ITLF responds

CCpur, Jun 30 : Reacting to the recent statement of the Chief Minister on land ownership in the State, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) today said it would like to ‘respectfully edify’ the Chief Minister on his 6 June 2022 statement as land the world over particularly to the Indigenous Tribals is very dear and that a Tribal’s culture, custom, traditions and his very way of life are shaped by the land he owns, which is inherited from his forefathers.
The Chief Minister had reportedly urged all concerned not to claim ownership of land as it belongs to Mother nature and not to  any particular community.
In a lengthy statement issued today the forum said, ‘land particularly the Hills of Manipur do belong to the Tribals since time immemorial.’
‘If the Chief Minister is serious, his statement is bereft of logic as our very survival and identity are being threatened. The Indigenous Hill people, from time immemorial owned lands and administered well without any outside interference. Traditional land ownership and land holding system along with customs, cultures and habits were taken cognizance by the British by introducing separate Administration for the Hill Areas of Manipur,’ it added.
The statement further asserted that, ‘land which is inherited from our forefathers does belong to us and is not a matter of laying claim(s) as misunderstood by the Honorable Chief Minister. For better clarity, it may be brought to his attention that fights, wars and conflicts of different intensities were fought against outsiders such as the British by Tribal Chiefs, our forefathers; so also, between Chiefs themselves in order to establish their suzerainty over a particular stretch of land that belongs to large part of present-day North-East India.
‘To put it mildly, his absence of understanding of the Tribal people in general and our land holding system in particular is quite disrespectful for a person of his stature; nonetheless he merits an excuse as to the best of our knowledge, he is no sociologist nor a historian or an academic for that matter,’ it stated and added that, the Chief Minister is courteously entreated to refrain from commenting on subject matters he has little to no knowledge of as it could result in negative outcomes as had happened now by making Indigenous Tribal communities the world over uneasy with his comments.