Imphal/ October 23, 2023 (SPN) | In response to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren’s recent affirmation of the brotherhood between Meitei and Tangkhul tribes, the NSCN-IM has issued a statement clarifying the intricate historical relationships among various ethnic groups in the state, with a specific emphasis on the connections between Nagas, Meiteis, and Kukis.
The NSCN-IM’s statement underscores that these communities share a common lineage within the broader Mongoloid family, underscoring a historical bond that stretches back through time. However, it’s essential to recognize that the narrative of brotherhood between Meitei and Tangkhul tribes often centers around Hundung village and may not encompass all Tangkhul tribes.
According to the historical account presented by the NSCN-IM, an individual from Hundung village, which is part of the Tangkhul tribes, migrated to the contemporary Imphal valley and integrated with the Meitei community. Similarly, there have been instances of intermarriage between Tangkhuls and other Naga tribes with Kuki women, resulting in harmonious coexistence within the Kuki community.
It is essential to differentiate between the blood relationship of the Hundung royal family and Meiteis and the broader Tangkhul-Meitei relations. While Hundung Tangkhul village played a significant role historically, it does not represent the entirety of Tangkhul identity, the statement said.
The statement also clarifies that individual inter-tribal marriages should not be misconstrued as establishing a bond at the tribal level, particularly when such relationships are confined to the two families involved.
The NSCN-IM cautions the Naga people against being swayed or misled by vested interests seeking to undermine the sanctity and distinct identity of the Naga nation. While acknowledging the historical concept of brotherhood rooted in shared bloodlines, the statement underscores the importance of transcending this notion to embrace an ideological brotherhood and unity based on faith.
Drawing parallels with global examples, the statement mentions divisions based on religion and politics, such as the case of Pakistan and India or East Bengal and West Bengal. The Naga armed group, currently engaged in peace talks with the Government of India, conveys their respect and affection for their Meitei and Kuki brothers and sisters. They stress the need for coexistence with a strong political foundation.
Beyond shared bloodlines, the statement calls for unity through a common political language and faith, highlighting the significance of an accurate and vibrant historical foundation. In conclusion, the NSCN-IM asserts that it holds no antagonistic feelings toward the Meiteis and Kukis.
Two days ago, Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) also strongly criticized Manipur Chief Minister N Biren for a statement he made during his recent visit to Ukhrul in connection with a state cabinet meeting.
Regarding the Chief Minister’s public declaration about the brotherly relationship between Tangkhul and Meitei communities, TNL expressed its need to remind that N Biren lacks the authority to define the blood ties of the Tangkhul tribes, whether in his role as the head of a State government or in his individual capacity.
Such a declaration, TNL asserted, does not hold significance or meaning for the Tangkhul Naga Long. TNL also acknowledged the existence of relationships between certain families or clans of the Tangkhul and Meitei communities but stressed that attempting to apply such historical and genealogical definitions to the entire Tangkhul tribes lacks a sound basis.
TNL asserted the competence of the Tangkhul to understand its own history and belief in its destiny as an integral part of the Naga nation.