Land of jewel trapped under decades old conspiracies ?
- Part 3 -

Oinam Ajit Singh *

In the book “My Three Years In Manipur And Escape From Recent Mutiny” by Ethel St Clair Grimwood, one can find the clear knowledge of Manipur boundaries of the then kingdom of Manipur.

In chapter two of the book Jhiri river present Jiribam river demarcates the boundary between Manipur and Cachar of present Assam, on the western side, which is the decreased boundary of then Kingdom of Manipur from its actual boundaries on the west side.

Mao Thana present border gate of the State, Mao, as the last boundary of then kingdom of Manipur and Kohima, present capital of Nagaland in the north side. Records from Cheitharol kumbaba and records from the Brish writers, who were posted in the region, as political agents after 1826, clearly demarcates the boundaries of the then kingdom of Manipur, having its total control over the present hilly areas of the State.

Paying loipot, a form of tax, to the Meitei kings throughout different Meitei kingships, by its citizens regardless of hill and valley has been clearly mentioned in the book too.

The system of loipot kaba (revenue tax) to the Meitei king at Kangla, was practised since time immemorial and failing of the very loipot, from any community or individual regardless of hill and plain community, facing consequences during those monarch period of the kingdom, are the proof of having control over the present hills and plain areas, of the present State.

Here understanding age old traditions of Metes becomes very important to go deeply, into the factor of sharing bloodlines with the Nagas of Manipur. Meitei has been practicing age old tradition of Lai Haraoba (Pleasing God) till the present time, since the rise of Meitei civilisation.

Most probably the traditional practice of Lai Haraoba , is said to have been followed by Meiteis, since before the coronation of the first recorded Meitei king, of Ningthouja clan, Ibudhou Nongda Lairen Pakhangba in 33 AD, at the present Kangla Fort.

Lai Haroaba rituals is incomplete without the participation of various Naga tribes of Manipur under any circumstances. Here comes the biggest proofs of Naga tribes of the region, sharing the same bloodlines and the strong bonds of oneness with the Meiteis, since the beginning of our civilisation.

Back to the topic of border, Ningthi river, present day under Mayanmar , was the boundary of the then kingdom of Manipur and Burma in the eastern side till 1826. Manipur lost its eastern side boundary due to the treaty of Yandaboo between British East India company and Burmese king. Churachandpur till some parts of Lushai hill in the south, were actual boundaries of the then kingdom of Manipur.

Extension of the territories, beyond the said boundaries of the then kingdom of Manipur, kept on expanding and decreasing, during the reigns of different Meitei rulers who ruled the then kingdom from Kangla.

Challenging the very recorded history of the State, making attempts to fabricate a new unrecorded history, by the intellectuals of Kukis and illegal Kuki migrants with unconvincing theories to break the State, disturbing the very peaceful growth of the State, is not acceptable.

Important point to remember here is to understand the political chro- nology, the recorded population and their descendants, having enrolled in the electoral rolls of the State, through proper links of inhabitations since 1826, in the region, were never opposed or objected, by the indigenous population.

Having said that the flooding illegal migrants of the Kukis, pouring in the present State, in a dishonest nexus manner with the early Kuki settlers, challenging every diplomatic protocols, of migrating from a foreign land, with the objective to change the demography of the region, are the only population and factors that are facing strong objections from the indigenous people of the State.

Moreover the conduct of the illegal Kuki migrants in recent years, indulging in illegal encroachments of the State forest lands to establish new unauthorised villages. Mass destruction of the forest environment for poppy plantations, challenging the law of the land, in the name of tribal rights by foreigners, is the main issue that needs to be addressed by the State Government and Union Government.

It is also important to bring to notice that Kuki bodies in Manipur have been continuously trying to invite unwanted consequences in every move of the State Govt. in the hill areas.

Deprivation of tribal rights is the slogan they have used and it cannot be more wrong than this. After the State Govt declared Mount Koubru as a sacred site on 5th April 2021, Kuki bodies reacted wildly, hurting the sentiments of the Meiteis. Kuki body imposed a ban on visiting the site, without prior permission from Kuki villages or headman on their terms.

The demand of the Kuki bodies to take permission in visiting the pilgrimage site of Lord Koubru, which has been an integral part of Meitei society, since the beginning of Meitei civilization, without learning what Lord Koubru means to Meiteis, gave a serious blow to the sentiments of the Meiteis. The announcement of the Kuki bodies to take permission from their so-called headman, was aimed at creating the worst possible scenarios in the State.

As it was the pilgrimage season for the Meitei community to offer their prayers to the Lord Koubru, a large number of Meitei pilgrims started paying a visit to the holy site for prayers to the Lord Koubru. Seeing the sensitivity, State authority took up immediate measures to calm the situation.

Adding fire to fuel, on 19th April 2021, Kuki miscreants dismantled a bridge that leads to the pilgrimage site of Mount Koubru. With tension peaking, the State Govt took its best priorities in controlling the possible outcome, within time, avoiding all the unwanted consequences.

Making it very clear here, Manipur Land Revenue Act (MLRA), does reserve the hill areas only to schedule tribes of the state , which the illegal migrants influenced by Kuki bodies, are trying its best to mislead the act and take the best possible advantage from it .

It has become very important to stop further crossing of limits by the very Kuki bodies active in the state . It should be a clear subject to learn for the Kuki bodies that the entire hill , what all one sees with the naked eyes, is not permitted, for any sort of illegal encroachment anywhere or everywhere as anybody wishes . As within the hill areas ,there is space called protected sites and protected forest areas .

To be continued...

* Oinam Ajit Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on August 26 2023 .

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