Ukhrul: Society for Indigenous Culture and Environment (SICE) observed 50th year of Article 371C in the Constitution of India for the hill peoples of Manipur on Monday at Wino Tang, Shanao Long Community Hall.
Topic on “Legislative Assembly of Manipur Hill Areas Committee under Article 371C and their responsibilities” was elaborated by W Ashang Kasar, Social Worker and president, Indigenous Peoples Forum Manipur.
W Ashang Kasar, Social Worker in his speech said, “Even after the rights provided in the Article 371C of the Indian Constitution for the hill people, it is not been implemented until now. Our elected members of the Legislative Assembly in hill areas have huge responsibilities on this front–because they are not doing their job. If they start doing their job, and work on Article 371C, the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) can be implemented duly. When it gets implemented, it will become a powerful tool for the whole hill areas of Manipur.”
LM Thanmi Shimray, Social Activist and Coordinator SICE, in his keynote address explained the importance and rights of the hill people enshrined in Article 371C. “Today is an important day for the hill areas people of Manipur as the Article 371C was given by Dr V V Giri in 1972.”
This article was not given to us because we asked for it but it was given to us out of necessity. The British knew that we are Indigenous people and they knew this was needed to be given to the tribal people, LM Thanmi Shimray said.
He further added that until now a single bill or act was not made for the tribal people in Manipur, but we are grateful for Article 371C provided to us to protect our right. “Article 371C was in-cooperated on June 20, 1972. As it turns 50 years today, unfortunately the Article 371C is not implemented till now in Manipur,” LM Thanmi rued.
A C Masathing, Steering Executive Member, in his exhortation quoted Suisa Rungsung, who said that religion and politics are like one rupee note. They cannot be separated. “Religion cannot get by without politics”, he added. He further emphasized that the Article 371C should not be a single community issue. “It is an issue for all the tribals in the hill areas of Manipur. We should work together with all the hill areas as this is the issue of the tribal people in Manipur. Only then we can win,” exhorted A C Masathing.
The program ended with vote of thanks from Yaruinagam Zimik, Social Mobilizer SICE and closing prayer by Ruth Shaiza, president Wino Tang Shanao Long.
Society for Indigenous Culture and Environment (SICE) works to bring awareness to the people about individual rights, rights provided to the tribal and indigenous people by the Constitution of India, to make the people aware about the indigenous rights.
You can follow their works and programs on their YouTube channel.