TODAY -

Meetei bears more tribal characters among the indigenous people in State

Dr Thangjam Ranjit Meetei *

Cultural And Traditional Ritual performed by the poeple of Khurkhul  at the occassion of Kurak Lamdaiba of Ichum Leirembi, Khurlhul
Cultural And Traditional Ritual performed by the poeple of Khurkhul at the occassion of Kurak Lamdaiba of Ichum Leirembi, Khurlhul :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



Meetei Community is one of the main tribes of Manipur and of North East India, and possesses all the characteristics of becoming a tribe living in permanent society. Though, the majority of Meetei population embrace Hinduism/Vaishnavism, they do not give up their age-old traditions, cultures, way of life, etc. of their fore-fathers.

They have been following the rituals of birth, marriage, death, etc in the way their fore-fathers practiced even before the time of their conversion into Hinduism during the reign of King Pamheiba (1709-1748). This is again confirmed by the Census of India 1931, vol-1 page-430.

It records “Manipuris” as wholly Hindu Tribe but retaining their distinctive language and culture”. Followers of Sanamahism/Meeteism which constitute over two lakh population also strictly following traditions and cultures of their fore father till date similiar to other Meetei Hindus.

The fact that Meeteis are living in permanent tribal society are borne out by the historic resolution of UNO, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a specialised agency of UNO, adopted its Convention No. 169 in 1989, based on general attitude of respect for the cultures and way of life of indigenous and tribal people, and the fundamental assumption that indigenous and tribal people constitute permanent societies.

This landmark resolution, however, contradicts ILO convention No.107 of 1957, which is based on temporary tribal societies but obsolete now.The fact that Meetei (Manipuri) is tribe/Principal tribe of Manipur and of N.E. India is authenticated by many official records, gazetteers, publications, memoirs books, etc.

Mention may be made of census of India 1891,1901 and 1931; Imperial Gazetteer Bengal and Assam (1909); Gazetteer of Manipur by Captain EW Dun (1886); Gazetteer of Bengal and N.E. India (1909); Statistical Accounts of the Native State of Manipur, the Hill Territory, under its Rules by Dr. R.Brown, Political Agent in Manipur (1873); the New Encyclopedia Britannica, Ethnicity and social change by Prof. Gangumei Kamei among others.

History of the Tangkhuls Nagas written by A.S. W. Shimray mentions Tangkhuls and Meeteis are descendants of the same progenitor and that ancestors of the Tangkhuls and Meeteis are brothers. The “Meitheis” written by T.C. Hodson, late Political Agent of Manipur (an Anthropologist) mentions Meitei as a tribe, so on and so forth.

On the other hand, people in the hills, except few thousands Zeliangrongs, almost 99% of the population have embraced in Christianity and they have abandoned their traditional cultures and ways of life, In other words, the old rituls of birth , marriage, death, etc. of their forfathers which were in practice before embracing Christianity are no longer in practice. They are living in the way true christian of the West are living, forgetting the old tradition and culture of their forefathers.

However, in the midst of the strong influence of Christianity in the hills and Valleys of the state, sizeable population of Meetei and Zeliangrong are still following their cultures and traditions of their forefathers. That is why UNO describes such communities who have been following the old culture and way of life of their ancestors have been termed as “Permanent Society”.

Meetei being bonafide indigenous people of the state and the following old cultures and traditions of their fore fathers are scheduled tribe, according to Supreme Court of India, the highest of Court of country, as per its judgment of 5th January, 2011 under its Rules by Dr. R.Brown, Political Agent in Manipur (1873); Again, Meetei qualifies the old and new criteria laid down by the Govt. of India/Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

The old criteria are :

1. Indication of Primitive traits;
2. Distinctive culture;
3. Shyness of contact with the community at large;
4. Geographical isolation and
5. Backwardness.

The new criteria (under consideration) proposed by Panda Committee 2014 are :
1. Autonomous religious practices, although practising the Hindu way of life would not be a bar;
2. Marital relationship with other tribes (majority in the tribe should marry within the tribe or with other tribes not with non tribals);
3. Distinctive culture;
4. Historical and geographical isolation;
5. Socio-economic and educational backwardness and
6. Distinctive language.

Meeteis having been officially documented as a tribe or principal tribe earlier, qualify both the old and new criteria of being a tribe in the context of Article 342 (1) of the Indian Constitution, and accordingly Meetei can be enlisted in the ST list of the state/country and receive constitutional safeguard for Manipur Valley /Imphal Valley where Meeteis can inhabit in Scheduled Area in the same manner as that of the hill areas of the state by hill people.

Had Meeteis been enlisted in the ST list along with our brethren in the hills, without indulging in corruption by the then so called educated people of the state to the visiting members of Minority Commission of the Govt. of India in 1950 the present situation of mistrust and seemingly hill-valley divide among the people in the state would not have been existed but a peaceful, progressive and harmonious tribal society of a hill state called Manipur.


* Dr Thangjam Ranjit Meetei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on August 01, 2017.


* 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 e-pao.net. 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.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Singcha Wuya Won (flower) #3:: Gallery
  • Sunday Cup Football @Lamshang :: Gallery
  • Gurmayum Robert wins gold at World Event
  • Loktak Project & corporate unaccountability
  • Supremacy Of The Party :: NPF
  • Binding the wound: The district row
  • Admission Notice - AiTC, Imphal
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • 'Sexuality & Internet' at Digital Summit
  • Zeliang welcomed support from NPF Minority
  • NSU site and undue communal overtones
  • Tripartite Talk: GOI/GOM/UNC :: Gallery
  • Governor's Cup Fencing :: Gallery
  • 13 Aug @Kangla & BT Park :: Gallery
  • Bruce Dickinson: "son-rise" of Iron Maiden
  • Biren should learn from Mamata Banerjee
  • The globe is in your fist
  • AR I-Day festivities with Myanmar army
  • AR celebrates 71st Independence day
  • Unconstitutionality of TR Government
  • Stadium upgrade for I-League
  • NE film festival in Delhi from Aug 18
  • Myanmarese advised to follow traffic rules
  • The human torch and AFSPA
  • The real taste of Independence Day
  • Mission XI football @ Andro :: Gallery
  • Krishna Janma @ Mahabali :: Gallery
  • Blood Donation for 13 August:: Gallery
  • Mahabali Temple , Imphal :: 360 ° View
  • Graphic & plastic arts of Zeliangrong #3
  • Silence :: Poem
  • Sport Univ: Promises kept but corruption?
  • Job requirements at SKY Hospital
  • Jobs @ National Informatics Centre (NIC)
  • I-Day Celebration at BJP State Office
  • Celebrations amid militant boycott call
  • 3 Manipur terrorists arrested in Delhi
  • NSCN/GPRN condemns raid
  • NSCN-K signing hinges on cross-border..
  • Meira Rally on Patriots' Day #1 :: Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Kolkata :: Gallery
  • 26th NAMA Convention Report, Houston, TX
  • Forming Plurals in Manipuri Language
  • Mammography and frequently ask question
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • NPF Office Bearers reaffirm support
  • DAN Co-ordination Meeting Resolutions
  • India and China: From rivalry to enmity
  • For better tomorrows
  • Security forces round up NSCN (IM) cadres
  • Survey 'finds' jumbos in Manipur
  • Kirti Chakra for brave major
  • President medal for IPS officer- Robin Hibu
  • 13 August @Hicham Yaichampat :: Gallery
  • Achingliu, Haokhulan, Hiyaichenbi: eMing
  • Patriots' Day @ Hojai, Assam :: Gallery
  • Protest: malpractices of MPSC :: Gallery
  • On MPSC scam & people defending it
  • 126th Patriots' Day observed in Delhi
  • 126th Patriots' Day observed in Hojai
  • Lajong U-12 to represent India in BRICS
  • Learn something from 2015 experience
  • The district creation headache
  • State Thang-Ta Competition :: Gallery
  • Search operation [Aug 12] :: Gallery
  • 13 August Patriots' Day : Read all about it
  • Thangal General : The Patriot
  • Proxy examination and Wrong politics
  • Women should not live in fear ....
  • Summer Thoughts :: Poem
  • NPF Youth serve Ultimatum to Rio
  • A slap on the face of Christianity
  • U-Morok @ Shirarakhong :: Gallery
  • Dangers of 'Trial by Media' & the MPSC
  • Is Culture of insensible activism taking root
  • Meiteilon never been Tibeto-Burman
  • Mechanized threshing of foodgrains #2
  • ZSUB Foundation Day, Fresher's Meeting
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Breaking the barrier
  • Natural Body Building #3 :: Gallery
  • National Handloom Day @ GHY :: Gallery
  • Chirom Indira shine in hearts of NE Weavers
  • Investigate killings as ordered by SC
  • MSTC CMD met with CM of Manipur
  • Conspiracy behind the toppling game
  • Armed groups attack..a human right abuse
  • Drawing Competition at Khengjoi, Chandel
  • Govt firm on protecting indigenous people
  • Suspension of Operation term extended
  • Rs 100 cr allotted to study NE floods
  • Save the indigenous people cry : Valley..
  • A matter need to ponder
  • Earthen wares of Ningthemcha Karong
  • Indigenous Wrestling @ SPT #2 :: Gallery
  • Awunching Biodiversity Park #3 :: 360 ° View
  • XXVIII State Thang-Ta Competition 2017
  • India's HLPF review of SDGs & Manipur
  • Robotics as career options
  • International Day of Indigenous People
  • Rejoinder Issued By Shurhozelie Liezietsu
  • Hard facts of political crisis (Nagaland)
  • Viewing through one's community
  • Darkening shadows of doubt
  • Ziumi village, Maram Landscape:: Gallery
  • Inter School Handball Tournament :: Gallery
  • The Proud Bamboo Tree :: Folk Tale
  • Populated Attitudes :: Poem
  • Marijuana, Mahadev and Maneka
  • Notice for MSc Biochemistry Admissions
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Assam edition of NE India Fashion Week
  • Being different from Cong Govt
  • Cracking down on fraudulence
  • Hanuba-hanubi paan thaba :: Funga Wari
  • ... All The Flowers Gone? #1 :: Gallery
  • Need to bust racket running inside MPSC
  • Will PM Modi betray Assam in No ST, no rest
  • State Level Essay Writing Competition
  • RIST Condolence Function at MU
  • When we stumble and fall
  • Customer Care Executive @ basicP, Imphal
  • Petition for Disqualification of 10 MLAs
  • Cracking down on fraudulence
  • Rape of small newspaper
  • Landscape of Ukhrul District #2:: Gallery
  • Jhulon Nupi Pala Phamsak :: Gallery
  • TR is CM by technicality sans Legality
  • One Day in Heaven :: Poem
  • Libraries Vs Google: Are we heading there
  • ..for electrical distribution rearrangement
  • Lessons to learn from CCpur: public hygiene
  • Angaoba Film Scenes #1 :: eRang
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • The dawn of cricket in Manipur
  • Lumbini Leikolda Shat-houba Leirang
  • Workshop on MU Reservations held
  • Job posting at C-DAC Silchar
  • Lafikul murdered to stir communal tension
  • Wayward rules of law
  • Indigenous Wrestling @ SPT #1 :: Gallery
  • Tourist Watch Tower, Khongjom #4 :: 360 °
  • Admission for B.Ed at Manipur University
  • The Evening Blues :: Poem
  • A village called Nbena :: Book Review
  • Employment Generating Hands on Skill
  • Unnatural death of Sainik School student
  • Condemns killing of KNO/KNLF leader
  • AR conducts Pre Recruitment Training
  • Makeshift sheds at Lamphel
  • For a clean future generation
  • Mr Maipak Body Building #2:: Gallery
  • CM referring to ST Comm is ultra vires
  • VIP culture out, VVVIP culture in
  • Be an unchained raindrop :: Poem
  • Holistic education : Trends & challenges
  • Jobs - Going Officers Pamjei
  • Providing Various Health Benefit Plans
  • larification to Tokheho's recollections
  • SoO groups in the news for wrong reasons
  • Confession
  • Nongbrang, bank of Thoubal River :: Gallery
  • Pukpha Fest @Tamenglong :: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram at UN, NYC : 1 Aug
  • Free Computer Course by KEN @ Imphal
  • Where is the justice in mob justice
  • Ishu : Feature Film in Assamese :: Review
  • Flood: State efforts are too little too late
  • Crisis within NPF unfortunate : KG Kenye
  • decision-making body of NPF resolve: 2 Aug
  • NPF Legislature Party Statement : 2 Aug
  • ..honoring martyrs by raising Tri-colour
  • ..strong Opposition: Cong MLA striving hard
  • Battle Of Khongjom & Manipuris in 1891 #3
  • Khongjom War Memorial #2 :: 360 ° View
  • Oops! They've Done It Again!
  • Photography: Career through lenses
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Chemical Ecology: Info for college/Univs
  • Jobs - Nursing Aides in Singapore
  • NPF responds to MLAs' demand
  • Overlooking one's own Cabinet decision
  • Potential of our state
  • Drinking joints in a dry State : Liquor tragedy
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • Singcha Wayawon opening #2:: Gallery
  • Meetei bears more tribal characters ...
  • The slumbering Beauty :: Poem
  • Selected to Global Shapers Imphal Hub
  • NPF Legislature Party Meeting on 31st July
  • Indo Myanmar Post Level Meeting at Onzia
  • Notice: Employment Exchange Imphal East
  • The unintended windfall
  • Hepatitis C is upto 95 pc curable
  • Sit-in-Demand : ST Demand Committee
  • Police na maheiroi singda kahenba..
  • Manung Kangjeibung, Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • My visit to Shri Lanka #4
  • 1st Mao Market day @Nagamapal:: Gallery
  • ILP : Students protest [27 July] :: Gallery
  • Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon #2 :: Gallery
  • Nomination for State Journalist Awards
  • Rare historical stone inscription #1
  • Singcha Wayawon opening #1:: Gallery
  • Huidrom Kirankr- Fellowhsip for Thang-Ta
  • Ethoi Oinam (Actress) #2 :: eRang Photos
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #3:: Gallery
  • Tapta :: Funga Wari
  • Nungbi Khullen, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • NH-102 (Maram road) landslide :: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #3 :: Gallery
  • Landslide at Jiribam Highway #2 :: Gallery
  • Tribute to Sapam Robinhood #2 :: Gallery
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #4
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #5 : Ooba
  • SPONSORED ADS