Behind the Violence in Manipur

Behind the Violence in Manipur

News: Recently, violent clashes broke out at various places in Manipur during the course of a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’.

 The march was called to oppose the longstanding demand that the Meitei community be included in the list of the state’s Scheduled Tribes (ST), which received a boost from an order of the Manipur High Court last month.

Why are tribal groups opposing the order?
 The dominance of the Meiteis, both in population and in political representation was primary reason for opposing the court order.
 It was argued that the sections of the Meitei community which is predominantly Hindu are already classified under Scheduled Castes (SC) or Other Backward Classes (OBC), and have access to the opportunities associated with that status.

Why do Meiteis want ST status?
 They argue that the community has been victimised without any constitutional safeguards to date.
 The Meitein/Meetei have been gradually marginalised in their ancestral land.
 Their population which was 59% of the total population of Manipur in 1951 has now been reduced to 44% as per 2011 Census data.

Which are major communities residing in Manipur?
 The Meiteis are the largest community in Manipur.
 There are 34 recognized tribes, which are broadly classified as ‘Any Kuki Tribes’ and ‘Any Naga Tribes’.

What is important from Prelims perspective?
 Article 371 C of the Indian Constitution deals with the Special provision with respect to the State of Manipur.
 This article was added by the 27th Amendment Act of 1971.
 The President is authorised to provide for the creation of a committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly consisting of members elected from the Hill Areas of the State.
 The President can also direct that the Governor shall have a special responsibility to secure the proper functioning of that committee.
 The Governor should submit an annual report to the President regarding the administration of the Hill Areas.
 The Central Government can give directions to the State Government as to the administration of the Hill Areas.
Source – Indian Express

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