Organised by Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) under the aegis of All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM), the rally kickstarted from Gandhi Chowk and wind up at Mini Secretariat Complex Ukhrul. The rally was also participated by representatives from KSO-Ukhrul.
TFM Ukhrul Correspondent
Tribal Solidarity March under the theme “Come Now Let Us Reason Together” was held on Wednesday at the Ukhrul District Headquarters.
Organised by Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) under the aegis of All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM), the rally kickstarted from Gandhi Chowk and wind up at Mini Secretariat Complex Ukhrul. The rally was also participated by representatives from KSO-Ukhrul. Those who participated in the rally submitted a memorandum addressed to the President of India through the Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul.
The memorandum stated that “in the event of the demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei community in the ST category gaining momentum with most of the Legislators from the valley including the Hon’ble MP (Rakya Sabha) openly declaring their support without taking into account of the irrationality of the demand and sentiments of the tribal community of the State, the Tangkhul tribe Student’s Union is constrained to submit this representation as a reminder for utmost perusal and intervention as the future of the tribal communities looks bleak and uncertain.”
The memorandum also mentioned that “the Hills, constituting more than 90% of the total geographical areas and about 41% of the total population, have been subjugated, marginalized and deprived by the State Government dominated by the majority valley community for decades. The Industrial Unit Index and Infrastructural Unit Index clearly revealed that the tribals of Manipur have been under extreme form of subjugation and domination in their own land. As such, granting of ST status to the Meitei/Meetei community, who have already enjoyed all the benefits of modern amenities, will further annihilate the minority tribal communities who will ultimately be rendered landless in their own homeland since the Meitei/Meetei community will be free to snatched the lands and grabbed the 31% reservation allocated for the tribals”.
“Moreover, the tribal communities genuinely feel that a separate political system with full autonomy will be the only way out if we are to protect the weak amd marginalized tribal community from the onslaught of the dominant Meitei/Meetei community. Therefore, in the light of the above facts and circumstances, the tribal people of the state called upon your honourable self to help prevent the inclusion of Meitei/Meetei as Scheduled Tribe in the constitution of India. The recognition of Meitei/Meetei as Scheduled Tribe will not only sound a dead knell to the constitution protection of hill tribal communities in the country. It will also be a contempt to the democratic principles of justice amd equality, the foundation on which this great country is built upon. As such, this illogical and illegitimate demand should be prevented at all cost.”, said the memorandum.
It also stated that “it is well known fact that the Meitei/Meetei community, a majority in the state of Manipur categorised as General, Scheduled Caste amd Other Backward Classes is excelling and commanding in all aspects of life. Besides government jobs, their districts are far ahead of other districts in the while Northeast India. According to the table provided, the Infrastructural Development Index of Districts of Manipur (2009), the valley districts namely Imphal West has a CDI Value of 328.96, Imphal East has 245.00, Thoubal has 189.70 and Bishnupur has 151.73. In the hill districts, Senapati has 114.00 CDI Value, Ukhrul has 83.00, Tamenglong has 73.69, Churachandpur has 73.13 and Chandel has 70.49. According to number of Registered Industrila Units, Investment and Production (2005-06), the hill districts has 27 number of Units (SIDO + Non-SIDO) whereas valley districts have 86. Investment in P&M in the hill districts amounts to Rs. 34.19 Lakh as compared to Rs. 154.61 Lakh in the valley districts. Value of production in the hill districts is recorded at Rs. 39.61 and in the valley districts at Rs. 553.65 Lakh.”
The memorandum was jointly signed by Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (Apex body of Tangkhul Student’s Organisations), Zingtun Tangkhul Katamnao Long (West), Zingsho Katamnao Long (East), Raphei Katamnao Long (North), Tangkhul Aze Katamnao Long (South) and Sagolmang Area Naga Student’s Association.
The rally was participated by Tangkhul Naga Long, Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long, Tangkhul Shanao Long and Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long. The Tangkhul Frontal Organisations expressed their full support on the ongoing movement headed hy ATSUM and TKS.