KANGPOKPI: The Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) has submitted a representation to Chief Minister N. Biren Singh tendering its strong disapproval and strict opposition regarding Manipur’s presentation on Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum before the National Level Committee and appealed for urgent rectification.
KIM President Khaimang Chongloi said that “we promptly acknowledge and welcome the government’s proposal to build a Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum in Manipur as we consider truly praiseworthy the government honoring fallen heroes who have valiantly fought for the land with immense pride but at the same, we regrettably expressed our stern disapproval of Manipur’s presentation on Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum.”
He also said that they have submitted a representation to the state Chief Minister as to why KIM has to regrettably disapproved and opposed Manipur’s presentation on Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum with valid reasons and appraised him for rectification with various points.
The representation signed by KIM President Khaimang Chongloi and General Secretary Shokholun Mate appreciated the government initiative as it will restore and strengthen the relationship between the government and the entire tribal populace in building trust and reliance towards one another as it seeks to promote the message of oneness while discouraging all sorts of discrimination or segregation, and thereby fostering brotherhood among all citizens of this big and beautiful country.
It, however, expressed stern disapproval of Manipur’s presentation on Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum before the National Level Committee held on February 11-13 in 2019 under the Chairpersonship of the Secretary of Tribal Affairs with various reasons.
Firstly, the arbitrary naming of the Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum after Rani Gaidinliu without prior consent of the tribal population is an outright insult to the Tribal Freedom Fighters’, especially against the Kuki Freedom Fighters and secondly, the proposed location is not condign and can only flare up communal disharmony as there are no Tribal Freedom Fighters in oral as well as recorded history hailing from that particular region, and which has only been designed to nefariously promote Naga political demands, it stated.
In fact, it is extremely regrettable that the government of Manipur must ignorantly promote biased representations blinding itself of the historical facts and figures and of the true Freedom Fighters and historical events that shook the years of the struggle for Independence especially within the Northeastern region, KIM said. This may only unfortunately and inevitably infer that the government is conspiring to distort history and undermine the glory of the bravery and sacrifices of the Kuki Freedom Fighters which will only be an administrative drawback inviting unnecessary disquiet in the state and to which the government will be solely responsible, it added.
Furthermore, it is to be particularly noted that the course of the British withdrawal from India and the then sovereign country of the Kukis and their neighboring princely states did not face a stronger resistance than that of the Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919 where the British Imperial Army suffered innumerable loss in the hands of the Kuki Freedom Fighters right until the British Resorted to burning the Kuki Villages and Livestock and threatening the lives of the Kuki civilians in order to bring the Freedom Fighters to surrender.
Ironically, the British Indian Army was reportedly aided by the Kacha Nagas who were settling among the Kukis. The Kacha Nagas who were peacefully protected by the Kuki Chiefs were glibly influenced by the British Army and they subsequently acted as informants for the British forces reporting on the presence and activities of the Kuki Freedom Fighters that immensely contributed to the strength of the British Forces let alone fighting for freedom from the British Imperial Force, it further added.
While drawing urgent attention and immediate action from the state and authorities concerned to the following points, it stated that the proposed museum must be located in a common tribal area or anywhere within greater Imphal or most preferably in Lamka, the largest tribal township in Manipur which settles the largest and most diverse tribal population.
Secondly, if the location cannot be finalized within these mentioned place and boundaries, the government must separate the proposed Museum into Kuki Freedom Fighters’ Museum and Naga Freedom Fighters’ Museum respectively, and also subsequently place the decision therefore necessary on the respective apex bodies
Thirdly, the stated historical write-up/information on Tribal freedom fighters and tribal revolts against the British rule in Manipur submitted to the Tribal Ministry by Manipur be shown in file to the Kuki Inpi Manipur for necessary rectification.
Fourthly, the government must honorably regard the Kukis and their unique history and identity and must always approach the Kukis in whatsoever matters that concern or can inductively concern the Kukis.
KIM also demanded that the Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum only be built with prior knowledge, acknowledgement, and consent of the Kukis so that the proposed museum will justify its true purpose of serving as a Resource Centre for providing information on tribal culture and tradition, to which every newcomer to Manipur and the resident population will flock to and see the struggles and contribution made by the Tribal Freedom Fighters.
It further cautioned that failing which the Kuki Inpi Manipur will not be responsible for any uncertainties as may be caused by the Kukis.