Imphal, Oct. 22:
Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) has lambasted that Kuki National Assembly letter to the Chief Minister that claimed legitimacy of having separate administration of the Kuki in par with a homeland demand.
In a lengthy press statement issued by DESAM Secretary General Leishangthem Lamyanba the misnomer used by the Kuki National Assembly “What is written is written and cannot be changed” that was addressed to the Chief Minister as a conspired one.
“ It is interpreted that this is a missive after the dropping of a Minister from Kangpokpi as the issue covered by the letter was kept under cold storage for quite a long time”, the statement of the DESAM said.
The statement further stated that to justify their claim that the conflict of 1917-1919 was an Anglo-Kuki War, certain references were made. The British referred to it as the Kuki Rebellion, but we cannot go by their nomenclature. The term Anglo-Kuki War was first coined P.M. Gangte in his work “Anglo-Kuki War 1917-19” (2006) and by Dr. T.S. Gangte in “Trials of Kuki Chiefs” reproduced in “Understanding Kuki” (2010). Historians differ in their opinion, J. Roy in his “History of Manipur” (1958) called it the Kuki rebellion, K. Kipgen in his “Thadou Kukis: ABrief Account of History and Culture” (1982) called it the Thadou War of Independence while S. M. A. W. Chisthi named it the Kuki Uprising in his “Kuki Uprising in Manipur” (2004).
It will be a misnomer to call this historical event a war as no column of the British Indian Army was involved in the various skirmishes and battles. On the British side, it was fought solely by the Assam Rifles and the Burma Military Police; both paramilitary forces. The narratives from the Kukis marginalised the role played by Chingakhamba Sanachaoba, though he was the only one involved who got life imprisonment. It was Enjakhup, a former sepoy of the Naga Hills battalion who was among the Kukis who got the maximum penalty and he died in prison at Kohima.