ST status to Tai Ahom rejected by Tribal body with special objection

ST status to Tai Ahom rejected by Tribal body with special objection

Guwahati: Tribal organizations in Assam have opposed the state government’s proposal to grant Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Tai Ahom community with special reservation without affecting the rights and interests of existing ST communities.

Giving ST status to the Tai Ahom along with five other ethnic groups – Koch Rajbongshi, Matak, Chutia, Moran and Adivasi – was one of the BJP’s key election promises ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
“We demand to be given ST status without affecting the rights and interests of the existing ST communities. However, representatives of tribal organizations said that there is no such provision in the constitution. We have asked the Constitution of India to grant us ST status. I insisted on my demand for amendment,” said All Tai Ahom Students’ Union (ATASU) president Milan Buragohain.
Buragohain was attending a meeting convened by the state government at the Assam Administrative Staff College here on Tuesday to discuss the issue of ST status to the Tai Ahoms of the state.
The meeting was presided over by Tribal Affairs Minister Ranoj Pegu and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pijush Hazarika.
“As desired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Coordination Committee of Tribal Organizations of Assam (CCTOA) and All Tai Ahom Students Union (ATASU) and other Tai Ahom organizations sat in a discussion at AASC, Guwahati. Cabinet colleague Pijush Hazarika And I observed the meeting to find an amicable solution to the demand for ST status to Tai Ahom without affecting the rights and interests of the existing ST communities,” Pegu tweeted after the meeting.

ST status to Tai Ahom rejected by Tribal body with special objection
However, the Coordination Committee of Tribal Organization of Assam (CCTOA) rejected the demand to give ST status to the Tai Ahoms and amended the Constitution of India to list the community as OBC (Other Backward Classes). Advocated for maximum facilities and political reservation.
Speaking at the meeting, CCTOA Secretary General Aditya Khakhlary said: “No separate reservation can be made for STs within STs under the Constitution of India. Centrally funded institutions For the jobs and access to education offered, giving ST status to Tai Ahom will have serious and obvious negative impact on all STs in Northeast and mainland India.
Aditya Khakhlary argued that “mainstream posts were neither classified as tribal nor given any special administrative arrangement by the British.”
“The Tai Ahoms belong to a royal family, which ruled Assam for 600 years. They are a large community claiming a population of 5 million. The Tai Ahoms are a highly developed community with considerable political influence over the state. And there is economic dominance.
“If the Tai Ahoms are granted ST status, the existing seats reserved for ST people in the six autonomous councils constituted by the Assam government can be contested by members of the Tai Ahom community, who will destroy the existing STs and actually nullify its formation. Autonomous councils for the protection of existing STs,” Khakhlary said.
“If Tai Ahoms are given ST status, they can contest village council elections and existing STs cannot even win elections at the village council level. By giving Tai Ahoms ST status, genuine STs The population will be overwhelmed and completely deprived of every protection and special provision given by the Constitution.”
He pointed out that the population of Meena tribe in Rajasthan was listed as ST community in 1954 which is 1.6% of the total population. But they are getting 30% to 35% benefits for ST in UPSC since 1954. If the Tai Ahoms are given ST status, the competition at the national level will be from Meenas of Rajasthan and Tai Ahoms of Assam while the existing STs are nowhere,” he said.
If the Tai Ahom community is given ST status, the existing STs will not have access to higher education and government jobs. State and national level experience is instructive. After the central government issued an ordinance in 1996 granting ST status to the Koch Rajbongshis, it resulted in massive disenfranchisement of the original and genuine ST people of Assam.
CCTOA was represented by its President Sukumar Basumatary and Secretary General Aditya Khakhlary.
All Tai Ahom Students Union (ATASU) President Milan Buragohain, Tai Ahom Yuva Chatra Parishad president Dilip Gogoi and Bijay Rajkonwar (Second Faction), Prabanchal Tai Sahitya Sabha General Secretary Puspa Saikia, Ahom Sabha President Uma Konwar and Tai Ahom Jatiya Parishad President Dayandanda Borgohain and General Secretary Rajkumar Chetia was also present in the meeting.

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