By Rongreisek Yangsorang
The Sadu Koireng Village that was dragged in the recent bomb blast on the 1st Jul /11 at Sangakpham Bazaar, Imphal due to misinformation, miscalculation and presumption by the mass media in Manipur needs to be identified. Jumping at a conclusion for running a headline to trouble others is highly condemnable. Such a blunder to defame and blacken a particular community is likely to make the media men realize how disastrous it is to report without proper scrutiny of facts. The great lie was given extensive publicity. Unfortunate. At times, one word (in a newspaper or TV news) might not consist of any value at all and it could be completely ignored. That was not the case. The mention of “Sadu Koireng” in the local and regional dailies and Television news for a terror-attack was a nightmare for the Koireng community. Had it not been the courage of the intelligentsia among the Koirengs to make timely clarification, the entire community would have confronted a dangerous situation.
In the conflict-zone, the role of the press is immensely great and it requires sound judgment at every step always. The community has been repeatedly disturbed by the remarks of certain higher ups through the media. For what gains are these things done? The ethnic tribal minorities of Manipur are not aliens as the youngsters may have thought of but as indigenous as the plains people are. Let us not groom outsiders. Let us first recognize each other. This will be the only weapon for safeguarding the territorial integrity of Manipur –the land with people of amazing grace and bountiful nature.
Then, which Sadu Koireng was that the electronic and print media in Manipur had meant? Identification: One Bumthang was the chief of Mihabung (Maha Koireng where the Assam Rifles is stationed at present on Imphal-Jiribam Road and one Tongchung Rangrihon was the Luplakpa (Deputy Chief) of the village in the 1880s A.D. After the death of Bumthang, his son Sumsuo inherited his Mulpi (a decorative dress made of goat’s fur worn around the neck). It was to be worn by the eldest of the clan. On his death again, his son Semshon was supposed to keep the dress with him, but the tradition of transferring it to the eldest of the clan was strictly in vogue. To keep the tradition alive, he left Maha Koireng heading for Sadu Koireng to offer Mulpi to his cousin Khelrel, being the elder of the clan. After inheriting the dress, Khelrel became the chief of Sadu Koireng (Also known as Tunglong situated at Laimatol foothill to the west of Nambol in Bishnupur Dist. of Manipur). The village was known for its prosperity and hospitality.
In the early 1900s, Sadu Koireng declined at a time when some clans and sub-clans abandoned the village for different directions in columns, taking routes in the valley and along the Koubru range. Some clans proceeded eastward as far as Nurathel in Saikul sub-division. Some seven families set up a village on the bank of Iril River within the boundary of Makokching and Saikul, and they further named it Sadu Koireng which was recorded in the Touchi Book of the Revenue Department of Manipur in 1908 A.D. Twenty-five years later(1925 A.D.), on the invitation of the chief of Longa Koireng village, Semshon, the cousin of Sadu Koireng chief also migrated to Longa Koireng on the National Highway 53 to become its priest of highest order called “Thakwaar” Pure Minister in charge of Meat and Wine in the village.
Soon after the Kuki Rebellion(1917-1919 A.D.), turning his face eastward to respond to the call of the Iril River, the chief of Sadu Koireng accompanied by some of his trusted clans also left the village for Makokching Hill in Saikul sub-division. Moreover, the Sadu area began to feel threatened, insecure and unsafe for habitation due to rampant looting and robbery. This is how the Sadu Koireng village got deserted. (In the settlement record, the now famous Sadu waterfall falls within the boundary of the Sadu Koireng of one time. Sadu is the name of an area of Waroiching Foot-hill situated to the west of Nambol).