Keep politics off our land : NSCN (IM) to Kukis

Newmai News Network
DIMAPUR, Jul 1: The NSCN (IM) has asserted that "we believe the Government of India will not commit the political blunder of playing politics over the land of the Nagas to appease the Kukis or others for its vested interest".
"Let this be known to the whole world that the Nagas will never part with their God given portion of land and defend it eternally against any aggressors big or small," said the NSCN (IM) in a statement on Monday.     
The NSCN-IM alleged that "as the nomadic Kuki history in Naga country" has deliberately been distorted with political motive time and again by some Kuki writers, the truth has to be told.
According to the NSCN-IM, it is a fact "beyond dispute" that all Nation-States are built on the foundation of their respective unique histories. "But, there are some people and Nations that have sold out their histories to become a part of the colonial powers," said the NSCN-IM.
It added that the Kukis were brought to "Naga country" by the British Political Agent Col. Mc Culloch from the Chin Hills in Burma to use as mercenary forces in fighting against the sovereign independent Naga villages that were ruled by the Naga kings like that of the Greek City-States.
"Of course, the British power could occupy a part of the Naga territories, but the rest part called ‘free Nagas’ remained as free as ever," the NSCN-IM added.
According to the NSCN-IM, armed by the British with muzzle loading guns, the Kukis plundered many Naga villages and massacred many Nagas which the British authorities later regretted and disarmed the Kukis.
In spite of this fact, “our generous and noble fathers allowed the Kukis to settle in our lands on the basis of payment of loyalty land tax”, it added. "We have hundreds of documents in support of this," the NSCN-IM claimed, while adding, "The Kukis are nomadic tribe and we quote Sir James Johnston, 'Kukis are nomadic.'"
It said that, in 1957, the Government of India gave "generous" relief funds to the "Kuki refugees" from Burma who had come to settle in Naga areas of Manipur State.
In the subsequent years - 1963 and 1988, thousands of Kuki refugees from Burma came to the Naga areas for shelter, the NSCN-IM added.
According to the statement of the NSCN-IM, with the departure of the Britishers, the Nagas in the British occupied areas declared their independence on August 14, 1947 and joined forces with the free Nagas and that is what is called the uniqueness of Naga history. "But, on what kind of historical basis the Kukis are trying to build ‘Kuki homeland’ in Naga country?," it asked, while asserting, "They may have every right to do so in Chin Hills, but not here in Naga areas".
The NSCN-IM said that soon after the departure of the Britishers, the Indian and the Burmese States occupied Naga territories where the Naga people put up tough resistance against their aggression for decades. "History will ever speak of it that the Nagas have neither been a part of Union of India nor that of Burma either by conquest of the two occupational forces or by consent of the Nagas," it said, adding, "That is another ingredient of the uniqueness of Naga history. The Government of India has finally recognized ‘the unique history and situation of the Nagas.’"
The NSCN-IM said that the Nagas are living in their own land, not in any other peoples’ lands. They are the owners of their land, the NSCN-IM further said. It then stated that the history of the Nagas is land-based; the politics of the Nagas is land-based; the identity of the Nagas is land-based; the culture of the Nagas is land-based; the social system of the Nagas is land-based and the economy of the Nagas is land-based. "The Nagas can never part with their land, which is their inheritance from God," it added.
"However, the Nagas never view the Kukis as their enemies," then said, while adding, "As our fathers accommodated them to live together in days past, so we are also prepared to do so if they admit the hard reality.
"In fact, we are giving room to the Kukis to be part of the Naga Nation. But, Naga people will never allow and tolerate any attempt by the Kukis to carve out Kuki homeland from Naga territories in collusion with the Government of India and Manipur Government," the NSCN-IM statement said. It then stated that the Naga people are prepared to talk with them on any issue if they acknowledge land ownership of the Nagas