Last Updated on August 27, 2023 by SPN Editor
Imphal/March 6, 2023 (SPN) | Rajya Sabha MP Maharaja Leishemba Sanajaoba has raised concerns about the declining Meiteis population, stating that the community needs to focus on securing its future.
Speaking at the inaugural function of a newly constructed temple of Huidon Lairembi at Mayang Imphal Chabung Company, Yurembam Leikai on Sunday, Sanajaoba emphasized the need for Meiteis to adapt to changing environments and protect themselves.
Even though Meiteis are currently considered to be the largest community in Manipur, he claimed that once they become a minority, they will be absolutely powerless.
Meiteis population may be around 15/16 lakhs in Manipur.
On the other hand, the Meiteis population is around 4–5 lakh in Assam, 1–2 thousand in Myanmar, 50,000–60,000 in Bangladesh, and a few thousand in Tripura.
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The combined population of Meiteis worldwide is very small, and MP Sanajaoba pointed out that their settlement on Earth dates back over 5000 years. He also mentioned that Sagol Kangjei, which gave birth to modern Polo, was first played between two pannas led by Ibudhou Marjing and Ibudhou Thangjing over 5122 years ago. However, despite their ancient heritage, their future is worrisome considering their small population.
Maharaja Sanajaoba urged the Meitei people to unite and identify areas where the community is lagging so that they can collectively work out corrective measures. If the community fails to unite and work out a collective strategy, it will only grow weaker and vanish from the surface of the Earth, he warned. He lamented the lack of unity among Meiteis and the absence of a proper platform for the congregation and studying their common issues and aspirations.
While there are plenty of platforms for other communities, there is no such platform for Meiteis to study their present issues and chalk out future plans. Sanajaoba pointed out that the Lai Haraoba festivals seen today have deviated quite asunder from their original form, and the Meitei community is being bombarded by several challenges from multiple directions, leading to a declining population. He also expressed concern about a large number of youth taking to intoxicating drugs, as they are the future parents of Meitei descendants.
MP Leishemba Sanajaoba called upon all Meiteis to come together and think about the community’s future. MANIDCO Chairman and Mayang Imphal AC MLA Kongkham Robindro emphasized the need for all clans of the Meitei to create proper platforms for the congregation of their clan members to forge unity within the clan and the Meitei community at large.
He also appealed to all Meiteis to safeguard and promote the rich cultural heritage of the community and announced the construction of a community hall within the premises of Huidon Lairembi temple.