STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 1st Feb:
Noted economist professor N Mohendro has observed that all ethnic groups of Manipur need to be at the same platform so that the global change could be countered effectively.
Strategic adjustment and understanding among different ethnic groups of the state is also very much needed to counter global change collectively, professor N Mohendro said during the 5th round of ‘meet with expert’ campaign of the Co-ordination Body of Schedule Tribe Demand Committee.
Giving his observation on the demand for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in ST list of Indian Constitution, Prof Mohendro said that those in lower status of the society need to be pushed up to bring at par with those in higher level so that global change could be countered collectively. No attempts should be initiated to eliminate long-term gain for the sake of achieving short-term benefits, he said and stressed that all ethnic groups need to be ‘United in approach and action’ which indeed has been wanting in Manipur since the past 67 years. State’s economy remains low all the time due to lack of understanding amongst ethnic groups inhabiting in Manipur, he added.
While highlighting changes since 1951, he said that Manipur’s development trend dipped over 20 percent lower than that of India’s growth.
Majority of state’s population continue to be deprived of basic welfare opportunity and hence still has high deprivation rate, he explained, adding that in terms of infrastructure too, Manipur lags behind 34 percent than India’s trend.
As our own resources are insufficient to meet demands, the state continues to borrow money from the centre and other organisations but the Central government has been making a different strategy in this regard for North Eastern region.
When a deep discussion on inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in ST list becomes a necessity, changes brought about by globalisation, developmental experience of the past 67 years and steps that people need to take should be taken care of and looked into different dimension. Imperatives of the global and national change need to be discussed before taking any strategic initiatives, the economist observed and stressed the need for united effort and unity of smaller communities in countering liberalisation and globalisation.
While asserting that manpower, resources, equity and equality are pre-requisites for bringing development, professor N Mohendro said that the current generation should also consider needs of future generation apart from striving for immediate requirements.
Likening the demand raised by Schedule Tribe Demand Committee to finding ethnic origin, the economist said every civilised nation look for their ethnic origin for the sake of gaining peace and stability and ultimately to development.
While extending his support to the ongoing demand for ST status of Meetei/Meitei, professor Mohendro said the community would be unable to take part in global competition if it fails to get included in the ST list. He then suggested that state government, being a guardian and custodian, should take a decision on the issue for the betterment of future generation. He also said that a united approach and action is needed for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in ST list.