STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 12th Mar: The introduction of Act East Policy has led to unregulated influx of outsiders in the state. If all the indigenous communities of Manipur do not unite to protect themselves from this influx, then all of us would no longer exist, UCM vice president Sunil Karam has cautioned.
A two-day long consultative meet on 'custom, culture and history of indigenous minority tribes' was organised by Indigenous Minority Organisation Manipur (IMOM) on the theme "Culture For Peace, Development and Solidarity" at Youth Hostel, Khuman Lampak here on Monday.
The consultative meet is being attended by representatives from 8 different minor communities.
Speaking on the occasion, Sunil Karam pointed out Manipur is being inhabited by many small communities and no matter how small the communities may be, it is 'our responsibility to safeguard our own identity'. The minor communities must not try to imitate the larger communities just for the sake of survival as it would amount to loss of culture and tradition of that small group, he added.
He contended that once the identity is lost, it is almost impossible to re-establish our roots. Also, the larger communities must help protect the smaller communities. We must learn to co-exist with one another by helping each other, Sunil stressed.
Sunil further maintained that as Act East Policy has been introduced, the trains would soon reach the heart of the state.
This would lead to huge influx of outsiders which would not only affect the minor communities but would also cause the disappearance of all major communities of the state. It is only a matter of time before such a thing happens. Thus, we must all unite together to protect ourselves from such a terrible situation, he said.
Manipur Peace and Integrity (MAPI) council president N Bimol, who was also present on the occasion, said that not knowing our identity is like not knowing who our parents are. No one will come to protect our community other than ourselves and hence, we must always remember our identity and protect our community, he stated.
Addressing the gathering, assistant news editor of DDK Imphal Chabungbam Biren said that once our identity is lost, we would be forever disappeared from the pages of history. Therefore, apart from protecting our ourselves; we must safeguard our past history as well, he added.
IMOM president Medun Maring said that after the arrival of Christianity in the state, many age old culture and tradition are on the brink of fading away. To prevent such a scenario, the meet was organised to discuss ways and means of protecting the minor/small communities, he conveyed.