ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by L Lam Khan PiangSubscribe to L Lam Khan Piang

Institutional Exclusion of the Hill Tribes in Manipur

Ever since the colonial government brought the hill areas by annexation into the fold of Manipur, which was then only the Imphal Valley, the hill tribes and the valley community have been “living together separately,” with certain separate administrative arrangements. The problems of present-day Manipur are the consequences of this forced integration of two different entities. After India’s independence, the hill tribes in the North East were protected under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, but the Manipur hill tribes were left out. This denial of the extension of the Sixth Schedule to Manipur is a process of institutional exclusion, which has led to the demand for greater autonomy.

Moving Backwards

Given the level of socio-economic development of the majority Meitei community and their political domination of the state of Manipur, their demand to be classified as a scheduled tribe is absurd. It is inconsistent with the very idea of scheduling of tribes as envisaged in the constitution and the principle of positive discrimination.

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