Protecting the identity of Meiteis/Meeteis Sanctity of surnames

A matter of concern. This is what the All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) believes and as it has called out, perhaps it is time for the people as a whole to seriously study the implications of non-locals, that is a north Indian or a south Indian, adopting the surname of the Meiteis/Meeteis.  How far will the identity of the Meitei/Meetei as a community with its own distinct set of values and ethos get eroded if the door is kept opened for non-Meiteis to enter and then adopt a surname which is unique to the community ? The concern expressed by AMUCO is real and it has probably come from the affidavits put in by some non-locals adopting the name of a Meitei surname with the latest case coming in an open declaration and published in a local daily. Not surprisingly the said affidavit went viral on the social media followed by the publicly announced stand of AMUCO. Will the absorption of non-locals into the Meitei/Meetei fold dilute the identity of the community ? This is a concern which has already been flagged by AMUCO and it remains to be seen how seriously this is taken by the people as a whole. This is not the first time that the need to protect the distinct identity of a community has come and this does not necessarily concern only the Meiteis. For starters the NSCN (IM) has been banking on the ‘unique history of the Nagas’ in pursuance of its cause and belief and such a line would not have held water if the identity of the Naga people had been irreversibly diluted. The Constitutional protection provided by the Constitution of India to the Scheduled Tribes is another case in point and the stand of AMUCO needs to be seen beyond the adoption of a surname by non-locals which is unique to the Meiteis/Meeteis. Don’t dilute the identity of the Meiteis/Meeteis is the stand of AMUCO and this is something which should be noted and appreciated. However on the other hand, questions may well be asked whether the identity of the Meiteis/Meeteis is so flimsy that the adoption of a surname belonging to the community will have the potential to change or dilute its identity. These are all questions at the moment, but questions which may be raised now that AMUCO has raised a point pertaining to the identity of the Meiteis/Meeteis.  
The concern raised by AMUCO is understandable, yet at the same time it also stands that this is not about a whole community adopting a surname of the Meitei/Meetei community but individual cases which is no doubt on the rise. But this is something not unique to the Meiteis/Meeteis in Manipur. For instance in Ukhrul district headquarters, there are some non-locals who have adopted the surnames of the Tangkhul, but this has not diluted the identity of the said community in any way. Rather it has been more a case of the non-local and the offspring merging with the Tangkhuls. It may be the same or otherwise with the case of other communities settled in different parts of Manipur, but the point to note here is to seriously discuss and mull over the possibility of the Meitei community spreading far and wide. And when one talks about the identity of the Meetei/Meitei community, one is reminded of the Bishnupriya issue, with some steadfastly holding on to the line that Manipuri should not be added as a suffix or prefix while referring to the Bishnupriya community. On the other hand is the case of the Nagas of Manipur which have not hesitated in bringing the other smaller tribes into the fold of the Nagas. It is all about identity and this is a concern flagged by AMUCO. Time for all to seriously think over it.