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Thangal Union clarifies “Koirao tribe” as a Naga tribe

IT News
Senapati, July 14,

Thangal Union (TU) had clarified that they have no link with the Kuki tribe as stated by some scholars.
 In a press statement issued by Dikapa K., General Secretary, Thangal Union (TUit is stated  that they have been made aware of several fabricated stories and false claims doing the round in some self-titled scholarly publications and articles linking the “Koirao Tribe,” also known as the Thangal Tribe with the Kuki Tribe of Manipur. There were also reports of a memorial stone being erected somewhere by certain group with “Koirao” name inscribed on it, listing it as one of the Kuki sub-tribe of Manipur. In this connection, the Thangal Union (TU) made this clarification very clear once and for all that the link-up theory, emanating from certain quarters is totally unfounded, mischievous and untrue further warning any attempt to do so would be totally unacceptable to the people of the Thangal Tribe living in Manipur.
“History has established that the Thangal Tribe is one of the original indigenous Naga group living from time immemorial in the northern part of Manipur. The tribe was recorded by the Britishers through various names such Thangal, Meeyangkhang (W. MC. Culloch, 1859), Kolya (Dr. Brown, 1873) and Khoirao (Grierson, 1903), it stated. After India got its independence, the tribe was again recognised and listed in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Orders (Amendment) Act, 1956 as “Koirao.” The term “Thangal” was added as a synonym in the year, 2012 with the constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2011 (SL. No. 2 of 2012 Order), issued by the Gazette of India under Ministry of law and Justice (Legislative Deptt.) (An Act further to amend the constitution (Scheduled Tribe) order, 1950 to modify the list of Scheduled Tribe in the states of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh) even though the term “Koirao Tribe” still retained. The term “Koirao Tribe” is never applied to any other tribe or group except to the people of the Thangal Naga tribe, it mentioned. It is neither used by any people nor known to any group of people except the people of Thangal living in Manipur”, the statement said.
It further said that the Thangal tribe is one of the Naga groups of Manipur who migrated from Makhel (Ancestral home of the Nagas) and moved further south, settling in the present hill territories of Manipur, the statement added. Makhel, a village located near Tadubi under Senapati district is considered as the ancestral home of the Koirao tribe (Erstwhile name of the Thangal tribe). The Thangals have their own traditions, cultures, customs and costumes which in no way is akin to any of the Kuki sub-tribal groups. It has a wide variety of folk traditions, folk tales and folk songs transmitted from generation to generation that depicts the history and origin of its people and also reflects the socio-cultural ethos of the Thangal Nagas. The Thangals speak a language which is entirely distinct and different from Kuki languages. Dr. Grierson (1993) and TC Hodson (1911) recorded the language and called it “Khoirao Naga” language.
The Thangal Union strongly condemns the fabricated story of the Koirao tribe to be one of the Kuki sub-tribe, which is being circulated around to mislead the ignorant people. The body therefore appeals those individuals and vested groups concerned to come to reality and not infringe upon others’ identity and culture while building their own cause and at the same time not try to distort the historical facts.

William Gurumayum

William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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