TODAY -

E-Pao! Essay - Well intricated people

Well intricated people
By: Thokchom Joykumar Singh*



1. Introduction
It is a well-known fact that the hill and plain people (Ching-Mee and Tam-Mee or Meitei) have been cohabiting side by side like brothers for the time immemorial. Both the people share the food products and professionals. Plain people have been depending on the food grains, vegetables and meats produced by the hill people. And the hill people have been depending on plain people for the "Ngari" (Fermented Fish) and "Thum" (Common Salt) etc. Plain people cannot live without consuming the delicious dishes like "Soibum Iromba" (Delicious dish) for which the main ingredient, soibum (Fermented Bamboo Shoot), is produced by the hill people of Chandel District. Plain people also need to be spiced up with the "Umorok" (Hot Chilly) grown by the hill people. Hill people have been depending on the professionals like teachers and doctors mostly from plain though many of them are non-deserving candidates appointed under dubious means. Most pathetic is that there are cases where those people never go to the intended places but keep on drawing the salaries in the name of the hill people.

2. Common history
According to the history, all the different ethnic groups of Manipur are of the same Mongoloid group ( Chin-Tibeto-Burman family of tribes), and have very close similarities in their culture and traditional habits. The legend of all tribes including Meiteis claim that they originated somewhere in the north from a "kom" (cave). The hill people are closer to the plain people geographically and economically, and most of them are more closely related to plain people ethnically. In terms of history and languages, the hill people of Manipur are more closely related to the plain people than the people of Nagaland. As such for the people of Nagaland, there is no clear cut and well-written history. Anthropology and history of Naga people are not very clear and still various studies are being made on them. Most studies and books on Naga are written in English but sometimes their contents vary from one to another, confusing readers. For example, one of Naga tribe mentioned in one book never appear on another, or sub-groups are divided differently depending on different books. Historical studies shows that different group of these tribes must have arrived to the present day settlements in different waves of time and routes from China/Inner Mongolia. Moreover, in recent times some of the human genome researchers have found out the various tribes of Nagaland do not even belong to the same "genetic make up" or "genetic pool".

Some of the festivals of Manipur like "Mera Haochongba" and "Lai Haraoiba" shows the kind of inseparability of the hill and plain people. The origin of the festival is that the gods held the first Lai Haraoba on the Koubru hill, so that their descendants should imitate them and perform the same as it had been done by the deities so that they will never forget the secret and sacred story of the creation of this universe and the birth of the different lives on this earth. Not only this, at the early times, at the time of the coronation of Meitei king, he had to wear the custumes similar to the hill people.

Some common traditional semantic rituals are worth pointing out. The Meiteis believed in scape-goats to cure illness by freeing a chicken away in the woods just as the Maos and other tribes in the north did.

In the Meitei martial arts "Thang-Ta', the Ta (spear) is primarily hill people's weapon although Meiteis developed and perfected their own war technics and skills in using them. All the tribes of Manipur including Meiteis were indulging in the notorious head hunting practices at one time of their history.

Some of the common history for the hill and plain people is worth mentioning here. Before the British came, the people of the valley and the hill interacted among themselves and depended on each other for their needs though at times turbulent and other times peaceful. During the 7 years of the Burmese occupation of Manipur (1819-1925 AD), the Meiteis ran to the Tangkhuls and Kabuis in the hills and many were absorbed within them. When the Meitei king (King Gambhir Singh) with the help of British soldiers was expediting to drive out the Burmese occupiers out of Manipur, swarms of hill people joined his armies en-route to the valley.

When British was leaving India, there was a plan to keep those "Excluded Areas" (Naga Hill District) comprising of the present day Nagaland as "British Colony". That time those Nagas had refused to be so. Without settling this issue British left India. They neither wanted to join Indian Union and have been opposing Indian rule with the message "Leave us alone" since then. They also hold a local plebiscite to say "no the Indian Constitution" in 1951. Then they were attacked by the hordes of Indian Army and forcefully captured those opposing areas. None of the hill people of Manipur took part in that plebiscite, as they were happily part of Manipur. By that time Manipur had already become a part of Indian Union by signing the merger agreement (Oct. 15, 1949) under duress pressure. Nagas proudly claim that M. K. Gandhi (June 19,1947), the father of nation, had promised them the free Nagaland but it is wrong to infer that the hill people of Manipur was in his mind. All these historical records show that the hill people of Manipur were never a part of the Naga movement and they were quite settle to be part of Manipur.

3. Wrong side of the religions
The difference among the hill and plain people came only in later parts of the history after Meiteis were converted to Vaishnavism (During the reign of King Charairongba, 1704 AD) and the hill inhabitants became Christians (Rev. W. Pettigrew, 1901). After the conversion of Meiteis to Hinduism, the valley people treated the hill tribes as untouchables and called them "Hao" a derogatory meaning "uncivilized". This led to a creation of a gigantic barrier between the hill and valley people - one accepted Hinduism and the other Christianity. This kind of inhuman treatment humiliates the "proud hill people" and led to the alienation. It was a blunder from the part of Meiteis to commit such kind of divisive attitudes towards them. Continuation of this kind of alien custom will only shake and widen the time tested social fabric and fraternity among the various communities of Manipur.

Let us not divide people in the name of religions. All these religions came much latter and all are foreign to the various communities of Manipur. All the communities have been co-existing for centuries in harmony and peace. Religions can be changed but not the neighbors. We need each other's help and cooperation in fulfilling our common destiny of a making our state a developed and prosperous one. Let the people of Manipur adopt the religion of their choice but to divide people in the name of religion should be stopped on time. At the same time the people Manipur should not shed their old traditions and cultures completely by adopting the new religions. It is always better to assimilate the new religions by keeping the best of the old customs and traditions. Let us stop thinking that we are different people and antagonist to each other after adopting the alien religions. Let the true meaning of religions i.e. humanity, love and peace be prevailed in the culturally, traditionally and religiously fertile land of Manipur.

To be continued ...


* The writer can be reached at
tjk@physics.iisc.ernet.in

Senior Research Fellow
Department of Physics
Indian Institute of Science
Bangalore -560 012, INDIA
HOMEPAGE: http://physics.iisc.ernet.in/~tjk


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Sangai Day 1 : Culturals #1 :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #5 :: Gallery
  • Best ever Bond film for children
  • Media Challenge: Glance from hills #2
  • Hard on the hexagon of beehives, Meiteilon..
  • NPF Resolutions of Nov 22, 2017
  • Inaugural Day Sangai Festival :: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #5 :: Gallery
  • Kokkhum Festival #2 :: Gallery
  • Seitinmang, Laljangam, Parihal: eMing
  • Khamba Thoibi & Poems on Manipur : Rvw
  • Significance of learning Chinese language
  • JFA condemns Tripura scribe's murder
  • Zeliang calls for NE Tourist Circuit creation
  • Shillong Lajong I-League Squad 2017/18
  • Tourism Potential of Manipur
  • Sangai Run-Marathon @Sendra #1 :: Gallery
  • On Peace Deal & Framework Agreement #1
  • 22nd Winners' Cup (Football) #1 :: Gallery
  • The charge of sisters :: Poem
  • Reorganisation of North Eastern Council #2
  • DAMMS Freshers / Literary Meet 2017
  • (Blank Editorial)
  • Culturals @Mera Houchongba #2 :: Gallery
  • Kang Chingba @ Wangkhei :: Gallery
  • North East Fashion Week #2 :: Gallery
  • Know The Meetei
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process :: Articles
  • Not just the Gateway
  • Use milk for silky smooth skin
  • Mobile Application for Sangai Festival
  • Manipuri Mega Photo Contest Finalist
  • 5 point resolution on Naga Political Issue
  • NE is least favoured tourist destination
  • Final: Hazari/Tombi Polo #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival 2017- Events Schedule
  • #TB hotspot cannot be on blindspot
  • United Metal 3.0 @Imphal
  • My name is Kom, Mary Kom
  • Swachch Bharath Swasth Bharath
  • Sangai Festival 2017- Online booking site
  • The Killing Fields (2013-17) :: Timeline
  • Mary set on Olympic gold
  • For every causes, there is a reason
  • Moibung Khunou -near khurkhul :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #4 :: Gallery
  • On the Naga Framework Agreement
  • Media Challenge: Glance from hills #1
  • GIS day at NIT Manipur
  • Pangal Leader Mohammed Hanif Shah
  • NPF questions Speaker convening meet
  • Painting Exhibition by Babli Das (Tripura)
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Looking out for possible measures
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #7 : Ooba
  • Cultural Program @ MCA :: Gallery
  • Ningol ChakKouba @MBC #3 :: Gallery
  • Oh dear Daddy, see I a Native Proud: Poem
  • Buddha's metta and karuna #3
  • Narendra Modi will never play Nehru
  • Photo Caption Contest by Whakal.com
  • General Call to All Former NPF Leaders
  • Penguin Readathon & Book Gifting
  • ENNG opposes inclusion of TCL..
  • Report alarm for Arunachal
  • Loktak witness drastic fall in migratory birds
  • Lecture on 'Rohingya Resettlement'
  • 'Weaves of Ching-tam' @London :: Gallery
  • Opening: Jadonang Football #1 :: Gallery
  • Robert's Weaves of valley & hills at London
  • Remembering boy..felled by fake encounter
  • Sangai Photo Awards 2017 : Contest
  • Meeyam meekup nahum singna leibiyu
  • HighWays : Govt. needs seriousness
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #4 :: Gallery
  • SDG Consultation: NE :: Gallery
  • North East Fashion Week #1 :: Gallery
  • Distribution Patterns of the Asian Eye
  • Sustainable Development Goal Consultation
  • Wrangle in Mapithel dam: Legal perspective
  • In the Slums of Heaven :: Poem
  • Wreath Laying Ceremony for AR Martyrs
  • Time to take a bow, Robert
  • Create jobs for NE to stop trafficking
  • March: Mera Houchongba #4:: Gallery
  • Sin-Lang Fest @DM College #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival: Ideas for a change
  • A shadowy dreamer :: Poem
  • Winter - A blessing in disguise for us ...
  • Course in Nanotechnology at NEHU
  • Pamel : Serene Natural Hub, near Lamlai
  • Vacancy at YVU Financial Services, Thoubal
  • System Operators @PR Enterprise, Khurai
  • Just by showing concern will not change..
  • Food Stall @Phayeng #2 :: Gallery
  • The moment :: Poem
  • Board exams decoded
  • 3rd NE Fashion at Itanagar: Day 2
  • Conference : North East in Globalized Era
  • NE-IAS launched to support Startup India
  • Painting Competition on Conservation
  • Ramkung Pamei is new MHJU Chief
  • Priyogopal (Senior Artist)- Photo :: eRang
  • Kabui Dance @Jadonang Football:: Gallery
  • Fashion @NE Festival, Delhi :: Gallery
  • Deviance and Corruption in Kangleipak
  • Applied health research is vital to #endTB
  • 3rd NE Fashion at Itanagar: Day 1
  • Tri-nation Motorcycle Rally reach Imphal
  • Traffic woes continues
  • Kwatha festival #1 :: Gallery
  • Kokkhum Festival #1 :: Gallery
  • Special Rapporteur on Human Rights
  • The threat to balkanize Manipur
  • Cry of a Dying River - 6 :: Poem
  • Biological based integrated Congress grass
  • 3rd Audition of Fagi Unplugged
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Of clean environment
  • Paonam Lily (Archery) Reception :: Gallery
  • North East Fest @ Delhi :: Gallery
  • Girls Football- Nov 4 #2 :: Gallery
  • IBSD, India & VITO, Belgium signed MOU
  • First angioplasty for in-stent restenosis
  • RIST Popular Talk-33: Quantum Hall states
  • Commonwealth alumni event of NE
  • Lecture on The Rohingya Conundrum
  • Tri-National Motorcycle Rally
  • 3rd North East Fashion Week at Itanagar
  • ILP Nov 30 deadline: Why not only for valley
  • Expected changes, do we see ?
  • Festival of Raas Leela #2 :: Gallery
  • Sin-Lang Fest @DM College #1 :: Gallery
  • Hari Uthan- Kang Chingba #2 :: Gallery
  • Code of silence: Concealing gender justice
  • God Rules Over All :: Poem
  • Five day 'Flower Show' at Ukhrul
  • Go birding to honour Bird Man of India
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Uphul Waiphul and Leikhom Leinang
  • A reminder to Central Govt.
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Pune :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #2 :: Gallery
  • Meitei Pictographic Writings :: Book Review
  • Careers related to mental health
  • Beauty & Money for a purpose
  • Human rights infractions in Mapithel Dam
  • AMAND Ningol Chakouba at Pune : Report
  • Chef Required at Kakching
  • NHPC Raising day at Loktak Power Station
  • Of ST demand, ILP, peace talk
  • For elderly people
  • Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh : A Profile
  • Hazari/ Tombi Polo Tournament #2:: Gallery
  • U-17 Footballer honored by Guv :: Gallery
  • Just in favour of nocturnal life
  • Dance of Fire Flies at Autumn :: Poem
  • North East Festival bids farewell
  • Agenda of Govt spelt out at DBC, Maram
  • Nurturing the future
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Delhi #2:: Gallery
  • NE Fashion Weekend @Delhi #1 :: Gallery
  • History will not forgive us
  • A girl :: Poem
  • Pre-merger political party struggle
  • JRF wanted at NIT Silchar
  • March: Mera Houchongba #3:: Gallery
  • Girls Football- Nov 4 #1:: Gallery
  • Taxi- raising Air Pollution in Ukhrul
  • Skill development training with MUDA
  • Pui Thangamliu -Photos #1 :: eRang
  • NH7 Weekender [28 October] :: Gallery
  • Surjalal: Fellow of American Physical Society
  • Salesian College Grabs UK Project
  • Prime focus
  • Miss Kut #1 :: Gallery
  • Hari Uthan- Kang Chingba #1 :: Gallery
  • Kangujam Chinglensana (Hockey) feted
  • Chavang Kut @Tengnoupal :: Gallery
  • Sub-Junior Girls Football #2:: Gallery
  • Namsai gets Buddha relic from Thailand
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Delhi #1:: Gallery
  • 3rd Ningol Chakouba, Delhi : A Report
  • Dr. Rahejuddin Sheikh : Best Director Award
  • Chothe: Shabu Hong Rein :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Candle light for Belinda Morse :: Gallery
  • Exhibition of Pottery Crafts #2 :: Gallery
  • Phayeng Cultural programme :: Gallery
  • Khongjom War Memorial #3 :: 360 ° View
  • Ichangi Laidhi #1 :: eRang
  • Ningol Chakkouba by Paomee:: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba @Kolkata :: Gallery
  • Ningol to her mapam lamdam :: Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download it
  • Mera Men Tongba :: Gallery
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Kh Ninthoinganba
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Thounaojam Jeakson
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Nongdamba Naorem
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Dheeraj Moirangthem
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Amarjit Kiyam (Captain)
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Thangjam Boris
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Wangjam Suresh
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Md Shahjahan
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • SPONSORED ADS