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IMPHAL | Oct 14 : Pan Meetei Convention informed that Meetei are a people made of seven clans or Salai Taret – Khuman, Luwang, Mangang, Angom, Moirang, Kha-nganba and Salang-Leishangthem who are the seven sons of Pakhangba, the son of God, Atiya Maru Sidaba, and they formed the Meetei some thousands of years ago.
In a statement addressed to The United Naga Council, The Zomi Council and The Hmar Inpui with reference to their representation to the union minister of State for Tribal, Jaswanthsinh Bhabor regarding inclusion of the Meetei in the list of scheduled Tribe, the Pan Meetei Convention further informed that after the independence, all the indigenous groups of the Northeast were included in the scheduled tribe list of the Indian Constitution except maybe the indigenous Meetei people.
The reason was, the Meetei were Hindu converts and the then Meitei leaders claimed that the Meetei were the descendants of Brabubahon son of Arjuna of the Pandava of the Hindu epic the Mahabharatta, it said. That was a travesty of the fact of Meetei being Hindu converts, it added.
The organisation expressed genuine appreciation to UNC, Zomi Council and Hmar Inpui for their concern and apprehensions, it said adding PMC assures of its full cooperation to protect the interests “In matters of your fair share in the state government job, education and land, because we do not mean any ill will against any of our neighbours.”
The organisation believes that the state can also make relevant laws in matters of job and education by the state assembly as it is done in the neighbouring state of Nagaland, it said. “Perhaps, together we may ask the state to make specific land laws to protect both the hill and the valley people,” it added.
The truth is Meetei people need to have a level playing field in the national level, it further said. And PMC wants to protect the little area of the valley of 700 square miles which is the only natural habitat of the Meitei people on this planet, it continued. “For ages we have been living together. We had our good times and bad times as well that we had experienced together. The past is our shared history. We truly believe we can always find a way out that will take care of your apprehensions. We hope, we can sit together and sort out the differences as good neighbours,” it added.