Condemn accusations on Pangal Community
- 01 September, 2023 :: Delhi Association for Manipur Muslims Students (DAMMS) -


AMMSO and DAMMS Strongly Condemn the Increasing Accusations and Public Insults on the Pangal Community by some sections of the Meiteis.

The unfortunate violence between Meiteis and Kukis in Manipur since May 3, 2023 is showing no end in sight, with people getting killed and properties and livelihoods losing unendingly still today. Delhi Association for Manipur Muslims Students (DAMMS) and All Manipur Muslim Students’ Organisation (AMMSO) have been continuously pressuring both the State and the Central governments to effectively intervene and stop the violence in Manipur.

However, the governments have been failing to play their parts capably to bring an end to the ongoing mayhem in our state. The silent ignorance and show of incapability by the governments have been constantly questioned of their hidden agendas behind such acts by both the organisations time and again. With the violence getting prolonged, people irrespective of any ethnic community in the state are adversely impacted and their livelihoods have been put into high stakes.

Being a state highly composed of people who are daily wage earners and hand-to-mouth existence, earning to meet daily’s needs for their stomachs have become a hard and hurtful routine of every day affairs of the people in Manipur. With the violence completing its four months, the daily wage workers, irrespective of communities, are anxiously coming out to earn their livelihoods against all odds and fearsome of the ongoing violence.

As the violence gets prolonged, the sentiments of the people have also been increasingly becoming more and more terrifying. In this tensed and uncertain environment, sections of people are engaged vigorously in creating highly intoxicated hatred between communities living together in a bid to further the violent chaos. As such, the Pangals in Manipur have become an easy target for some sections of the Meiteis by trying to humiliate, insult and blame the whole community for almost anything unwarranted happenings in the valley of Manipur.

We all acknowledge that there exists individual(s) black-sheep(s) in every community- be it the Meiteis or the Pangals. We have to collectively identify such individual(s) and get them punished accordingly. But, humiliating and blaming a whole community for some individuals’ fault is not anything that any sane society would undertake.

However, for some sections of the Meiteis in Manipur, it has become a routine, for the last some days, to directly target and taint the Pangal community for almost anything unwarranted being happened by producing half- baked rumours and fake narratives and then posting the same on social-media platforms for large public attentions and furores against the ethnic Pangals.

The viral videos are then adjusted with the already-tensed sentiments in the public towards creating a collective hatreds against the Pangals, who because of their neutrality in the violence are already being constantly questioned with anger and despise by certain sections of the Meiteis. However, despite continuous provocations to join in the violence from both the warring communities, the Pangals, despite being the most economically backward community in Manipur, have been standing firm against the violence and putting up every efforts possible to broker peace between the warring communities.

The Pangals are engaged in serving the administrative lacuna of the state due to mass transfer of Meitei employees from hills to valley. The Pangals are valiantly engaging in driving goods-trucks along the tensed national highways, bringing in goods into Manipur valley from outside, and helping in maintaining the demand and supply-chain of the Manipur valley. The Manipur society still lacks acknowledging and understanding the role every community plays during these trying days.

During the recent days, sections of Meiteis have been increasingly trying to create hatreds and divisions between the whole of the Meiteis and the Pangals through various means. These people are easily associating the Pangal community in every rumours of kidnapping of children, trading with Kukis, helping the Kukis and what not. We acknowledge that the wrongdoers exist in both the communities, but not the whole of both the communities.

The local media houses are also playing an important role in amplifying the environment of hatreds by publishing news unchecked and building up people’s sentiments against the Pangals. Some days back, some Meiteis only apologize for wrongfully creating negative public sentiments by posting a video of a Pangal calling him someone transporting medicines to the Kukis, while in reality the Pangal was a pharmacist and was transporting his pharmacy’s stock.

While the Pangals are trying to get over from the humiliations in the public because of the increasing unfortunate and wrongful accusations, video-posts and media publications strenuously targeting the Pangals, the video-post by individuals and media on an untruth incident of Uripok has shocked the Pangal community further.

In this incident, some Meiteis, by taking advantage of the ongoing violence, have threatened some Pangal women, who are daily wage earners and were collecting empty plastic bottles to meet their livelihoods, to call themselves thieves. Those Meiteis recorded a video and posted the same on social-media platforms through individuals and media to attract public sentiments against the Pangal community.

After the women spoke of the reality and the same came out in the public domain, did the conspirators remove the posts. However, the damage that those individual Meiteis wanted had already happened, and this has targeted the Pangal community at large. The Meitei individuals and media involved in creating and spreading the fake video must in no time apologize in public for their wrongdoings, failing which the Pangals will ask the government to take up appropriate legal actions by filing a First Information Report.

As such, questions arise on:

1. Why such incidents targeting the Pangals in Manipur are increasingly becoming a routine in certain sections of the Meiteis?
2. Why are the local media engaging in instant publishing of anything without a necessary fact-check to instigate the public more against the Pangal community?
3. Why are the CSOs of Meitei community, who were actively engaging in clearing out doubts for unintentional incidences between the Meiteis and the Nagas, staying silent still and watching such insults on the Pangals?
4. Why are the Pangals’ CSOs not being able to come out and seek clarification and apologies when the community gets insulted of no fault repeatedly?
5. Why are the government of the state still silent and not taking up any legal measure against the hate-mongers to end such rumours and conspiracies?
6. Why is there no any committed collective mechanism amongst the people, CSOs and intellectuals of both the Meiteis and the Pangals to fight against the spread of hatreds and enmities that certain sections try to consciously or unconsciously create? Can we not establish any collective forum or mechanism for the same?

Sentiments of the people in Manipur have already been badly engrossed by the ongoing violence in the state. The violence has now badly affected not only the warring communities, but also everyone in the state in varying degrees and emotions. At such a time, we the Meiteis and the Pangals cannot let the enmities and divisions being created by some hate-mongers in our society to propagate any further.

Giving the hate-mongers a free-hand will be very much detrimental to our co-existence, which we can never run away from. We must be ready to collectively come forward to end such menaces in our society for peaceful co-existence. We cannot just keep waiting for government’s action for the reason we know better in this violence. The people, CSOs and intellectuals of both the communities should come together to collectively end the menaces through appropriate means and measures.

At the same time, we must let the people and media involved, in creating the untruth video, posting and publishing of the video of the made-up incident in Uripok, to apologize to the Pangal Women and the Pangal community as a whole for spreading fake news and for accusing the and threatening the Eemas to call themselves as thieves and also insulting the whole community in the public. Besides, we must warn our local media to maintain ethical journalism in publishing news, which are also cross-checked for truthfulness and originality.

We can ask the media to publish similar news along similar lines without connoting exclusively any particular community’s name. In the same way that apprehending a Meitei is reported as “a person is apprehended” the media houses should come forward to report along the same line when a Pangal gets apprehended, by going away from their current norm of reporting as “a Pangal is apprehended”. Only when we collectively fight, such menaces in our society can be wiped out and we can establish an environment for peaceful co-existence.

Phusam Amin Shah
Delhi Association for Manipur Muslims Students (DAMMS)

Kh Ayub Shah
All Manipur Muslim Students Organisation (AMMSO)

* This info was provided by Manipuri Meitei Association, Bangalore (MMAB) and can be contacted at dammsdelhi7(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on September 02 2023 .

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