A notion exists and it says that all the murders, molestations, rapes and beatings against Manipuri in Delhi happened to Manipuri tribals (Scheduled Tribes) only who largely settle in the hilly regions of Manipur and whose religion is largely Christianity, while Manipuri Meiteis (General, OBC, SC) whose religion are predominantly Hindu Vaishnavism and Sanamahism – the ancient Meitei religion, and Meitei Pangals ( Muslims) (OBC), who are non tribals and who settle in Manipur valley districts, hardly face such racism in Delhi.
In short, the Christian tribal minorities from Manipur have been racially and selectively targeted, probably, because of their weak economic, social and political conditions that exist both in Manipur hills and Delhi. The tribals settled in Imphal, the capital city of Manipur, are hardly targeted in Delhi, probably, because they enjoy almost similar economic, social and political conditions that exist both in Imphal and Delhi.
Many tribals from the hill districts of Manipur flee their homes for the search of good economic conditioned life outside Manipur, and in the process, they work notwithstanding the harsh working culture in capitalist economy, and in the bargain, they are often looked down because they work in spas, BPOs, call centers, parlors as attendees, shop assistants, etc. but all in big malls where English language is required for capitalist customers who dream of America in India, and they become vulnerable because most of their work get over by midnight or late night or in early morning – the time when the gangster-minded monsters move around for preying on the politically weaker, economically downtrodden, socially endangered, ethnologically faceless innocent tribals who come tired after performing their honest hard work in the work place which is usually owned by none other than someone who does not look like them, who does not come from their home district, and who even does not know what food do they eat, except knowing the condition required for the job i.e. the knowledge of speaking English only.
Imagine if a tribal from a hill district in Manipur, is beaten to death in Imphal by non-tribals, that will result to an indefinite economic blockade of all the national highways of Manipur, but, in Delhi, when many tribals from the hill districts of Manipur have been murdered for decades, no national highway, no road has been blocked so far, precisely, because of the lack of population of protesters or their unwillingness to do so in Delhi. But, the question remains is, the spirit whether in Imphal or Delhi is expected to be similar if not same, but in this case, the spirit in Imphal is not the same when it reaches Delhi, and that perhaps, may be because, Imphal is Imphal while Delhi is Delhi.
But, the larger question is, why attacks only on ST? While Manipur Secretariat is flooded with tribal IAS officers from ST of Manipur, there are many more tribals who come out from the hill districts of Manipur, to work outside Manipur. This reflects that the hill districts of Manipur are the symbol of the worst form of ignored governance in Manipur, and the blame shall go to Imphal, but more than that, the blame must also go to the elected representatives i.e. the MLAs of hill districts of Manipur for they have failed to get the work done in their respective hills.
Much larger question would be, the rise of atrocities against the ST tribals is the sign of a flawed system of reservation in Scheduled Tribes listing, as, the enactment of ST is not dependent on the basis of creamy layer that exists for OBC (Other Backward Class), and the same argument goes against SC (Scheduled Caste) too which has no creamy layer distinction, and the end result despite many counter-arguments from many corners, is the continuation of privileges in STs and SCs being enjoyed, handled and controlled by only handful of ST and SC people who are in powerful seat, bureaucracy, etc. maintaining the legacy of their high class families of power where, for example, a tribal grandfather as he was in ST, was in IPS, his son was in IAS because of ST, and his granddaughter is in IFS because of being in ST, and all of them have been raised in a capital city like Imphal, while many tribals in the interior hills of Manipur are still living in their ancestral hill homes, but they seeing the rising power of capitalism and exploding internet, can’t make any more chance to be missed, and therefore, they come out to both experiment and experience the world of capitalism, because they consider that they would lose nothing, if not to gain otherwise, because they have nothing to lose. This spirit and self consciousness of the innocent tribals from the hill districts of Manipur are what constitutes the essence of humanism which has been played upon by the perpetrators who enjoy the patronage of capitalism in Delhi.
My heart goes out to every human being and for humanism, and this is why, I can never ever afford to lose the sight of love and humanism which has been, which is, and which will be exemplified by my brothers and sisters of the hill districts of Manipur who have left Manipur to serve their home, people and mankind on this planet.
*The opinion is written by Ningombam Bupenda Meitei.
*The writer is an alumnus of St.Stephen’s College, Delhi and a member of International Network in Biolinguistics.
*You can read the original article here.
(Courtesy: The NorthEast Today Magazine)
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