• Some members of the Meitei community in Manipur, which has been seeking Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for decades, have now said that they intend to file contempt proceedings against the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of the Manipur Assembly, which recently passed a resolution opposing their inclusion.
  • Recently the Manipur High Court ordered the State government to recommend the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes list.
  • The HAC passed a resolution opposing the High Court’s order and called for the Centre and the State government to appeal it.
  • The HAC was set up through a 1972 order and comprises legislators of all constituencies that fall partly or wholly within the State’s hilly areas.

Current position of the Meitis:

  • They are currently categorised as OBCs or SCs.
  • The Meitei people dominate in more than half the State’s Assembly constituencies.
  • A majority of them identify as Hindu, while about 8% are Muslim.
  • Their demand:
  • The community, through the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee has been demanding ST status for decades.
  • They argue they had been listed as one of the tribes of Manipur before it merged with India in 1949.
  • They lost this tag when the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, was drafted.
  • The Meitei people are also known as the Manipuris.
  • They are the predominant ethnic group of Manipur.
  • They speak Meitei language (Manipuri) one of the 22 official languages of the Indian Republic and the sole official language of Manipur.
  • The Meiteis primarily settled in the Imphal Valley in Manipur.
  • There is also a notable presence of Meitei in the neighboring countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • The Meitei ethnic group represents about 53% of Manipur’s population.
  • Meitei is one of the officially recognized languages of India, and was included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India in 1992.
  • Many Manipuri or Meitei people resides in Sylhet division in north-eastern Bangladesh



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