The acute triangle : Meitei, Naga and Kuki in Manipur
Why can't a group of people having the same racial stock, belonging to the same linguistic group and settled together for ages in the same geographical location live in peace together and prosper? Is it the sheer primitive tribal instinct of fragmentation or a false and fraudulent sense of limited nationality which is keeping them violently divided and torturing their body and soul?
Today , the story of Hills and Plains in Manipur is a story of unity gone awry. The world over is moving towards globalization and unity in high speed: Manipur is also turning to the same direction but moving in reverse gear. Yes, having a micro national identity is agreeable but in the wider format of national and international politics of more than 7 billion population of the world, to limit ourselves to the identity of a small few lakhs will be suicidal in the long run. In the USA - the Irish Kennedys, the Austrian Schwarzeneggers, the Jewish Kissingers, the Mexican Johnsons, the German Trumps, and the African Obamas have seamlessly united to make USA, the strongest nation in the world. The people of Manipur, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, belong to the same racial stock and speak dialects of the same linguistic group. During the colonial period the British administrators were simply trying to divide the people to ensure the stability and viability of their colonial system. Just after the Anglo Manipur War of 1891, as an act of retribution, the colonials divided the state into Hills and plains to subdue the unsubmissive people. Still dancing to the tune of the old colonialists will not auger well for the scattered ethnics in the north-east who are now to search for a wider space beyond the narrow confines of small communities. Afterall it takes two to tango.
Why can’t the Kukis, the Nagas and the Meeteis of Manipur having the same look, same appearance, belonging to the same racial stock and same lingnguistic group -- learn the survival game and make a common front under the common identity as a Manipuri; and set a goal to look for a place under the sun? May the new year bring a KUKI-NAGA-MEITEI ( KUNAMEI ) unity with peace and prosperity like a mountain breeze across the restless hills and plains in the northeast.
The writer is a retd IPS