Why not KUKILAND for Kukis?
By Nehkholun Kipgen
The Kukis are nomadic coming from Far East country like Palestine. When they reached the “Kuchti” cliff, they settled down there for many periods. After some years, they reached the land of Chinese king who asked the place where they came from. The Kukis replied that they were coming from “Kuchti” which was pronounced by the Chinese king as “Kuki” after that they were called Kukis.
The Nomadic Kukis also settled here and there of the North Eastern India. Once an English high ranked person asked a Bengali man who the naked dressed hunters are. The Bengali man replied “Kutch Kutch Jane wale Hai” (They are roaming where they like). The Englishman came to Manipur; they saw the kukis with naked dress like animals and named them as “Kukis” which means in their word, naked, animal like and nomadic people.
Even though there are many tellings about the meaning and origin of the term “Kuki,” the Kukis are “Kukis.” A baby never composed his name himself, but by the parents or other responsible persons. Like the same manner, the “Kuki” has came out from the word of the non-Kukis.
Previously, the nomenclature “Kuki” was adopted by different tribes like Lusei, Sukte, Zou, Simte, Thadou, Vaiphei, Paite, Hmar, Gangte, Chothe, Khongsai, Chongthu, Lamgang, Anal, Chiru, Kom, Mayon, Monsang and Ralte etc. for their own nomenclature. But, when the Naga insurgents came out in power, some of them joined willingly or unwillingly the Nagas, leaving behind the Kukis thereby causing existence for Old and New Kukis.
After some years, government recognized some tribes of the Kukis viz. Paite, Hmar, Vaiphei, Gangte, Thadou, Zou, Simte and Lushei, etc. as scheduled tribes which some of them have left Kuki thereby causing disharmony and disunity among the Kukis and the modern Kukis have broken out as the nomenclature of the people who remain in “Kuki.” Presently, the recognized tribe “Thadou” and other unrecognized tribes accepted the “Kuki” as their own nomenclature name.
Whatsoever, the Kukis are the “Kukis.” The valiant and gallant people since the British Regime.
The Land and Population
The areas occupied by the Kukiland. The earth is made and created by God for the settlement of all living souls. The Lord has made enough space on earth for the Kukis also. The forefathers of the Kukis lived independently. But, when the more civilized nations like the English came to the land of the Kukis, willingly or unwillingly and due to their uncivilized and innocence, the land and people had become under the alien’s rule. However, by the preservation of God, the Kukis could live anywhere they live till date.
Now-a-days, the population of the Kukis could reach as much as about 10,00 lakhs approximately spreading in Chin state of Myanmar, some parts of Bangladesh, North Eastern states of India and especially and mostly thick in Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, and Mizoram; narrowly speaking, undoubtedly the home land of the Kukis are Sadar Hills, Chandel, Senapati, Churachandpur Districts of Manipur which they may be extended up to some parts of Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram and Chin state of Myanmar.
Whatsoever, the lands occupied by the Kukis are Kukiland.
Custom and Culture
The Kukis are rich in customs and culture. However, due to nomadicity, uncivilisation and poverty, the same could not be developed as it should be till date. The value and meanings of what the customs and cultures signify may be said as large as heaven which may be eyed as and when developed.
The customs and cultures are distinctive to other tribes, even though there are some similarities between the Kukis and others, the salient features of them are about marriages, divorce, priest-head, naming ceremony of babies, harvesting feast, performance of burial, mode of condolence, ceremonies on victories, over agricultural products, slaves, beast, enemies, heads of killed invaders, celebrations of creatures, prosing and adoration of God – the creator.
Those items and other in numerable smaller items of customs and cultures could not be developed and decorated for want of separate administrative unit, because there has been stumbling block when those are proposed to be performed as they are. Let the lord be kind enough to open heaven for flourishing them, so that, he may glorified and the Kukis may be blessed.
Language and Literatures
The Kukis are rich in language and literature which could not be improved for want of separate administration. There are Kukis scripts behind the screen which may be produced as soon as separate administrative unit is created. Presently, the Kuki borrowed the Roman scripts for writing which is well enough communicable with each other. The language also is said richer than the English language e.g. the English Grammar has only two numbers viz singular and plural numbers. The Thadou-Kuki language has three numbers viz singular, twin and plural numbers as used as follow:
a). Ka ga che e (I went there) – Singular,
b). Kaga chelhone (We went there) – Twin
c). Kaga cheuve (We went there) – Plural
It is really tearful, irksome, itchful and painful to keep such rich language and literature without improvement, rather subjugated there are many pros and cons of language and literature to be improved as and when the time for having separate administrative until is attained. We should not cease our minds and efforts until or unless we make out language and literature the same as the “Heavens media of communication” (the Pentecost)
Social and Political Life
The Kukis are men of action, gallant, valiant and philanthropic in mind and practical. The forefathers helped the needy persons like orphans, widows, widowers, sick people, disabled persons, dumb and mute philanthropically in their Jhuming, constructing houses, rearing domestic animals and making clothes, etc.
The forefathers also fought the British for the freedom of India as well Kukis gallantly shedding bloods, losing many souls and utilizing innumerable energies and properties. Among their fights, the Kukis rebellion, 1917-19, the INA, the sepoy mutiny and the Civil war are the most famous. By the bloods, energies and properties of the forefathers of the Kukis, the Indian Nation got Independence from the bondage of the Britishers. Not only the forefathers, but also helped the Indian Armies by participating in different battalions and corps of military.
Even the civilians helped the Government in protest against the rebels and insurgents by organizing the Village Volunteers Force (VVF), Kuki commandos etc. In order to help maintenance of the integrity, undoubtedly, the Kukis are makers of peace and Indian integrity since its inception till date.
The Constitution and the Kukis
Even after the Kukis did many innumerable deeds for India, there is neither no black nor white nor inscribe for the Kukis in the Indian constitution till date.
In Indian constitution Article 244 and 244(A) and schedule (1 To 4) has provided that the tribal of North Eastern India may or shall have separate administrative units for their own under those provisions, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Gorkha Hill Council and Karbi-Anglong etc, have been black and white in the Indian constitution. But even after peaceful and genuine demand took places, the Govt. of India as well as the state Government neglected to take into consideration of the voices of the Kukis till date.
The amendment of the Indian constitution took places for the creation of states, Union territories and other administrative units like (more and above) states and other separate administrative units of Goa, Haryana, Pondicherry, Lakshadip, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi etc., But, the Kukis who are not smaller than those either in activities or in culture and language, literature and population for the freedom of India, put into dark cabin and no action has been taken for the Kukis in spite of their numerous contributions to the Indian till date.
The Kukis have been the pros and cons and the very sure children of India, same as those of other tribes mentioned above. But, the central and state Governments treated the Kukis like aliens and no children of India. Further, the persons who drafted the Indian constitution widely open the door for those children of India. But, today, the constitution, the independence or freedom of India have no value for the Kukis.
The Kuki National Front (KNF)
The Kukis could not bear the waves of India at the central and the state Government who treated the Kukis like robbing peter to pay Paul. Both the central and the state Governments let the sun shine to other tribes and rain to the Kukis in all state affairs, e.g., the Government has created Mizoram for the Mizo, Nagaland for the Nagas, Arunachal Pradesh for the tribal there in, Meghalaya for the Khasis, Garos and Jaintias, Karbi-Anglong for the Karbis, Gorkha Hills Council for the Nepalese and other separate administrative units for other tribals.
But the Government never paid an attention to the Kukis demand. The state government also neglected the Kukis not only for creation of separate administrative unit, but also for the protection of literature, culture, language, developments, social life, religion and adult franchise etc, instead of attention to the demands, the kukis have been treated as aliens, animals and soulless objects.
In view to provide remedies from the above ill-treatments and step-motherly treatments paid to the Kukis and fights for the fruitfulness of their demands, the Kuki National Front (KNF) was incepted at Molnoi Village on May 18, 1988 which has been strengthened and gallantly working till date.
Activities of the KNF
The Kuki National Front, since its inception collected funds from well wishers, donor and helpers till date and brought arms and ammunition from suppliers with the funds so collected. The KNF has possessed dedicated volunteers with arms not for disturbing innocent and general public, but to protect against those who are against them and to protect the Kukis from enemies and those who are against the activities of the KNF.
The KNF has not disturbed the government, but entreats to take immediate actions for the fruitfulness of the demands peacefully and with non-violence. However, the KNF is ready to pursue their demand for KUKI Land (statehood for the Kukis) with violence if necessary that may arise unfortunately.
The KNF also stands gallantly, punctually and stably the same as our forefathers did for India against the Britishers. Today, India is our Mother, and if the mother does not like to give milk to the baby, the baby will cry, cry and cry till the last breathe takes place. Like same manner, the KNF entreats milk from the motherly treatment to be melted out equally as the other citizens of India drinks sweetly.
The KNF has submitted memorandum to the Government for creation of Kuki Land (statehood for the Kukis) many times and sent reminders thereof many times of which the last one for the present is to introduce a bill for creation of Kukiland as the 26th state of Indian Union in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, to be held from 10th July to 15th September, 1992 on February 8, 1992, but no action has been taken till date. This shows that the government of India treats the Kukis as an alien an as step-children and not of her own.
Further, KNF has also submitted memorandum to the Government of Manipur to recommend for creation of Kukiland, instead of recommending the memorandum, the state government has thrown the materials into waste paper baskets.
The KNF also thinks such actions and ill-treatments paid to the Kukis by both the Central and state Government unbearable since the Kukis are also having souls and living being the same as equal treatments as an Indian is granted to them by conceding to their genius demands as others.
The KNF has promised and affirmed as an oath that they should not cease their activities until or unless their demand for creations as Kuki Land (statehood for the Kukis) is into being.
The Indian constitution has recognized and provided 25 states, seven Union Territories and other autonomous administrative councils according to their nations, races, tribes, culture, custom and languages etc. However, for the Kukis even after paying bloods and energies for India, there is no provision in the constitution for Kukiland till date. Why?
If so why not the Kuki land for the Kukis from Manipur which scheduled land for a time being is as shown here under:
a). East : A part of Ukhrul, Manipur
b). North : A part of Senapati, Manipur
c). West : A part of Tamenglong, Manipur
d). South : The whole district of Chandel and Churachandpur of Manipur, bounded by Mizoram and Myanmar including Ukhrul district in Manipur.
e). Centre : Imphal, Thoubal and Bishnupur districts of Manipur Valley.
Whereas, the constitution of India schedule (1 to 4) and articles 244 and 244(A) provides that the tribals of North Eastern India may or shall have separate administrative units for their own; whereas the other tribals of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, and Karbi-Anglong etc. can get administrative forums and whereas the Kukis are the same class, status and children and India; there is no reason as to why separate statehood for the same cannot be created.
Why not Kukiland for the Kukis………………………….?????????????
The writer (late) is founding president of the Kuki National Front, an armed group fighting for a separate Kuki state in India.
Source: The Shillong Times, 1st. October, 1993