Imphal, Jan. 9: Naga leader and rural development minister Francis Ngajokpa today urged the Scheduled Tribes in Manipur to shun the culture of waiting for “quota” and work hard to compete with other communities.
“The culture of quota, reservation and scholarship has killed the talent, creativity and hardwork of the indigenous people. They should give up this habit if they want to progress,” Francis, who was elected from Tadubi, a seat reserved for Scheduled Tribes in Senapati district, said.
Addressing a function at Taloulong in Senapati district, Francis said in today’s competitive world, only the fittest survive.
“The hill tribes think they are weak in education. They take it for granted that even if they do not fare well in exams, they would get scholarships and quotas to ensure government jobs. This mentality is wrong,” he said.
Stating that there will come a time when there is no quota or reservation system, the minister said it was time for the tribal people in Manipur to compete, contest and defeat candidates from other communities. He alleged that some people who got a government job through quota system were not attending office and enjoying their salaries by sitting at home and doing nothing.
The minister also urged chiefs of tribal villages in the hills to implement the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme in an effective way.
“We came to know that some village chiefs were able to own a car after the scheme was implemented. They should instead plan the job scheme in such a way that is sustainable for the villages. Proper implementation of the scheme would make life much easier for villagers,” the minister said.
The function was organised by the Sitlhou Youth Organisation on the first anniversary of unveiling of the statue of Kuki freedom fighter Pu Khotinthang Sitlhou alias Kilkhong at Taloulong on this day last year.
According to the Sitlhou council, apex body of the community, Kilkhong led the Anglo-Thadou war from 1917 to 1919 against the British for Manipur’s freedom.
Inaugurating the function, Manipur irrigation and flood control minister Ngamthang Haokip recalled the contribution made by Kilkhong in the freedom struggle of Manipur and urged the people to be inspired by his bravery.
A seminar on politics, history and economy of the Sitlhou community, a lecture on career guidance for youths, cultural programmes and floral tributes to the statue of Kilkhong were the highlights of today’s programme.
Taloulong is a new Kuki village formed after the community shifted from Tamenglong district during the Kuki-Naga clashes in the 1990s.