Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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By- Stephen Kuki
Under Secy, Inf & Pub, Kuki National Organisation MMANMASI 

A year past the actual date of the Centennial Commemoration of the war the Kukis fouhgt against the colonnialist British from 1917-1919, on 17 October 2020, the Hon’ble Chief Minister, N Brien Singh innauguarated the event via Video Conferencing, a medium widely resorted to for official events on account of the Covid -19 pandemic. Following the programme, a Memorial Park in the state’s capital and a restricted state holiday dedicated to the event were announced, which by all account enriches the culture and history of the state.
On 18 October 2020, ISTV aired interviews held with Leisemba Sanajaoba, ningthou of Manipur, L Sotinkumar Secy CPI Manipur State Council, O Jugindro President MPP, Gaikhangam President MPCC, Jitandro NIngjomba, President CCSK, a gentleman whose name was not posted, and nonagenarian Rev Dr T Lunkim. On negating The Anglo-Kuki War, 1917-1919, purportedly in favour of the state’s integration there was palpable consensus of view amongst all interviewees, with the exception of the last interviewee, the Reverand, whose magnanimitywas self-evident, reminiscent of ‘ching na koina pansaba….’ Clearly, the Reverand’s charitable attitude was prompted not only by virtue of being a man of God, but as a sensible and sensitive member of present-day state of Manipur. The gentleman whose name was not posted expressed his view of Manipur’s history, which contradict Kuki indigeneity recorded by the Pooyas, the contemporaneous historical accounts written in the traditional Meitei Mayek (script), dating back to AD 33, when Kuki Achouba and Kuki Ahongba were allies to Nongda Lairen Pakhangba, the first historically recorded king of the Meiteis, in the latter’s mobilisation for the throne. Some valley-based CSO, however, refute this historical account.
History, it is said cannot be changed even by God – no irreverence intended, whatsoever. The Khomjom Lan of 1891: does Lan in Meiteilon mean War? By admission of own, the ningthou and others refer to ‘Khongjai Lan’, as Kukis in the vernacular refer to the same as British Gal (War). Is Lan or War to be ascribed to and only by the majority population of the state and denied to a relatively minority group? Is it proper to project present-day political norms in the state to arbitrate on appelative issues concerning a past event for which contemporaneous record of a file (600-plus pages) under the ‘Kuki rising, 1917-1919’ is located in the archives of the Oriental and India Collection of the British Libray in London? One would have to literally convince the British Library to expunge the file from the archives to say Kukis did not exist and the War never happened.
With intentions tansparent for public consumption, KNO opted on The Kuki Rising, 1917-1919 because it provides documentary evidence to the event, not because The Anglo-Kuki War is in anyway incorrect. The option was also determined by a spirit of accommodation of sentiments aired by members of certain CSOs, mainly valley-based. At the same time, because of such subversive intent of denial, it is all the more necessary to firmly establish the historical fact with documentary evidence available at the British Library. The Kuki Rising or Anglo-Kuki refer to the same indisputable event and are not contradictory, not just academically, but also politically. Any credible scholarly research worth its salt must need refer to the archival file, ‘The Kuki rising’. Choice of one over the other for the Centennial Commemmoration is purely tactical in preference for consideration of one another’s sentiment; it does not compromise one iota the fact of the historical event. In the present instance, truly, Kukis have yet again demonstrated a spirit of magnanmity and remain unstintingly stalwarts refered to in ‘ching na koina pan saba….’
Lt Col Shakespear used the colonialist term ‘Kuki rebellion’ against their adversary, the Kukis. In independent India, after one hundred years, it is preposterous that our Meitei brothers, who also fought the British in The Khomjom War should prefer ‘rebellion’ to a people who fought to preserve their land against the colonialists! Jogindro mentioned Chassad and that one British officer killed does not warrant the title, War, while endorsing ‘rebellion’. Clearly, either he is ill-informed of the rest of the 1917-1919 details with colums of British sepoys deployed to the Kukis, or is simply biased. The gentleman is referrering to Coote’s and Patrick’s column, whose combined forces attacked Chassad(Kamjong), the village of Chief Lhukhomang Haokip alias Pache. In the encounter that followed, ‘a British offficer Lieut Molesworth was killed’.
According to witnesses account of the time passed down through the oral tradition, the Kukis attacked the advancing British column from their stockade with pumpi (cannon made of rolled bison skin) and muskets.
Re the enormity of the war, please see an extract from the Proceedings of the Chief Commissioner of Assam in the Political Department: The ‘Kuki rising, 1917-1919’, which is the most formidable with which Assam has been faced for at least a generation … the rebel villages held nearly 40,000 men, women and children interspersed … over some 6,000 square miles of rugged hills surrounding the Manipur valley and extending to the Somra Tract and the Thaungdut State (Upper Chindwin & Kale Kabow Valley) in Burma.
As a matter of historical fact, during the Khomjom War in 1891, Pu Tonglhu Haokip son of Pu Nehlam Haokip, chief of Chassad, harboured the Meitei Maharja and his retinue comprising the ‘Jubaraja[Bir Tikendrajit], the Senapati, Shamu Hanjaba, Jila  Ngamba, Chingakahangba Nongthonba, Maisana Luwang Ningthou, Chongtha Ayapurel Major with 200 men escaped to Chassad via Porampat….’, who were pursued by the British. The act of kindness was propmpted by Tikendrajit’s favour earlier to Tonglhu (wealthy cotton trader), when he was captured in 1888 with a gong, Rs 800, Mithun, and elephant tusk, but later exonorated and presented a silk coat (Khamenchep in Kuki) worn only by royalty. Such incidents of mutuality that inspired cordial relations in the past would prompt reciprocity and stability in the present.
There was a time when noble-minded folks cherished history and celebrated significant events. For example, the Tikendrajit and Tonglhu relationship was immortalised by artistes and performance broadcast over All India Radio. The recorded clip, however, is no longer traceable. Could this be yet another attempt by some to subvert history?
In the interest of the much hyped territorial integration, the people of the state of Manipur - as the Government has - must credit the historical event of Kukis in the 1917-1919 War to enrich the state, not suppress it either out of bias or ignorance. On account of the sentiment of the Tangkhul people and the valley-based CSOs, Government’s concern to maintan peace has been supported with altruism of theKukis. This is the give and take attitude that bodes well to promote emotionally integrity essential for integration. The question is when would others give to assuage Kuki sentiment.
A beautiful passage that lends itself well for Manipur’s integration is in the New Testament, Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is fair, whatever is pure, whatever is acceptable, whatever is commendable, if there is anything of excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—keep thinking about these things.

IT News
Imphal, Oct 23:

The adage ‘it is easier waking up a sleeping person but difficult who are not actually sleeping’ is what the COVID warriors in Khaki uniform are facing today. These people in Khaki are train to arrest criminals besides being train to control and safeguards the law of the land. But when people violates guidelines and standard operative procedures imposed by the district administration to protect the people from unknown virus knowingly or unknowingly , these men and women in uniform are left with no choice but to pick up placards and banners instead of guns or baton to protect the life of the people. After all the Police are actually present for protection of human life and society.
Perhaps these are the situation that took out the police personnel of Imphal East district at Lamlai and Nongada area with awareness message on their hands. It was more like a flag march but a different one which indicated that the police who are also COVID warrior in field are in dilemma to enforce the rules and guidelines imposed by the district administration for the safety of the people.
2nd Officer in Charge of Lamlai Police Station , Konsam Umananda , while communicating to Imphal Times said that event was organized under the initiative of the Imphal East district administration by the Imphal East district police team as a part of the COVID Appropriate Behaviour – Jan Andolan.
“The rally is staged to create awareness among the people about the need to understand the COVID-19 impact”, a message written to Imphal Times by 2nd OC Umananda said.
Placards with message to use face masks, to maintain social distancing and to ensure washing of hands were carried during the rally.

IT News

Imphal, Oct 23: 

A teenage boy has lost his life after he was brought for drug overdose treatment but denied entry at Thoubal district hospital on October 20, 2020.

A teenage boy (drug overdose) who was brought to Thoubal district hospital for treatment died on October 20 after the hospital authority denied treatment, alleged CoNE , an NGO working for the welfare of substance abusers.

President of CoNE, Nalinikanta Rajkumar said that the tragic incident happened when the government has issued strict instructions to all government and private hospitals to entertain all emergency patients seeking treatment following cases of unwanted and unfortunate incidents.

The teenager has been identified as one Mutum Nelson (16), s/o M Shyam and M Premila of Thoubal Kiyam. He was an international martial artist who had received accolades of national and international repute.

Addressing media persons at the Keishamthong Hodam Leirak, Sega Road office of Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE), CoNE President RK Nalinikanta informed that Mutum Nelson was brought at Thoubal district hospital for drug overdose treatment by his family members on October 20 at around 1:00 pm. As they reached the hospital and entered the casualty, they were stopped by security personnel deployed at the hospital. The security personnel told them that since a doctor of the hospital has been detected with COVID-19, the area has been sanitized and as such no one is allowed to enter the hospital premises for any reason whatsoever. Before providing any opportunity to give them the reason for visiting the hospital to the patient family, the security personnel denied treatment at the hospital and asked them to leave immediately.

As they had no other option they left the hospital and went home and contacted an NGO working in the field of drugs after which the staff of the NGO arrived at the house of the victim after a gap of about four hours but could not save the teenager even after administering three ampoules of Naloxone, Nalinikanta added.

Condemning the attitude of all concerned while dealing patients at the time of coronavirus outbreak, RK Nalinikanta said that it has been learnt from previous incidents that health care service providers has been taking undue advantage of the covid-19 pandemic and denying basic health services to the most needy people thereby leading to untimely and unwanted deaths which is very unfortunate.

When CoNE made an inspection visit at the hospital, it was found that there was no stock of Naloxone at the casualty which was supposed to keep the lifesaving drug round the clock. On further investigation, the drug was found stored at the ART centre. Usually, the drug is to be indented from the ART centre by the casualty department as an when there is shortage of the drug, RK Naliniknata said while adding that this clearly indicates the lack of coordination among the line departments of the hospital and complete system failure.

Nalinikanta while also expressing deep regret over the incident said that though such cases has been worsened by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the matter could have been the same as the system has completely failed. Therefore, all the concerned department including the health department and Manipur State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) need to look into the issue with seriousness and the staff concerned should have better coordination so that such incidents do not recur.

Moreover, the coronavirus outbreak should not be the reason to deny access to health care services to all those who need treatment for other ailments and emergencies, Nalinikanta said.

Extraordinary times need extraordinary activities. As the world today is in extraordinary times the leaders needs extraordinary activities if felt that human life should be protected at any cost. Some leaders across the globed are pouring all their energy to safe the human kind, some works to protect their nation and some are seen busy trying to take advantage of the situation. What the leaders of Manipur need to follow is the kind of action that some leaders of the world are acting. Countries in South East Asia, Europe and South America should be set as an example to make sure that the people are protected from the deadliest attack by the unseen enemy. Nobody can deny the fact that any action of any leaders had been proof as the only means to protect its people but the kind of action they take up as per their wisdom showed the essence of patriotism running through their blood.
Chinese Premier Xi-Ping’s extraordinary measures that was seen taken up at Wuhan and other provinces of his country to contain the virus had been seen and the world knows how life was restored at Wuhan of China where the virus was born. Leaving aside some European countries as well as country like Canada in South America which are successfully handling the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Manipur needs to learn some lesson from the neighboring Myanmar. Under its president Win Myint, the Myanmar government is taking up extreme extraordinary measures to stop the spread of the virus.
At this time Manipur even though is a state of India, needs to focus on certain foreign countries on the way they deal the situation instead of looking at other Indian states like UP, Bihar, Delhi or Maharashtra.
Bigger states of India’s main concern is the falls in their economy and above this the main concern as of now for states like Bihar is to get power by wining in the election that is just few weeks to go. Manipur being a erstwhile nation, which is the second Asiatic kingdom to hold a democratic election to run the erstwhile nation should rather think differently from what the leaders of other states in the country think so. The population is comparatively low when compare with other communities of the bigger states and thus for them money and power may be more important than saving life as there is no worry for extinction of their community. Unlike them, the Manipuris which consists of over 36 communities are at the verge of extinction if one count on the number of COVID victims each days. All know, it will take time to recover even as one day there will be a vaccine to safe people from COVID-19.
The Manipur government had acted a bit slow in understanding that by the time the vaccine is invented all Manipuris may falls as victim of COVID 19. Yesterday’s initiative by Chief Minister N. Biren needs appreciation, but he have to work by stealing minutes from hours.

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