Opposing voices to ST status demand for Meiteis EECHAL opposes ST demand

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IMPHAL, May 9: The demand for inclusion of Meiteis in the ST list is entwined with a notion that Meiteis would be allowed to settle in the hill areas if they are categorised as an ST. But this notion is only breeding hatred and suspicion among many tribes of Manipur against Meiteis, asserted the Ereipak Enaat Chanura Loinsinlon (EECHAL).
A press release issued by EECHAL said that the campaign for ST status is driven by a craving for reservations and quotas for Meiteis.
It was the wish of British colonial rulers to influence Meiteis to think only for themselves. Colonial administrators were not happy with the Meitei’s aspiration to protect a united Manipur by encompassing all the communities living within its geographical territory. Some other elements have been trying to create a new narrative that the Meiteis cannot live together with the tribes as they (Meiteis) are not categorised as ST. The narrative is based on an assumption that there is no trust between Meiteis and tribes.
The seeming animosity is confined between the tribal middle class and Meitei middle class and it does not comprehend the general public.
It is a matter of serious concern that some elements have been trying to convert the Manipur-India conflict into tribal feuds.
Apart from attempting to inculcate a mindset of dependency on reservation/quota, the campaign for ST status has been trying to project neighbouring communities as adversaries.
It is an attempt to transform the National liberation movement into ethnic revolutionary movement, EECHAL asserted.

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