TODAY -

A solution to the Meitei-Kuki-Zo conflict is overdue

Dr Nelson Vashum *

 Meitei-Kuki-Zo conflict
Meitei-Kuki-Zo conflict :: Pix - TSE



At the outset all the community leaders of Manipur are requested to check and control the illegal masquerading using improper illegal naming of society/organization with malicious intents. If all the communities dwelling in Manipur are not constituents of your organization using the name of Manipur by pulling a few from the roadside cannot be legal.

So also, if the whole tribals are not one with you, all tribals/UTLA is misleading and good to use your own tribe’s name. Please remember masquerading is not legal and honorable. The issues facing us in Manipur is very serious and require serious and prudent planning and dialogue.

If ham-handedly done conflicts will continue to haunt disturbing our day-to-day life in the days to come. Let us wisely plan for the upcoming generations.

On 12/06/24 there was an article in The Sangai Express with the caption ‘GOI’s inaction must be fought on the strength of Merger agreement’. It was a quotation from the speech of Smt A Noutuneshwari, retired District and Sessions Judge, who was the chief guest on the 1st Foundation Day- 11/06/24 of Manipur Women Federation (MWF).

She expressed her anguish and displeasure at the inaction/indifference of the Government of India (GOI) in spite of the Meitei-Kuki-Zos conflict entering the 13th month. Her sentiments are appreciated by all. Already many dead, properties destroyed and many going through the pains of displacements.

When Israel-Hamas conflict entered the 3rd month many global leaders were calling for cessation of conflicts. America the close ally of Israel already has shown the red flag of ultimatum to Israel. Now in the 9th month about to seal the deal of ceasefire.

But Manipur being a small State and in the corner of North-East India and Look-East being a scant look with lethargic Act East, Mr. Narenda Modi is yet to show his concern and course of action.

Coming back to the speech of Smt A Noutuneshwari, I wish to remind our Meitei political leaders and intelligentsia to ponder seriously over how long the majority Meitei will do the way you have been doing ?

The population explosion of Kuki, and influx of refugees especially from 1955. Since Nagas were fighting for Independence, the indigenous Nagas were slowly dispossessed and displaced under political and administrative manipulations. The Sadar Hills was slowly crafted with definite profits for Meitei and Kuki.

At last, the crafted political plan came out as Kangpokpi District for the Kuki. Now let us compare this with the merger agreement signed by Maharaja Bodh Chandra Singh on 21/09/1949 for his kingdom not touching an inch of the hills.

How is the present Meitei settlements ? How all these took place ? It does not happen overnight ! Many ugly manipulative ordinances/gazetteers issued from time to time and salami slicing sort of for administrative conveniences etc. were done all these many years.

The MLR and LR Act (Manipur Land Reforms and Land Revenue Act) which was put on the floor of the Assembly bypassing the Hill Area Committee by late Mr RK Jaichandra Singh when he was Chief Minister in 1989 with a lame excuse of Money Bill. It was a malicious proposal which was rightly put aside by the Assembly.

Look at the history. In the book of TC Hudson –“The Naga tribes of Manipur” 1908 on the 1st page he wrote, “if a line is drawn on the map of Manipur touching Aimol village in the East and Bishnupur in the middle and extent Westward to Chirighat-this line clearly divides Kuki to the south and Nagas to the North with a few exceptions.

Now today how shall we draw the line? How such a catastrophic changes occurred beyond any reconcilable reasons?Who was responsible?

Now solution must be hammered out as early as possible but very cautiously with the sole intent to prevent further conflicts. Let there be peace once for all on a firm foundation. The Meitei-Kuki-Zos conflict will not come to peace with the agreement for ceasefire. Cessation of conflicts will be only a step toward solution. Hence the way forward could be:

1. Geopolitical solution based on the history and rectifications of past political mistakes/mismanage- ments.

2. Social and demographical correction- National Register of Citizen (NRC) based on the 51/61 census etc.

3. All solutions to avoid space/reason for conflict in the future.

4. Freedom of movement for trade and commerce with no hindrance/toll tax etc.

Narrow-mindedness and short sightedness should be avoided in working out the above solutions. No force will do. No trickery will last to benefit any stake holder. So let us be honest. Down to the earth. May God show us the way forward.


The views expressed here are solely that of the writer


* Dr Nelson Vashum wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at vashumnelson(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on June 16 2024.



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