IMPHAL, February 23: Convener of All India Meitei Scheduled Tribe Movement has sought support from individual, organisation, association, union and political party to ensure the listing of Meitei in the category of Scheduled Tribe under the Constitution of India.
According to a statement of All India Meitei Scheduled Tribe Movement, Meitei was listed as a tribe in the Census Report of the British India Government in 1891, 1901 and 1931. The Census of 1941 was not conducted because of the 2nd World War.
Had it been conducted, Meitei should also have been included continuously as a tribe in the Census by the British India Government under the Queen of England, it said.
However, in 1951, after India became republic and its Constitution came into being in 1950, Meitei as a tribe was removed from the Scheduled Tribe category. The Government of India owes an explanation to the Meiteis that why Meitei was removed from Scheduled Tribe category in 1950 Constitutional Order signed by the then President of India Dr.Rajendra Prasad.
In this regard, All India Meitei Scheduled Tribe Movement is going to be launched in New Delhi and all over India to seek the attention of Prime Minister, State Chief Minister and other national and regional political leaders to ensure that Meitei is listed as a Tribe in Scheduled Tribe category in the year of 2016 without fail.
The movement is open to all who support and want to extend his/her/their solidarity with the Meiteis to enlist Meitei in Scheduled Tribe category, the statement said, adding that the movement will send a strong message to the State CM O Ibobi Singh who has shown a stoic silence to the demand.
It alleged that the CM instead of recommending Meitei for ST through the State Cabinet has deliberately taken the issue to Manipur Assembly to both delay and divert the genuine cause of Meitei ST.
It is the State Cabinet which is to recommend the enlisting of Meitei as ST and that has to be sent to the President through Governor. Manipur Assembly has no mandatory constitutional role in this regard, it further pointed out.
It is also to be noted that the former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had agreed to the enlisting of Meitei as Scheduled Tribe under the Constitution of India. The then PM gave his complete assurance to the delegation of Meiteis led by Lok Sabha MP Dr. Th. Meinya to include Meitei as ST in 2013.
The then BJP President Rajnath Singh, who is now the Union Home Minister, also gave assurance to support Meitei for ST category. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have no objection to enlisting of Meitei for ST category, the statement stated.