'Meena and Mina are identical'

Thousands of people from Meena community held protest on Jaipur, demanding a fresh gazette notification to clear the confusion that the two surnames ‘Mina’ and ‘Meena’ are the same in Rajasthan.

A petition was earlier filed in Rajasthan High Court over the difference in two surnames, following a large number of community members who use ‘Meena’ have been denied reservation benefits in ST category.

Legislator of National People’s Party (NPP) Kirori Lal Meena demanded government to immediately write a letter to Government of India clarifying that Mina and Meena are the same and belong to ST community.

He demanded that the state government to get their reservation included in the ninth schedule of the Constitution.

Reservation to ‘Meena’ community in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category was challenged in various courts on the basis of a clarification by the Centre, which had cleared that it is ‘Mina’ community that falls in the ST category. Leaders of Meena community claimed that there are several local dialects in the state and pronunciation of the surname in each dialect is different but meaning is the same.

 Leaders said government has to clear the confusion by a gazette notification because community students are not getting the reservation benefits in examinations conducted by UPSC.

Addressing a massive rally in Mansarover area in the city, Kirori Lal Meena asked the government to withdraw two circulars issued by the social justice and empowerment department dated September 30, 2014 and December 23, 2014. In the first circular, the government had directed district collectors not to issue Mina caste certificate to community while the second circular states that caste certificates issued with Meena surname should not be reissued with Mina surname.

“The Union tribal ministry has been asking clarification on Mina and Meena issue but state government has deliberately delayed the reply. If immediate clarification is not given then community will launch state wide protest in next few days,” said Kirori Lal Meena, legislator of National People’s Party.

Besides holding state wide protest, all the community members in Rajasthan will start marching towards Jaipur on November 1. A mahapanchayat will also be organised to decide future course of action, he added.

Leaders said that UPSC considers only Mina in ST category because it’s mentioned in constitution of India.

“ST certificates were issued with surname Meena by officials of Rajasthan government and it’s not the fault of community. Government needs to rectify its mistake soon,” said Meena.

Government should also stop issuing ST caste certificates to Dhanak, Dhankia, Dhanuk and Dhanka castes as they fall under scheduled castes, he added.

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