In Context

    A demand for granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Meiteis has found no takers among the political parties in poll-bound Manipur.

    • The Meiteis are the dominant community in 40 of the 60 Assembly seats straddling the Imphal and Jiribam Valleys. 
      • A majority follow Hinduism while more than 8% are Muslims, locally known as Pangals.

    About Meitei

    • Meitei, also spelt Meetei or Meithei, also called Manipuri, dominant population of Manipur in northeastern India. 
    • They are predominantly Vaishnavite Hindus.
    • They are divided into clans, the members of which do not intermarry.
    • An interesting aspect of the village socio-economic organization in Meitei society is the Marup system (literally means friendship association), a type of cooperative saving and credit institution.
    • Culture
      • They speak a Tibeto-Burman language, they differ culturally from the surrounding hill tribes by following Hindu customs. 
    • Economy
    • Rice cultivation on irrigated fields is the basis of their economy. They are keen horse breeders, and polo is a national game. 
    • Field hockey, boat races, theatrical performances, and dancing—well known throughout India as the Manipuri style—are other pastimes.

    Source: TH