TODAY -

Integration, Yes!! Assimilation, No!!

Z. K. Pahrii Pou *

Manipur Map



One of the biggest problems in Manipur today is the subject matter of integration and assimilation in the poly-ethnic peopling of the State. The language of both integration and assimilation recognises the diverse groups of people with diverse culture and identities in society. Both of them agree that unity is the only way to progress.

However their approach to unity is starkly different. In simple description, "integration" is like a big fish that allows other smaller fish to mix, stay and live together in unity but without losing their unique identity. Whereas "assimilation" is like a big fish that swallows other smaller fish into its stomach and bring unity.

Hence, assimilation creates fear and insecurity among the weaker section of people.

Which "fish" should Manipur choose today? Meiteis are a minority in the Union of India. They feel insecure that would become minority also in their own state if inflow of migrants are not checked. This happened in Tripura where the tribal/indigenous population is reduced to mere 37 per cent today from 85 per cent when it attained statehood.

Hence, the Meitei"s demand for implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in Manipur is understandable. The Government of India must find ways and means to take care of the concern of Meiteis so that Manipur is not drowned in the sea of migrant population.

While appreciating the move to protect the indigenous people, Meiteis must also understand that they are majority in Manipur. The tribal people are minority and they need protection.

Except for a few thousands, the rest of tribal population live from hand-to-mouth. Sensing the vulnerability of the tribal people, the British had kept dual administration (one for the Hills and the other Valley) as the best option for Manipur.

Since the tribal areas have laws that protected them from encroachment by outsiders, that spirit should be maintained for harmonious co-existent. Any new Act or Bills that infringes the basic rights of the tribal people and their land may cause commotion.

Uniformity of Laws or Act for the whole Manipur is not viable at this juncture. Rather lets us respect and protect the diverse traditional practices and culture of each other against on the onslaught of global forces.

Forceful imposition of Meiteilon (Manipuri) in educational institutions is nothing less than assimilation. This will lead to the loss of many tribal languages and hence their culture.

It is unfair for any particular community to force others to read, write and speak their language. Unity through diversity is more beautiful than unity through uniformity. As a Naga, I feel pain to hear some of Meitei leaders including MLAs saying that there are "No Nagas" in Manipur.

The fact is that majority of Naga population trace back their origin to Makhel Village, a medium size Mao village, which is in Senapati District of Manipur. Of course, the generic name "Naga" came into existence lately. But that does not mean that there are No Nagas. Even the generic name "Meitei" was of recent development.

If the Nagas and Kukis were composed of different groups of people so were the Meiteis. Today"s Meitei population is comprised of seven clans/tribes that inhabited the valley areas, descendants of mixed parents of Meitei women and Burmese soldiers during the Chahi-Taret Khuntakpa, Chinese masons, Muslims soldiers who married Meitei women, and many upper caste Hindus who fled from mainland India to escape the harsh treatment of Muslim rulers.

Therefore, defining "who is who" will create only confusion and discontentment in our society. The tag "I came first, you came later" may be of no importance today because we all are born here and hence equally "children of the soil". Let"s not wipe up each other"s history but find out ways to live together.

The tribal people as well as the Meitei do have their unique history. The only difference is that the tribal people did not have a State and written records like the Meiteis.

Each village is a sovereign republic for the tribal people. The Meiteis had State, written history and lived under monarchy.

Let"s appreciate each other"s culture and history. It may sound too religious but I believe God has created us to live together in this part of the world. Let"s integrate our diverse histories, cultures and identities and move ahead together.

Any attempt made by powerful community to assimilate the smaller and weaker communities may lead to balkanisation of Manipur.


* Z. K. Pahrii Pou wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at zkpahr(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on May 24, 2016.


* 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
  • Sougrakpam Vijaya makes history sailing...
  • Arunachali unfurled Salai Taret at Mt Everest
  • Panthoiba: 2nd Rank- class XII, Uttarkhand
  • In defence of 'Babumayum' Dr J Suresh
  • A Cow Moos :: Poem
  • Internet of Things : The future shock
  • Heart checkup Camp at SKY Hospital
  • Condemn Romila Thapar's remark on Bodo
  • Choir Singing Competition at Chakpikarong
  • Some like their chocolate hot
  • MHA adopts new scheme for surrendered..
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA Day : Gallery
  • School Girls Basketball #1 : Gallery
  • Rooftop solar power generation in Manipur
  • North-East Immigrants in Delhi
  • Vision, mission, values
  • Khangminashi - III (Lecture) : Report
  • Has countrymen forgotten the preamble
  • Keeping tight vigil at border areas
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Voices from beyond Kangleipak Ema :: Poem
  • Ethnic responses to merger
  • The unforgettable training
  • Cancer: A preventable & curable disease
  • Discussion : Identifying Colonial Settlers
  • Technology redefines unity
  • Paukhanmung, Siipuni :: eMing
  • Veterans Football Tournament #1 : Gallery
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #1
  • Naturopathy as career option #2
  • Multiple jobs @ R-Square Design
  • Cry of a Dying River - 30 :: Poem
  • Check fee structures of Private school
  • Hill-valley disparity in education
  • Climate change from Christian perspectives
  • Karuna- Please kindly read the message
  • International Nurses Week #2
  • Changing Perspectives :: Poem
  • Single Window Clearance System (SWCS)
  • Civil Engineer @ R-Square Design
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Cleaning river bank an awaited measures..
  • Manipur, a destination for immigrants ?
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #2 : Gallery
  • Himalayan newt: Biodiversity Day concern
  • On Academics, Intellectuals & Activists
  • An untold story :: Poem
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Families for inclusive societies
  • What happens in Karnataka ?
  • Why common man fails to show courage..
  • Looking at Mizoram & 2019 : BJP's agenda
  • ANSF wants ceasefire in entire Naga area
  • Kakching Garden :: 360 Panorama View
  • Folk Dance Festival #5 : Gallery
  • Kailam Sanctuary threaten to displace tribes
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Kuki-Zomi Insurgency in Manipur #3
  • Prof L Janmejay: Reminiscence as teacher
  • In The Annals of Time :: Poem
  • 128th Birth Anniversary of Ho Chi Minh
  • Challenges to Digital India initiatives
  • Pressing issues before the Govt
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Governor's Taekwondo Cup: Gallery
  • Entrepreneurship in the context of Manipur
  • Face scrubs to avoid dirt this summer
  • Ah, me - Now Happy, Now Sad :: Poem
  • Rio assures of co-existence with neighbours
  • Nandeshwore- President, Manipur, RJSP
  • 'PDA Govt is functioning smoothly'
  • SC voices displeasure at defence ministry
  • Manipur NPF differs with Shurho over BJP
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #2: Gallery
  • Identity crisis : @Somorendra Lecture
  • Reflection on Tour of Dubai & Abu Dhabi #2
  • Khangminashi - II : Report
  • Globalization & its impact on our culture
  • District Demand 2011-2018 :: Timeline
  • Dishonouring the Constitution of India
  • From EVM to floor test Onus on BJP
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • 4th MCA Plate Tournament : Gallery
  • International Nurses Week #1
  • Story of Silence : @Somorendra Lecture
  • Apiculture (bee-keeping) #2
  • Khangminashi - II : Invitation at Thoubal
  • IBSD-ILS Centre set up in Bhubaneswar
  • Of 3 Ws - Beware
  • Forming the Govt : Office of Governor
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur Fight League Season 1 : Gallery
  • Prison Diary of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba #3
  • Rights of indigenous people & merger
  • Manipur's tryst for a native Chief Secretary
  • Marxji, Modiji & Birenji
  • Reasoning without disparities
  • Regulate movement of auto rickshaws
  • Healing Touch: A case of still to outreach
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Sandrembi Cheishra :: Book Review
  • Homecoming & Other Stories :: Review
  • Kuki-Zomi Insurgency in Manipur #2
  • Cry of a Dying River - 29 :: Poem
  • Shija Hospitals MOU for RBSK Nagaland
  • Are we waiting for the "Go-dot"
  • Understanding with KSO : Reaching to all
  • Garlic Festival @ Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Dr. Cesarczyk drizzled harmonics in the rain
  • Tlanglhungbung Leikol - Tourist destination
  • Manipulative skill pays in usurping power
  • Khonzel TV : New Manipuri Streaming TV
  • Naturopathy as career option
  • Free Eye Camp at Wangoo
  • Khongjom Day: OK to observe on Apr 23, but
  • Outside Manipur after Class XII
  • TRAU Vs Langsning FC : Gallery
  • Ngasepam Nalini : State Akademi Award
  • Construction of Ima Keithel
  • Dreaming :: Poem
  • Test for dengue fever
  • Home Coming & other Stories : Book [upd]
  • Eco Tourism as alternative to Timber Trade
  • Go to Village - boon .. but a scourge for PRI
  • Citizenship Bill ... on basis of religion!
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Course in Book Publishing at IGNTU, Kpi
  • Reflection on Tour of Dubai & Abu Dhabi #1
  • Gurudev :: Poem
  • Counseling to Delhi University Aspirants
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Apiculture (bee-keeping) #1
  • Entrepreneur find ways to recycle plastic
  • Social impacts of Mapithel dam
  • Cyber crime defined: The Bhopal case
  • Timber banned but no ban on firewood
  • Traffic chaos : Regulate not ban entry !
  • Cheiraoba Thabal by LGBTQ #2 : Gallery
  • Culturals @Shirui Lily Fest : Gallery
  • Kuki-Zomi Insurgency in Manipur #1
  • Civil Service as a career option
  • The plight of education in Manipur
  • Appeal to Stop Oil Exploration
  • TechExpo at IIT Guwahati
  • Awaiting- a light at end of the tunnel
  • Wanted : Responses not reactions
  • Kabo Valley: A brief history
  • 'Autonomous Naga council'- a major hurdle
  • Cry of a Dying River - 28 :: Poem
  • Admission :: SAIRAM college at Patsoi
  • Khangminashi :: Lecture series at KKT
  • CASO conducted at Mantripukhri
  • PRI & the Mission- "Go to Village"
  • Final pact likely soon : Stand of CSOs
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • A village "wall" a destruction for others
  • Thank you Mangaal Rural...
  • Lack of proper investigation- minor girl case
  • Nagaland Cong shelved plans to contest LS
  • Employment drive through Afforestation
  • Bid to attract the brightest
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #1: Gallery
  • Occupational hazards of journalists
  • Election: The greatest weapon of the people
  • Community Gardening in memory of Belinda
  • Politicians need a thorough headbanging
  • Beauty essentials for your holiday
  • NPF will not attend meeting..
  • A view on "Go to Village" Mission
  • Littering Shirui peak after Lily Fest
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Dance competition @MANFETE #2 : Gallery
  • Bracing for monsoon madness
  • When I'm sick :: Poem
  • 1949: Story of India's Takover of Manipur
  • You can't defile a Judge like that
  • Legal provisions for misusing Social Media
  • Bill for non-local: Need to learn from 2015
  • Heart OPD Camp at Youth Club Brahmapur
  • Flood in Imphal [06 May ] : Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai @ Ragailong : Gallery
  • Ode to Inle (in Myanmar) #2
  • AFSPA Repeal from Meghalaya, Arunachal
  • Reclamation of eutrophicated water bodies
  • Hey smartphone! Free me from your spell
  • Job Positions at VITSOFTS, Canchipur
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #1 : Gallery
  • Phumdigi Tantha Dance Drama : Synopsis
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • HSE Result 2018 : District Wise
  • HSE Result 2018 : Highest Marks
  • HSE Result 2018 : Science Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Arts Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Commerce Stream
  • Scholarship for Civil Aspirants : Gallery
  • Khongjom Day - April 23 #2 : Gallery
  • Haudonggi Lamchat :: Funga Wari
  • Kh Sanjita & Saikhom Mirabai :: Gallery
  • May Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • NE Guide to Thailand : Gallery
  • Paintings @Imphal Art Camp : Gallery
  • 'HUN' Thadou Cultural Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Naorem Kalimohon Singh : A Profile
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa [14 Apr] : Gallery
  • Md Awaysh Khan: Mr. India : Gallery
  • Mahesh Thounaojam #2 : eRang Photos
  • Mnipur Ima :: Seireng
  • Tributes to Khelen Thokchom : Gallery
  • Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham: Biography
  • PM Narendra Modi @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Enakta Leiringei (Film) #2 :: eRang
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS