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
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #1
  • Chingyainu, Chingnguremba :: eMing
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki Conflict: ..Kuki aggression
  • Tibeto-Burman Languages : Book
  • Indian Judiciary no more a caged bird
  • IGAR (S) calls on Governor of Manipur
  • Spirit of Irabot still runs in Journalists
  • Concern should be about mob mentality
  • Tribes, Art & Soul of India #1: Gallery
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #1: Gallery
  • 'Sahnit' an honour or a disgrace
  • Irabot : Socio-Political Challenges
  • Training employees for better governance
  • Blue Ocean :: Poem
  • Sextortion: Making money from shame
  • Condemn murder of Neiphretuo Metsie
  • Social lacunae
  • BJP on poll drive at Imphal, Kohima
  • Mary Kom lost 2 kg in 4 hours
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #2
  • Felicitation of Sportsperson: Gallery
  • ICJ: Investigation of Extrajudicial Killing
  • Legal profession as career option #2
  • Loktak Down Stream HE Project (2x33MW)
  • Protest against mob lynching at DU
  • Ripples of Music :: Poem
  • Memo submitted to CM over lynching
  • Poems of Peace, Resistance ...
  • Helicopter Schedule for Imphal-Jiri
  • Mirabai recommended for Khel Ratna
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #3: Gallery
  • Manipur State is still winning..
  • Gazetteer of North-East India :: Book
  • Sunfeast Cup Football Tournament
  • Trip down memory lane
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Folk Song :: Poem
  • The Endureres at Dwarka Half Marathon
  • Main accused in cop slaying nabbed
  • Naga talks not confined to Nagaland..
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #1 : Gallery
  • Rest in Peace Humanity
  • Ph Banti's artwork 'Trafficking of children'
  • Cry of a Dying River - 45 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is not a religion
  • Jobs at R-Square Design
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Candle Light at DU over lynching
  • Society as a reflection of govt
  • Mobocracy : Shame on Manipur
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • miAoIbgi pNTuH :: Seireng
  • An opinion on Tharoijam killing
  • How Manipur lost internal autonomy, Kabaw
  • Admission for PhD at Tripura Univ
  • Meefam ST at Nambol, Khangabok
  • Importance of Forest & Environment
  • Deep social divide: Two different folks?
  • Kuki Black Day: Kukis Will never forget
  • R & V Art House's First Art Fest 2018
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2018
  • Born a Kuki, die a Kuki :: Poem
  • History of North East India :: Book
  • Will SimpliciTB make TB treatment simpler
  • Meefam chathaduna ST gi issue..
  • Dipankar Talukdar- Mr Model of World Star
  • System error- who will fix Broken Window
  • Reshuffle Talks : Say No to Yes Me
  • India negotiating vehicle pact with Myanmar
  • Chalwa Village, Kangpokpi #2 : Gallery
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #2
  • Is FA a self exposed daylight robbery?
  • Nation Needs Small Farmers
  • Who is programming you ?
  • Bandhs as dissent & survival of laziest
  • Looking for Raju :: Poem
  • The cry of the 2nd class citizen
  • Bharat Bandh in Imphal
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #1
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki conflict: Search for definitions
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Legal profession as career option
  • Guv felicitates 5 JAK RIF for flood relief
  • Stored Anger :: Book Review
  • On stepping into the 20th year of TSE
  • Sept - month which reinstated our courage
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #2 : Gallery
  • Empty :: Poem
  • Lets beat littering - plastics pollution
  • NEHU Seminar : Urbanization in India
  • Jobs at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • Declaration of Naga Collective Spirit [Sep 8]
  • Akanba Khongjangidamak Yathokpa Loire
  • Support for STDC from UMA, Assam
  • 'Deplorable power supply in Nagaland'
  • Tryst with destiny - Should we accept ?
  • Stand off at MU : Impact on LS Poll
  • Exploring the enthralling Tuilha Kol
  • Kamesh Salam : Outstanding Green Activist
  • The Valley Of Brahmaputra :: Book
  • Development of road database
  • The inner page story :: Poem
  • Kakching WW-II Memorial Run 2018
  • STDC public meeting at Langathel Keithel
  • Maibi Jagoi at Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • My poll without prejudice to anyone
  • MEETAC - Mission for streamlining TK
  • Conditions leading to Marxism
  • Heart Camp at Khelakhong, Thoubal
  • Cyber bully: Crime that follows you home
  • Bhupen Hazarika : Tribute at London
  • AEP & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Political pandemonium
  • Students central to MU issue
  • Landscape from Koubru #2 : Gallery
  • Leishangthem Robert for Mr. World 2018
  • Oinam Shilla Chanu at Mrs India Earth
  • North-east Frontier Of India :: Book
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 44 :: Poem
  • JRF Post at Mizoram University
  • Honours to Bamboo; a ubiquitous gift
  • Case of hunter now being huntedr
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3 : Gallery
  • Women Empowerment & judicial Activism
  • Narin Chenggum - wild edible mushroom
  • Flying Star at your lips :: Poem
  • Out of the box thinking
  • Call centre fraud: Vicious vishing attack
  • Changing India & its impact on Manipur
  • MU stand off gets uglier
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #4
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #1 : Gallery
  • Eastern Frontier of India :: Book Review
  • Remembering Radhakrishnan ..
  • Moments to cherish :: Poem
  • Glimpse of the Buddha's teaching
  • NH7 Weekender Express Editions
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [05 Sep]
  • Mental equation
  • Are teachers teaching ? Apt, timely poser
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #1 : Gallery
  • Globalization, Act East Policy & Manipur
  • Review on anthology of Parthajit Borah
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Child Friendly Police Stations proposed
  • ADBU Goes Green with Solar Energy
  • Convocation of Assam Don Bosco
  • Fetal Echocardiography - Seminar held
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [04 Sep]
  • Divide, divert and rule will not work
  • FA, MU crisis : Issues before LS polls
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Student Day @Bangalore : Gallery
  • September Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • The Coils of Pakhangba :: Book
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco, Tura
  • Condemns MU VC's vindictive stance
  • 'Policy of India to suppress people'
  • NDPP congratulates Abu Metha
  • Pandey back at MU! Violating spirit of MoA
  • Exhibition @ Art College #2: Gallery
  • AMWJU Sit-In-Protest : Gallery
  • Shri Krishna Janmasthami :: Book
  • Life's heck :: Poem
  • Environment & lung health are vital
  • Innovation for the common man
  • Humanitarian crisis with NRC in Assam
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [02 Sep]
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • The Story of 40 Pineapple Suckers
  • Rebirth of Manipur Human Rights Comm
  • Yumkhaibam Nanao Eramdam Yaourakhre
  • Lecture: Governance & Public Services
  • X-rated poem :: Poem
  • Ningol Chakkouba Celebration in Delhi
  • Baton changes hands at IGAR (South)
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [01 Sept]
  • A Wake-up call
  • Lok Sabha polls : More crucial for BJP
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #2: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • The World of Kuki People :: Book
  • Effects of the Burning of Meitei Puyas
  • Soil Technician required at MaolKeki
  • Jr. Mr. India 2018, Gyanendra Thokchom
  • Rejoinder to HTC & allies' statement
  • Consensual sex..Does it amount to rape ?
  • Need for all to keep their sanity
  • Sanagi Tenawa :: Funga Wari
  • MU: Den of Insurgents or Den of Ideas?
  • Can NRC Update save Assam and NE ?
  • Victim of Enforced Disappearances
  • Admission for Ph.D. at Tripura University
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #1: Gallery
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco College
  • Resolution: Right of Human Right Defender
  • Advancing rights of Human Right Defender
  • Dolaithabi Dam , Senapati : Gallery
  • Eid-Ul-Adhaa Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • 47th Nagas Annual Meet at Mumbai
  • Transcending Patriots' Day(s) #4
  • Sangai Fest: Fashion Show #2 : Gallery
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #3
  • Dr. Jodhachandra Sanasam : Sahitya
  • Architects announces 1st MADE 2018
  • Expedite FA Rally #2 : Gallery
  • Billie's Book by Ranjeeta Mayanglambam
  • Shougrakpam Bijaya :: A Profile
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Disputed Myanmar Border Pillar : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #3: Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS