TODAY -

Classical Language Vs ST for Meetei

21st January, 2022



WMC is observing the developments especially after the Biren Singh govt. refused to send the two reports regarding Meetei's aspiration to include in the list of Scheduled Tribes to the centre inspite of popular demand citing imbecile reasons.

However, an effort by the Biren Singh government to initiate a proposal to include Meeteilon/Manipuri in the list of classical languages of India has been noticed. This seems to be the follow up action of the Hon'ble MP L. Sanajaoba's call in the Rajya Sabha in September 2020.

The fact of the matter is inclusion of Meeteilon/Manipuri in the classical language of India and inclusion of Meetei in the ST list of India are two contradictory things. One is antithesis to the other.

Therefore either the Meetei has to choose classical language or Scheduled Tribe; they cannot have both. The reason is the Lokur Committee's criteria of ST is totally the antithesis of the premise of a classical language. So option is clear either we choose ST or classical language.

The Meetei people want ST status to protect the land and their political rights as shown by the two mass rally joined by lakhs of people first in 2016 and later in 2019 that took place in Imphal organised by the STDCM.

The fact of the matter is that the Meeteis being bad economically keep on selling their pieces of lands to find some sources of income. And today Meetei are reportedly confined in less than 6% of the total area of Manipur. In matters of population too, the migrant population from Burma, Bangladesh and Nepal had made a sea-change in the demographic picture of Manipur in the last 3-4 decades.

The native indigenous people - Meetei, Tangkhul, Mao, Maram, Paomei, Thangal, Kabui, Zeliangrong, etc. had to bear the brunt. But all the indigenous people except the Meetei are protected by the provisions of ST and therefore only the Meetei are left in the lurch and they suffer the most.

In the context of Northeast too being a small minority the Meetei suffer the most in the absence of any constitutional protection but for their hardworking sportspersons they could bring laurels for the country, but otherwise Meetei are a sinking community.

Now the hard fact is today the Meetei have been divided by the Indian Constitution into Scheduled caste, OBC and General, as if they are different people. The fact of the matter is Meetei according to our Mythology are the descendants of our Godhead Ebudhou Pakhangba who gave birth to 7 sons that formed the "Salai Taret"; it is a big family in which all the Meetei people belong.

Therefore division of Meetei into SC, OBC, General is reprehensible. This cannot be accepted. There should be only one category and that category should be the Scheduled Tribe because we are indigenous native people like the Tangkhuls, etc.

Interestingly few people including senior citizen, politicians, etc. from among the Meetei people attempt to sabotage this popular movement by raising the bogey of special land protection act for the Meetei, classical language status, etc.

And therefore for all the detractors of this popular movement, WMC would like to caution that nothing can stand on the way because we are fighting with our back to the wall; no confusion, no fear and 99% of the Meetei people aspire to be protected by the provisions of the Scheduled Tribes of the Indian Constitution.

Yambem Arun Meetei
Secretary General
CEC - World Meetei Council


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by World Meetei Council who can be contacted at worldmeeteicouncil(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on 22 January 2022

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