TODAY -

The Anal Kuki or Anal Naga ?

Stephen *

A traditional Anal Dance presented by 'The Anal Lenruwl Taangpi, Imphal' on Oct 19, 2007 at Kuki inn, Imphal
A traditional Anal Dance presented by 'The Anal Lenruwl Taangpi, Imphal' on Oct 19, 2007 at Kuki inn, Imphal :: Pix - Jinendra Maibam



The question of the Anal people being either Kuki or Naga is a recent phenomena. Based on identity, defined by ethnicity and its composite culture and customs, Anal affinity lies entirely with Kuki. Therefore, of the Anals, Prof Gangumei Kamei (Kabui), a renowned Naga academic stated in a recent monograph, 'classified as culturally Kuki, but politically Naga' (Kabui, G (1981), Anal: A Transborder Tribe, Mittal Publishing House, New Delhi).One could risk suggesting politician or even a pastor may not tell the truth, but an academic of integrity cannot lie, lest she or he be exposed by documented evidence of printed text and so risk being relegated a mere propagandist.

SR Tohring, a post-doctoral Research Fellow, writes about Chavan Kumhrin, an Autumnal festival, to assert Naga identity for Anal (The Anal Naga Tribe and the Chavan Kumhrin Festival, in Eastern Quarterly Vol. 5, Issues IV, January-March, 2009). In her text, Tohring, to reject the argument that 'Anal is an old Kuki' group, cites colonial ethnographers like EB Dalton, who refers to a British officer, Lt Col Stewart's categorization of 'Old' and 'New' Kukis. The categorization Kukis is divisive and is duly rejected. However, one must bear in mind that the distinction was made to suit purposes of colonial administration; it has no ethnographic basis to negate the common ethnicity of the Kuki people.

Speaking of festivals, Chavang Kut, later changed to Kut on account of wider consensus, is a post-harvest festival celebrated annually on 1 November, a state holiday in Manipur. Do the terms Chavan and Chavang bear some similarity? The entire ethnic Kuki tribes, including those presently distanced from the identity for socio-political reasons, participate in Kut celebrations. Politics does not and cannot cut into culture or alter identity. For instance, the late Pu Ng Mono (Ex MLA) from Chakpikarong, Chandel, who was already an octogenarian at the time, graced the Kut Silver Jubilee celebrations (2003) as Kut Pa held at Moreh. Only prominent and highly esteemed personality from the Kuki community is entitled to the honour of Kut Pa. Such is the uniting power of common culture shared by a group of people created by God. Let no one attempt to put asunder, which God has created as one people.

According to Prof Lal Dena, who is Hmar ('The Kuki-Naga conflict: Juxtaposed in the Colonial Context' (paper presented at the national seminar on Dynamics of Inter-Ethnic Relationships, organised by the India Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, 1997), in Manipur the main Naga tribes included
Liangmei,
Rongmei (Kabui),
Zemei,
Thangal,
Mao,
Maram,
Paomei and
Tangkhul.

The Kukis of Manipur included
Aimol,
Anal,
Chothe,
Chiru,
Gangte,
Hmar,
Koireng,
Kom,
Lamkang,
Lushai,
Moyon,
Monsang,
Maring,
Paite,
Simte,
Sukte,
Thadou,
Vaiphei and
Zou.

The Kukis were categorised as 'Old' and 'New'. The 1931 census shows the 'Old Kuki' consists of Anal, Kom, Hmar, Gangte, and Vaiphei. The 'New Kuki' are listed as Paite, Ralte, Simte, Sukte and Thadou'.

Similar to CA Soppit's view (A Short Account of the Kuki-Lushai Tribes of the North East Frontier, Assam, 1884), Prof Lal Dena clarifies there is no scientific or ethnographic basis for distinguishing between 'Old' and 'New' Kukis.

Tohring's observation, 'Manipur state, which is the abode of the Nagas, Kuki-Chins, Meiteis, Pangals (Muslims), etc. is site of contestations among different communities driven by political interests and pragmatics. Contestations get manifested largely in identity politics and land', is fairly stated. It is precisely for the same reasons that Victor Kohring, president Anal Naga Tangpi, instigated by NSCN (IM) politicking, is also presently drawn to deny Kuki. A Tangkhul is not wanting in knowledge of identity's indissoluble link to ethnicity. Therefore, inevitably, the protagonists of Naga expansionism resort to Machiavellian politics.

To get a clearer picture on the issue of apparent identity-flux, it may be worthwhile referring to socio-political influences that prompted certain Kuki groups to identify as 'politically Naga'. Put squarely, clan chauvinism was the root cause, sparked by the infamous remark 'under the wing of Thadou' - a reference to the numerically lesser Kuki groups (Shaw, W (1929), The Thadou Kukis, Published on behalf of the Government of Assam).Chauvinism and arrogance made the innocent people of Chandel receptive to the wolf of Tangkhul greed for land, which came disguised in sheep's clothing of Baptist missionaries. Once given entry, the emerging wolf, NSCN (IM), has tried to devour our people and land. Other added factors that induced the issue of identity include material incentives, generated by creation of Nagaland state in 1963, and NSCN (IM)'s unbridled movement for creation of Nagalim.

On the matter of chauvinism, KNO categorically rejects the notion with a view to remedy the devastating effect on Kuki nationalism. KNO, therefore, embraces principles of federalism as a part of its core ideology. Kuki groups, irrespective of population size or any other relevant criteria are regarded as of the same status and equally respected.

Political issues may sometimes cause change of political party affiliations, but politics cannot change a people's ethnic identity. Denial of one's identity, driven by internal differences, if permitted to persist and perpetrate, can only lead to further disaster. Take for instance, the Kuki genocide by NSCN (IM)-led Nagas from 1992-1997, which originated in Ukhrul. Curiously, concentration of casualties was not in Tangkhul areas, but in Chandel, Tamenglong and Senapati districts.

Consider the composition of the numerous Kuki groups, who are genealogically linked. Anal, for example, which is a group and not a clan, comprises a mix of several sub-clans. Numerous Mate and Haokip (especially Mangvung), including various other sub-clans from Kuki groups, constitute Anal. Similar is the case with Hmar, Simte, Paite, Vaiphei, Zou or other so-called 'Old Kuki' groups. Indeed, Pakan is another name for Anal.

Jecky Anal, leader of Pakan Re-unification Army, and Kopham Khaling, leader of United Minority Liberation Army, both constituents of Kuki National Organisation, are respectively Mate and Khoibu Maring, known as Poi or Lai in Mizoram. Tragically, both leaders have lost relatives and close colleagues at the hands of their own, who were indoctrinated by NSCN (IM). This means a lot of fratricidal killing is incited, till date. Victims of NSCN (IM)-led genocide were also mainly from the same community (relatively negligible number was Nagas).Thus, the term 'Naga-Kuki conflict' is totally incongruous.

Other attributes of Anal Kuki include origin from Khul (a subterranean dwelling of our forefathers); Pheljol, the original Anal village in Chandel, which later moved to Anal Kholen and Naphou (the names are very telling; they are distinctly Kuki names, nowhere akin to characteristics of any Naga tribes); and, similar to one of their nearer kin Lushai (now Mizo), Anals also do not consume Sasan (mountain goat). Therefore, pray tell, who is a Kuki and who a Naga?

More than two millennia ago, Socrates, the Greek philosopher, wrote, 'know thyself'. He did not say,'let others tell you who you are. Socrates' emphasis is on one knowing oneself, which means not to be motivated to adopt another identity owing to external agencies, even if influenced by temporal issues. Tohring also quotes that The Royal Chronicle of Manipur, 'since the sixteenth century, describes them as Anal or Anan Naga, Lamkang Naga, Moyon Naga, Moshang Naga. Even Khongjai is also written as Khongjai Naga.' Just as Meitei chroniclers' error of referring to Khongjai Naga, equally erroneous is the reference to Anal or Anan Naga, Lamkang Naga, Moyon Naga, Moshang Naga.

Reconciliation with oneself and with kith and kin, and as Victor Kohring put it, 'refrain from all forms of violence by advocating the sacrament of reconciliation and harness to live in peaceful co-existence on the basis of Christian virtue of forgive and forget,' is the need of the hour. All concerned must adopt Kohring's virtuous homily, sooner rather than later. This will set a political climate conducive for building lasting unity based on ethnicity. When the politics is good, everybody benefits! Such politics will help pave the way for a better future in which federalism ensures socio-economic equitability and prosperity for all Kukis. Alternatively, we can choose to remain pawns in the wider schemes of Nazi style geopolitics.

In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ says, 'the truth shall set you free', referring to Him being the truth, the Messiah, who will set us free from bondage. The principle of truth, I dare say can be applied to more mundane issues of identity, too, for which confusion politically motivated or not, so far exists. The Bible says, 'it is beautiful when brothers live in unity.' Adherence to the tenets of Christianity is our way to eternal salvation, including political 'salvation' here on earth that God has created for mankind to share through mutual respect for one another's identity and territory.


* Stephen wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
The writer is Under Secretary, Information and Publicity, KNO
This article was posted on September 28, 2013.


* 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
  • CCpur victims laid to rest :: Gallery
  • UG admission info for Delhi University 2017
  • College Principals' Conference at NEHU
  • Mortal remains of CCpur victims laid to rest
  • Redefining Manipuri Hindu
  • Nungbi Chaphu - Ukhrul Pottery :: Gallery
  • International Yoga Day #1 :: Gallery
  • New Government, New Hope #2
  • Auditorium of High Court of Manipur :: 360 °
  • Book publishing as a career option
  • Simplifying the pursuit of happiness
  • Shirui festival: Let us not go with words..
  • Count pigeons around you
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Hill dists : Lagging in Science stream
  • The lesser truth of National media
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Stream
  • Barak Spring Festival @Senapati :: Gallery
  • Phalneilhing, Sinchui :: eMing
  • Incarnations of Goddess Nongthang Leima
  • Ebudhou Thanjing Laishang #1 :: 360 °
  • Media & Contemporary Manipuri Society #2
  • Cleaning up the air we breathe
  • 'Maj Rati Keteki', an author's insight
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • SC notices in Biren son case
  • Army act extended by six months
  • Timely acted, but need to rethink...
  • Lamkang Cultural Day @Chandel :: Gallery
  • Ambassador Of Japan with CM :: Gallery
  • JNIMS Ortho scripts history
  • Indigenous people are ST, so are Meeteis
  • Grooming security experts in admin service
  • Parents are supposed to be cheer leaders ..
  • Applauds CM for Building Peace & Harmony
  • 2 trucks carrying logs seized
  • Japan to invite 25 people from Manipur
  • Bomb blasts rock border town in Manipur
  • Shirui Lily Festival, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • 73rd anniv of Battle of Imphal :: Gallery
  • Nachom Arts : Encouraging Artists
  • Manipur: In the waiting room of justice
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba :: 360 ° View
  • Of storms, flying saucers & lazy thoughts
  • Anti-Terrorism day observed
  • Ex-Servicemen Meet organised
  • Managing natural resources
  • Ksh Bhaktakumar- Mr India 2017:: Gallery
  • Tanglei Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Effort To Bridge The Hills And Valley
  • Colloquium: Japanese Culture & Nationalism
  • Urban flood effective mgmt strategies #1
  • Meet rejects oil exploration at Khaidem
  • Training on Service Marketing in Healthcare
  • Illegal migrant detection with 1951 cut-off
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Ghost of 2010 continues to haunt
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji - Actress :: eRang
  • Handloom @Temporary Market #1:: Gallery
  • New Government, New Hope #1
  • Nightmares of event management
  • Big data for big impact
  • Free Counselling & Awareness Program
  • One belt one road
  • Jobs: Counseller for Family Court, Ukhrul
  • Sadar Hills Demand 2011-2017 : Timeline
  • Total shutdown against blast in Moreh
  • Tribals reject MoU signed- govt, JACAATB
  • Naga Hoho appeals NIA over arrests
  • First visible step to check corruption
  • International Dance Day :: Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai @Majorkhul #2 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Children Club:: 360 ° View
  • Take smart choice before admissions
  • Love one another ... for living together
  • Shirui Lily Fest off to a grand start
  • On Shirui festival
  • Seminar on 'Life of Gangmumei Kamei' #2
  • Shirui Lily Fest @Shirui, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Civil Service Tennis Tournament :: Gallery
  • Barak(Spring) Festival at Senapati
  • When will India cashless island go cashless
  • The winsomeness of human mind
  • Jobs at NIELIT centers
  • Aadhar Registration & Distribution Program
  • Work starts on Trilateral Highway in Myanmar
  • AI plans NE expansion, to inject more flights
  • People's Day Bridging the gap
  • Reality bite - something seems fishy
  • Meeyamgi Numit hosted by CM :: Gallery
  • Andro AMMA FC : Winner of Doon Cup 2017
  • How great is my mother's love for me
  • Boat House, Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • Pinch of love :: Poem
  • Fingerprint & Iris code for Aadhaar
  • Sharmila solidarity with Africans
  • Trust deficit in Framework Agreement
  • Equality in place of majoritarianism
  • A hope for better Manipur
  • Kangleipak Kang Trophy #3:: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #2 :: Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai : Festival of Zeliangrong
  • Fishery as an agenda for Barak Festival
  • Supermom :: Poem
  • 2nd Startup Weekend Imphal
  • May Day #2 :: Essay
  • For inclusion of Meitei in ST category
  • NE turning into a hub of Cannabis
  • Muslims cannot dissolve marriage- Guv
  • Police probing 'threat' to SC advocate
  • Hands that rock the cradle rule the world
  • Film Personalities #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Handicrafts of the Zeliangrong #2
  • High Court of Manipur :: 360 ° View
  • From head-hunters into money-hunters
  • Importance of dialectic in Philosophy
  • Binalakshmi Nepram threatened by Police
  • Cleanliness drive conducted at CCpur
  • Gudui Ngai @Majorkhul #1 :: Gallery
  • Bringing TB out of the shadows
  • Women are the salt of the earth
  • Superstition and its side-effects
  • Temples of learning
  • Guidelines of play schools
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Breaking the barrier
  • Lai Lamthokpa @Yaiskul #2 :: Gallery
  • MIMS (MU) - ManFete #4 :: Gallery
  • Impact of October Revolution Manipur #2
  • Bir Tikendrajit Park :: 360 °
  • Nurses are heart beat of healthcare
  • The Sun Behind the Cloud :: Poem
  • Nagas of Nagaland can decide their future
  • 85 unelectrified villages to be lit up by Dec
  • Go to the hill districts too
  • Beginning of a new era; but ...
  • Seminar on 'Life of Gangmumei Kamei' #1
  • OORJA football Closing ceremony :: Gallery
  • May 10, 1942: first bomb hit Imphal in WW2
  • Manipur killings: Amicus Curiae on Army...
  • A white paper on good governance
  • Butterfly a living parable of resurrection
  • Global Manipuri Mega Photo Contest
  • Inquiry on "School Van accident"
  • Inking an MoU with CCpur JAC
  • Calls for human security
  • Laishram Lalitabi - Actress :: eRang
  • Manipur & Nagaland CMs :: Gallery
  • Cheirao Ching Kaba #1 :: 360 ° Photo
  • MLA - defection politics in Manipur
  • Japan interest to develop Education in NE
  • CM floral tribute to Martyred Jawans
  • More than a 'courtesy call'
  • Development & security matters
  • Thongjao potters adapt to modern reqt
  • Prize Distribution- MU Sports :: Gallery
  • Handicrafts of the Zeliangrong #1
  • Imphal Intl Airport : How International?
  • The mystery of nine :: Poem
  • RIST popular talk 29 - Molecular Electronics
  • Gudui Ngai celebrated
  • 122nd rank in the list of cleanliness
  • Consumers' rights
  • Sagol Kangjei Exhibition :: Gallery
  • Musuem, Kangla :: 360 ° photo
  • Keeping workforce healthy-smart business
  • Brief story of Karl Marx (199th Birth Anniv)
  • Manipuri resurgence & Jewish lessons
  • Visit of Japanese Ambassador to MU
  • Poems released at Barapani, Meghalaya
  • CMD, NHPC Visit to Loktak Power Station
  • Right venue for seminar on bridging the gap
  • Landscape of Manipur #6: Wallpaper
  • Impact of October Revolution Manipur #1
  • Climate change: Case study on wildlife
  • Longing for peace in this region
  • Why happiness can be so elusive
  • ShiRock 2017 at Ukhrul
  • Airline Ticketing Consultant training
  • Civil Society Delegation met CM
  • Meddling with the media
  • Still a lot to do for the BJP led Govt
  • Shirui Lily: Flavour of the month
  • Lai Lamthokpa @Yaiskul #1 :: Gallery
  • Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon #1 :: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram selected by Colombia
  • Separate time zone for NE : Petition
  • 'Protection of Land, Environment' at Nungba
  • The looting of India
  • Adding noise pollution by communities
  • Arbind Soibam - Emerging Singer :: eRang
  • Phaknung rape protest @Kakching :: Gallery
  • MIMS (MU) - ManFete #3 :: Gallery
  • Traditional Thabal @Pourabi :: Gallery
  • River Bank Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Henjunaha - A folk play :: Gallery
  • The Mighty Mystic Manipuri Women
  • Arambai show #2:: Gallery
  • Shakuhachi meets Pena, Manipur & Japan
  • Tributes paid on Khongjom Day #2:: Gallery
  • Laishram Birendrakumar recieve Padmashri
  • Kei Onba Kom Gi Eshing :: Funga Wari
  • 'Nura Pakhang'(Video) @Portugal:: Gallery
  • Mr India 2017- Ksh Bhaktakumar :: Gallery
  • Purul, Senapati :: 360 View Panorama
  • Ethoi Oinam #1 (Actress) :: eRang
  • Nura Pakhang : Music video
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba @Pune :: Gallery
  • Thabal Chongba @Kolkata :: Gallery
  • CM N Biren visit to Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #4 : Ooba
  • Nungshiba Khongel @Sylhet :: Gallery
  • Maphou Dam :: 360 View Panorama
  • SPONSORED ADS