Imphal: Planning and Development Authority (PDA) Chairman Lourembam Rameshwor Meetei has expressed concern over the possible extinction of Meetei community, drawing an analogy to the endangered Sangai.
Addressing the Meetei Students’ Meet organised by Meetei Students’ Association, Manipur University held at the Centenary Hall of Manipur University on Friday, Lourembam Rameshwor Meetei who is also Keirao AC MLA said that the government is investing huge crores of money to protect Sangai and Shiroy Lily and now it is time to make effort and invest money to protect the Meetei community which is likely to get extinct after some years.
He said that Meeteis appear to feel ashamed of being a Meetei and while the people of other communities unite together for protecting their own communities, the Meetei community still fails to unite together.
Prominent personalities among the Meetei community are not concerned about protecting their own community. Meeteis are in a critical stage, Rameshwor said, while calling upon the youths to unite and dedicate for the cause of the community.
The time has come for the Meetei youths to act with resolute determination and strength of character; else the endangered Meetei community cannot be protected. Meeteis are poorer than Sangai and they have no future. In such a crucial stage, Meetei’s indulgence in festivals and entertainments by wasting time, money and energy is uncalled for, he observed.
The legislator also urged the youths to have the courage to give constructive criticism if they feel dissatisfied with the government policies and give suggestions to the government about what they want the government to do.
No one other than Meetei itself will protect the community. When Nagaland encroached upon Dzuko Valley of Manipur and Myanmar encroached upon the border, no other communities except Meetei raised voice against it, he said.
Manipur is the land gifted by the brave forefathers to the Meetei and other indigenous communities. However, several illegal foreigners from Myanmar who sneaked into the land have occupied various parts of the State. It is said that 150 villages of a particular community in Myanmar have now vanished and fled to Manipur. Uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants coupled with the arrival of train will pose more threat to the survival of Meetei and other indigenous communities in the State, the MLA remarked.
Manipur Legislative Assembly Speaker Thokchom Satyabrata attended the function as Chief Guest while MANITRON Chairman and MLA Sapam Kunjakeshwor (Keba) Singh, Moirang MLA Th Shanti Singh, Wangkhei MLA Th Arunkumar, CESD, MU Director Prof Ch Ibohal attended as President and Guests of Honour respectively. MU Vice-Chancellor Prof N Lokendra Singh attended as Chief Patron of the event.
Prof Ch Ibohal said that he is such a person who feels proud of being a Meetei and every Meetei should feel proud of their own language, cultural heritage gifted by their forefathers.
He urged the youths to respect the value of time and work culture to join the global race of development.