The World Meetei Council (WMC), expressing concern over the existential threats facing the Meetei community on Sunday made a clarion call to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh “to remember that the fate of the 15 lakh odd Meetei people of Manipur lies in his hands.”
A release issued by WMC secretary general Yambem Arun Meetei urged the chief minister to send the required reports on Meetei’s ethnography and Meetei’s latest socio-economic to the Centre before the Parliamentary elections. It noted that delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in the country including Manipur will be conducted in 2026.
The Meeteis who are at the receiving end will be exposed more and more which could threaten Meetei’s identity in the next two to three decades, it asserted. It raised concern that the identity of the Meetei would be vulnerable and the State’s integrity would be seriously challenged if the delimitation were to take place without considering Meetei’s claims.
It said that Meetei are confined to about 5 to 6 per cent of the total area of Manipur and that the demography of the state had witnessed a tectonic shift in the last few decades. Meetei who had constituted about 60 per cent of the total population of Manipur as per the 1971 census have now been downed to about 44 per cent in the last 2011 census, it stated.
The fact is that the migrant population has now taken over the Naga indigenous community and jumped to the second spot having the second largest population in the state, it maintained. It added that the influx of illegal migrants continues till now and said that the situation has called the Meeteis to do with all their might to protect their identity by getting constitutional protection under the Scheduled Tribe provision.
WMC has conducted a thorough research about the eligibility for being included in the ST list as per the given rules of law and the findings have established beyond doubt that the Meetei fulfil all the criteria for ST status, the release stated. It reiterated its appeal to take decisive actions for constitutional protection of Meeteis before it is too late.