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Role Of Meiteis Debated

IMPHAL, Jun 4: A state level debate on ‘the role of Meiteis as a major community in bridging divisions among different communities of the State’ was held today at Manipur Press Club here under the aegis of the North Imphal Cultural Organization based at Koirengei Bazar.

Giving key-note address of the program, program convener N Rajendro said different communities of the State have been living together for more than 2000 years.

However, the existing 60 MLAs have not been studying any of the myriad issues and events happening in the State during the contemporary period.

With the MLAs not debating any of the issues seriously before plunging into action, the problems and issues have been only multiplying year after year. Further, these issues have been aggravated because of differences and egotism among the 60 MLAs, Rajendro asserted.

Lamenting that the MLAs have been limiting their activities to their own welfare, Rajendro highlighted the need to enact an Act for safeguarding integrity of Manipur.

Regarding the understanding of some hill people that their shares of development projects, welfare schemes etc have been forfeited by Meiteis, Rajendro pointed out that it was not the Meiteis but the MLAs of both hills and valley who have been forfeiting the people’s share.  With almost all the communities thinking and acting in communal line, there is hardly any community in Manipur who do not have their own armed underground groups, he noted. Yet, all the communities need to be united on common issues like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, he added.

Dr Dhanabir Laishram said that it was non-local people who first occupied top-ranked posts in the State administration.  It was this group of non-local bureaucrats who taught the art of corruption, graft ad nepotism to their succeeding local bureaucrats.

Cautioning that it would be problematic to build up collective identity of a nation together with a territory, Dr Dhanabir alleged that the Government of India has been taking deliberately creating a situation of conflict taking advantage of territorial demand made by some groups.

For issues related with Manipur, any dialogue should be held with the people of Manipur.

Any dialogue with the Government is unacceptable and it would be meaningless, he said.

ICHAM advisor MK Shimray lamented Manipur fallen behind to the status of a most backward state in a democratic country.

Accusing some hill leaders of following divisive policies, Shimray underscored the importance of building up unity among the people of Manipur.

Social worker N Santa said that the visible disunity among different communities of Manipur is a result of the failure on the part majority community Meiteis to shoulder due responsibility in consolidating Manipuri nationhood which can be identified by all the indigenous communities.

One major factor for the distrust among different communities is the sick economy of the State, Santa asserted.

Editor of the Aja daily, Valley Rose advocated enforcement of 6th Schedule in the hill areas of Manipur.

Saying that some valley people have been speaking openly against implementation of 6th Schedule, Valley Rose remarked that this was not correct.

Larger number of the problems besetting Manipur can be solved if all the indigenous communities are given their due shares.  When there is conflict and divisions in the hills and the valley, one cannot expect peace in Manipur, she stated.  Senior journalist K Madhumangol presided over the open debate as the Speaker. Students from different schools also participated in the open debate.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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