Rubbishing the indigeneity claim Doctored history

What is the way forward ? No clear cut answer but it is more than clear that New Delhi and Imphal are still groping in the dark to come out with a formula to let Manipur take the first tottering step towards normalcy. It is also clear where Amit Shah stands, in so far as the question of drug smuggling from across the border as well as illegal cross-border immigration is concerned and this should have shut the mouth of those who have been playing the victim card with devastating effect. So much was the distorted story that at one point of time the clash in Manipur was portrayed as one along religious line, as one between the tribals and non-tribals and one group-read the majority-playing havoc with the lives of the tribal folks. At another level, attempts were also made to portray the genesis of the clash as one stemming from the demand that the Meiteis be included in the Scheduled Tribe list of the Constitution of India. Thankfully the false narratives have started falling apart and giving a big lie to the tribal-non-tribal clash is the stand of the Naga people who have maintained an equi-distance posture but yet at the same time has not stopped short of rubbishing the historicity of the Anglo-Kuki War and the ‘Kuki-Hills’ claim. Mercenary tribes and illegal immigrants-these are the terms used by the United Naga Council to refer to the Kukis and rubbish their claim and here is a case of the Naga community speaking out. This is where one is reminded of a spokesperson of the KNO proclaiming loudly that the Kukis move freely from Myanmar to Manipur and Assam for this is their ancestral land, many years back. This had eyeball effect back then, a sort of an appeal to the front benchers inside a movie hall screening a B Grade Bollywood flick, but the truism of this has had a devastating impact on Manipur and this can be seen in the ongoing clash. Again there are cases of some Kuki civilians asserting that they are here as ‘guests of India’ and that their real place is at Israel, all captured on camera with the said video clip going viral. The said video clip was aired years back, before the clash that erupted on May 3 this year, but for reasons which must be clear to all, the very same video clip is once again doing the round on the social media, inviting hundreds of comments. These are facts, not something cooked up by The Sangai Express and this is where one wonders at the ingenuity of coming up with a name such as Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum. Indigenous to what is the question one may ask and this poser should be understood in the backdrop of UNC’s stand and the statement delivered by Amit Shah in Parliament some time back.
Accept the facts. Don’t distort history. This is the first step that one may take towards taking Manipur to the path of normalcy. It will take time, again as Union Home Minister Amit Shah himself admitted, but the first step will need to be taken. The ITLF, the Committee on Tribal Unity, Kuki Inpi, Manipur will need to climb down from their high horses and debunk the slogan, ‘Peace Later, Solution First’ for the solution that is being talked about here will only make things worse. The Co-ordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), will also need to study how to extend the hand of dialogue for Manipur cannot go on like this without an end in sight. Reams and reams of stories have been written on the impact of the clash on the people on either side of the divide, but one wonders why no credible story has come out on the bulldozed and levelled to the ground localities of the Meiteis at Churachandpur. The Imphal based media obviously cannot venture into Churachandpur at the moment but all the stories that have come out from there seem to have deliberately missed out on this point. Not even a photoshot of the localities where the Meitei houses once stood and hereby hangs a tale, a tale of pandering to the victim story that has been spun out with so much dexterity and maintaining a selective silence to give more credence to their manufactured stories. The false narrative is beginning to fall apart and this is where one can see the possibility of taking the first step to bring Manipur to the road of normalcy.