By Kambam Ibohal Singh
The Meiteis composed folk Song “ MANIPUR SANA LEIBAK CHINGNA KOINA PAN SABA HAONA KOINA PAN NGAKPA” was to the Thadous only having not a single sharp contradiction of what has been claimed. Thadous as defined by Paominlien Kipgen( IFP dt 4th Dec 2010) is progenitor of all Kuki clans including Koms, Kilongs, Vaipheis, Chirus etc. Now there are more than thiry clans of Thadous collectively known as Kukis. The Kukis are believed from Chin State of Burma ( Myanmar) settled here in Manipur since time immemorial. While The King ruled in Manipur, The Thadous ( Kukis) served in the Army of the king and helped in maintenance of law and order. The Kuki contingent sent by the King to assist the British during the 1st World War, showed bravery and excellent performance to achieve special honour for the King and Manipur. It was convincingly narrated, the Kukis uprising 1917 against the British was for independence and integrity of Manipur. In 1992 the Kukis sustained trauma from the NSCN(IM) stooges as part of ethnic cleansing pogrom eliminating and killing thousands of innocent Kuki people, myriad were maimed, widowed, orphaned and displaced as their houses and properties were set ablazed. The displaced and hapless people were not provided any relief and shelters. Selling of orchids, decorative plants ect. on the footpath of Imphal Bazar and collection of serviceable clothes from every Meitei households in exchange of bamboo products for their needy family and children were the sources of income and means of survival. Adult girls sold their ornaments at mere amounts. The scenarios of distress and societal disgrace are still lingering in everyone’s inner eye. The Meiteis, during the sad and unforgettable situation of needs, poor economy and homelessness in their own homeland, were fence seater and silent spectator without sympathy and utterance of a single word of consolation. That is why the Meiteis are said strange bed fellow and unreliable friends. While the woes and miseries excusable (concealment of truth) and condemnable were from other side known to all, the Meiteis are victimized. Do the Meiteis deserve it?
On the other hand the Tangkhuls are respected by the Meiteis as big brother. These two communities are indigenous inhabitants on the Soil of this land, Manipur since time immemorial. There are galore hereditary evidences of traditional ties, blood relationship and emotional love known to the ancestors of both communities. But some mean minded self styled Tangkhul leaders had ever been trying to establish non-historical relationship with the Nagas belying the Meiteis simply to become Kacha Nagas since there were no Naga tribes in Manipur. It is nothing but selling out the hard earned popular Culture and integrity of the Tangkhuls for self interest and to undermine the ageold relationship of the two communities. The elderly people are in tears for such undesirable activities of some brazen unsocial elements. These well educated Tangkhuls allege and assert the Meiteis are plump with all modern amenities at the cost of others. Truly speaking these people are middle men who are building up assets to their own tribesman’s cost only to blame and make the Meiteis Scapegoat.
The Meiteis being the largest community in Manipur have to play a significant role in the State. The arrogance of being leading and major community should be avoided to keep pace with other communities in respect of political, Social and economic development. The repressive activities causing a feeling of inferiority in the mind of highlanders and other communities against the valley people particularly the Meiteis must be removed / discarded by doing something sympathetically. The role of the Meitei as a major community of Manipur is ever emphasized as great by the state and non-state leaders.
Language(Manipuri language) is one of the most important key factors to bring emotional and territorial integrity of Manipur since it is a langua-franca of Manipur that can bring all the people of all communities together. MEELAL may work with a broad sense transforming its name itself into Manipuri Eyek Elon……… to attract all the Manipuris irrespective of hills and valley. One Tangkhul Ningol, LEIMIOL (Renowned Tangkhul writer) had already started publishing a book in Manipuri language to encourage those other than Meiteis. The suggestions of B.S. Rajkumar under the caption MEITEI LONDAGI MANIPURI……….( Hui ,Lan, Manipuri, 22nd Aug. 2010) are sure practicable which could not appear in The Language days held on 18th and 20th Aug 2010. He is desirous to study and take words of tribal languages, selection of old Meitei words making more appropriate, search of new words from Bangla, English, Hindi, Assamese etc. for Manipuri language with modification so on and so forth….
We the people of Manipur ought to remember the former C.M. late Yangmaso Shaiza for his great work on Manipuri language, an official language from Meiteilon at the cost of his life. None of us remember the far sighted C.M. for his untold Sacrifice and his high profile as a creator of national integrity of Manipur presenting a clear road map to live together with a common language. Does not he deserve a STATUE to be respected and remembered for ever for his greatness?
Author is a Ex-Serviceman
Khurai Tinseed Road, Imphal.