TODAY -

Who are Meeteis

Heigrujam Nabashyam *

Cultural And Traditional Ritual Cultural And Traditional Ritual at Echum Lairembi , Khurkhul  :: 30th May 2017
Traditional Cultural Ritual at Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul in May 2017 :: Pix - Shankar Khangemabm



Meetei is one of the indigenous communities of North East India, who had its kingdom for centuries, like the Tai-Ahom and Tipra or Tripuri. And after their conversion to Hinduism, in the 18th Century, they assumed the name ‘Singh’ for men and ‘Devi’ for women and this was how Meetei became Aryan Kshetriyas - ridiculous ! This is wrong. One can embrace any religion if one so wishes, but that does not change his ethnicity. This is basic knowledge.

During the series of debates that I had with ATSUM (All Tribal Students Unions Manipur), whose objection to STDCM’s (Schedule tribe Demand Committee Manipur) demand to include the indigenous Meitei tribe in the ST list of Indian constitution, that had reached the level of fanaticism that cannot see anything beyond their own self-interests, had also raised this issue.

However I had stated with full responsibility that the Meiteis are neither Aryans nor Kshetriyas, but they remain Meitei. The simple idea is you don’t cease to be a Kuki or a Naga when you embrace christinity or for that matter any other religion say Budhism, Hinduism, etc. The fact of the matter is, the Meetei are a people made of seven big families or clans --- Salai Taret namely Khuman, Luwang, Mangang, Angom, Moirang, Khaba-Nganba and Sarang –Leishanthem.

Here it may be pertinent to mention that in the early period ethnic Chinese and later with the arrival of Hinduism, Hindusthanese came and assimilated into the Meitei fold and became Meitei. Such things happen in many communities because of their historical experiences.

Now, what is interesting is that some intelligent and honourable people whose intentions are obvious praise the Meitei as “a highly developed society”. The fact is Meetei, including the Hindu converts still worship natural objects such as rocks, stones, trees, caves, etc. the basic elements of animism, beneath the veneer of Hindu religion.

It may be noted that during the Laiharaoba ritual which is observed every year at a particular period of time the highly developed Meitei would connect themselves and associate with their creator - their God by performing certain rituals by the Maibi - a sort of a Shaman and eventually, the god would tell them what to do for their well being till the time of the next season.

The truth is, till today, the 21st century the Meitei and their God are very much in touch with. This is the way a tribal lives. However such traits and characteristics of tribalism are no more found among the Nagas and the Kukis .

Now, ask any Meitei, he will tell you he has a deity at home that takes care of the family; they will also have another common deity for their clan for which the Piba – the eldest son on the patriacal line of the clan is in charge, etc. Such is the degree of tribalism that the Meitei still live with. The fact is, Meiteis are more tribal than the Kukis and the Nagas.

As regards Meitei’s talents in horse riding, it is only natural for a people with a small population of around a lakh or so in those days who control the vast land stretching from the area of the present Cachhar in the west to Burma in the east. The fact was the pony the local horse was a necessity in every household, like motorcycles in todays time, it was used for multiple purposes from transportation to that of the perennial warfare.

It was also the most favourite thing for the boys. There was an old saying, “Eppa sini khanglamlabadi sagol leijaramgadabani” --- if I knew that father is dying I would have bought a horse. Not only boys even among girls horse riding was popular.

In their leisure time the boys played riding their horses hitting rounded dry bamboo roots with long cane sticks. That was how Sagol kangjei, the progenitor of modern Polo was born in the fields of Chingleipak, the home to all of us.

Regarding Meitei’s dance talent , as a matter of fact tribals love to dance and sing and thus it so happened that a Meitei dance master invented a dance form based on the folk dances and adopted the movements of the hands, fingers, legs and feet to portray the love story of Radha-Krishna of the Hindu epic. And after independence, that dance form struck the chords of the Indian dance gurus and thus the gurus ordained ,that dance form to be classified as a classical dance – which is now called Rasleela. So what’s so great about it!

It is also noted that the intelligent and honourable people have expressed their fear that in the event of Meitei being enlisted in the ST category, the Meitei would gobble up the lion’s share in the state’s job sector.

Frankly, I believe the intelligent people are deliberately acting ignorant. The STDCM have clearly stated that they would agree to continue with the existing quota system, of course with new nomenclature, like the case of Nagaland where each group have their respective shares of quota within the quota. This should not be a problem, as it can be agreed upon among the stakeholders.

The truth is Meitei’s concern is for its survival, where a population of a few lakhs and whose only habitat is the 700 square miles valley - the home to all of us, is being exposed to global competitions and contests. Indeed Meitei do not have any constitutional protection whatsoever in the face of the serious challenges that come with the coming of the railways and the opening of the Trans-Asian highway in a few years time.

But very unfortunately ATSUM and its associates, adopting a tone of moral righteousness, have been condemning STDCM’s demand to include the Meitei in the ST list. This is wrong.

The demand to include the Meitei in the ST list is genuine. This is a question of survival of the Meitei. And given the facts, nobody should have any issue with the Meitei.




* Heigrujam Nabashyam (a Political Commentator) wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at nheikrujua(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on April 16 , 2018.



* 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
  • Kayada Ningthijaba Lambino : Listen..
  • Billie's Book: A Children's Book : Review
  • Homage to an Apolitical Politician
  • Delhi, through the lense of a Manipuri
  • RPL Certificate of North Tripura
  • Alphabet of Silence :: Poem
  • Business Process Manager @ Globizs
  • Unsettled crisis
  • Now let the probe team do its job
  • Marangwon @Kangkhui #2 : Gallery
  • Cordillera in North Philippines : Gallery
  • Ithai Barrage and popular resistance
  • Moral education for a harmonious Society
  • Bad unity
  • Career in nutrition and dietetics
  • Locally made product- 'The Lois' launched
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • The want for more
  • Only catchy phrases & alluring documents
  • Expedite FA Rally #1 : Gallery
  • Merger & Manipur State Congress #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 41 :: Poem
  • A recreation park for elderly
  • High-time NE recreate itself as brands
  • Natural skin detox
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • 72nd Independence Day by AR
  • Independence Day - for whom
  • Nongpok Thong Hangba
  • Khubak Eeshei @Kang festival : Gallery
  • Punsi Sangba, Mathiupuang :: eMing
  • Arresting decline of higher education
  • RPL-PMKVY Certificate at Tripura
  • Silence :: Poem
  • AFSPA took my father
  • Dark Net: Underbelly of the internet
  • Alternative Arrangement, Article 371A
  • Petition challenging dilution AFSPA
  • Rio for integration of Naga areas
  • Brought NE closer to Delhi: PM
  • Independence Day celebrated in NE
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #1
  • Compressed Earth Blocks: Housing
  • Support breastfeeding among adolescent
  • Ithai: Development Decision Gone Awry
  • Who made the sports university ours?
  • An Unoccupied Forehead :: Poem
  • 'NRC should not be a political issue'
  • Independence Day : Govt needs trust
  • Apprehensions before final pact
  • NNC stand to protect Naga sovereignty
  • 'Delay in solution irks people'
  • Patriots' Day- Floral Tribute : Gallery
  • A shot at survival
  • Demography and Population Studies
  • RPL-PMKVY Certificate at Baishalgarh
  • E-Commerce to help access new markets
  • Manipur Heart Foundation Anniversary
  • Artist lineup for NH7 Weekender
  • Kakching World War-II Memorial Run
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • AMPWA observed Patriots' Day
  • Real homage or just showmanship
  • Drama of political clout at MU
  • Patriots' Day @ Kolkata : Gallery
  • Historical War fought by Manipur
  • Where are the nurses in HIV response?
  • Understanding false smut of rice
  • The love song of autumn :: Poem
  • Help Underprivileged Sports Youngsters
  • Police : List of Awardees on I-Day
  • NSCN-IM word on Naga unity
  • Scribes demand colleague's release
  • Jadugi Mingsel :: Folk Tale
  • Patriotism Redefined [On 13th Aug]
  • Karate Winners felicitated at Kumbi
  • Of Citizenship & Manipur People's Bill
  • Seminar : Path & Pattern in Northeast
  • 42nd Indian Social Science Congress
  • Certificate Distribution at Tripura
  • Failure by WPS-IE to arrest rapist
  • Resolutions : People's Democratic Alliance
  • ..Will it burnt the state again
  • ..Now get the killers !
  • 'Homecoming', Painting Exhibition : Gallery
  • Legacy of Resistance in Cordillera Highland
  • Woke Up, But You're Nowhere :: Poem
  • Resurgence of Sanamahism
  • Nagas & Meiteis must live together
  • No change in 1951 as Base Year : JCILPS
  • B. Voc. at DM Community College
  • Young Scholars Conference 2018
  • ..legitimacy of remaining to power
  • The precursor of things to come
  • Khangkhui Cave , Ukhrul #4 : Gallery
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #2 : Gallery
  • Reform Manipur's Education System
  • Friendship
  • Cry of a Dying River - 40
  • World's Indigenous Peoples Day
  • Chandigarh students' solidarity with MU
  • MU agitator should withdraw their agitation
  • Repercussion of a prejudice attitude
  • Regulate school vans/buses
  • Disputed Myanmar Border Pillar : Gallery
  • Seven Breaths of Dragon :: Book Rvw
  • Chronological framework of NRC
  • Buttering Najmaji in public
  • JRF Post at Mizoram University
  • Manipur Tourism : Festival Promotion Award
  • The uneasy shift
  • Well co-ordinated rallies across dists
  • Chalwa Village, Kangpokpi #1 : Gallery
  • General strike on article 371 (A) #2 : Gallery
  • Up against the saffron brigade
  • My unsailed ship :: Poem
  • Mathematics and Science Competition
  • General Strike by ATSUM on August 10
  • Drawing Competition at Wapokpi, Bishnupur
  • ADBU delivers course to Indian Railways
  • One man that put Manipur in frying pan
  • Relax MU shut down !
  • Khumang Pokpa Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • Robert Naorem @Blr Fashion Week : Gallery
  • Territorial integrity of Manipur
  • The string :: Poem
  • General Strike by KIM on August 8
  • Robert Naorem at Bangalore Fashion Week
  • Dr. Monisha Behal's work in North East
  • Registrations for IIT Techniche workshop
  • PDA on situation in Nagaland
  • The politics of divide: MU
  • Significance of August
  • Mukna Khong Kangjei #3 : Gallery
  • Greater Nagaland or Mini Nagaland? #2
  • Paint Your City : Campaign at Kakching
  • Pemberton line in Kabaw is our boundary
  • Awakening :: Poem
  • Coffee Plantation : In-lieu of Poppy
  • Recalling of AK Pandey by HRD Ministry
  • TSA's reply to KNO/KNA's allegations
  • 21st Manipur Integrity Day : Gallery
  • Konung Kang Chingba #3 : Gallery
  • Ecological, social impact of Ithai Barrage #3
  • Swindling Manipuris in solving Naga issue
  • The Last of the Romantics :: Poem
  • 'Thoughts on MU strategies'
  • Concerned about continued closure of MU
  • Fear factor
  • No takers for 1 month leave
  • View from Shirui Hills #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur as seen by Meiteis, Nagas, & Zo
  • Certificate Distribution at Nirjuli, ArP
  • Contract Jobs available at NIELIT HQs
  • Cry of a Dying River - 39 :: Poem
  • Banana flower vada
  • Entrance for Free Residential IAS Coaching
  • Resolution of NPF Consultative Meeting
  • Concerned about militants' interference
  • Issues : From ILP, MU to FA
  • Emergence Nongda Lairen Pakhangba #2
  • MU Rally at Canchipur : Gallery
  • News Analysis 0f Akashvani Imphal
  • ILP: A Genuine Idea Lost in Translation
  • Tryst with an Alzheimer's patient #2
  • Letter to Prime Minister of India
  • Female DTP faculty reqd at Protocol
  • In between :: Poem
  • Sowing the seeds of Greater Lim
  • General strike on article 371 (A) #1 : Gallery
  • Student is important or AP Pandey
  • Article 371A is sui generis
  • Protection on Land, Environment at TML
  • Press Conference on MU Crisis at Delhi
  • Oppose extension of Article 371(A)
  • DTP-Desktop Publishing course at Nambol
  • Certificate Distribution at Namsai, ArP
  • Rejoinder to KNO/KNA on Moreh attack
  • Issues which burn Manipur State Assembly
  • The brand of politics in MU crisis
  • Central team @ BP 81 , Kwatha #3 : Gallery
  • August Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Protest against MHRD @Delhi : Gallery
  • People's Strike greets this August
  • Slump in fight against #AIDS
  • What does moonlight want ? :: Poem
  • MU students protest against MHRD
  • An Unknown killer - "E-Waste"
  • Talking peace and threatening others
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #1 : Gallery
  • Dismal Politics in Universities
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #1 : Gallery
  • Engulfing Uncertainties
  • Ecological, social impact of Ithai Barrage #2
  • Certificate Distribution at Dibang, ArP
  • EEVFAM case: Report for 30 July
  • Pertaining to statement of T. R. Zeliang
  • Issues plaguing the state
  • What is the stand of BJP Govt ?
  • Monsoon Assembly Session : Gallery
  • Election 2019: end of road for Modi
  • The absurd baby talk :: Poem
  • Assam University BTech, MTech Admission
  • Saving the Rhinos - Campaign
  • Arrest perpetrators of Moreh attack
  • Training programmes of NCC
  • Central team @ BP 81 , Kwatha #2 : Gallery
  • MU: Students clash with Police #2: Gallery
  • Prospects of coffee in Manipur
  • Why ILP should not be implemented
  • Hill students get alert on Trafficking
  • IBSD Meghalaya inaugurated
  • Conference on India-Vietnam
  • Govt's strategically pre planned conflict
  • Heart ruptured but life saved
  • Pseudo intellectuals should stop thinking
  • Mass sit-in protest : How about Nagaland?
  • Folklore genres of Meetei community
  • Kang Khichri chaba : Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram at United Nations, NY
  • Out to clear her name
  • Central team @ BP 81 , Kwatha #1 : Gallery
  • Our Common Crisis: What are We to Do #3
  • Pay Nareckpi : Funga Wari
  • Kayada Ningthijaba Lambino : Story telling
  • Yumkhaibam Nanao: Walking from Delhi..
  • Ningol Pali at Kang Festival : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #3: Gallery
  • Art Exhibit @Imphal Art College #1 : Gallery
  • Kang Khichri chaba @Kwakeithel : Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS