TODAY -

Meitei/Meetei’s exclusion from ST list - queer controversies

K. Bhogendrajit *



The article, “Kaka Kalelkar Commission report of 1956: Meitei/Meetei’s exclusion from the ST list is by their own choice” written by Mr. Ngaranmi Shimray which appeared in the Sangai Express (English edition) on 10/10/2023 is considered to be contemptous of the ongoing Meitei/Meetei people’s Scheduled Tribe (ST) status demand movement spearheaded by the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur (STDCM) with the support of or in collaboration with a large number of other fraternal organizations.

In fact, it has raised queer controversies to compel the STDCM to join the issue. The STDCM is thus constrained to issue a few relevant clarifications. We have failed to find in the Kaka Kalelkar Backward Classes Commission Report, 1955 the alleged statement that “the Meitei, when given an opportunity to be ST, did not include themselves”.

We are amused to note the writer’s cynical attempt to denigrate the STDCM as being ill-informed about the above report as regards the Meitei’s ST candidature in particular. The said report had been rejected by the Govt. of India; the Govt. however, examined its recommendations on the list of STs and SCs in consultation with the States/UTs governments, etc. while passing the SC and ST Orders (Amendment) Act, 1956.

Here, it is pertinent to recall the status of Manipur administration after the Princely State became a part of India from 15/10/1949. Manipur was trampled under a Chief Commissioner’s rule as a Part-C State from that day, and as a Union Territory from 1956 until it attained Statehood in 1972. That was the period when there was hardly any count for people’s voice or democratic opinion.

That was the time when the erstwhile Princely State’s administration was done by or under the dictate of the Central Govt. which followed the British policy of “Divide and Rule” under which the Meiteis/Meeteis were differentiated and isolated from the hill peoples being quickly categorized as STs while tactically leaving the former to their fate.

Everything was decided by the Chief Commissioner (later, Lt. Governor) assisted by some faceless bureaucrats. That was how the proposals of Manipur for ST list were made in collaboration or consultation with a few myopic converted Meitei-Hindu fanatics, who were considered educated or influential.

Moreover, during that time (1950s) the literacy rate of Manipur was hardly around 12%. So, the majority of the Meitei/Meetei people also were quite ignorant of the existence and implications of the Constitutional provisions for STs. Can anyone think of any ‘people’s choice’ under that situation?

Consequently, it was incumbent on the then concerned administrative authorities to take judicious decision relating to such a crucial matter as the grant of ST status to eligible communities/tribes like the Meiteis/Meeteis who are indigenous people/tribe requiring appropriate Constitutional safeguards.

The Commission should also have taken such other adequate steps than only depending on the then Territorial Administration not to miss any eligible tribe/community like the Meiteis/Meeteis for inclusion in the ST list.

Therefore, the writer’s allegation that the exclusion of the Meiteis from the then STs list was by their choice is rediculous and unfounded. The former Manipur Chief Secretary K. K. Sethi was correct if he felt that the Meiteis were left out or denied by the Kaka Kalelkar Commission to become ST. As a result, the Community was not included in 1956 from the modified STs list. And, the question of the STDCM misleading the public in this regard, as the writer alleged, does not arise at all.

The propositions of the writer to conclude that “the claim of STDCM on the aspect of socio-educational deprivation has no legs on” is grossly irrelevant as it is now relevant to go forward after 1955-56 and pinpoint the 1965 Lokur Committee laid-down eligibility criteria to become ST, which have since been continuing to be in force to date.

The STDCM claims that the Meiteis/Meeteis completely fulfill the said criteria, and hence its demand for the Meiteis/Meeteis ST status is indisputably justified. Thus, the Govt. Of Manipur is being urged to send its required proposal along with the Meitei’s/Meetei’s ethnographic and socio-economic survey reports to the Central Govt. as required under the existing procedures.

As such, the STDCM stands on a solid foundation as regards the justifications of the Meitei in their ST status demand and also the steps to be followed for achieving the demand. Therefore, Mr. Shimray should not be worried about the Constitutional legality of the presently prevailing categorization of the Meiteis as SC, ST and OBC and further about the future status of the existing Meitei SC. The simple answer to these questions is that the Meiteis/Meeteis are a tribe and all the entire community should only be ST.

It is very strange why the writer has undermined his stature by attempting to wrongly paint the Meitei ST status demand as the root cause of the present Manipur crisis. It is now a settled position that the so-called Tribal Solidarity Rally organized by the ATSUM against the Manipur High Court’s order relating to the demand had been used as a pretext to pursue a hidden agenda aggressively by some leaders of a particular community. This is the position taken by all the intellectuals amongst all the indigenous communities of Manipur who matter.


* K. Bhogendrajit wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is General Secretary, STDCM (Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Of Manipur)
and can be contacted at connect(AT)stdcm(DOT)org
This article was webcasted on October 29 2023.



* 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
  • Naorem Roshibina- Wushu Medallist : Gallery
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • 7 facts about Meitei Goddess Khunu Leima
  • Discrimination of Meiteis in Manipur #1
  • Entry : Manipur State Film Awards, 2024
  • Understanding profundity of secularism
  • Fencing of Indo-Myanmar Border: Zeliang
  • Politics of inking the SoO pact
  • A chink in Kuki-Chin legislators armour
  • Protest against SoO agreement #1 : Gallery
  • March Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Press conference at Press Club of India
  • Workshop : Listening to our environment
  • Meetei bears more tribal characters
  • Calling out AR men from their bunkers
  • Re-activating state economy
  • History & Culture of Manipur through Puyas
  • Blood Donation at Mongshangei
  • 8 from Manipur- Sangeet Natak award 2023
  • National Science Day on Indigenous Tech
  • Grand finale of Mega Miss North East
  • Coming close to understanding of anarchy
  • Reasonable suggestion
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #8 :: Book
  • Finding all & treating all TB
  • Facts about Article 371-C #1
  • The Power of Poppy - 21 :: Poem
  • Radio E-pao :: Contemporary (350+ songs)
  • The silence continues, the clash continues
  • A sage advice on NRC
  • Consequences of Hereditary Chieftainship
  • e-Archiving of Manipur Gazettes launched
  • Grand finale of Mega Mister North East
  • Children are clay pots, parents are potters
  • Spring skin & hair care & make-up
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • 'Terminate SoO with Kuki Armed Groups'
  • ST demand & Govinda ji
  • Memorandum to Union Home Minister
  • Role of parents during board exams
  • In perfect imperfection: Love's untold story
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #24: Download
  • Shaheed Memorial Football Final : Gallery
  • O, Martyrs, Martyrs
  • Remembering the fire at Sainik School Imphal
  • Meephamlen & Life Time Achievement
  • Program: Youth Leadership & Development
  • 7 facts about ancient Goddess Panthoibi
  • Myanmar border fencing; arson in CCpur
  • Research Officer- Financial @ Amethyst
  • Exploring nutritional virtues of maternal milk
  • Fine dining with flavours of Northeast
  • ST categorisation : Not the job of judiciary
  • Growing demand for abrogating SoO pact
  • Save Manipur : Protest [Feb 15] #2 : Gallery
  • Agro forestry for sustainable agriculture
  • Relief materials & interaction at Kangpokpi
  • Exodus from Myanmar justify 'border fencing'
  • Earth Civilization :: Poem
  • Enhancing domestic fish consumption in India
  • Growing call to abrogate SoO pact
  • Acquitting the criminal, penalising the victim
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #7 :: Book
  • Recipe for a full fledged civil war
  • Health Camp at Santhong Relief Camp
  • Farming- loss-making but MSP is not practical
  • Magic ingredients for radiant & flawless skin
  • First Assam LitArt Festival concludes
  • Silence of the guns, for the moment
  • A brighter side of the conflict
  • Interview with Naorem Roshibina (Wushu)
  • Memo to Chief Minister : The Way Forward
  • Best wishes to all students of classes 10th
  • The Power of Poppy - 20 :: Poem
  • Boost student retention power for board exam
  • Claiming ancestral rights over Thangjing
  • Indeed, no comparison with Manipur violence
  • Arambai Tengol & SFs #4 : Gallery
  • Rising above adversity for excellence
  • 7 facts about Meitei Goddess Nganu Leima
  • 149 experts call to find all TB to stop TB
  • Resilient tourism for vibrant career
  • Non-stop assault on Sugnu : The pattern
  • Nearly 5mn candidates for 60k posts
  • Folktales of Manipur 2.0
  • Nothing to kill or die for
  • The Kutsapo Proclamation
  • Nagas oppose border fencing with Myanmar
  • Great game for peace and security
  • IIT Delhi at Abu Dhabi
  • Restraining armed forces vis- Kuki militants
  • Drawing the battle line for Moreh at last
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #23: Download
  • Aira Thoudam - coveted scholarship in Egypt
  • Condemns violence committed in CCpur
  • Last Smile of our Fallen Comrade : Poem
  • Sachinker ties knot with Raina Rajkumari
  • Complex challenges & calls for resolution
  • Save Manipur : Protest [Feb 15] #1 : Gallery
  • Sonia Nepram at 74th Berlinale, Germany
  • Manipur: Best AIFF Grassroots Award 2024
  • Children struggling tough competition
  • Reliance Foundation partners with NSDC
  • Bigger agenda behind CCpur protest
  • When Frankenstein acts as a law unto itself
  • A Cloud in Trousers : A translation #4
  • Manipur imbroglio and our lessons
  • The Living Song :: Poem
  • Entries : Mumbai International Film Festival
  • MG Motor India's new facility in Silchar
  • Self-funded Rail budget earns profits
  • Points Imphal should lay before Delhi
  • Dissenters not to go down without a fight
  • Art Exhibition @ RKCS Museum #5 : Gallery
  • Article 371 C aggravates ethnic divide
  • Into the lap of nature : Udupi #2
  • Delhi's dance with Meitei-Kuki conundrum
  • 'Vividhata ka Amrit Mahotsav' in Delhi
  • 2024 may pose challenges in 11 States
  • FMR scrapped, border fencing assured
  • Time to take a final call
  • Legacies of the Khamba-Thoibi classics
  • Transforming education in Manipur
  • The Power of Poppy - 19 :: Poem
  • Beauty tip to look awesome- Valentine's Day
  • Towards understanding of human journeys
  • If them then why not the Meiteis ?
  • Ensuring basic rights of conflict children
  • 75th Republic Day @ Kangla #2 : Gallery
  • Bambam Thounaojam - MMA World Champion
  • Distress Relief @ Sugnu [Jan] : Gallery
  • Manipur's struggle for peace amidst tension
  • Hold govts to account for ending tobacco
  • Meghalaya Cancer Conclave 2024
  • Not the time to take political mileage
  • Way off the mark
  • Abnormal population growth of Kuki from 1881
  • May 3 violence :: Poem
  • Bharat-Burma border barbed
  • Importance of STEM careers for girls
  • Development of mental health in school
  • Displaced children in relief camps
  • Is it the end of Kuki-AR honeymoon period ?
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #22: Download
  • Manipur Technology Innovation Hub Startup
  • As Time Ticks Away :: Poem
  • Architecture & design confluence - BAIC
  • UG Scholarships 2023-24 results announced
  • Occupational therapy role in erb's palsy
  • National Voters' Day @ Lamphel : Gallery
  • Into the lap of nature : Udupi #1
  • Stop disrespect for places of worship
  • IBSD & NBRC joined hand for research
  • MedTech Mitra : A facilitation highway uptake
  • First edition of Assam LitArt Festival
  • Weed out the illegal immigrants
  • Behind and beyond the rhetoric
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #6 :: Book
  • Training on cultivation of mushroom at Tera
  • Workshop: Exploring genomic resources of NE
  • India-Australia Partnership in Education
  • Why a new dawn of development in NE
  • Healthy Hair : keep it healthy
  • Beyond scrapping FMR
  • The letter of WKZIC to ADB
  • A Northeasterner's Reflection on India
  • Feathers of different birds flock together
  • Manipur : 9 months into endless killings
  • Call to make Big Tobacco pay for health
  • Mahotsav : Richness of Northeast India
  • Noting the call from AMCO
  • Not enough to rest assured anyone
  • Resilience in adversity | Kumbi : Gallery
  • Why effective treatments for TB not out
  • Cease the strife :: Poem
  • Balancing mental well-being of students
  • FM Hi debt funds Rs 45 tr budget
  • Submission of admission, apology
  • Unveiling the mask of Kuki MLAs once again
  • Arambai Tengol & SFs [24 Jan] #3 : Gallery
  • Lessons from Manipur on vigilantism
  • Exposure to air pollution can lead to cancer
  • Interim budget: Need comprehensive reforms
  • From exam stress to success
  • Adding more teeth to the silence
  • Still, a far-off land for Mr Prime Minister
  • A Cloud in Trousers : A translation #3
  • Dissecting the strength of Kukis #2
  • Self Defence Training : for school girls
  • Bharat Ratna for the Mandir man
  • Desi remedy for farm sector
  • Noting the words of caution from UNC
  • The best way to settle Thangjing issue
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #21: Download
  • Maharaj Gambhir Singh #2: Gallery
  • To Our Fallen Village Volunteers :: Poem
  • "It's Not My Choice" triumphs in every aspect
  • Jamir congratulates Advani for Bharat Ratna
  • Climate change needs to be taught
  • 75th Republic Day @ Kangla #1 : Gallery
  • Management fest at Assam University
  • Transformation from adulthood to parenthood
  • NEP's vision is to make India competitive
  • 35th Road Safety Campaign in North East
  • Budget - Welfare with Fiscal Discipline
  • Understanding call against lifting FMR
  • Nine months and counting
  • Statue in front of Western Gate, Kangla ?
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 : Review
  • Auditions: 20th Mega Miss North East
  • Face scrubs for glowing skin
  • Auditions: 13th Mega Mister North East
  • Seaweed: Sea of opportunities
  • Continuing clash: Dialogue the way forward
  • The truth behind the objection
  • Gaan-Ngai at Keishamthong #2 : Gallery
  • Protests attack @ Moreh [18 Jan] #2: Gallery
  • Seeking solutions, not scapegoats: Response
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Gaan-Ngai at Keishamthong #1 : Gallery
  • Transforming education, building our future
  • Arambai Tengol & SFs [24 Jan] #2 : Gallery
  • Arambai Tengol & SFs [24 Jan] #1 : Gallery
  • Protests attack @ Moreh [17 Jan] #2 : Gallery
  • Protests attack @ Moreh [18 Jan] #1: Gallery
  • Guard of honor - W Somorjit : Gallery
  • 13 martyrs brought to JNIMS : Gallery
  • Mangani Leihul of 13 martyrs #2 : Gallery
  • Oinam Chaoba Devi: Sepak Takraw : Gallery
  • Ayekpam Maipak (Sepak Takraw) : Gallery
  • Shanglakpam Nilakanta (Hockey) : Gallery
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD