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E-Pao! Opinions - The Problem of Nagaisation in Manipur

The Problem of Nagaisation in Manipur
By: Jampilen Thadou*



The Government of Manipur should institute a commision to inquire into the circumstances leading to the "ethnic conversions" of Khurmi tribes into the Naga ethno-political identity. There are clear evidences to show beyond any shadow of doubt that the process of Nagaisation as it occurs in Manipur involves methods inimical to the clearly established law of the land.

The Nagaisation of Maring, Anal and Lamkang tribes also contravenes the essence of a composite Manipuri culture, based on the territorial unity and ethnic solidarity of Manipur, an antique land known as the cradle of an indigenous civilization in North East India.

Remarkably, the Aimol, Chiru, Chothe, Purum and Kom tribes are now in the eye of a second-phase of a Nagaisation storm.Due to their lesser geo-political significance, they are late in becoming the "Mission Field" of the Nagatva ideologues and their missionaries. Currently these tribes are at varying stages and degrees of Nagaisation.The degree of Nagaisation has reached alarming levels among the Chothes, though it will be premature to describe it as a complete success.

The Government of Manipur, apparently, should shoulder the responsibility for having allowed this blatantly unethical ethno-political phenomenon right under it’s nose. Even now, the state government remains oblivious to the magnitude and intensity of this problem which is overtly linked to the fissiparous parochial tendencies of Naga territorial unification or a "Unified Nagalim.

The far-reaching political implications of the problem therefore warrant an official Expert Committee of the state government to be instituted for purposes of of academically establishing the true status and identity of of these small Kuki-Chin tribes, who are falsely claimed as new "Nagas" by supporters of the Greater Nagaland Theory.

The Manipur Legislative Assembly should adopt a resolution in the house either deploring or condemning the baseless propaganda of the proponents and supporters of "Naga integration" on the issue of wanton Nagaisation. The celebraton of Lui Ngai Ni, a harvest festival of the Manipuri Nagas at Chandel was a shrewd political conspiracy to decieve the Central Government and the national media ahead of a final peace accord on their propaganda that the Khurmis are indeed Nagas. The impact of this political deciet was such that Padmanabhaiah took courage to describe the question of "changing loyalties among members of small tribes in Nort East india" as a "natural" phenomenon, in an interview to the Hindustan Times.

Equating ‘ethnic conversion’ with the religious conversion theory in Hindutva philosophy, the unethical phenomenon of ‘ethnic conversion’ may be described as a de-humanized condition in which the victim is brainwashed, influenced and externally controlled by replicating his mentality and cultural beliefs with a set of new ideas congenial to the perpetrator of the ethnic conversion; through the methods of "fraud, force, and allurement".

Profound socio-cultural and political changes are effected in the mind of the ethnic conversion victim to the effect that he loses all inhibitions to totally change his entire outlook on tribal life and values, especially kinship, customary laws, traditions and language.

The Khurmis according to the broad parameters of this sociological approach constitute the hapless victims of a concerted Manipuri Naga ethnic conversion drive, carried out with political and territorial motives, inextricably connected with the question of "bringing all the Nagas under a single administrative umbrella" through the attainment of a unified Nagalim.

When will the Government of Manipur set the balls rolling for a comprehensive ban on ethnic conversions in all it’s evil manifestations?


* The writer is based in JNU, New Delhi and can be reached at kuki_e_warrior@indiatimes.com


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