From here in Bhubaneshwar, two areas in the world looks confusing and strange. Whenever there is a news on inter-tribal riots in African countries like Sudan, Nigeria, Congo etc, it makes me wonder how the rival tribes identify each other since they all look the same.
In India, North-east is amazing. These days we are getting stories of two states Nagaland and Manipur locking horns. When reading about the Nagas, it is found that there are numerous tribes among Nagas. My question is, why does an Angami, Ao, or Maram think they are Naga? Why the Kukis think they are not Naga. If Angami, Konyak, Tangkhuls have different histories, Kukis are also different. Why are they not Nagas? They are also hill tribe and are Mongoloid in look like the Ao or Angami. Angami, Konyak is so different from Tangkhul. Then why does Tangkhul leader Muivah bring Angami, Konyak etc in Nagalim and not form a separate land for Tangkhuls in Nagaland.
We read in tourism advertisements of north-east as land of seven sisters. The person who termed this sobriquet should rethink. Every now and then neighbouring hill states like Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram take away Assam’s bordering forest areas and there is fighting. Going by the scenario this doesn’t look true. Anyone will say the region to be that of ‘seven enemies’.
[This letter was addressed to Editor Imphal Free Press, and is being re-produced in Kanglaonline for our readers.]