Response from Farooque Ahmed

901

Sir,

This has reference to the 22 June letter of Thokchom Angouyaima named “Kouba Angangnga neither Pangal Mar nor Pangal”. I clarify that I made a mistake in an article because of confusion from difficult reading and translation of some passages in “Ningthourol Lambuba” which were written in old Meiteilon language. Mr. Thokchom Angouyaima is correct that Koubas were or are never Muslims. I wrote that article in my research stage and hurriedly sent that article for publication in the Imphal Free Press and for webcast on www.Kanglaonline.com wherein I made a stray reference as “Kouba Muslim” because of faulty translation from the difficult old language in Ningthourol Lambuba. Later on I found out many authoritative books that gave the full idea and understanding of the Koubas and their history. I never tried to make a distorted history but it was human imperfection on my part in research stage. Any misunderstanding or confusion being created from that particular erratic article of mine is regretted and rectified hereitself, and this rectification is also already webcast on Kanglaonline (KO Special) Comment section attached to my latest/last article on that website.

As for the beginning of Muslim settlement in Manipur, Kokngangsana Rajkumar, 1955, “Kangla Langba Pakhangba”, p. 2 mentioned that a “Musman lamboiba”, that is “Musalman” which is Persian and Indic of “Muslim’- came from the west and preached in Manipur during the reign of King Naophangba. Then another writer Kh. Chandrasekhar Singh, 1992, “Sakok Lamlen Ahanba”, p. 10 mentioned that a “Pangal Musalmangi guru” came and preached during the reign of king Naophangba, and on p.27- it is written that a “Pangal guru” preached in Manipur during the reign of king Irengba. These two kings- Naophangba and Irengba reigned much earlier than king Khagemba. As regards their reigning period there is still great debate to find out the exact date of their reigns. Scholars and researchers like Akham Langol contend that Cheitharol Kumbaba chronology is defective, especially before king Kiyamba and suggests that Cheitharol Kumbaba should not be referred to until these errors in dating are rectified to stop further confusion. W. Ibohal Singh, 1986, ‘History of Manipur- an early period”, p. 41 noted that Naophangba and irengba ruled between 1140-1171 AD and 1296-1310 AD respectively. If the term “Pangal” is confused as to whether that is Muslim or not, the using of the terms “Pangal Musalman” by Chandrasekhar (1992, p.10) during the reign of king Naophangba- clarifies beyond doubt that “Pangals” as Muslims (or Musalman in Persian) had been living since the reign of Naophangba. Chietharol Kumbaba noted that Naophangba ruled during 428-518 AD, and Irengba during 984-1074 AD; but Gangmumei Kabui, 1991, “History of Manipur”, in several pages noted that the greatest weakness of Cheitharol Kumbaba is the chronology especially before king Loyamba, and that the periods mentioned by Cheitharol Kumbaba attributed to these kings are not necessarily correct, and G. Kabui hinted that these need to be rectified and corrected.

Once again, I am thankful to Thokchom Angouyaima for his important pointing out of error in one of my earlier articles. I confirm that Koubas were never Muslims at any stage, but that confusion was result of difficult rendering of ‘old style’languages in puyas and some local annals. However, that Muslims have been in Manipur since Naophangba’s time is beyond doubt. Those Muslims from Khagemba’s time was only another wave of Muslims.

Yours sincerely
Farooque Ahmed
Lilong, Manipur

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