Lamka, Sept 19: The Churachandpur District Studentsâ€™ Union (CDSU) has strongly reacted to the state governmentâ€™s purported policy of imposing fixed population growth rate in an attempt to cut the natural growth rate on the ground that the population growth rate in hill/tribal areas cannot cross the population growth rate in valley district which is less than 20 percent as per the initial figures of the ongoing census operations of 2011.
A release of the association stated that the policy of the state government is quite illogical and very much contrary to the ground realities thereby exposing the despotic mindset of the people in power who try to establish a unitary system in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and purely pluralistic state like Manipur.
It also cited various reasons for higher population growth rate in hill areas saying that the imposition of fixed population growth rate for tribal is simply based on unfounded perceived threats of the valley people who have been following family planning programmes in view of limited space and resources.
Moreover, there has been large migration of non-tribal into hill areas due to repeated threat posed to the life and property by valley-based UG groups and in the last few decades Churachandpur town recorded 230 percent growth of non-tribal population which is much more than 40 percent natural growth rate of tribal population, the release said.
It also stated that there is mass exodus of tribal from valley areas to hill areas whenever there are inter-community tensions in the state and added that even with 100 percent or more growth for the next three decades the tribal population of Manipur will continue to be minority in terms of their population strength.
The CDSU further drew the attention of the state government to look at the overall population growth rate of the state instead of creating hill-valley issues, and also questioned the government as to why it has raised objections to the pockets of the district to register about 40 percent growth rate to compensate the loss in other areas of Churachandpur if the overall growth rate is only 28.86 percent.
The CDSU also resolved to confiscate all census documents in Churachandpur district as a part of the larger COPTAM movement and continue to struggle until the government solves the legitimate issues raised by COPTAM including imposition of fixed population growth rate for tribal people of the state.
Meanwhile, the volunteers of COPTAM seized all census forms of Churachandpur district as a part of their ongoing protest demonstrations.