By: LK Kuki
The press released by the so called FOH (Federation of Haomee) vide its Ref:No.F2/8/19OH dated 26.8.2019 in which it spelled out the statement of lies with venomously communal tone against the Kuki peoples of Manipur needs to be rebutted in the best interest of the general public of Manipur. This press statement signed by one Lishemba Mangang, Secy, Publicity, Federation of Haomee was against the Kukis with advice directed to the two Kuki armed organisations; KNO (Kuki National Organisation) and UPF(United Peoples’ Front) to drop their demand for a territorial council. In its earlier press statement issued on 25.08.2019, Mr Ramthing Tangkul on behalf of FOH had stated that Kukis are refugees in Manipur.
The press statements being laced with lies, hate, communal and misinformation with the sole aim of misleading the uninformed general public of Manipur, I as a peace loving citizen of Manipur cannot remain a silent reader but to rebut and clarify the said statement. To begin with let us first look at the name of the organisation “Federation of Haomee”. As the name goes, it must have been christened to project the indigenousness of its members and to point fingers at others randomly as foreigners. However, it is pitiful to learn that its self-styled spokesman, Ramthing Hungyo, who had made vociferous statement before the TV camera against the Kukis as from Myanmar is himself from Somra of Myanmar. Since the identity of its spokesman being known, the general public of Manipur should be aware of falsehood disseminated by FOH.
In the second press statement of FOH, the self styled Secretary Publication of FOH, Dr. Leishemba Mangang has made boastful statement that FOH is of the indigenous people, by the indigenous people and for the indigenous people. Then, how come a man from Somra is made its spokesman? Has FOH or Dr. Leishemba Mangang got confounded in his research for the meaning of indigenous people of Manipur with that of Somra, Myanmar? The University which has awarded him the doctorate degree must feel downgraded and sorry for his failure to even comprehend basic/ordinary social science.
The self-styled secretary also bragged about the 2000 years old history of Manipur while terming the Kukis as foreigners which only reveals his ignorance about the true and correct history of Manipur. The general public of Manipur should not be carried away by such kind of hoax or communal propaganda which only does disservice to the unity and integrity of Manipur.
It is pertinent to note that the word ‘’Kuki’’ finds a respected position in the Chronicles of Meitei Kings. In the Cheitharol Kumbaba, we find that a Kuki by the name Taothingmang became the King of Manipur in 186 Skabda (264 AD). Again in 33 CE, two Kukis by the name Kuki Ahongba and Kuki Achouba were allies to the Nongba Lairen Pakhangba. King Irengba who reigned Manipur between 1107-1127 AD had contacts with Kuki Villages North of Imphal Valley. (Asim Roy, 1997). L Joychandra (Lost Kingdoms 1995:1), noted that Manipuri King Naofanga who reigned between 624 AD and 714 AD had Friendship Treaties with Kuki Chiefs East of Imphal.
The above mentioned Indigenous Historical Evidences clearly proves that Kukis were present in Manipur long before the colonial British had come to our land. The accounts of colonial writers which often contain partial information cannot be relied upon as the only source of our research work on the indigenous people of Manipur. Therefore, disregarding the indigenous historical account of ‘Cheitharol Kumbaba’, the Royal Chronicle of Manipur and placing sole reliance upon the accounts of outsiders to declare who the indigenous people of Manipur is nothing but an anti-indigenous exercise aimed at creating disruption to communal harmony in the state.
Further, the statement of FOH is full of self-contradictions or double standards that it has rendered itself a public mockery. Some of the contradicting statements are enumerated as under:
(i) While claiming that it tries to bring love, mutual understanding, mutual respect, mutual trust, unity and solidarity on the one hand, all FOH does is the other way round i.e. it tries its best to create hatred, misunderstanding, mistrust, disunity, etc.
(ii) While opposing by stating that the people of Manipur will never agree to the formation of a separate Kuki Territorial Council even with the condition of maintaining the integrity of Manipur, FOH completely remains silent on the NSCN-IM’s demand to break away from Manipur and form Nagalim.
(iii) While cautioning the Kukis not to fall trapped by what it states as the hidden agenda of the government of India to create ethnic divide among the communities, it has already created ethnic division at the worst against what it advises by irrationally pointing fingers at the Kukis.
(iv) While stating that the Kukis have no right to demand for their own Territorial Council, FOH did not realise that it has never ever been authorised by the Kuki peoples to speak on their behalf and as such it has no right to talk about the rights of the Kukis.
Finally, it is a prudent advice to FOH that if it still thinks the Kukis as foreigners and should not live in Manipur, the only way it can help is to help expedite the creation of Kuki land or Zalengam which is the solution available. FOH is also advised to appoint indigenous persons with knowledge of history of Manipur as its executive members instead of appointing someone from Somra, Myanmar as its spokesman or fake degree holders as its secretary, publicity.