The All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) has made a clarion call to all the tribal communities of Manipur to stand united on the issue and in turn contribute their mites in the fight against this illogical demand for Meitei/Meetei’s inclusion into ST list.
Reiterating its unequivocal opposition to the demand for inclusion into the Schedule Tribe category by the Meitei/Meetei community, ATSUM has asked the proponent of the demand to stop communalizing the issue.
The deafening silence of the 20 tribal MLAs on the matter for many months when their Meitei counterparts have come out openly is raising lots of questions thereby agitating the minds of the tribal populace. They should come out with their stance or else shall be construed that you are supporting their demand.
What is there so much to be afraid of when the whole tribal people of the state are solidly unanimous on the matter? Swim with the sentiments of your people and whom you represent, it stated.
It is unfortunate that, of late, there has been a surge in an unceasing attempt by proponents of the demand to communalize the issue by attempting to drive a wedge between the tribal communities, ATSUM stated.
That too under the very nose of the government driven by sheer desperation or with the eye to be in the media limelight but such puerile attempts will not succeed, they added.
It continued that ATSUM fails to understand why the Manipur government is silent when so many communal overtones are overtly coming out daily from the proponents of the ST demand for Meitei/Meetei while adding that instead of trying to rein them in. It seems the government is tacitly encouraging them by letting them loose, the apex body of the tribal students added.
“For months, we have been silently watching all these histrionics by the proponent of the demand with the hope that sanity will prevail. But it seems our silence was construed as timidity. Now our patience is reaching the end of its tether and our composure vexed”, it stated.
It is our unambiguous stance that the Manipur government should maintain the status quo on the matter and side with none. But the open support expressed by the Meitei ministers and MLAs is a clear testimony that this government is not neutral but whose support is slanted towards the Meitei community, it stated.
Let’s all be very clear that ATSUM’s opposition to this illogical demand for Meitei/Meetei is unwavering and will be opposed with more vigor and tenacity now and in the future. And we will go the extra mile so that demand for Meitei/Meetei is defeated on its face, it further stated.
The student body then stated that on innumerable occasions we have publicly stated the reasons and rationales for our opposition to the demand for Meitei/Meetei as it is adversely going to impact the tribal communities of Manipur in the days to come.
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