TODAY -

CM urged to include Meetei in ST list before delimitation
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, June 24 2024: World Meetei Council (WMC) has submitted a memorandum to chief minister N Biren, urging the latter for immediate steps to safeguard the identity of Meetei community amidst concerns of impending de limitation of assembly and parliamentary seats in 2026 .

In the memorandum, WMC highlighted that the present Manipur Assembly consists of 40 seats in the valley and 20 in the hills, a distribution based on the 1971 census report.

At that time, 69 percent of Manipur's population resided in the valley, with the remaining 31 percent in the hills.

Although the census did not provide community-wise population figures, various indices indicated that the Meetei population comprised approximately 60 percent of the total population in 1971.WMC raised alarm over the sharp demographic shift revealed in the 2011 census, where the Meetei population was put at around 44 percent.

Such a drastic decline, according to the Council, can be attributed to low birth rate among the Meetei and unchecked influx of migrants, particularly from Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The Meetei community's adherence to the National Population Policy of "Small Family, Happy Family" is seen as a contributing factor to their reduced numbers, the memorandum noted.

It stressed that the upcoming delimitation, an exercise to adjust the representation based on population changes, would unjustly penalise the Meetei community for following the national guidelines while seemingly rewarding those who have not.

The WMC expressed grave concern that this process would jeopardise the Meetei identity, and urged the CM to take protective measures.

The council firmly believes that the inclusion of the Meetei community in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list of the Indian constitution is the sole viable solution to preserving their identity, the memorandum mentioned, while imploring the chief minister to send the requisite reports to initiate relevant process, along with reminding that only around 18 months remain to address potential harsh impact from the delimitation on the Meetei population.

Regarding the on-going violence in the state, WMC opined that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should exercise his constitutional power to halt attacks by Chin-Kuki terrorists.

It also stressed that the violence should not delay the submission of the reports, as the issue is crucial for the survival of the Meetei identity.

In the memorandum, WMC requested that the chief minister send the two reports by August 2024 to ensure the Meetei community's protection before the delimitation in 2026 and cautioned that failure to act promptly would leave the Meetei community with no choice but to urge all legislators to seek leadership change to secure their future.

The council emphasised the urgency of the situation, noting that any delay could rob the younger Meetei generation of their future prospects.


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