcasted on March 15 2023.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Yaoshang & Thabal @ Pune : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Adventure activities : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang Festival organized at Pune
  • Earth Hour: A wakeup call for the Planet
  • Lakes of Rajasthan
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • BJP feasting on disunity of opposition
  • ST for Meiteis and NRC call : Common thread
  • Nongmaithem Tombi Singh's contribution #3
  • N Tomchou: 3 medals @ World Weightlifting
  • Luwangpokpa Multi-Sports Complex : Gallery
  • Installation of opposition-less Govt in Nagaland
  • Stay hungry, stay foolish
  • Tech-driven MSME for Food Security
  • Plan to shelter amid demand for deportation
  • Temporary Shelter Home at Moreh
  • Thabal Competition #2 : Gallery
  • Lembi Leima: Best Film at 1st NE Film Fest
  • COVID-19 Status 26 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Flexing the farming muscles !
  • Is HIV self-test, missing link to reach #endAIDS
  • 'Vested move' in bringing Phizo's body ?
  • Advantages of being disqualified
  • Onus on state to rake in peace time bonus
  • Process of lifting AFSPA : From 2004 to 2023
  • My Memories of Imphal #15 : Download
  • Q&A with Babloo Loitongbam at Netherlands
  • Job Vacancy @ Makok Tech, Bishnupur
  • Drought :: Poem
  • Law as a career choice
  • COVID-19 Status 25 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Day 2 : Punjab students' tour to Manipur
  • Sajibu Cheirao-chingkaba : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Central Univ Punjab exposure tour to Manipur
  • Question of Survival
  • lived without love, not one without water
  • World Tuberculosis Day at Arunachal
  • Pulling out of SoO pact with 3 groups
  • Legal hurdles in nailing drug peddlers
  • Sangai Fest: Moyon Dance : Gallery
  • Will lessons from COVID vaccine rollout ...
  • Of water scarcity: Beyond class room teaching
  • COVID-19 Status 23 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Univ to host students from Punjab
  • Mangrove, the magical tree
  • Ban plastics or set up recycling plants
  • Enforcing ban on single use plastic
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Tri-Nation International Football Tournament
  • Modern Cancer Treatment in Manipur
  • International conference on Natural farming
  • Importance of farm pond for agriculture
  • Drowned :: Poem
  • Poireiton Khunthok (Abridged Translation) #1
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year) : Book
  • COVID-19 Status 21 March : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Implement NRC must precede delimitation'
  • Yuva Samvad - India@2047 organized
  • Serum for hair
  • As you sail through the noises
  • Seizure of PDS rice amid erratic distribution
  • Studying with a purpose in mind
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #3 : Gallery
  • Liquor prohibition in Manipur
  • Lifting Bhagyachandra and elephant
  • COVID-19 Status 20 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Bishnupur Cricket Association meeting
  • Fake News & Disinformation New Challenges
  • Prospect, feasibility of natural farming in state
  • Manipur and water crisis
  • Lamta Thangja @Kangla Gate : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Kabui Dance : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Oil and gas scenario in Manipur
  • NPF's 'Gandhigiri' gestures towards NDPP
  • Spreading happiness as a career choice
  • Afforestation campaign: Test of Govt resilience
  • Poppy plantation & agents of desertification
  • My Memories of Imphal #14 : Download
  • Imphal Turel condition [18 Mar] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Seminar on Awareness about lifestyle diseases
  • Pole Star :: Poem
  • Blunting of AIDS epidemic: zero-complacency
  • Conduct of election to Municipal in Nagaland
  • Saroi Khangba @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel, a yearlong tourist's destination
  • COVID-19 Status 17 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Her Struggle
  • In Nagaland, NDPP rises & NPF falls
  • Dream Zone - School of Creative Studies
  • Sluggish project works abetting water crisis
  • Taking the NRC call to Delhi : Unifying factor
  • Nongmaithem Tombi Singh's contribution #2
  • Highways of Life :: Movie Review
  • COVID-19 Status 16 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Farewell Maharashtra student : Gallery
  • How healthy is your relationship ?
  • G20: Driving women-led development
  • Yogini Temple of Hirapur, Odisha
  • Holistic laws must to cleanse rot in exam
  • All thunder & lightening but no rain
  • Bora Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Deepika Mayanglambam : Felicitated by Y20
  • COVID-19 Status 15 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Will shorter TB regimen reach those in need
  • From a student, Dear Dhanamanjuri University
  • An inspiring story of a fish farmer journey
  • British Council announces STEM scholarship
  • State's reputation at stake as drug...
  • Briefing Union Home Minister
  • Thabal Competition #1 : Gallery
  • International River day at Lairouching
  • COVID-19 Status 14 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Lembi Leima : Film Premeire at Melbourne
  • Ballad For Gloom :: Poem
  • Dialectics of identity & development #2
  • Patriarchy opting for Gender Equality
  • Demand for NRC, panel testifies restive state
  • All set for HSLC 2023 exams
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Railways acts as engine of development
  • The Book of Ichigo Ichie :: Review
  • Platform for women to re-start their careers
  • The rising threat of forest fires
  • Land allotment scam amid uproar over eviction
  • Noting stand of Forest Minister
  • English Pronouncing Skills : Book Download
  • Day 5: Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Representation to PM seeking appointment
  • Condemnation of CM N Biren's interview
  • Eco-friendly management of fall armyworm
  • Honesty is the worst privacy
  • Resistance to Govt efforts to protect forests
  • Tough times call for tough decisions
  • My Memories of Imphal #13 : Download
  • Day 4: Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Why COVID-19 continues to be a pandemic?
  • International Women's Day
  • 'Electricity collaboration' diplomacy in BBIN
  • Day 3: Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports: Yubi Lakpi at Khongman
  • COVID-19 Status 10 March : Govt of Manipur
  • UNHHRC access to Mizoram & Manipur
  • Govt to withdraw from SOO agreement
  • 4 Filmmakers invited for Indie8 Fest
  • Dialectics of identity & development #1
  • Thabal Chongba @Mongsangei #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #1 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2023 #1: Gallery
  • International Women's Day 2023
  • COVID-19 Status 09 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang Sports at Khongman
  • International Women's Day at IBSD, Imphal
  • Nakatheng Chatpa @Kakwa : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 08 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Sports item distributed at Bishnupur
  • Parents :: Poem
  • Call for world peace & harmony
  • Tips to play safe Holi
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba @Imphal : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba @Nabadwip : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang : Nostalgia, tradition & identity
  • GOI pressure on CM Rio to deliver solution
  • Update gun license otherwise
  • Art Exhibition @ RKCS #1 : Gallery
  • NE Convention on Indigenous Peoples Land
  • COVID-19 Status 06 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang (Holi) Festival :: Book
  • Railways: Engine of new growth in NE India
  • Precautionary measures during Yaoshang
  • Persons suffering from Sickle cell disease
  • Training on mushroom at Khangabok
  • Floodlight boon for state's sportspersons
  • Act not think for the future of Meiteis
  • Yaoshang Sen Khaiba : Gallery
  • Students Tour to Nagpur #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Lampak is calling
  • North East endorses Modi but with conditions
  • Elephanta Caves
  • After village chief, anti-poppy vow by legislator
  • The good & the bad of Yaoshang
  • My Memories of Imphal #12 : Download
  • Sangai Fest: Khutpak Chatkoi #2 : Gallery
  • 538th Birth Anniv of Cheitanya Mahaprabhu
  • COVID-19 Status 04 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Gender gap in STEM: Its impact & solution
  • On Rethinking Corruption
  • How sports help in development of women
  • Lanna Thouram of Chaoren #2 :: Gallery
  • Water use during water crisis: Hunphun/Ukhrul
  • COVID-19 Status 03 March : Govt of Manipur
  • World Wildlife Day : Awareness Cycle Rally
  • Farewell to students from Maharashtra
  • Bodoland International Knowledge Festival
  • Startups & NE India connect
  • Minister Biswajit's anti-poppy stand
  • Show no leniency to poppy growers
  • MANITEX @ Nilakuthi #3 : Gallery
  • Dr Surpriya Hawaibam: Ophthalmology Award
  • Time to get back to basics to end TB
  • In light of reintroducing Damodar Swami
  • Can Myanmar-Bangladesh promote ASEAN
  • Play organic Holi with natural colors
  • Must prepare to derive benefit of border trade
  • ST demand has come a long way
  • Likon Sanaba @Ningthoukhong #2 : Gallery
  • State Project Co-ordinator for Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 01 March : Govt of Manipur
  • National Science Day at Lilong
  • Lessons from the inferno @Sainik School
  • Messi -- The Name Is Enough -III
  • Tourism is a cross cutting industry
  • Spike in electricity demand
  • Lungnila : Long wait for justice
  • Hiyang Tannaba @ Loktak #4 : Gallery
  • Nongmaithem Tombi Singh's contribution #1
  • March Calendar for Year 2023 : Tools
  • Saroi Khangba @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Cherry Blossom @Mao : Gallery
  • Lanna Thouram of Chaoren #1 :: Gallery
  • Singju Festival @Heingang #1 :: Gallery
  • 6th Intl Women's Polo #1 :: Gallery
  • Lui-ngai-ni Fest @ Chandel #1 :: Gallery
  • Mangani Leihun of Chaoren #2 :: Gallery
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri :: Gallery
  • Jiribam Keithel [June 2022] #2 :: Gallery
  • MK Binodini's centenary - oral literature
  • Aribam Syam Sharma :: Filmography
  • Olympians & National awardees of Manipur
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar for 2023