The All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) today criticised chief minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh in a press statement saying that the it was “extremely perturbed by the his recent statement defending the insult meted out to our tribal political leaders by the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah during their recent visit to him”. The apex tribal student body of Manipur said that such an “undemocratic brahminical practice” was a shocking disgrace that “completely negates” the principles of equality enshrined in our constitution. The ATSUM demanded that the Home Minister ought to explain and apologise to the “tribal population of our state for mistreating our representatives in that manner”.
ATSUM in the statement said, “We the tribals of Manipur do not practice any such discrimination among ourselves or towards others and hence this discrimination to our representatives is not acceptable to us. We condemn the Union Home Minister Amit Shah‘s discriminative conduct and the deliberate false justification of the chief minister and the irrelevant defense of Minister Th. Biswajit”.
It furthermore added that it was a huge disappointment that “our own chief minister, N Biren Singh and Minister Th. Biswajit, instead of demanding justice for such an undignified discriminative conduct defended the same by even embracing the discrimination as our collective culture”. The tribal student body further said that it was an embarrassment to learn that “all our respected Meitei political leaders willfully practice this caste-based behavior towards the Union Ministers in Delhi”.
The tribal student body then alleged that the chief minister has repeatedly betrayed the interest of the tribals in Manipur. It further said that even after vehemently refusing to table the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) recommended ADC Bill 2021 “illegally, we had trusted his Government and signed an agreement on November 25”.
Following the agreement ATSUM had temporarily suspended our agitation but the State Government’s assurance that the ADC Bill 2021 shall be introduced by the Government in the upcoming winter assembly session, 2021 was not honoured despite repeated reminders, the tribal student body pointed out.
The ATSUM also alleged that the BJP-led government has deliberately betrayed the tribals repeatedly and displayed its anti-tribal position. “This is creating and increasing our sense of insecurity within the BJP-led State Government. We condemn such anti tribal outburst and wish to remind our chief minister to uphold our tribal interest as equal citizens of this State,” the ATSUM added.