Imphal, June 03 2022: People’s Alliance for Peace and Progress, Manipur submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apprised him that emergence of a new Kuki sovereignty movement with the formation of People’s Democratic Republic of Kukiland is a big threat to peaceful co-existence of different communities of Manipur as well as national security in the long run.
Apart from apprising the PM about the uneasy development in Manipur on various issues including Kuki sovereignty movement, the Alliance also urged the Prime Minister to help Manipur government in taking up necessary steps for complete eradication of poppy plantation in Manipur and awarding severe deterrent punishment to drug smugglers, protection of reserved and protected forest lands and stopping the false claim of the areas of Manipur as ancestral land by some Kuki groups.
According to the memorandum, the recent discovery of a new Kuki sovereignty movement under the banner of People’s Democratic Republic of Kukiland with Mark Haokip as president has solved many puzzles that Manipur has been experiencing.
The Alliance also highlighted various issues and topics plaguing the state at present for the Prime Minister’s perusal and necessary action like poppy plantation and drug smuggling, establishment of new villages inside reserved and protected forests, concerted effort to brand the Kuki/Thadou/Zou uprising of 1917-1919 as Anglo-Kuki War and claiming of holy places of Meiteis and other communities as Kuki ancestral land.
The memorandum said that illegal poppy cultivation for opium has been in existence in Manipur for more than a decade and production has increased in the last few years.
Chief minister N Biren launched ‘War against Drugs’ campaign to end illegal drug business and poppy plantation in the state.
Surprisingly, poppy plantation and drug smuggling continued to be on the rise thereby indicating that some powerful forces are involved in these illegal activities.
The emergence of People’s Democratic Republic of Kukiland for an independent Kukiland strongly suggests that their idea of Kuki sovereignty is the driving force behind the continuation of poppy cultivation and drug smuggling even after leaders of 33 communities along with the chief minister of Manipur pledged to work together towards complete destruction of illegal poppy cultivation and checking of illegal drug businesses.
On the establishment of new villages inside reserved and protected forests as well as in wildlife sanctuaries, the Alliance said that analysis of census data shows that the population of Thadou/Kuki tribes in Manipur increased from 56,467 in 1981 to 1,21,994 in 1991, a growth rate of 116.04 percent which is impossible to happen under natural process.
Further, the population increased to 1,82,594 again with an extremely high growth rate of 49.67 percent, which cannot be achieved naturally without ‘transfer’ of population from outside Manipur.
Comparison of the decadal growth rate of 116.04 percent in 1981-91 period with all India growth rate of 23.86 percent during the same period confirms that the growth of population is not natural.
Similarly, the growth rate of 49.67 percent during 1991-2001 is more than double the all India average growth rate of 21.34 percent which again suggests unnatural growth.
Reserved forests and protected forests in Manipur were notified mostly in 1960s and 1970s and there has been no recent notification for new reserved forests or protected forests for the last many decades.
Many new villages inside reserved and protected forests have sprung up after 1980s and many of them claiming to be belonging to Thadou/Kuki tribes.
This illegal encroachment combined with the mass poppy cultivation has destroyed the reserved and protected forests thus adversely affecting environment arid threatening the life of many people through landslides, mudflow and floods.
On the concerted effort to portray the Kuki/Thadou/Zou uprising of 1917-1919 as Anglo-Kuki War, the memorandum said that many of the tribes belonging to Thadou/Kuki came to Manipur when they were driven out of Lushai Hills and Cachar by the Lushai tribes in mid nineteenth century.
They were given shelter by Maharaja Narsing (1844-1850) in Manipur.
The revolt known earlier as Khongjai or Thadou or Zou uprising or rebellion against the forced conscription of labour for Indian Labour Corps by the British authorities to be sent to France is now being attempted to rechristen as Anglo-Kuki War to project a notion that some sort of Kuki state/kingdom existed when the uprising took place.
This indeed is in an attempt to lay down the foundation for a future Kuki independence movement, armed or otherwise, it said.
On claiming of holy places of Meiteis and other communities as Kuki ancestral land, the Alliance apprised the Prime Minister mat less than 10 percent of the geographical area of Manipur is valley and rest is hilly area making Manipur a hilly state.
Archaeological evidences of Paleolithic, Haobinhian and Neolithic Age have been found in Manipur.
That means human settlement in Manipur started between 20,000 to 10,000 BCE with the prehistoric man residing in the caves in the Paleolithic Age.
The prehistoric man of Haobinhian Age used to live both in the caves and open air sites in Manipur, whereas they settled in the valley region during the Neolithic Age.
This means human settlement in Manipur started in caves and they came down to valley areas during Neolithic age.
Archaeological evidences show that Neolithic man reached the Manipur valley not later than 2000 BC.
Later, a powerful kingdom of more than 2000 years of written history could be established with the participation of all people in the present Imphal valley, Kabaw valley, Cachar valley up to Sylhet (in present-day Bangladesh) as well as people living in the surrounding hills.
Many mountains and hilltops are the abode of various deities representing the ancestors and hence the holy places for the Meiteis as well as for other communities who shared a long historical experience with Meiteis.
Every year people go for pilgrimage to the top of these hills and mountains and pay respect to their ancestors.
To the dismay of all living in Manipur for a long time, some Kuki groups all of a sudden started claiming these mountains and hills as Kuki ancestral land.
This action of some sections of Kukis who have come and settled in Manipur only recently has hurt the sentiments of Meities very seriously.
The emergence of People’s Democratic Republic of Kukiland makes it crystal clear that these unhealthy and unjustified steps of claiming holy places in Manipur as Kuki ancestral land by some Kuki groups is the brainchild of Mark T Haokip and his associates, the Alliance said in the memorandum.
It further said that the likes of Mark T Haokip and his associates have resorted to the course of communal polarization by attacking the historical events of Manipur and also attacking the leaders of other communities thereby provoking reactions which further abet the polarization process.
This has seriously threatened to undermine the process of building a peacefully developed Manipur wherein all communities live together, the memorandum said and stressed that there is an urgent need for the Government of India to take the happenings in Manipur seriously and review the policies which have led to such a situation which can be very detrimental to the security of the nation in the long run.