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E-Pao! Essays - MEITEI VS MANIPURI

MEITEI VS MANIPURI
An answer to GLOBAL MANIPURI-A reality check-EI

By: P. Arjun



MEITEI VS MANIPURI

This essay is in response to an EI article " Global Manipuri - A reality Check"

-Quoted from his article-(But deep in the mind, it also resurrected my question about who is actually a "Manipuri"? In process of my exploration to get in touch with as many people as possible in the portal (mainly through the chat room), this doubt deepened further. Are the people who are from Manipur but does not speak Manipuri as their mother tongue, a Manipuri? Are not people whose mother tongue is Manipuri but not from Manipur not a Manipuri?)

My simple comment and answer to this matter is presented in two portions . One is in a form of mail to him and another one is an article which was arleady published by myself in a few years ago on manipur home page.

1. Dear Frens and brothers,
Please let us not confuse with the term manipuri. Our own confusion make our own contemporary history and culture deteriorated day by day. Yes the people of manipur could be constitutionally known as Manipuri . If you all are meiteis, tangkhuls or others so-called whose ancestors and relatives were from manipur , it doesnot mean that they are manipuri if they were born out of the land.
The term manipuri should not be confussed with your own community meitei. Donít you wish yourself to be named as meitei rather instead of calling yourself as Manipuri. Constitutionally the common language of manipur or so called state language of Manipur is called as the Manipuri .
Fortunately the language known as the Manipuri is Meiteilon. So people just got to make themselves confuse and conflict in their community identity many a times. It doesnot mean or refer to a narrower outlook thatís Manipuri as Meitei.
So my simple answer or clarification to you after your question in your statement/article is that you are not a Manipuri but a noble Meitei. I regard you very much because you as a true religious and patriotic individual you wish to see the place where your ancestors and your other same family communities were originated and settled .

Thanks and wish you good luck for your desire to visit to Manipur. Manipur is the land on earth where the different communities and a few main ethinic groups are inhabitating together from the beginning.
The concept Manipuri is just a very new name constitutionally born. Ok.
For further clearification i am attaching an article too which I already published a few years ago on this issue in www.welcome.to/manipur in its letter to editor column.

2.MEITEI VS MANIPURI

MEITEI AND MANIPURI are the synonymous terms in Manipuri vocabulary. Meitei refers to the name of the original valley inhabitants of Manipur. Among all different communities, Meiteis are the majority and whose language is the only channel of communication amongst different ethnic groups in the state.
And, in the Indian literature too, both the state inhabitants and the state language are known as Manipuri. Therefore, sometimes, this majority ethnic group, the Meiteis, are mistaken or misunderstood as the only Manipuris.
For our better understanding there was no such group of people known as Manipuri in the history of Manipur or elsewhere in the world. The concept of Manipuri refers to both the state language [Meiteilon] and the state people irrespective of Meiteis, Kukis, Nagas and others born in Manipur. In this manner, Meitei is Meitei, Naga is Naga, Kuki is Kuki and so on.
The Manipuri literature, Manipuri dance, Manipuri language etc. are the constitutional reference terms which are meant for all items of the Manipuri soil.


P. Arjun regularly contribute to e-pao.net. His collection of poems are available here.
He can be reach at parjuns@hotmail.com

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