Views & Reviews
Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM ) Rebuttal to NSCN (IM)
The concerted propaganda made by Tangkhul doninated NSCN (IM) that the Kukis are nomadic and refugees is nothing but a shallow and cheap attempt to distort history of the Kukis which will not serve any purpose. The statement of NSCN (IM) manipulated by Tangkhuls also show how desperate they are to justify the unjustifiable greed of Tangkhuls for land of the Kuki people. Th. Muivah led NSCN (IM) ought to be taught that the history of the Kukis extend, beyond those that exist in British records. Their resort to accounts written by British Officials, which began only from the eighteenth century is but a pity.
The NSCN (IM) led by the Tangkhuls and their assertion that the Kukis reached the Naga territory in Manipur in the year 1885 must be based on the writings of Sir James Johnstone, who stated that the Kukis came from Southern part of Manipur between 1830 AD and 1840 A.D. They need be informed that Col. Johnstone or any colonial writer only spoke about the year they first came in contact with the Kukis.
Correspondingly, if the history of Kukis of Manipur began only with the writings of Sir James Johnstone from 1830 AD. Then, the history of Kacha Nagas of Manipur should begin from TC Hudson’s Account of the ‘ Kacha Naga tribes of Manipur’ in 1911 AD. So logically and historically the Kuki people have always inhabited their territories before the British and kacha nagas and Tangkhuls had been their subjects.
The present day Kukis had settled and reigned in Manipur from the pre-historic time. The Manipuri language called Meiteilon, which is a mixture of Kuki-Chin-Mizo language is another proof that the Kukis are aboriginal race in Manipur. (Sources : (i) Shakei Khun thoklon (ii) Pre-history of Moirang. (iii)Linguistic survey of India Vol. III Part 3.)
The British Government was the first and only historically known invader to the Kuki Country. The country also known as “ Independent Hill Country”. The Kuki Inpi (The Kuki Traditional Government) had defended the entire country for its indigenous inhabitants since 1761 AD. The greatest battle was fought between the year 1917 and 1919 which the colonial writers called “ The Kuki Rebellion” or the “ Kuki Uprisings”, “The Anglo-Kuki War.” The Kukis led by their Chiefs joined forces with the German side in the WW I. The Kuki rebel leaders were captured and imprisoned by which act of Bravery, “this independent Hill Country” still remained under the Kuki Chiefs till today as it was before.
Had they been mere refugees they would not have taken up the cudgel and fought valiantly against the mighty British Colonial powers. They fought to preserve their way of life, they fought for their freedom, they fought for their land – the lands which was theirs since time immemorial.
On the other hand the Kacha Nagas of Manipur never maintained any political independence prior to the colonial period. They were a collection of separate tribes having their own distinct culture and dialects. They were residing in separate locations within the territory of the Kukis and paid tax and tributes to the Kuki Chiefs. As such they did not put up any sort of determined resistance to colonialism or any other external power. They were subservient to the British rulers. These Kacha Nagas were organized by the colonial power prior to their exit from India to reward them for helping the British during the Anglo-Kuki war, and as pay back for the humiliation they face in the hands of Kukis.
These Kacha Nagas of Manipur often attacked or waged War against one another. The stronger Village attacked the weaker Village to plunder wealth and exterminate all. (Mac Culloch 1878) The Kuki Chieftains protected the weaker Kacha Nagas and accommodated them on humanitarian grounds in order to preserve them from extinction in the intra-tribe warfare. For instance , the people of Bongpa Tangkhul Village came from the banks of the river Nathalit (Tizu) in the Somra Tract in Burma for fear of being exterminated by the stronger Kacha Nagas. The Chassad Kuki Chief settled them in Ukhrul. The Bongpa Tangkhul paid tax and tributes to the Chassad Chief. Despite all these good gesture and generosities the Tangkhuls still seek to drive the Kukis with the sole intention to usurp their land by force which they did in a manner that is most primitive and abominable.
Phungyar, the Constituency from which Rishang Keishing was elected members of Manipur Legislative Assembly was originally, called Phaisat, it was a Kuki Village. The Tangkhul seized this village from the Kukis and named it Phungyar. Kamjong was called Chassad these Kuki Villages were seized by the Muivah led NSCN (IM) from the Kukis.
Between the year 1950 – 1990 the NSCN (IM) manipulated by Tangkhul ethnic group carried out a selective and systematic elimination of the Kuki Chiefs and elders to implant fear psychosis among the Kukis, so that they may leave their lands for Tangkhuls to occupy. In total 40 people were killed and 64 Kuki Villages uprooted.
Their ethnic cleansing on the Kukis in 1992 – 1994 led to the death of 905 innocent Kukis, 360 Kuki Villages uprooted and more than 1 lakh Kuki People were displaced.
Th. Muvah led NSCN (IM) hijacked the politics of Nagaland to Manipur with the objectives of satiating the despicable hatred that the Tangkhul Nagas of Ukhrul District has against the Kuki People.
The NSCN (IM) manipulated by the Tangkhul ethnic group also exploited the Zaliangrong People of Tamenglong District to turn against the Kukis.
The Zaliangrong Nagas, with whom the Kukis always had amicable relations, have also realized that Th Muivah exploited them for his ambitions to established a Tangkhul dominated Naga Politics. The well-oiled Muivah led NSCN (IM)’s propaganda machinery cannot hope to continue to deceive the public.
The Kuki Inpi Manipur is also dismayed at the manner in which the Muivah group in the NSCN is distorting facts and misinterpreting history in a deliberate attempt to cover up their bloody misdeeds which they had perpetrated upon the Kukis of Manipur. Instead of owning up to the the pogrom like a true self respecting leader worth his salt, the Muivah led group in the NSCN IM organization has time and time again chosen to resort to cheap gimmick of misrepresentation of historical records and facts to justify their bloodied deeds, and to further their own vested interests.
Yes the truth must prevail and knowing the truth alone could only set us free from the intricate web of historical lies which has been spun over the last decades. If the truth is to be told, contrary to the purported claims “that the Kukis waged a war against the Paites during the reign of King Pumzamang of the Burma’s Chin Hills so on and so forth, and were eventually pushed out of Burma by the alliance of Suhtes and Paites”. Even if such an event / incident had taken place in history, it could only have been a war between the clans of the Kuki family, a fratricidal war and nothing more than that.
Most of the tribes within the Kuki Chin Mizo fold were known by the generic name of Kuki which was a nomenclature for all. The tribe wise recognition/designation came about only in 1956 – 57, when the Government of India came out with a list of Scheduled tribes which accorded recognition of group identity. Hence the argument that such & such waged a war against the Kukis (which was the common nomenclature then) in the 1850s is unfounded, baseless and completely bereft of logic and historical facts. It is only their Sinister design to drive a wedge among the ‘Kuki tribes and is not an issue to ponder about.
The refugee relief, pushed by Suisa, was in the context of internally displaced Kuki Villages, whose villages had been burnt down by the Burmese Junta within Kuki territories now under Myanmar.
As an M.P. (L) R. Suisa did as a Kuki M.P. would for any hill people.
The truth or factual account of Tintong rih or Haokip rih which had been twisted by the Muivah led NSCN (IM) just to incite public sentiment also needs to be brought out for all.
The fact of the story is that the Kacha Nagas beheaded the Kuki Chief of Natjang Village, and placed the head on the paddy husking wood and ridiculed it. On learning about such inhuman and depraved acts of humiliation, Pu Tintong the then chief of Laijangphai village sought the killers. Having learnt that they took refuge at Makui Village, the Kuki attacked the Kacha Nagas at Makui Village and Killed 52 persons (BC Allen 1905 “ Naga Hills and Manipur”). The Kukis are by nature peace loving people and never intend to provoke others without genuine cause. It is the natural instinct of the Tangkhuls to find fault with the Kukis and at all times plotted schemes and adopted policies of aggrandisement against the Kukis bereft of facts and truths. At times the Kukis are constrained to launch retaliatory steps as punishment or corrective measures and Tintong rih was one such drastic measures taken against them.
The Kukis have never resorted to any kind of aggression on the neighbouring tribes. The often conflicts between the Kacha Nagas and Kukis are usually caused by the Tangkhul to this day.
The tract record of NSCN-IM fraught with crimes against humanity committed over the years are meticulously maintained by a host of NGOs concerned with justice and human rights.
It would be most befitting if Th. Muivah is tried by a tribunal and declared as a terrorist rather than entertaining his outrageous demands.
The Govt. of India must deal with NSCN (IM) leadership as terrorists, not as legal entities of an organization – which claimed to represent the collective political aspirations of the Nagas, unfortunately in reality which is not the case.
Mr. Sominthang Doungel,
Chairman Political Affairs Committee,
Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM).