NSUD plays down ancestral land, freedom claim of Kukis

NEWMAI NEWS NETWORK
IMPHAL, 16th Oct: Naga Students’ Union Delhi (NSUD) has described the "The Anglo-Kuki War of 1917-19 commemoration" with the slogan “In Defence of Our Ancestral Land and Freedom” as an unethical act of few organisations of a community, who is "repetitively distorting" the history and claiming to be indigenous people of Manipur.
According to NSUD, the claim is totally baseless and unacceptable as it challenges the established history which everyone is aware of. The name Kuki was heard for the first time in Manipur during the period of 1830-1840 AD. The reign of Maharaj Nara Singh during 1844-185 AD may be remembered for the arrival and settlement of Kukis in Manipur. They fled and arrived in Manipur as they were driven northwards by powerful tribes of Burma (now Myanmar).
It pointed out that historian RK Jhalajit Singh (Padmashri) also gave the same information as written by Maj General James Johnstone in his book “Manipur and Naga Hills” Page 45 stating that 'The new immigrants began to cause anxiety about the year 1845 and soon poured into the hill tract of Manipur in such members, as to drive away many older inhabitants”. However, under the British protection Mc Culloch settled them down allotting to them lands at different places with the permission and blessings of the Maharaja. Some Kukis were made irregular troops, others were told to carry loads according to the custom of the State, NSUD added.
According to the Naga student body, the Maharaja also gave them permission to settle and later three SADAR (Selected Area Development Administrative Regions) circles were established particularly for Kuki population. Churachandpur was SADAR Circle No 3.
The NSUD then said that Kukis claimed that they are indigenous settlers of the present areas of Manipur but their history, folklore, folk songs and legends say that they are like eagles flying from place to place. Moreover, they have claimed strongly in recent times that they are descendants of the lost tribe of Manasseh and therefore wandering about with no real indigenous status anywhere in the world except Israel and have heavily migrated to the country, it said, adding that this has contradicted themselves completely by saying they are indigenous tribe of Manipur.
Hence, their status is only migrant status and is very well in congruence with Colonial Writers and accounts of the Maharaja, the NSUD contended.
Thanking chief minister N Biren for the timely action which will be long remembered by the student body, NSUD reiterated that any move to infringe on the land and identity of the Nagas will not be tolerated and warn those organisations not to play any communal card which will hamper the trust, respect and peace in the state.


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