KSO against ST demand

Published on July 24, 2013

IMPHAL: The Kuki Students’ Organization, General Headquarters (KSO-GHQ) has strongly opposed the recent demands made by Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur Valley (STDCMV) to confer ST status on the the Meitei community under the Constitution of India.

The Kuki student body said it is baffled, as the community which has been categorized under the general category since time immemorial and who enjoy the privileges of being in the general category in every field in the State hitherto has suddenly demanded Scheduled Tribe status.

Moreover, it is absurd unless proven otherwise that a community which once considered the tribals as inferior and untouchable communities would be demanding a Scheduled Tribe status, the KSO-GHQ stated.

“It is unfortunate and an undeniable fact that the Meitei community who are enjoying maximum benefits on different categories in employment avenues at the time of recruitment of any post claiming as Other Backward Class (OBC), Schedule Caste (SC) and considering themselves as the general category as their exclusive category and now raising the demand for inclusion of Meitei community in the tribal category in addition to these categories is a serious issue.

The STDCMV’s demand has now come out in the fore which is the long plan of the Meitei community eyeing to grab the benefits meant for the tribal community which is only 31 percent out of 100 percent i.e. 31 posts for the tribals out of 100 posts created under the government of Manipur at the time of recruitment in government or public services,” the Kuki students’ body said.

The KSO-GHQ then warns that if the demand of converting general Meitei community to Scheduled Tribe is materialized it would be a nightmare for the present tribal of Manipur. As it is the tribal status and privileges reserved under the Constitution of India that makes the tribal of Manipur alleviated to some extent. The social-economic-politics status compare with the Meiteis are a far cry for the tribal.

The population dominance would eventually assimilate the present tribal to Meitei tribal which would endanger the existence of indigenous tribal of Manipur. Therefore, it is a plot of indirectly annihilating the existence of the present tribal in Manipur, the KSO-GHQ said. KSO felt that having mongoloid physical features cannot be the basis for recognizing them in Scheduled Tribe category.

“Similar physical structures and features will be found in different places in different communities or in different countries but recognizing all the resemblance physical features as Scheduled tribes irrespective of different community backgrounds, traditions and practices will be absurd,” the Kuki students’ body reasons.

The KSO then said the STDCMV’s demand for inclusion of the Meiteis in the tribal category indicates that the Meiteis are like ‘a catalyst’ which has no identity of its own. If not, the committee would have been definitely constituted by few individuals of vested interest who hail from the Meitei community, the KSO-GHQ stated.

Source: The Sangai Express – July 24, 2013

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