TODAY -

ST demand & Govinda ji

Free Thinker *



Today morning I went to Sri Sri Govinda ji temple with my better half. We reached the temple a few minutes before the 8 am 'aarti'. We joined the 'parikarma' too. We thoroughly participated in the entire 'purnima ritual' as other devotees did.

My prayer to the Lord was to provide instant peace to the State , ST status for Meiteis, greater & stronger autonomy to the hill people, strength & confidence to our security personnel, and absolute relief to our militias and women folks who are guarding the people day and night .

Before entering the temple I also had the privilege of parking my aged Zen Maruti in front of the King's Residence. They didn't object to my parking as they are perhaps familiar with the old vehicle. In fact, my car was not blocking the entry-exit of Chongabon.

Majority Meiteis desire the inclusion of Meiteis in the ST list of the Government of India. There are several advantages of being an ST or SC. We don't need to elaborate it here. Because everyone in the country knows about it.

Around 1950 the Meiteis were not aware of the advantages of being a ST. Those days Meitie leaders might have thought that ST status sounds denigrating. So, they didn't want to be recognized as ST. They should not be blamed for that stand.

After 60 years the new generation have realized that they were wrongly categorized as General ( later as OBC ). These days the Govt of India has seemingly started recognizing Meiteis as tribals because they are also behaving exactly the same as other scheduled tribals of the State.

Earlier also it was reiterated umpteen times that ST demand by any community in the country should not be seen as an attempt to dilute the existing policies, programs , privileges etc. pertaining to the STs. New STs will in fact strengthen the entire ST conglomeration. They will certainly consolidate the ST fraternity.

Please don't go by the judicial pronouncements. Judiciary has nothing to do with the inclusion or exclusion of a community as ST.

Only the Govt of India has the final authority in this regard. Even the State government has a limited role to play - they may recommend a case for inclusion or exclusion on the basis of their logic and findings.

According to the latest findings the Bamons are also equally barbarous , precarious nomadic tribes . They are more tribal than the Meities- because they are at the mercy of others who pamper and patronize them.

Many may love a newly launched idea i.e., the introduction of creamy layer for STs and SCs. Creamy layer is already in existence for the OBCs. For SCs and STs also if a criterion of creamy layer is injected the desperate desire to become SC or ST may die down throughout the country.

The logic behind this rational is that those who are enjoying the facilities and amenities of being SC or ST for generations together - even after their children are as good as the children of so called General Category people , in another words even after they are compatible with the General Category people in all sphere of life - don't deserve to continue with the same privileges. If the parents have enjoyed the advantages of being SC or ST their children may be denied the same though they still continue as SC or ST.

ST demands are also there in other States too but they are doing it peacefully as there is hardly any opposition from other communities except for some grumblings and criticisms. Even in our neighbouring state of Assam seven-eight tribes are demanding the ST status.

Whether such a demand is right or wrong, legitimate or not - will be decided by the competent authorities ( State Government and Union Government ). Student Organizations, NGOs, Clubs, Ragtag associations and even rebels violently opposing such a demand sounds undemocratic. We are encountering that kind of a situation in Manipur. That is unfortunate.

Please don't go by the judicial pronouncements. Judiciary has nothing to do with the inclusion or exclusion of a community as ST. Only the Govt of India has the final authority in this regard. Even the State government has a limited role to play - they may recommend a case on the basis of their logic and findings.

The so-called intellectuals are silent about the futilities of any further discussion or debate on ST demand of the Meiteis. In the just concluded lamb duck session of Parliament (of Lok Sabha to be more precise) a few communities were included in the ST list. This list is expanding almost every year.

Stephen Hawking once said the universe is ever expanding. Since the Universe is growing there is nothing wrong enlarging the ST list. The Govt of India moves in conformity with the nature of 'Bramhand'.

Even if the Meiteis are included in the ST list, all the necessary arrangements can be worked out accordingly within the State for jobs, scholarships, other facilities and amenities including land but not at the expense of the hill tribes. Guaranteed.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on 26 February 2024.



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