The Schedule Tribe Demand Commitee Manipur (STDCM) has submitted a memorandum to Prime Pinister Narendra Modi for the third time, demanding to enlist Meetei/Meitei in the scheduled tribe list.
The memorandum mentioned that in continuation of their representations submitted on March 3, 2018 and January 1, 2019 regarding inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in Schedule Tribe list, STDCM, on behalf of the ethnic Meitei/Meetei Community of Manipur, reiterate that the Meiteis/Meeteis, one of the Indigenous communities of Manipur, rightfully deserves Constitutional safeguards, as provided to other indigenous communities of Manipur and neighbouring States of North East India, to protect their distinctly indigenous identity and ancestral land in entirety.
It also pointed out that the Indigenous Meitei/Meetei who are original inhabitants of Manipur since time immemorial were recognised as one of the tribes of Manipur in successive government records including that of 1931 Census. But, the indigenous Meitei/Meetei Community was indiscriminately left out from the list of Scheduled Tribes prepared under Article 342(1) of the Indian Constitution in 1950 on an indisputably inauthentic and unjustifiable basis.
Since then, the Community has been victimised without any constitutional safeguards to date. As a result, the Meitei/Meetei have been gradually marginalised in their ancestral land, the STDCM said. Their population which was 59% of the total population of Manipur in 1951 has now been reduced to 44% as per 2011 Census data, it added.
The memorandum continued that in view of such gross injustice meted out to the Indigenous Meitei/Meetei Community, the STDCM, on behalf of the Community, submitted a series of memorandums/representations to the Government of India and Government of Manipur for inclusion of the Meitei/Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe list of India under Article 342(1) of the Constitution of India.
In response to a similar representation of the STDCM submitted to the then government, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India had asked the Government of Manipur to furnish to the Ministry specific recommendations along with the latest socio-economic survey and ethnographic report of the Meiteis/Meeteis for consideration of the proposal for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei community in the ST list which the Government of Manipur is yet to comply with.
Such irresponsible acts of state government provoked them to carry out various agitations, the memorandum mentioned.