Young people of the Northeast should change their mindset and look beyond reservation as they are competent enough to compete with anyone in the world, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said.
Sangma’s statement came over two months after his government appointed an expert committee to review the state’s job reservation policy, following demands by different organisations, including the Voice of the People’s Party (VPP).
“The indigenous community should stop expecting that there will be reservation in all aspects of life. We need to look beyond reservation and the mindset of the youth of the Northeast should be that they are competent enough to compete with anyone in the world,” he said.
“It is imperative that they have an identity and are proud of it, but they should not take things for granted,” he added.
Sangma was speaking at a programme organised on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People by the North East Indigenous People’s Forum (NEIPF) in Shillong on Wednesday.
Maintaining that the indigenous communities of the region face a lot of issues, the chief minister said it is through programs and forums like this that Northeast can rise above those problems and emerge stronger together.
“It pains me to see the situation in Manipur, and I hope forums like NEIPF will take up the matter for a peaceful resolution,” he said.
Sangma said that NEIPF should also study, research and document the indigenous knowledge and practices “that have so much to offer to the world”.
“This wealth of knowledge should be passed on to the younger generation and shared with the rest of the world,” he said.
Delegates from other northeastern states were also present at the programme.