A requirement for granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) standing to the Meiteis has discovered no takers among the many political events in poll-bound Manipur.

The Meiteis are the dominant neighborhood in 40 of the 60 Meeting seats straddling the Imphal and Jiribam Valleys. A majority comply with Hinduism whereas greater than 8% are Muslims, regionally referred to as Pangals.

A professional-ST standing motion forward of the two-phase elections was anticipated to have been a ballot concern. Nevertheless it discovered no place within the manifestos of both the nationwide or the regional events.

This has not deterred the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee, Manipur from carrying on the combat for the neighborhood that it claimed was recorded in official paperwork as ST until 1935. It stated representatives of India had sought the opinion of Meiteis on the ST standing when the Structure was drafted in 1949-50.

‘Nonetheless comply with outdated system’

“Some higher caste Meiteis, together with two Brahmins, stated they had been a superior neighborhood and rejected the ST standing. However we nonetheless comply with the outdated tribal system though most of us are Hindus,” Yambem Laba, the committee’s chairman and former head of the Manipur Human Rights Fee, instructed The Hindu.

Barring a little bit greater than 3% having fun with the Scheduled Caste standing, the Meiteis had been declared OBC (different backward class) in 1991.

Mr. Laba stated the ST standing would go a great distance in defending the land of the Meiteis, now confined to eight% of Manipur’s geographical areas, and open up job alternatives within the central sector.

There’s a notion amongst a piece of the Meiteis that the tribals who prospered resulting from reservation have been shopping for up land within the Imphal Valley whereas they can’t purchase land within the ST-dominated hills.

The Pangals too see benefit within the ST tag. “Ours is a backward neighborhood politically, economically, educationally and socially. We want ST standing for job quota and safety of our land,” stated Md. Chingiz Khan, a scholar.

Oppose demand

Organisations such because the All Tribal College students’ Union of Manipur representing the State’s 36 tribes are towards Meiteis being granted the ST standing. “It will defeat the very function of defending the tribal folks by way of the reservation,” a union chief stated.

Many among the many Meiteis are additionally against the demand for ST standing. They embrace Rajkumar Meghen, former chief of the extremist United Nationwide Liberation Entrance, who really feel the standing would undo the wealthy martial historical past of the neighborhood.

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