After independence, the authors of the Indian Constitution were aware that certain populations in India were experiencing great social, educational, and economic backwardness. They need particular treatment in order to protect their interests and further their socioeconomic growth. These communities were designated as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in accordance with the stipulations of Clause 1 of Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution, respectively.
For centuries, India has had a huge number of tribes who are the aboriginal people of the region and are also known as Adivasis. They are often found in the country's hilly regions. According to the 2011 census, India's tribal population is 104 million, accounting for 8.6% of the overall population. The criterion used for community designation, as scheduled tribes, are signs of primitive features, separate culture, geographical isolation, shyness of interaction with the larger group, and backwardness. Many ethnic groups prefer to identify as scheduled tribes because of the privileges the scheduled tribes have received.
Indian scheduled tribe members are entitled to special treatment in government appointments and promotions (except in the military and judiciary). The welfare schemes relating to food security and housing. Getting reservations in Government educational institutions for study and fee waiver in Government held examinations (both in competitive examinations for recruitment and in competitive examinations for admission in educational institutions).
The current unrest in Manipur is caused by the Meteis tribe's attempt to get scheduled tribal privileges through the Manipur High Court. Because if the Meteis tribe, which is already powerful by occupying the majority of state government posts and having better infrastructure and development, is given the status of a scheduled tribe, it will be extremely difficult for the Naga and Kuki tribes, who live in hilly regions, to find more job opportunities. These tribes have been at odds for years, but the recent announcement that the High Court is considering designating the Meteis tribe as a Scheduled tribe sparked the clash.
Many tribes' economic and social conditions have improved in India as a result of the benefits as scheduled tribe that these tribes are striving for. This greed has taken many lives, escalated looting at Meteis tribal people's homes, shut down the internet, and made life miserable for them. The government has sent an army to the city to restore law and order. People are fleeing to the neighboring state and people from other states are being airlifted by their state governments. Apparently, the government is trying its best, but we have to wait and see.
Edited by Fahima Afrin
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