Home » Cutting the strings which pull the Kuki militants is a must before considering any way forward

Cutting the strings which pull the Kuki militants is a must before considering any way forward

by Editorial Team
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Cutting the strings which pull the Kuki militants is a must before considering any way forward

The Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU) and the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) represent two significant Kuki factions with divergent goals march yesterday in many hill districts of Manipur: COTU from Kangpokpi, the northern Manipur, demands a separate administration, while ITLF, from Churachandpur, seeks a Union Territory with a legislature. This split within the Kuki community highlights a deeper fragmentation, reflecting distinct regional dynamics between northern and southern Kuki-dominant areas.
The initial aspiration of the Kuki intelligentsia was to rally all tribal communities in Manipur against the Meitei group. However, this vision of unity has faltered, as the Nagas have refrained from joining the Kuki cause. Historically, relations between Nagas and Kukis have been fraught with intermittent conflicts, and the current political landscape has only exacerbated these tensions. The failure to forge a unified front against the Meitei has left the Kuki militants isolated, and intra-tribal tensions are now bubbling to the surface.
The discord among the Kuki factions is reflective of their geographical and cultural divides. In the north, COTU’s push for a separate administration suggests a desire for greater autonomy and self-governance. This demand likely stems from a belief that their unique regional issues and aspirations cannot be adequately addressed within the existing state framework. On the other hand, the ITLF’s demand for a Union Territory with a legislature indicates a pursuit of more substantial political clout and representation within the Indian Union. This distinction is crucial as it highlights the different priorities and strategies within the Kuki community.
Compounding the Kuki’s internal divisions is the escalating tension with the Nagas. Historically, Nagas and Kukis have had a contentious relationship, with territorial disputes and competing political aspirations often bringing them into conflict. The recent rise in ethnic tensions can be attributed to several factors, including competition over land and resources, and differing political agendas. The Naga community, with its own aspirations for autonomy and self-determination, has little incentive to align with the Kuki-led movements, further fragmenting the tribal solidarity that the Kuki intelligentsia initially envisioned.
The three-way tension between the Meitei, Nagas, and Kukis is not merely a spontaneous development. It appears to be a deliberate strategy, potentially orchestrated by external forces, aimed at dividing Manipur’s administration into fragmented pieces. By pitting these communities against each other, those in power may be seeking to maintain control and prevent any single group from gaining enough strength to challenge the status quo. This divide-and-rule tactic ensures that the state remains in a perpetual state of conflict, undermining any attempts at cohesive governance or collective action.
Understanding who is pulling the strings of the Kuki militants and for what purpose is crucial. The path forward lies in cutting these strings. Without it, no dialogue, no solution, no resolution, nothing will work.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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