Scientific Perspective: Manipur CM Biren’s Controversial Speech at Madhavpur fair, Gujarat on Krishna, Rukmini and India’s North-Eastern region

By: Raghu Ningthoujam, Scientist Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO); Alumni of IISc Bangalore, IIT-Guwahati, DM College of Science Imphal Manipur CM Honorable Sri.N Biren Singh said that by “marrying Rukmini, Krishna had bound the Northeast with…

By: Raghu Ningthoujam, Scientist Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO); Alumni of IISc Bangalore, IIT-Guwahati, DM College of Science Imphal Manipur CM Honorable Sri.N Biren Singh said that by “marrying Rukmini, Krishna had bound the Northeast with India”. “In the time of Lord Krishna, there was no separate Arunachal Pradesh or Assam or Manipur. The entire […]

CM’s referring of Meitei ST demand to ST Commission is ultra vires

Ningombam Bupenda Meitei This writing of mine, which could also be perceived as a personal opinion, is indeed a matter of public importance. It is to present a constitutional argument on the basis of the statement made by the incumbent Chief Minister of Manipur in the ongoing Manipur Legislative Assembly’s session. The statement of the […]

Ningombam Bupenda Meitei This writing of mine, which could also be perceived as a personal opinion, is indeed a matter of public importance. It is to present a constitutional argument on the basis of the statement made by the incumbent Chief Minister of Manipur in the ongoing Manipur Legislative Assembly’s session. The statement of the […]

STDCM demands to include Meitei/Meetei under ST Category

STDCM na Manipur gi Meitei/ Meetei meeyamga loinana yelhoumee Meitei/Meetei busu Indian Constitution gi Article 342(1) gi makhada yelhoumeesinggi list oiriba Scheduled Tribe ki list ta yaohallu amadi yelhoumee oibagi Constituional safeguard piyu haina State govt amadi Central govta taksinduna Lakli. Indefinite economic blockade amadi Assembly election nachingbana maram oiduna ehou asi matam khara tapthaduna […]

STDCM na Manipur gi Meitei/ Meetei meeyamga loinana yelhoumee Meitei/Meetei busu Indian Constitution gi Article 342(1) gi makhada yelhoumeesinggi list oiriba Scheduled Tribe ki list ta yaohallu amadi yelhoumee oibagi Constituional safeguard piyu haina State govt amadi Central govta taksinduna Lakli. Indefinite economic blockade amadi Assembly election nachingbana maram oiduna ehou asi matam khara tapthaduna […]

Manipur Blockade: Journey of eight children from Imphal to Chingai, Ukhrul amidst the blockades

    Given the current tense situation in Manipur due to the ongoing 52+ days of Economic blockade by United Naga Council on both the National Highways and counter blockades on several intra state highways by valley based local clubs, travelling from Imphal to any other destinations within and outside Manipur has become almost impossible […]

    Given the current tense situation in Manipur due to the ongoing 52+ days of Economic blockade by United Naga Council on both the National Highways and counter blockades on several intra state highways by valley based local clubs, travelling from Imphal to any other destinations within and outside Manipur has become almost impossible […]

Mass rally endorses demand for ST status on Meeteis/Meiteis State Govt urged to send recommendation to Centre by October

IMPHAL, Sep 18: The mass rally cum public meeting held today endorsed the demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the list of Scheduled Tribes. It also resolved to urge the State Government to send a recommendation to the Government of India together with necessary documents for enlistment of Meitei/Meetei in ST category by October this […]

IMPHAL, Sep 18: The mass rally cum public meeting held today endorsed the demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the list of Scheduled Tribes. It also resolved to urge the State Government to send a recommendation to the Government of India together with necessary documents for enlistment of Meitei/Meetei in ST category by October this […]

Mizoram – Meitei Connection? : The Great Village Entrance (Kawtchhuah Ropui) at Vangchhe Village

Kawtchhuah Ropui: An Anthropological Evidence, (January 2002) — H.Lalnunmawia Recently explored ancient monuments or menhirs of ‘Kawtchhuah Ropui’ were bearing fruitful testimonies to study the inhabitants of Kawtchhuah Ropui area, that of the unknown past. Kawtchhuah Ropui literally means ‘the great entrance of the village’.

Kawtchhuah Ropui: An Anthropological Evidence, (January 2002) — H.Lalnunmawia Recently explored ancient monuments or menhirs of ‘Kawtchhuah Ropui’ were bearing fruitful testimonies to study the inhabitants of Kawtchhuah Ropui area, that of the unknown past. Kawtchhuah Ropui literally means ‘the great entrance of the village’.

Manipur’s Unique Parks: MMRC & Unity Park – Khangabok, Thoubal District

MMRC & UNITY PARK Khangabok is a multi-dimensional research centre tourist cum recreation park in Thoubal District Manipur. The park is located 25 Kilometers from Imphal City, just next to the Asian Highway 2 (AH2).

The park has several unique features representing different communities and faiths with special focus on Meetei traditional structures like Meetei Yumjao, Pakhangba Temple etc.

MMRC & UNITY PARK Khangabok is a multi-dimensional research centre tourist cum recreation park in Thoubal District Manipur. The park is located 25 Kilometers from Imphal City, just next to the Asian Highway 2 (AH2).

The park has several unique features representing different communities and faiths with special focus on Meetei traditional structures like Meetei Yumjao, Pakhangba Temple etc.

Yellow Journalism: Hindus killed Muslim Headmaster over calf stealing & Communal tension in Manipur

Yellow Journalism: Hindus killed Muslim Headmaster over calf stealing & Communal tension in Manipur By Dr. Malem Ningthouja Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur)   The brutal murder of a

Dead body of Hashmad Ali alias Babu (55) conspired and killed by Md. Matlib and his gang

Dead body of Hashmad Ali alias Babu (55) conspired and killed by Md. Matlib and his gang

Yellow Journalism: Hindus killed Muslim Headmaster over calf stealing & Communal tension in Manipur

By Dr. Malem Ningthouja
Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur)

 

The brutal murder of a ‘Muslim’ headmaster Md. Hashmad Ali alias Babu (55) was confirmed in the wee hour, before the dawn of 2nd November, 2015. There was an initial distortion of the fact to cover up the crime and the criminals. Outside Manipur, there was a deliberate mapping of Manipur into the ongoing ‘communal intolerance’ prevalent in ‘mainland’ India. To cite two examples, the Hindustan Times, dated 4th November, 2015 carried a news under the title Headmaster Lynched for Stealing Cow; Shutdown Call in Manipur. The following day, the New York Times published a news under the title Indian Muslim, Accused of Stealing a Cow, is Beaten to Death by a Hindu Mob. These news depicted about an ‘antagonistic co-existence’ of communities or uneasily relation between majority Meeteis (Hindus) and minority Panggals (Muslims), as if marked by occasional clashes ever since a riot took place in 1993 and the emergence of Panggal based Islamic militant groups.

 

In these reports, the murder and the agitation for justice are being construed with communal overtones. These were being shown as continuity of community hatred and extension of the recent Hindu Muslim tensions centred on the ban on beef and protection of cow. The deliberate mapping of Manipur in the Hindu Muslim communal landscape and the enforced correlation of the murder with other ‘communalized events’ in India are illustrative. The Hindustan Times report incorporated a photo with the caption the murder of Muslim man in a UP village for allegedly eating beef had sparked national outrage. Similarly the New York Times incorporated a photo with the caption Kashmiri villagers shouted pro-freedom slogans last month while carrying the body of a Muslim driver attacked by far-right extremists angered by rumours of cow slaughter, an issue that stirs religious tensions in the Hindu-majority country. These news distorted the facts of agitation and conveyed manufactured news about an irate Muslim public helplessly fighting vis-à-vis the regime of the Hindu majority that have denied the former protection and justice. The blame was on the Meetei.

 

Many believe in these reports and some are confused. But most of the people on the ground who are involved in the agitation for justice are unaware of these distorted news. The leaders of the agitation are surprised, when informed about it. However, the misreporting had done the job. The ‘no-news’ have become a ‘news’ and the actual ‘news’ have been reduced into oblivion. The misinformation have achieved widespread publicity, continuously reverberated on uncensored social networks. In other words, the distortions of the facts and circumstances of the murder of 2nd November and the outburst for justice have covered up the nature of the crime and the criminals responsible for it. At the same time, the misinformation humiliates many, when everything was shown communal and the Meeteis are being objectified as Hindus hatching religious fundamentalism against minority Muslims. For instance, since I am a Meetei with some roles in academics and democratic activism, the ‘mainland’ progressive friends, who consumed the distorted news, are unhappy with me for being what they termed ‘a mute spectators’ when minority Muslims are being selectively targeted in Manipur. My teacher in South Africa, who has been a guide for more than a decade, have tagged me on a social network with a reasonable question; ‘I wonder what the local politics are here (Manipur)’.

 

One of the primary tasks to fight ‘communal intolerance’ is to fight distortions of facts and circumstances. The media has a big responsibility in it. However, when journalism is being misused by a vested section, it adds to the burden of the progressives to invest in labour and time to collate facts and undo the misinformation. Many are forced by the circumstances to involve in the struggle vis-à-vis the distortions, for better representation and information. Otherwise, the distortions, cited above, merely add to the communal propaganda of the chauvinist forces, whose agenda is to encourage hatred and bloodshed. In the context of the murder of Ali and denial of justice, information from the ground, provided by the relatives of the victim and other ‘Muslim’ friends, who are directly involved in the agitation for justice, can undo the distortions by the Hindustan Times and the New York Times. But, before placing the findings, there are at least three points that had to be briefly clarified. First, Meetei cannot be homogenously identified with Hindu or Hinduism. Two, the Muslims who have settled for centuries in Manipur are known as Meetei Panggal. They possess localized linguistic and cultural characters that mark them distinctively peculiar to non-Manipuri Muslims. Third, Meetei and Meetei Panggal are neither socially exclusive to one another nor they are compartmentalized into watertight antagonistic communal politics. To sum up, the anachronous depiction of these communities by the media needs to be reviewed.

 

To focus on the murder of 1st or 2nd November, it was plotted by Ali’s distant relative and immediate neighbour (a ‘Muslim’) to settle some personal grudges. In fact, Late Md. Hashmad Ali, a calm and respectable person in the locality, was the family head of a moderately well to do middle class background in a Panggal neighbourhood called Keirao Makting Awang Leikai, under Irilbung Police Station in Imphal East. He was the headmaster of an evening Keirao Primary Madrassa. His wife, Jamila, is the headmaster of the morning Keirao Litan Makhong Primary School, in the same locality. The eldest son, Riyas, owns a BPO outsource and lives with his family at Babupara in Greater Imphal. The next son, Malick, is the Managing Director in the BPO. The youngest son, Khaligue, is a computer operator and his wife works in a nursing institute.

 

On the unfortunate night of 1st November Ali was alone at the home. His wife, the youngest son and the daughter-in-law had gone out for some days to live with the relatives at Rahaman Hospital in Guwahati (Assam). Since Riyas lived at Babupara, Malick was taking care of Ali after his office hours. Usually, Malick worked in the night shift and returned home lately at around 10 p.m. That night, when Malick returned home, he could not find his father. He was worried as his father seldom went out at night. He searched, but, could not locate Ali. Being suspected he lodged a complaint of missing at the police station at around 2 a.m. At around 3 a.m., the police informed Malick about an abandoned dead body at a place called Kongba Uchekkon Thongkhong, which is located in Meetei neighbourhood area. In the morning, when Malick and others confirmed the ‘death’ of Ali, they were also being informed that Ali was caught while stealing a calf belonging to one Khumallambam Brojen, a Meetei, and that he was killed by a mob. When further enquiry had to be done, Brojen was found absconding and no one could belief the story.

 

Police took the calf into the custody and arrested Brojen at around the noon. Police interrogation revealed that Ali was killed by a group of ‘co-workers’ hired by Md. Matlib. It was unfolded that Ali was a distant relative of Matlib and they live together as adjacent neighbour. Their relation became strained because of land dispute. Some days ago there was an intensive altercation on this issue and Matlib had threatened to kill Ali. Since then, there has been a plot to kill. When Ali was alone at that particular night, Matlib hired three other ‘Muslim’ friends from the same locality and six Meetei co-workers from the Meetei neighbourhood known as the Kongba Makha Nandeibam Leikai. At around 8 p.m., Matlib sent two Meeteis to pick up Ali. They alarmed Ali that Malick had met with an accident on the way to home and that they were being sent there to drop him to the hospital. Ali believed in their story. When all of them met at the Nandeibam Leikai, they raised the alarm of cattle thief, fatally tortured Ali with iron rods, and abandoned the body on the road near a Meetei temple known as Lai Moriba Temple.

 

The news of the murder infuriated many. Nobody could buy the story of cattle thief by Ali, who is an economically sound and a respectable headmaster. The ‘Muslim’ neighbourhood immediately constituted a body christened as the Joint Action Committee against the Brutal Killing of Md. Hashmad Ali (JAC). The agenda of the JAC is to punish the culprits and compensate the victim family. When the fact and circumstances of the murder was socially revealed, the house of the prime accused Md Matlib was vandalised and finally burnt into ashes. However, all the accused other than Brojen were absconding. The JAC is disappointed with the police inaction. According to the JAC, “despite our best efforts to obtain justice of Mr. Hashmad Ali in a peaceful manner, no concrete steps have been taken by the authorities so far. The Irilbung Police Station where the FIR of the case is filed has not taken any step to investigate the case and arrest the culprits. .. This clearly points to complacency and connivance on the part of the authorities, including the Officer-in-Charge of Irilbing Police to the missing report filed by one of the sons of the deceased on the night of 1st November itself.’ Police are inactive, probably due to political pressure in favour of the ‘accused’ by the candidates who are contesting the Thongju Kendra bye-election to the Manipur State Assembly. On 5th November the JAC stormed the police station, which have led to repression and casualty of a dozen of agitators.

 

The rumour about cattle thief and mobbing, which were aimed at covering up the objective of murder and the crime, became redundant following the arrest of and revelation by Brojen. The accused are now socially known. However, the law enforcing agents are deviating from the prescribed course of delivering justice. On the other hand, if there was community mobbing, it was not when Ali was murdered by a hired gang. Mobbing occurred in the ‘Muslim’ locality when the house of the prime accused was burnt, which had badly affected other members of the family who might have not involved in the crime. Such tendency of mobbing as a form of vengeance and justice has become an undesirable trend in Manipur. Police irresponsiveness and inaction for justice have not only protected the criminals but also encouraged the aggrieved sections to take law into their hands. In all these, there is neither Hindu mobbing nor communal conflict. The JAC is seeking the support of peoples across communities and agitating for justice. It remains uncertain about the durability of the JAC and different tactical courses it may take, if those who are in power are deliberate to withhold justice. The media, particularly good reporting, can play a positively effective role in this.

 

JAC against killing of Hashmad Ali Memorandum to Govt of Manipur

Memorandum to Govt of Manipur by JAC against killing of Hashmad Ali

People of Manipur Protection Bill – Lost in Translation: Linda Chhakchhuak

By Linda Chhakchhuak 07 September, 2015 Countercurrents.org Some folklore say that Manipur is land of the three brothers. They are the Meitei, Naga and the Kuki communities. But as most

Manipur police truck has been burnt down by the agitators on the road at Churachandpur

Manipur police truck has been burnt down by the agitators on the road at Churachandpur
Photo: Deepak Shijagurumayum

By Linda Chhakchhuak

07 September, 2015
Countercurrents.org

Some folklore say that Manipur is land of the three brothers. They are the Meitei, Naga and the Kuki communities. But as most brotherhood stories go they inevitably ended up disagreeing and quarrelling over the inheritance left by their fathers. This myth seems to sum up the history of this troubled northeastern state of India which is once again engulfed in blood, soot and tears.

This being an age in which the information highway passes through almost every hand with a mobile phone, the war cries, chest thumping and ill conceived rumors were mass knowledge in a span of few minutes, each post more virulent than the earlier one igniting ire. Not too soon after the by now famous three Bills were passed in the Manipur Legislative Assembly on August 31, the house of a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) went up in flames. Homes of Manipur’s health minister Phungzathang Tonsing and five other MLAs were set afire during the protests. Eight persons died in the subsequent mob quelling actions by the state police.

The “angry mob” was people of the hills districts mad at their own tribal MLAs for not standing up against the three Bills which they claimed was a deviously diabolical game to take away their land rights and making them strangers in their own homeland.

The three Bills are The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh) Amendment Bill 2015 (MLRLR Bill 2015), The Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015 and The Manipur Shops and Establishments Act (Second) Amendment Bill 2015, collectively meant to be the Government of Manipur’s solution to the months long demand for implementation of Inner Line Permit system by the Meitei organizations to protect them from the high rate of influx of outsiders. The states of Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh have the ILP system which are British enactments made for their own benefit but vaunted as a wall against assimilation from outsiders today.

Obviously the polity is so steeped in local conspiracy theory that common people have not a shred of trust left in the persons they themselves had voted to represent them. On the other hand neither did the representatives or the Government make any effort to get public opinion before legislating on such a sensitive issue. That cost them their homes and credibility. But did people understand what they were they out in the streets for, braving bullets and death?

The MLRLR Bill 2015 clearly outlines the unenviable situation of the Meitei people, who inhabit the valley portion of the Manipur state. The state is 90 percent hills and 10 percent plains. But demography wise, the valley is packed with 60 percent of the total population of the state (27 lakhs plus). The density 731 persons as opposed to 61 persons in the hills just go to show what the valley people are up against. Under the main 1960 MRLR Act, Scheduled Tribes of the state who are native of the hills can buy land and settle down in the plains. On the other hand the plains based Meitei people are forbidden to acquire land in the hills by this same law. This same Law permits the Scheduled Tribe (ST) to sell off their lands in the valley with the provision that if they are selling it to a non-Scheduled Tribe it can be done only with the consent of the Deputy Commissioner. This would mean that if they are disposing it off to another Scheduled Tribe person, then it would not need any consent of the DC.

What seems to be happening as can be surmised from reading between the lines of the MRLR Amendment Bill 2015 is that there is an influx of ‘outsiders’, not so much as that of non-tribals from outside the state, but also of persons of affiliated kins-tribes from across the network of Kuki-Chin-Mizo community as well as Nagas from neighboring borders whether it is from Mizoram, Nagaland, Assam and Myanmar. Affiliated and based on close-knit kinship systems it is impossible to differentiate the ‘native ST’ from the ‘outsider Tribes’ in the state where the buying and selling of land may be happening. This is a cause of concern for the valley inhabitants of the Meitei heritage, who are struggling to keep their ancestral lands from slipping away right under their noses. They are a beleaguered people hemmed in by dozens of problems, the least of them being officially categorized as “non-tribal” , settled on the fulcrum of a tribal volcano of resentment. (Long ago they refused to be clubbed under the category of “Tribe” which they want reversed now but it is another complicated
story.)

Instead of directly dealing with the issue of influx, the MRLR (Seventh) Amendment Bill2015 seeks to curtail this transfer by invoking sale against the “Non Manipur Person”(NMP). The amendment is to ‘regulate the sale of land to Non Manipur Persons of the state so that the limited land in the valley is available to the permanent residents of the state in the interests of the general public.” From now on any sale and transfer of land in the valley to Non Manipur Persons of the state, firms, institutions or any other entities intending to purchase land will be done only after getting state government approval. This is actually a cry for space and the plight of the growing population of Meitei people and the other non-tribal residents of the tiny valley jostling for space with the Scheduled tribe people who have the upper hand as far as the right to buy or sell land in the state is concerned.

The MRLR (Seventh) Amendment 2015 is supported by The Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015. The objective of this Bill is to regulate the entry and exit of Non Manipur Persons and tenants. It defines who are the “Manipur People” in Clause 2 section (b) which says “b) “Manipur people” means Persons of Manipur whose name are in the National Register of Citizens, 1951 Census Report 1951 and Village Directory of 1951 and their descendants who have contributed to the collective social, cultural and economic life of Manipur;. This is the clause which has raised mayhem among the Kuki affiliate tribes and the Nagas who say, rightly, that during the early fifties there was hardly any infrastructure or government presence capable of capturing the whole population of the region in a register.

But these misgivings should have melted as the Bill carries a caveat in Paragraph 8 which unequivocally states that the persons to be exempted under the provisions of this Bill are “the native people of the state of Manipur.” The Bill does not give details about this, but going by definition by the heavyweight expert on Manipur, T C Hodson it refers to the Meitei, Kuki and Naga of the state.

Predictably, politicians of all hues and categories from the inside the state and the neighboring regions of Manipur have lost no time in fishing in troubled waters of Manipur. They should know better as the same equations of conflict are just a spark away in their own homes and states.

(Linda Chhakchhuak is an independent Journalist and anthropologist, based in Shillong, Meghalaya)

Who is a Meitei ? – Yumnam Devjit

  Who is a Meitei ? As a young boy I was always troubled by the question of, who am I? And like all of us from Manipur who studied outside,

Festival Of the Gods - Lai Harouba

Festival Of the Gods – Lai Harouba

 

Who is a Meitei ?

As a young boy I was always troubled by the question of, who am I? And like all of us from Manipur who studied outside, the problem was made worse by the constant taunts of ill mannered school/college mates; Chinky, Chinese, Nepali, Japanese, Chimpu. These were the common identity given to us. These comments made me angry and resolute to find out who I was? What was Manipur? Who are the Meiteis? School text books offered no help either, there wasn’t any mention of Manipur anywhere in history. I had to find it out on my own.

First of all let me put this straight, no matter what language we speak, what color our skin is or what religion we are. We are all Homo sapiens, one specie.

There is a theory called “out of Africa theory”. It proposes that man evolved from apes into humans (Homo sapiens) in Africa and moved from Africa to the rest of the world. These migrations were done as families or group of families. Whichever group wanted to move on, moved on and which ever wanted to stay at a place stayed and became the natives of the place. The natives of Andaman Islands the Jarawas were one of the groups who went out from Africa and they settled in the Andaman Islands. Their relative isolation has left them unchanged in features and culture from the tribes of Africa.

During this time of migration Manipur was submerged under a sea called the Tethys Sea. Due to this, Manipur never had any original out of Africa settlers. However later on as the Indian subcontinent began to push into Asia the land began to rise and the sea gradually disappeared and gave way to mountain chains, in what is now the north east India.

As habitable land began to emerge in these places, the region was claimed by 2 major groups. The Tibeto Chinese tribes coming from the north and the Thai tribes from the east. The southernmost settlements of the Tibeto Chinese tribes were the northern hills of Manipur and the western most settlements of the Thai tribes were the territories of the Khasis. Drawing a straight line through the middle of the overlapping regions of the tribes, those settling to the north of this line were Tibeto Chinese tribes and south of it were the Thai tribes.

In our quest to find the history of ourselves I and my sisters went to Kangla, when it was still under the control of the Assam rifles. No civilians were allowed in at the time. We went in with the help of an uncle who was in Manipur rifles. In there we saw the Kanglasha still in ruins, the seven ponds of the seven salai and also the place where the puya was burnt. After that we came across an old man with long beard dressed in white with his long hair tied in a knot. Sitting under a huge mango tree he was eating green mango with mint and green chili. He looked like a Maichou we read about in old meitei books, a spiritual man of vast knowledge. We went up to him and asked “pupu kangla gi matang da wari khara libi o” .My elder sister was our leader , she had lots of energy and enthusiasm in searching the history of Manipur.

Occasionally taking a bite of his mango he told us a story of how Kangla got its name and why it is the most sacred place in Manipur.

When our forefathers first came to this land, there was no Imphal valley, only a big lake. They all settled in the hills. But during this time in the whole of Imphal valley one place was dry. This dry land was kangla. The name kang meaning dry and la meaning land. Because of this reason it was regarded as the most sacred place. Whoever controlled kangla was considered to be the most powerful group in Manipur. Later on the water gradually receded and more dry land emerged and they started settling in these newly emerged dry land. The different pats, Keisam pat, Lamphel pat, Khongham pat, etc were the reminiscent of the earlier Tethys Sea.

With this new knowledge we went home satisfied and got a good scolding from our parents for wondering off on our own.

As for our forefathers more and more of them started settling in the Imphal valley and 7 different groups were formed, the seven salai namely: Mangang, Luwang, Khuman, Sarang-Leisangthem, Moirang, Kha-Nganba and Angom. Around 14000 BC, a powerful leader by the name of Pakhangba conquered all the seven salais. And name the new united groups as “Meitei”.

In simpler words Meitei was formed by the unification of Tibeto Chinese and Thai tribe of Manipur 16000 years ago. The Tibeto Chinese tribes are the tribes we now know as the Nagas and the Thai tribes are the tribes we now know as Kuki.

The very word Meitei is synonymous with unity. The identity of various tribes vanish as we try to find a single race behind it. Meitei is not a one race, diversity is the very fabric on which Meitei originates.

The story of Meitei does not end there. I have heard stories that Kabui were supposed to be the 8th salai of Meitei and that coming of Hinduism created problems in that happening.  I would argue that as of now meitei consist of 9 salai and not just 7. The two others being Bamon and Pangan. It is said that the clan Nongmeikapam were originally Muslims who were proficient in using firearms and later on got assimilated into one of the Meitei salai.

In my search I also found that Yumnam the sagei to which I belong although categorized as Mangang were not in the original Mangang salai. We were assimilated into Meitei fold later on. Earlier we were considered as Hao/non meitei. My looks support the story…. Ha ha. Meiteis originated from the fore fathers of Nagas and Kukis.

We are at a very critical juncture in the fate of Manipur. Are we going to destroy each other? Naga vs Meitei,Meitei vs Kuki, Kuki vs Naga. Or unite as one and take Manipur into the future as a symbol of what unity can achieve. Our forefathers did it 16000 years ago and resulted in Meitei. We don’t need another Pakhangba to unite us, we just need to let love guide us and crush all feelings of hatred plaguing us. Bigger problems lurk just around the corner which threatens the whole of humanity, climate change, end of oil, war, religious conflict and what not. Let’s face them together as one and secure a bright future for our next generation.

If a hand full of tribes from naga and kuki unite to form the rich and diverse culture we see in Meitei, imagine what will happen if the whole of Naga, Kuki and Meitei unite to form a ‘new race’ of people.

There would be nothing we can’t achieve.

This is the time to unite as ONE.

 

 

ILP rally sparks clashes at Moreh as police remain mute; indefinite curfew clamped

IMPHAL, August 18: Tension erupted in the border town of Moreh cohabited by different communities today as a a mob protested against an Inner Line Permit rally in the town.

Police personnel turn a blind eye as protestors throw stones at a rally in Moreh

Police personnel turn a blind eye as protestors throw stones at a rally in Moreh

IMPHAL, August 18: Tension erupted in the border town of Moreh cohabited by different communities today as a a mob protested against an Inner Line Permit rally in the town.

A mob went on a rampage for more than three hours damaging more than 45 houses and business establishments including hotels and more than 20 vehicles belonging to a certain community, informed a source.

The violence has since been brought under control with the arrival of SP Chandel, an official report said.

Meanwhile, the DC Chandel has imposed an indefinite curfew in Moreh.

Leaders of civil organisations of Moreh have agreed on holding a public meeting to solve the issue. According to a latest report received, things are under control now as both the sides have come to an understanding, according to a NNN report.

More than six persons were also injured in the mob violence, informed local sources.

Several houses including the offices of the Meetei Council Moreh and the All Community Development Organisation Moreh were also set ablaze by the mob even as the police remained as mute spectators, the sources informed.

Sources informed that around 9am today, the All Manipur Students`™ Union, Chandel district, Kha Nongpok Apunba Nupi Lup, Moreh and Nupi Khunai Chaokhat Lamjing Lup, Moreh organised a rally supporting the demand for ILPS in the State.

According to sources, a mob came out and disrupted the rally.

This resulted in stone pelting between the ILP supporters and the other group.

However, the mob ran berserk and started singling out houses and business establishments belonging to a certain community in the heart of the Moreh bazaar. Properties worth more than one crore rupees were damaged in the violence, informed a source.

Meanwhile, locals have also claimed that no security forces including both the State police and the Central forces came to control the mob in time.

A joint statement of the Meetei Council Moreh and the the All Community Development Organisation Moreh has strongly condemned the violence during which their offices were set ablaze.

The statement said the two organisations strongly condemned the action wherein the offices of the two which has been working to bring peace and development in the town were set ablaze.

It continued, the two organisations also strongly condemned that the mob had singled out houses and business establishment of a single community.

The mob after robbing the houses of their belongings including valuable ornaments carried them away in Tata DIs, hand carts and other vehicles, it claimed. The houses were then set ablaze or damaged, the statement continued.

The two organisations have also condemned that the mob which included properly armed individuals also attacked the women participating in the rally. They even fired towards the womenfolk, it said.

It is also unfortunate and condemnable that no security forces arrived to control the mob which went on a rampage for more than three hours, it said.

No Malice No Bias Only Truth: Rejoinder to Dinesh Sharma’s “Introspection: A blog on ILP”

By: Leishangthem Dijen Apropos Dinesh Sharma’s “Introspection : A blog on ILP” published in August, 2015 in your esteem daily/news portal, Mr. Sharma’s account is really touching, no doubt. But

By: Leishangthem Dijen

Apropos Dinesh Sharma’s “Introspection : A blog on ILP” published in August, 2015 in your esteem daily/news portal, Mr. Sharma’s account is really touching, no doubt. But the matter of unchecked influx of Nepali and Bangladeshi migrants into Manipur is a fact.

We know the Nepali/Gurkha people arrived in Manipur in the 19th century as mercenaries employed by the British Colonial power. They were stationed in Imphal as guards, for the British political agent both before and after 1891, Anglo-Manipuri war. When war broke out between the Manipuris and the British; the colonial power largely used the Nepali/Gurkha mercenaries to attack Manipur from both Burma and India front. Indeed the loyalty of the Nepali/Gurkha mercenaries to the British are known the world over. Till today Britain has maintained its Gurkha Rifles.

During the British period the mainstay of the British forces in Manipur were the Nepali/Gurkha mercenaries when the British left Manipur on August 14, 1947 not all Nepali/Gurkha mercenaries left Manipur along with the British. That was how Nepali settlement officially originated in Manipur that MK. Binodini d/o Maharaja Churachand Singh reportedly did not know as Mr. Sharma have mentioned in his write-up.

It needs to be known that when Gambhir Singh and the British made the deal to drive the Burmese out from Manipur, the limited service of the Gurkha/Nepali mercenaries were part of the deal. The British helped Manipur for their own interests and the Nepalis/Gukhas cannot claim credit for it because they were only serving the British.

Another claim that Mr. Sharma made was the nationality of “Major Subedar Niranjan Singh Chhetry”. We know that the Nepalese/Gorkha in Manipur make a strong claim that “Niranjan Subedar” was a Nepali/Gorkha”. They even observe his death anniversary. But the fact is “Niranjan Subedar” as he was lovingly known by this name, was a Hindustani.

Hindustanis both —- Brahmin and non-Brahmin, who came to Manipur from time to time became part of the Manipuri society and they become one of us, though they identify themselves as Sharma, Kshetri or Chhetry (as spelt by the Nepalese/Gurkha), Roy, etc.; Even Chinese and Kabow (Ava) were amalgamated into our society in the early period as recorded in our Puya (ancient chronicles) Indeed ours is a crucible pot like the Americans are. And there is no problem about it.

We welcome guests. We receive and entertain our guests. But we have a tiny population of around 21 lakhs consisting of native/indigenous Kuki, Meetei, Naga and Pangal (Meetei Muslim) against a total population of 1.25 billion Indians.

The estimated migrant population in Manipur is around 7 lakhs which constitutes    a-fourth of the population. If this trend is not stopped the indigenous/native population of Manipur would be reduced to a minority in another 2 or 3 decades like in the case of Sikkim and Tripura. But one thing, those who came before 1951 have no problem; they become Manipuris.

Would any society or state in India or any country in the world ever accept it? This is the grim reality in Manipur today and people are fighting for their survival. Hope every right thinking human being would agree with us.

—–x—–

Read Dinesh Sharma’s article on ILP – “Introspection: A blog on ILP”

 

neScholar and Nanao’s Promotional Meetei Calendar 2015-16

NE Brothers have designed our Meetei Calendar 2015-2016 as their promotional material for Nanao brand and neScholar Magazine and to make it easily available for our youngster/student in the hope to

NE Brothers have designed our Meetei Calendar 2015-2016 as their promotional material for Nanao brand and neScholar Magazine and to make it easily available for our youngster/student in the hope to teach them the original name of all the months and Thaban (Meetei’s Calendar Date).

Calendar is designed in Meetei script.

NE Brothers  have 500 printed copies and many of those are already distributed to friends and families at free of cost,  interested individuals can contact NE Brothers  at nebrothers@gmail.com for a free copy (till the stock last).

Soft copy can be downloaded from the below Google drive links:

Size – 6900 x 10800 pixels, File format – TIF, Size 113 MB, Download from – This Link.

Size – 6900 x 10800 pixels, File format – JPEG, Size 13 MB, Download from – This Link.

Size – 1336 x 2091 pixels, File format – JPEG, Size 1 MB, Download from – This Link.

Below is the sample of the calendar.

calendar-small

Inner Line Permit

By C. Doungel When a smaller entity gets merged to a bigger entity, it will face danger of losing its identity though it will have the advantage of belonging to

By C. Doungel

When a smaller entity gets merged to a bigger entity, it will face danger of losing its identity though it will have the advantage of belonging to a bigger one. Manipur’s position is similar. The advantage it gets after merger, of protection or employment in small measure etc is offset by the threat to its identity which always looms large. The main reason behind demanding for Inner Line Permit is guided by this genuine fear. Manipur being a princely state which was theoretically independent, regulated the entry of outsiders in a simple way through issue of pass instead of issuing passports/visa, as maintenance of foreign office would be too cumbersome. Side by side, Inner Line Permit was in vogue in tribal areas like Chin Hills, Lushai Hills, Naga Hills etc under Bengal Frontier regulation of 1873. Both were thus loosely understood as Inner Line Permit despite the subtle differences. The so called Inner Line Permit or regulation of entry of outsiders having become irrelevant after merger of Manipur to India, was abolished.

Be that as it may, influx of Indians from other states and illegal immigrants from Nepal and Bangladesh has, over the years swamped the local population of the state. As for Nepalese, their immigration dates back to British rule when recruitment of large number of them was made in the Army. Even now, they form a sizable chunk of the Indian Army. When Assam Riffles was first raised, large number of Nepalese also were initially inducted. Nepalese became more aware about settling in Manipur after king Churachandra married the princess of Nepal. Further, the signing of Indo-Nepal friendship treaty giving dual citizenship which made provision for Nepalese to settle in India encouraged their settlement. Of late, Nepalies have suffered undue harassment from Naga, Meitei and Kuki insurgents that many had left Manipur to settle in Nepal and Darjeeling district. Many with some means are in the process of winding up and migrating that the question of more new comers does not arise now. Their population has drastically dwindled. Mention is also made of Chin-Kuki people migrating from Burma (Mynmaar). It may be mentioned that in the sixties and seventies when Kukis, unable to bear harassment by Naga insurgents joined Mizo National Front movement. But that in turn invited operation by Army with a strong hand that many left Manipur and took shelter in Burma. This was possible because nearly two lakh Kukis live in Sagaing Division from Kabaw Valley right up to Thungdut area, outside Chin Hills state. In fact, till 1980 there used to be a provision in Manipur State budget for resettlement of Kuki refugees returning to Manipur which was provided by central government.

It will thus be seen that illegal foreign immigrants comprises mostly of Muslims from Bangladesh and Burma. The later would not be so numerous. Those coming from Bangladesh would form the bulk. Much as we would want to introduce Inner Line Permit yet it appears that the same needs central government approval. That was the reply the previous Home Minister of India gave to the state government. While the pressure for Inner Line Permit may continue to convince the Central government, the state government should not rest with that. Instead of allowing mobs to take the law into their own hand, the state government can surely intensify checks at all entry points and vulnerable places. It can open cells or appoint task forces in the Home Department or in the districts for detection of foreigners, who may even do mapping in suspected areas to make detection more effective. Foreigners detected can be tried under Foreigners act and deported. The government must however have political will regardless of consideration of vote bank. What the people are angry is about the bankruptcy of ideas and political will, leading to apathy.

As for migrants from other states, census of such people can be conducted. No doubt, a cut-off year has to be decided. For, those who have lived for generations have to be treated as domiciles. Indiscriminate action against all migrants would amount to willful harassment. As of today most of them are deprived of their fundamental rights and for obvious reasons, they are simply putting up with things silently. They have no aspiration to join the civil services or the police forces but carry on with their trade. However, for those coming after cut-off year, obtaining some kind of permission for trading/business permit or engagement in skilled works like construction works etc may be prescribed. Hawkers or those engaged in menial works may be registered. Outsiders may not be allowed to purchase land in the state. Laws to this effect can be enacted. These are not exhaustive-further restrictions may be imposed as need arise. One word of caution, “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” because we also have many of our people living outside – some in employment and some in diferent occupations.

New Land use policy

The approach paper to New Land use Policy has no doubt prepared a model for development. It targets individuals, families and communities on the assumption that ownership of land is regulated by uniform land law. There will be no difficulty to implement this in the valley districts provided proper awareness is brought about. This however will not be possible at this stage in hill areas as there is no land law. Land ownership among the Kukis lies with the Chiefs while in the case of Nagas, it is vested on the elected Khullakpa. In the case of Nagas also, only those from the founding families are eligible to be Khuilakpa, which in the other words means the family who founded the village. Each family can cultivate a jhum field or orchard as allotted to them by village authority chaired by the Chief/Khullakpa. Stray cases of individual ownership as granted or allowed to be acquired by the Chief/Khullakpa exist though. Again, out of over 17000 square kilometers of Forest area in Manipur, reserved forests cover only 4000 square kilometers. The rest known as un-classed forests are village forests. Nearly 1000 square kilometers are utilized for jhuming every year. While villagers are free to extract fire wood for domestic use and timber for house building, any commercial extraction is controlled by the Chief/Khullakpa and forest department collect royalty from them. Supreme Court has however restricted commercial extraction by allowing in a planned and phase-wise manner.

In Mizoram, Chiefship was abolished in the fifties by paying due compensation to the Chiefs. That was easier because it was covered under Sixth Schedule. Mizoram or Nagaland are wholly tribal States where as in the case of Manipur, tribals live in the hill areas. Therefore, putting in a suitable land law will be more difficult under the prevailing trust deficit. Further while the task of implementing NLUP at state and district levels is more about co-ordinating and ensuring effective functioning of line departments, actual implementation at micro-village or local level will not succeed by giving the chiefs or Khullakpas mere advisory role. They are to be the pivot around which the entire implementation will rest. As owners of land, they will not like any other to usurp their authority. To cite an example, the Forest Department had notified Kailam Wild Life Sanctuary without prior consultation and payment of compensation, even if they are token ones. There is so much heart burning that they have filed case in the High Court. The New Land Use Policy amount to putting the cart before the horse. It was perhaps considered to create good impression on the Planning Commission but that has been given a burial. Implementation of New Land Use Policy can take off only when the above issues are sorted out.

Melodious Mangka

  By Khogen Khoibam ‘Pena is like my friend. Pena accompanies me when I am lonely’ IFP: Who is Mangka and what is she? Mangka: It all started with the background of

IFP_July 19

 

By Khogen Khoibam

‘Pena is like my friend. Pena accompanies me when I am lonely’

IFP: Who is Mangka and what is she?

Mangka: It all started with the background of art in our family and the organisation of my father. Dancers and musicians used to come frequently and practice at our home mingling with my father and I was somehow drawn into it. Sometimes, I used to sneak out and practice dance.

I was in 5th standard, knowing my strong inclination in dance and music, my father once asked me whether I was really interested in music, and I replied ‘yes’ and then he took me to Grandma Thoinu and my music training was started. And to come over to Pena, it had been always there in our family and I was fascinated by it since my childhood though I could not play it properly that time as I found it quite heavy too (…laugh) but my father being a Pena player, I got inspired from him and I gradually started to play it from my 6th standard under the training of Grandpa Khangembam Mangi. And that is how I am here now.

IFP: Who is your role model or inspiration?

Mangka: My father, of course!

IFP: How do you manage your time to practice Pena with your academic?

Mangka: Of course Pena has to be practiced consistently but I also need to go to college regularly and I just need one hour in the morning and in the evening to practice Pena, followed by coaching a few students, and that is enough for me.

IFP: What is Pena to you?

Mangka: Pena is like my friend. Pena accompanies me when I am lonely and I just play it and sing and become happy.

IFP: Being an artist, do you find yourself different from others?

Mangka: I am different because what I am doing is different and I am proud of it but I do not have the pride and never thought that ‘I am the best’.

IFP: What else do you love in the form of art apart from playing Pena?

Mangka: I love theatre and for sure dance and music and there are many I would love to do and know, for example I want to learn Piano.

IFP: Tell me about your experience in participating Asia Pacific Broadcasting Radio Song Festival 2014?

Mangka: Well, I would say it was great experience and a hectic journey too. A girl and I were selected from Manipur by All India Radio (AIR), Imphal and we were sent to Delhi. There, all the participants from several states of India were made to play their tracks and after listening to them by the panel of judges, a male artist from Bangalore and I were selected and sent to Colombo. There again, the members of ABU considered our tracks and I was finally selected for ABU Radio Song Festival.

Before heading for Colombo, AIR organised a special concert for me in Chennai and during my stay there, I had to cope up with change in food and weather and eventually I became too hectic by the time I reached Colombo. Deprived of energy, I had to go directly to Stein Studios for rehearsal but somehow I revived my energy when I took over the stage and rehearsal was performed perfectly.

Next day was the main event of two hours, in which other seven countries, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, South Korea and Pakistan and three artists from Sri Lanka, were to perform.

(Her mother, Rebika Mayanglambam added in between): Mangka was selected out of around 50 songs by different artists throughout India and after she was selected, we had some issues financially and government of India did not look upon it but Bijaya Yumlembam, Programme Officer, AIR and the editor of Hueyen Lanpao, helped her with Rs. 60,000 and she was able to make it to Colombo.

IFP: Heard about the appreciations for you in the event, how did it all go?

Mangka: About the performance, people were amazed when I represented India as my look is oriental and it was quite contrasting with the people’s expectation. Most of the people were not ready to accept when I said “I am an Indian” and the irony is that, no one knew where is Manipur (…laugh) and I had to re-locate Manipur in the world map. But I was all the time loved and liked by the people and particularly from Asian countries like Japan, Vietnam appreciated me immensely. We shared a good rapport between us.

IFP: What is the actual genre of music you perform? People say it is as folk music, do you agree?

Mangka: There has always been a misconception by the people and I have been waiting for long to clarify that what I perform or sing is not a folk song or music but it is based on the folk music, with some upgradation like mixing with guitar. The songs are composed by my father and lyrics are also written by him. Real folk music or song is totally different from what I am doing.

(Her mother added): Mangka mostly focuses on the song which is powered by Pena but now it is becoming more of a Pena and many young boys and girls are inspired by her and have joined the Pena workshop on every Thursday and Sunday at Lai Hui, an organisation run by Mangka’s father, Mayanglambam Mangangsana.

IFP: While you are on the stage, your performance is outstanding. Do you make it that way or it just comes with the mood?

Mangka: Well, the movement and the way of performance are just spontaneous and the gestures might have come out from my dancing skills. Even if I plan for something to do on the stage, music always dominates it and everything goes with the mood and flow of the music. But to add up, sometimes it depends on the lyrics too, as how to demonstrate the meaning of the song with the movements and gestures of the hands and body.

IFP: Has there been any incident in your life that strongly inspired you to do this?

Mangka: I am into this field of music by my own choice and I am not doing this by someone’s influence. My inspiration is my father and I love all the performances by Lai Hui…truly and madly I love it (…laugh).

IFP: Tell me some of the criticisms you heard about you?

Mangka: There are lots, many people criticise that what I am doing is something a granny should do but I do not care and I am not ashamed of it. People even said that I will not be able to concentrate in studies and my academic will be in disaster but I have proved that wrong when I passed out my matriculation in first division and later on again in intermediate, now I am pursuing my graduation. Still there are lots of people who back-bites about me but fortunately I find more people who encourage me and I am happy about it.

(Her mother added): There is need from the family side to support effectively so as to balance the academic and artistic career and we never force her to top in studies and my daughter is quite tactful to manage everything.

IFP: Is there any upcoming projects in the pipeline?

Mangka: Well, there is going to be a music album in the month of August which is produced by Our Village, which is runned by Oinam Doren. The music album will be made by funds from the crowd from wherever possible and there will be nine songs of pure folk music.

(Her mother added): Oinam Doren has been following and capturing performances of Mangka since her childhood and she had also sung for his film ‘My Hands’.

IFP: Lastly, what is your view on people’s attitude towards an artist?

Mangka: Yes, most of the people commonly think of an artist as some kind of outrageous being and this is because usually artists of our olden years were somehow academically weak though they were artistically very high, may be they must have had a hard time to cope up and balance with the society but now time has changed with more opportunities opening up. And this does not mean that everything is framed for you and to be an artist is to work hard with maximum support from the family side too, which is much needed.

Finally, to share about the people’s attitude for an artist, I would say still there is a biased nature and more preferences are given more to the people who work as government servants. As for example, most of the parents prefer their children to become a doctor or an engineer, and I am not criticizing them, it is alright if they really want that. As for me, I want to become a professor or a scholar (…laughs loud) but I am an artist too.

 

Kuki student from NEFIS elected unopposed to the post of General Secretary of MSAD

Manipuri Students Association Delhi (MSAD) elects its new President, General Secretary and Executive Committee Members Kuki student from NEFIS elected unopposed to the post of General Secretary of MSAD   Two students from the North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) … Continue reading

Manipuri Students Association Delhi (MSAD) elects its new President, General Secretary and Executive Committee Members

Kuki student from NEFIS elected unopposed to the post of General Secretary of MSAD

 

Two students from the North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) who have been actively raising issues of North-East youth in Delhi, were elected unopposed to the post of President and General Secretary of Manipuri Students Association Delhi (MSAD) for the year 2013–2014. Chinglen Khumukcham and Thanglunmang Khongsai from NEFIS were elected as MSAD President and General Secretary, respectively.

 

The election of these two members into the Executive Committee of MSAD is an extremely positive development and is part of the larger process through which NEFIS has been encouraging Manipuri students to raise their issues in connection with the issues and problems faced by other north-east students. It is with this spirit of bringing different north-east communities together on a common set of concerns that NEFIS spearheaded the two-month long agitation against the imposition of a compulsory Hindi language course under Delhi University’s FYUP course. Arguing that such a language imposition was a discrimination against north-east students who have little or no school education in the Hindi language, NEFIS sparked off a militant struggle for withdrawal of the compulsory Hindi language course as it would play havoc with the academic performance of north-east students. By precipitating the struggle, both at the level of Delhi University and at level of the HRD Ministry (Government of India), NEFIS succeeded in getting the adamant University to accept the genuineness of the north-east students’ concerns and to withdraw the paper. Apart from the issue of the compulsory Hindi language paper, NEFIS has also helped mobilize north-east students across the board on glaring problems like police inaction on complaints by north-east youth, police atrocities and also on highly sensitive issues like sexual harassment of north-east women in Delhi.

 

The concerted efforts of Chinglen Khumukcham and Thanglunmang Khongsai as members of NEFIS have been helping to gradually spread larger sense of solidarity amongst students of different communities/nationalities of North-East . An indication of such solidarity and growing radicalization of youth politics is reflected in the simple fact that for the first time a Kuki student has been elected to the post of MSAD General Secretary. It is hoped that the emerging solidarity amongst different communities of the north-east will prove longstanding, and will be nurtured in letter and spirit by the newly elected Executive Committee of MSAD. The newly elected President and General Secretary hope that MSAD politics is not only radicalized further, but that students of Manipur in large numbers become more active in the progressive and democratic movement existing in Delhi.

 

NEFIS pledges to extend full support and to work with the newly elected Executive Committee of MSAD in order to usher in an egalitarian, democratic and progressive functioning of society.

 

Yours Sincerely

Ginminlun Haokip

North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS)

Contact: 7838983871 Email: nefis.delhi@gmail.com