TODAY -

Immigrants issue in Manipur

Jamkhohao Mate *



The Wordweb dictionary defines "immigrant" as "A person who moves to a foreign country to live there permanently". Now the question is, are Kukis foreigners? Provoked by deteriorative speech of Mr. R.K Rajendro, President, International Meitei Forum. This question arises after some miscreants issue "Quit Notice" to the Kukis of Manipur to return to Burma with sarcastically funny and R.I.P type of English grammar. Not to forget the tension that arises in real world, it leads to all possible forms of social network or Facebook war.

To think about whether the Kukis are foreigners or not, let's look back to the chronology of the Kings of Manipur. The third king of Manipur Meidingu Taothingmang was a Kuki. The Kuki Research Forum in its rejoinder to Mr. R K Rajendro, President, Meitei International Forum (MIF) had made all historical evidences, facts and figures regarding the histories of Kukis.

One scholar, Samson Kamei aptly said that, "Meidungu Taothingmang could not have been the only Kuki individual amidst Meitei to rule the Meitei. Thus, the Kukis were already settled in the Manipur valley long before the arrival of the colonizers." Meidingu Thaothingmang was not a Greek's Zeus.

The Kukis have been living in this land from time immemorial, and are indigenous to this land. If one has to argue that there was no Kuki before, I hope he would certainly agree that there was neither Meitei nor Manipur. Because the term Manipur and Meitei was not even the name of this land and the nomenclature of the valley inhabitants.

Mr. R.K Rajendro should have done his homework before giving baseless and inflammatory speech in leading newspapers of Manipur and ISTV, which can instigate untoward responses. For fear of fierce retaliations, no mention of other communities was made. Calling the community to which a King belong shows disloyalty.

A leader of any organization or forum should make in-depth analysis of their statements for its credibility, authenticity, and the tone and tenor of his speech. So as not to provoke any community and incite communal tension. If MIF is no one-man-army type of forum, the members should have draft the articles or speeches of its President before it was put into public domain.

No man on this earth evolved from soil or something into a human being and become an Englishman, African, American, Meitei, Kuki or Naga directly and inhabited certain area. Whether you believed in the Science of Evolution or the Creation, people migrates from one place to another. If you believed in the former, human spread into the world from Africa and if you believed in the later, it's from the Middle East. It means technically everyone is immigrant.

To talk about the settlement of Kuki in different region of India, Bangladesh and Myanmar (Burma), they have been wide scattered in different parts of North East India. They are recognized as a tribe in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur. And they are also recognized tribes under different names in Myanmar and Bangladesh as well.

Their presence in these three countries is widely known by all literates and illiterates. It means that they were free inhabitants of this region of the Globe before boundaries were drawn, which separate them into three countries and turned them into minorities, not by their actual population but by the divided political boundaries of India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. And worst, by the states boundaries of India. So are the Meiteis and the Nagas.

After National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-muivah) (NSCN-IM) and Government of India signed 'peace accord' on August 3, issued of Quit Notice to the Kukis and ongoing Inner Line Permit (ILP) demand agitations by the Meiteis, Manipur behaves like a dormant Volcano whose lavas starts flowing from the parasitic cones and ashes started spewing from its crater. So, all concerned citizens of Manipur should be careful enough to what they say and write not to incite communial disharmony. Showing the seeds of hatred between communities is one great heinous crime.

In the introduction of "History of Manipur" by J Roy, it is written, according to Dr S.K Chatterjee "The Meitheis or the Manipuris are the most advanced section of Kuki Chin people". No matter how much we divided among ourselves into different communities, we are looked and treated as one, as much as the entire people of Northeast India are called Northeasterners by mainland India.

Finally, it is advisable to the present generations who are so blessed and obsessed with the modern gadgets and it capabilities to refrain from all forms of unethical uses of mobile and social media. Specially in this time of situation, so that innocent citizenry will not pay the prize of your mindless thumbs movements.


* Jamkhohao Mate wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on September 2, 2015.


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