haokip

biography



Hi my name is Robert. I love music since i was a child. I used to compose musics for some special presentation, even though im not very good in it. I love playing keyboard and bass guitar. Here are some of my articles.
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From ‘Reactive’ to ‘Proactive’: A Step to Kuki Nation-Building

April 3rd, 2011 + 1:04 PM  ·  haokip

Vannoi ja nam len, akhangtou le vetjui a umho jouse khu a anam u iti ahin suh pilhing uham ti ikhol a kultah a ivet le thil tamtah mudohthei in aum in ahi. Nam khangtou jouse hin hahsatna le gentheina tohlou a um beh poi. Hiche hahsatna le gentheina ho jeh a chu nam ngailu le nam khonung ding gel ahung kisepdoh jin, chamlhatna ahin del phat ule ahin mujiu ve. Komutheitah gam lah chu USA le India jong hi ahi.

Kuki ten hahsat na le gentheina tamtah ihintoh taovin, British te a pat India le Burma chamlhat jou in igamsung uva lungmong in ina umthei tapouve. Kawl gam’a Kawl hon ei sugenthei un chule gam le go jong eina lah pih un, India gam jeng’a jong ilhom nagam uva Naga hon ei deldoh jing’ui. Ipijeh ham ti a ipu ipa teo khang’a patna ihinvet le ijatham khat a chu khunung ding gelsao louva apetna phatchomna le nomsah ding chule thanei ding igel jeh u ana hiji e.

Kuki ten til ihinto jouse'u hi akivet le atamjo hi thil ahung lhun masang'a i nam u hin ipi ahinto thei ham tihi koima agelnom ium beh pouve. Gelthei khat chu ahile British te khang'a thutan/thunei vaihom ho athanei dan u le alet alal dan u ina otcha un India in chamlhat ahinmu chun lekhasim sun sun’in kei jong Indian Civil Service na tongleng ti chu lunggel ngahna ana hijeng'e. Koi man academic research lang, nationalist movement, etc. ina khohsah pou vin hijeh chun “Kuki nationalism” chu itobang hiding ham tihi ana hilchen koima ana umpoi. Hiti chun phat ahungchal jingtoh lhonin Kuki nationalism concept kichentah ana umlou jeh chun kikhentel na le tha lhahsam na chun eihin lonkhum taove.

William Pettgrew deisah najal in Dr.Crozier in Kangpokpi Mission Compound a Medical Centre ana phutdoh in, aban ban’in chihna le thepna teho chu hiche gam vel a chun ahung kipanin ahi. Hitichun tu a ipao tho u hi T.C Hodson (1905) in Thado anatin, Rev. William Pettigrew in Thadou chule Pu Longkhobel Kilong (1922) le Pu Ngulhao Thomsong (Lekhabul, Thadou Kuki First Primer 1927) tenin Thadou Kuki anati lhonin ahi. William Shaw in ana jih Notes on Thadou Kukis (1929) a konin Pu Thangkhopao Kipgen in pha ding ham tin Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 a ding chun Thadou in ana pelut in ahi. Notes on Thadou Kukis kimubang’in Pu Jamkinthang Sitlhou in Thyadou ho lamkaina a Kuki nam chu machal ding ti hi propaganda ana bol in ahi. Ahin hiche chu i sopiu adang hon ana doudal un, hijeh chun “Kuki” kiti political concept ahung pilhin masang in Kuki identity chu dis-integration in ana mano jotai. America gam’a mivom ho le mikang ho kikah a ki noisetona le kitomona aum laitah a chamna hin polut Abraham Lincoln in hiti hin anasei in ahi: “No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.”

Hitichun 1970s a Pu T. Lunkim in Bible chu Kuki pao ahinti le boina chu ahung kilangdoh tan, ahin hiche thu hi seichen ding inagong hih uvin, tapkong phung kihoulim na ah kidemtonan ina seichai ji taove. Phat ahung chal chal’in ahile tu nailam chun phadingham tin “Any Kuki Tribes” ihin bol kit un, tun Mate tribe ahung umdoh kit in, abanle ipi ihindel kit diu ham seithei ahipoi. Churachandpur Radio Station link language ahung sodoh chun ina ponakit lheh uvin ahi. Chubang chun nampi pasal phalaitah chule KSO Shillong executive ni Ollha 2009 chun mona beihel in Meilhei hon eina tha pih un, chule Lhatun 2010 a chun Thangjing muol a hitobang ma chu itoh kit uvin ahi.

Hicheho a konna mudohthei chu ahile, i nampi u approach hi “reactive” ihiuvin, vested interests/chang phatchom na ding hol itam uve. Thilkhat/boina asophat le bou ihung khangdoh jiu vin, ahinla hiche ho chu dormant ahiphat le igelphaji tapouve. I pu ipa teu vin British te pon san le meithal dei nan gamtin ana kichon un ana chengthang uvin, nam dang hon ‘migrant tribe’ atiu le ngaihah isahlheh jiu ve. Ahinlah tu jeng’a jong haosa in akhosung’a aki thuneisahna lha dehlou, hijeh a chu kho chaga lungmong tah a cheng theideh lou. Chule khochaga jong muntin kichou lele nga deh lou.

Achutile tu a ipi ibol diu ham, tihi igel thupipen diu ahitai. Sapte thuchih in “better late than never” ati bang’a nangho namo uve, keiho kadih in kaching uve tia kingohto louva, inampiu thu hi boina le hahsatna ito masang jiu va lungthim le tha senkhom phat ahitai. Nampi a dia thil ahoilou asodoh phat le kindot jing hi nga utin, i nampiu hi ‘proactive’ hisah kigot ute.

Eiho dinmun hi Mizo/Lusei te toh ikibahnao tamtah aum in ahi. Tekah nan, Mizo pao itiu hi Duhlian te pao ahin, ahivang in amahon political movement ana patmasat jeh uva tu a political settlement aneijeh un hiche Mizo projection chu alolhing in ahi. Ahin Mizoram sunga sub-nationalist projection chu adang ho, Lai, Mara, etc, abol lou u ahideh poi. Lekha ho a kimu dungjui a natoh nalam pang'a Lai, Mara le eimi adang ho apeh beh lou jeh uva alungkimlou nao asan na sang ahi.

Eiho jong state/territorial council beh ana kineile Kuki projection hi lolhing nante. Chule isopiu Paite, Hmar, etc hon ijat seijong leu Lusei ho bang'a i lolhinthei u ahi. Ahinla hiche chu ahithei tapoi. Tu dinmun na state/political strength neilou ihiu vin, alen lang a chu Kuki chu um nante/project ute, ahin thahat na ding le kito na ding’a chu tu a pao tho sese vang hi min khat (nomenclature) aphapen a vang iki lungto diu ngai kasai. Hijeh hin ibon uvin phaten ngaito utin, kimaito a seichen ding hi got phat ahitai. Nam kiloikhomna hon hitobang mopohna lentah inei uve ti hi geldoh jing ute.
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What’s in a name? Perspective and approach to our language problem

November 10th, 2010 + 11:11 AM  ·  haokip

Ateh akhang in eiho folk tale a Khupting le Ngambom kilungsetna thusim ihet u tobang Romeo le Juliet kingailutna hi atamjon ihetkhah cheh diu kagingchai. Shakespeare play a Romeo Montague le Juliet Capulet hinkho thusim hi lungngaito a kijih hijong leh amani kilungsetna thusim hi tutu a eiho nam sung’a dia vetton thei, kihilna le chepi theitah din kamun ahi.

Romeo le Juliet ahung kilungset pat lhon na kipat in amani kilungsetna chu lungtup molso nading lampi ana umpon ahi. Ajehchu amani chu insung kitohloutah ni a kon ahilhon nin ahi. Hibang chun amani insung mite hon jong ana phal pouve.

Hijeh chun Juliet in Romeo koma ‘min’ kiti hi chomkhat a ding bou (artificial) le pannabei (meaningless) ahin, ken mi khat ‘Montague’ kiti kalungset in ahin Montague kiti ‘min’ le ‘insung’ vang ahipoi anati. Romeo in Juliet angailut jeh chun apa phung min apaidoh a ‘Juliet lungsetpa’ hina dia kithah baptise din ana kitem in ahi. Hiche play chomcha a imu dungjui uva chu itobang tah a aki lungset teni le a insung mite chu boi a achaina a tostna ato uva Romeo le Juliet chu thi lo lhon ham ti ihesoh kei uve.

Eiho nam sung’a boina ho lah a pao thu hi achesa kum somnga sung’a iboinao len loitah khat chu ahi. Ahin kum hijat sung’a hiche boina hi iti le aki sulham theidem tia lunggel ngaito ho le ‘approach’ ho ina sei behset pouve. Eiho lhahsam na pipen chu ahile nam khankho ding ngaito khom le strategy seikhom masat, chule akhohtah pi a biona ito tah u jongleh panlah ding dan gelkhom le pankhom dildel ibol lou u hi ahi.

Achesa phat ho a pao thu a boina a ibolpen u chu ahile:
1.    Mipi/milham in asungthu kholgil/hegil louva moh seisei jeng, hijeh a chu thu ngailou seidoh jeh a alangto a lung kisuna to.
2.    Adinna khat chu thi dinpi jeng; alangkhat thu (other side of the story) pum ngainom lou.
3.    Nam sung’a kiloikhomna hon hiche thu hi seikhom dia podoh lou/podoh ngam lou.
4.    Hiche thu a boina a um teng kihoukhom/constructive debate bol kigot malah, thaneina ken kachoi je tihon gihna kipe jeng.
5.    Hiche boina jeh a tribe ihilouna hijongle kilah chule crucial juncture/vote phat kisan na ki vote nomlou.
6.    Kitona ding le nam damna ding ahi pouleh kei lunggel/dinmun khel inge ti nomlou.

Hiche ho a konna mudohthei chu ahile eiho hi lungtah, mi lunggel kihetthem pih loute, khonung ding gelsaolou chule kiloikhomna pilhingtah inanei pouve ti ding ahi. Eiho boina hi Romeo le Juliet inkote kiboina tobang in jong kamui. Hitia iki boinao hi seikhom’a suhdamna aumloule ahunglhung ding phat teho a pao khat thoho dia manthahna hibe jing ding ahi. Ahin eiho approach dia dei um kasha chu ahile Romeo le Juliet kingailuna hi ahi. Alangto a ka sopi ka thisan ahi tia kingailutna jala chu eima cheh lungput sacrifice ihinbol ngam teng uleh ipi ihiuva pha ham ti chu seibai tante.

Juliet thusei hi lahtheitah khat chu ahi. ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ (Romeo and Juliet Act II, Scene II). Hibang chun eiho tribe min na iki boinao hi ‘Thadou’ kiti henlang adang ipi kiti jong le ahoina le agun na chu kibang jing ding ahi ti lunggel inei diu ngai kasai.

Tu a ibolthei uva kagel le approach dia kadeiho chu ahileh:
1.    Pao thu a hi aki seichen louleh nampi machalna dia asuboi khat ahi tia ei deisah le ei lunggel sehseh chu apha ahi ti a gel louva midang lunggel jong kul tah a ngaito ding.
2.    Hiche thu a eiho lah a intellectual debate nei ding.
3.    Chamlhatna gam’a um kahi ti man na hitobang sensitive thu ho hi asetna bep seova seithei hon seida leh.
4.    Nam kiloikhomna hon jong hitobang hi seikhom nadin pan nasatah a lah ding.
5.    Nam gollhang/thalchoi hon gamtum delna le gam huhbitna a alungthim pumpiu seng u henlang, hicheho thu a kikumdao leh.

Akisei ho chung chon na angaicha khohpen chu ahileh sopi pao khat tho, thisan khat kahiuvin, akitohmothei kahi pouve ti hi gelcheh ngai kasai. Eiho kah a kingailut tona hi koi masa leo hen i pao tho u min jong hi ipi hileh khoh isah lou diu kaging chai. Achuti louva tu bang’a iche jing uleh i nam u hatdoh malah manthahna lam jong ijot cheh cheh diu ahi. Hijehchun sopi u le nao kumjabih (millennium) thah ahitoh lhonin lunglen keng utin, ki lunghet them to cheh a chule phatna lungput neipum in malam jon ute.
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The British Northeast Frontier Policy and the Kukis

November 6th, 2006 + 8:11 AM  ·  haokip

By Thongkholal Haokip

The Northeastern region of India, popularly know as the ‘seven sisters’, comprises of the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Recently Sikkim has been added as the eight state of the Northeast region due to its proximity to the area, a similar developmental problems and convenience in implementing developmental projects. The Chinese scholar and pilgrim Hiuen Tsang, who visited the plains of Assam in the first half of the seventh century described the region as covered with beautiful mountains, lush forests and wild life, and depicted a fairly advanced civilization and rich cultural heritage in his narratives.

Contrary to the mainland Indian perception of Northeast India as a culturally homogeneous region of mongoloid races, the region is diverse in almost every aspects; it is inhabited by a mosaic of societies characterised by diversity of ethnicity, language, culture, religion, social organisation, economic pursuits, productive relations and participation in political process. J.B Fuller wrote in 1909 that the province of Assam at the far northeastern corner of India is a ‘museum of nationalities’.

Academically, the Northeastern region is still regarded as part of Southeast Asia from the cultural point of view. Peter Kunstadter in his two volume work entitled Southeast Asian Tribes, Minorities and Nations included a chapter on Assam, which denotes the present day Northeast India. Kunstadter explain his inclusion of the region on the basis of the region’s large population of tribal and minority peoples whose languages are more closely related to the languages of Southeast Asia than to those of the Indian subcontinent and their cultures too resembling the cultures of their neighbours in Southeast Asia. Sir Robert Reid, Governor of Assam (1937-1942) also stated that ‘they (tribals of Northeast India) are not Indians in any sense of the word. Neither in origin nor in appearance, nor in habits, nor in outlook and it is by historical accident that they are tagged to Indian province.’ Therefore, the inclusion of the region into Indian Territory can be termed as a ‘series of historical accident’.

Most of the inhabitants consist of peoples who migrated from Southwest China or Southeast Asia via Burma at various point of history; they retain their cultural traditions and values but are beginning to adapt to contemporary lifestyles. One of the late migrants into the Northeastern region were the Kukis who are scattered all over the region in due course of time. The earlier Kuki migrants into the region were termed by the British scholars and administrators of Northeast India as ‘Old Kukis’ who migrated about a hundred years earlier than the later migrants, the ‘New Kukis’.

Even though there exist a great diversity, the people of the Northeastern region can be broadly divided into three distinct groups of people; the hill tribes, the plain tribes and the non-tribal population of the plains. Most of the hill tribes in Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura are Christian while a substantial proportion of those living in the plains of Assam, Manipur and Tripura are Hindus and Muslims. In spite of the modernisation and emergence of present day problems, the people still dearly cherish the essence of century’s old mutual ties and culture. The hill tribes can be grouped into four major groups: the Kuki-Chin-Mizos, Nagas, Khasi-Jintia-Garos and Arunachalis. The British rulers described these hill tribals of Northeast India as faithful and loyal subjects.

The Northeastern region of India has little or no contacts with the mainland India through out the annals of history. The different communities in the region maintain autonomy or independence not only from outside forces but also within themselves even though there was intimate relationship between the warring communities. The region was considered more as a part of Southeast Asia than the India subcontinent as the people interacted more with the people of this region and the culture and  racial composition is more close to Southeast Asians. The British military success over Burma in 1826 and the annexation of the Ahom kingdom of Assam to the Presidency of Bengal marked the entry of the British East India Company to the region and the region’s inclusion into the Indian sub-continent. Initially British India was strongly against the absolute possession of the region but due to strategic compulsions they were forced to so. By the right of conquest these territorities were brought directly under the control of the British government and the region was redrawn as the political frontier upon India’s ‘Northeast’, away from its historical positioning at the cultural and ecological crossroads of South and Southeast Asia.

The whole of the present northeastern region was under Bengal province till 1874. Due to the British policy of expanding areas under their control and administrative rearrangements since the Revolt of 1857, the Assam province was created and governed by a Chief Commissioner who was subordinate to Lieutenant Governor of Bengal province. However due to change in subsequent administrative policies, a new arrangement was made where Assam province became a distinct unit directly administered by a Governor-General. Therefore, successive legal and administrative decisions taken between 1874 and 1935 gave Northeast India, a distinct region and identity.  The region has been treated separately and distinctly from other parts of the region or province by British India through out their colonial rule. The Northeastern region has been a difficult frontier region ever since the British colonial period.

The initial British policy for the frontiers, as commented by a mainland Indian Scholar- S. K. Chaube, was the policy of ‘segregation’. However, anthropologists like Verrier Elwin and most of the British administrators were for the protection and seclusion of the hill tribes. Since their contact and subjugation the British administration takes steps to give hill people a paternal government which allowed them to exercise their own genius in the management of themselves, with just that amount of control from above. A series of acts and regulations were passed by the British to protect the peoples in the hill areas of the Northeastern region and most of these acts and regulations were followed by the independent Indian government. The legal enactments made for the rest of the country could not be automatically be enforced in these areas, except when they were specifically adopted for them. The administrative system developed for these areas were quite different from that in the rest of the country, and most administration was left by the British to the local tribal chiefs.

The Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873 was the first among them which allowed the colonial state to create an Inner Line along the Assam foothill tracts. This Inner Line, under the Government of British India, is defined merely for the purpose of jurisdiction. However, this regulation prohibit any subject living outside the  area from living or moving therein on the pretext of protecting tribal minorities in the hill areas of Assam. It allowed the tribes beyond the tracts to manage their own affairs with only such interference on the part of the frontier officers in their political capacity as may be considered advisable with the view to establishing a personal influence for good among the chiefs and the tribes. This regulation was added to by the Scheduled Districts Act of 1874 and the Frontier Tract Regulation Act of 1880 which permitted the exclusion of the territories under their purview from the codes of civil and criminal procedures, the rules on property legislation and transfer and any other laws considered unsuitable for them.

With the same purpose, the Government of India (Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas) Order of 1935 was passed and declare the Naga Hills District, the Lushai Hills District, the North Cachar Subdivision of the Cachar District and the frontier tracts as excluded. The Garo Hills District, the Khasi and Jaintia Hills District (excluding Shillong) and the Mikir hill tracts of Nowgong and Sibsagar District as partially excluded areas. The Excluded Areas were under the direct jurisdiction of the British through the executive control of the Assam Governor and that no Act of the Federal Legislature or of Assam Legislature was to apply to these areas. The Partially Excluded Areas were under the control of the Assam Governor and subject to ministerial administration, but the Governor had an overriding power when it came to exercising his discretion. No act of Assam or Indian legislatures could apply to these two hill divisions unless the Governor in his discretion so directed. Therefore, the politics of mainstream political parties did not have any effect in these areas. According to Sharma the British rulers kept certain areas of the Northeast as ‘excluded’ from the rest of the country with two fold objectives: (i) to keep the area as a buffer region between India and the neighbouring countries; and (ii) to protect them from exploitation by the plainsmen.

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The British Northeast Frontier Policy and the Kukis-2

November 6th, 2006 + 8:11 AM  ·  haokip

Among the hill tribes of the British Northeast frontier region the Kukis were one of the dominant community. They are, to use Mackenzie’s word, ‘a hardworking’, ‘self-reliant race’, and the only hillmen in their neighborhood who can hold their own against the other powerful hill tribes. The tribes Aimol, Anal, Chiru, Chongloi, Chothe, Doungel, Guite, Gangte, Hangsing, Haokip, Hmar, Kipgen, Kom, Lhungdim, Lamkang, Lunkim, Changsan, Lenthang, Thangeo, Kolhen, Lhangum, Lhanghal, Milhem, Maring, Mate, Mozo-Monshang, Paite, Sitlhou, Lhouvum, Singsit, Simte, Baite Tarao, Touthang, Vaphei, Zou, etc., may loosely be put under one egalitarian ethnic entity called Kukis. They have freedom and sovereignty in their land. Their territory stretch from the Chindwin River in the east, the Naga Hills in the north, North Cachar Hills in the west and the Chittagong hill tracts in the south. Till the beginning of the twentieth century these hills were not largely populated and the Kukis reigned supreme all over these hills and wandered about freely all over these lands.
The Kukis use bows and arrows instead of spears, ready at once to avenge an inroad, and therefore were much respected by the powerful Angami Nagas. The British, as early as the first half of the nineteenth century, recognize the strength of the Kukis and therefore proposals were frequently made in British India Government to utilize the Kukis as a buffer or screen between the timid British subjects like the Cacharis/Kacharis (Bodos, Dimasas, etc.), Mikirs (Karbis) and Aroong Nagas (Zaliengs) and the offensive Angamis. In 1856-57 lands were assigned rent-free for ten and afterwards for twenty five years to any Kukis who would settle in this designated buffer areas and fire arms and ammunitions to be given free by the British Government. Apart from the already settled Kukis in North Cachar, many Kukis from the south accepted free settlement on these terms and by 1860 the colony contained 1,356 inhabitants in seven villages. These colonists had risen to almost 2000 as more immigrants came from Manipur. With the settlement of substantial Kuki population in these buffer zones the British Government stopped supplying arms and the Angamis too stopped incursions in these areas. It was a great relief to the British Government and the weaker tribes like the Cacharis, Karbis and Zaliengs. In 1880 a Kuki militia, 100 strong was raised as a protection against Angami raids and under a British officer this militia was used for more effective control of the different tribes. But with the establishment of the Naga Hills District, the Kukis in these buffer areas were deprived of much of their political interests. The saddest part is that for the past two decades, most of the warring tribes whom the Kukis protected against repeated onslaughts and their possible extinction consider the Kukis as immigrants (even though they are also a migrant themselves) and butcher, instead of recognising their contributions to peace and tranquility in the past.


A Labour Corps was raised by British Government for France in 1916 among various clans of Nagas, Lushais and others, as Colonel L. W. Shakespear mentioned, ‘who willingly came in, having in many cases done this short of work for (British) Government before in border expeditions, and knew the work and good pay.’ In 1917 more Labour Corps were needed and to supply it the British Government felt that it was necessary to draw from other sources, viz the various Kuki clans inhabiting the hill regions of the native state of Manipur, the people who had never left their hills and knew little of British people and their ways. The strong optimism among higher authorities in British Government was turned down at the first attempts. In their repeated attempts to raise Labour Corps among the Kuki clans violence erupted and the world began to witness the Kuki War of Independence in December 1917. The Kukis adopted guerilla and jungle warfare techniques, where the war lasted for one and half year. The war could have still continued had not the British went rampaging the Kuki villages by destroying houses and paddy stocks, finding the weaknesses of a Kuki man who has a great love and responsibility to his family. The Kuki chiefs and warriors fearing an impending outbreak of famine surrendered to the British and this marked the end of the war. Many of the Kuki chiefs and warriors in Burma were imprisoned in Taungkyi Jail while those in the British India, in Sadiya Jail in Assam. The Bravery of the Kukis made Shakespear to comment that the Kuki Rebellion was ‘the largest series of military operations conducted on this side (Northeastern Region) of India.’ An Indian linguist, M.S. Thirumalai, also made an observation that: ‘The 1917 Thadou Rebellion or the Kuki Rebellion against the Britishers is a special and significant event in the history of the Indian freedom movement.’

During the 1930s, British India separated Burma from India and therefore divided the Kukis into two halves. The Partition of British India in 1947 and subsequent political events brought the cutting and restriction of old routes of mobility in the Northeastern region, as well as major demographic mobility shifts: together these two forces give Northeast India the shape and location we see today. Further, there are popular movements after 1947 which attempts to close off and regulate national borders more rigorously than ever before with a goal to defend national territory against foreign threats and to secure national territory against internal disruption that might be fed by forces across the border. All these forces worked against the interests of the freedom loving Kukis, who were segregated into parts (India, Burma and Bangladesh), weakened and restrained their freedom of movement in their own ancestral lands.

The British policy against the Kukis in particular and the Northeast Frontier people in general can be termed as a policy of segregation, exploitation and divide and rule. All these policies were responsible for the indifferent attitude and resentment to the gospel. They have left a number of communities in the region being alienated in their own land, with untold miseries and tears unnoticed. The Britishers were also responsible for the integration of this region into India and putting away from its historical position as the cultural and ecological crossroads of South and Southeast Asia, and making them almost engulfed in this vast Aryan world, neither their voice heard nor their miseries understood.

References:
1. Peter Kunstadter. (ed.). Southeast Asian Tribes, Minorities and Nations. Vol. 1, N.J. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967.
2. David Ludden. Where is Assam? Using Geographical History to Locate Current Social Realities. CENISEAS Papers 1, Guwahati, India: Centre for Northeast India, South and Southeast Asia Studies, 2003.
3. S. K. Chaube. Hill Politics in Northeast India. Patna: Orient Longman, 1999.
4. S.K. Sharma and Usha Sharma (eds.). Discovery of North-East India, Vol. 1. New Delhi: Mittal, 2005.
5. Colonel L. W. Shakespear. History of the Assam Rifles. Calcutta: Firma KLM Pvt. Ltd., 1977.
6. Alexander Mackenzie. History of the Government with the Hill Tribes of the North-East Frontier of Bengal. Calcutta, 1884.

Published at Ahsijolneng Annual Issue 2006
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The Kuki Churches Unification Movements

November 6th, 2006 + 8:11 AM  ·  haokip

The coming of Christianity among the Kukis is now almost a hundred years, and today the Kuki church is flourishing and has a Christian population of approximately 95 percent of the population. The coming of Christianity brought to them not only a life of spiritual salvation but also an end to the old ways of living; their outlook to life and lifestyle was transformed.

Christianity was brought among the Kukis by two main Christian missions, the Baptist and the Presbyterian. In the Naga and Mikir hills, Baptist missions came in and the churches were known as Kuki Baptist churches. Similarly, in Tripura and Burma, Christianity among the Kukis was brought in by the Baptist missions. In a North Cachar hills and Lushai hills, Presbyterian missions first set in their foot and the churches in the Kuki areas were known as Ngalsong Presbytery.

William Pettigrew was the first foreign missionary ever to have landed on the soil of Manipur on the 6th Frbruary1894, sponsored by the American Baptist Mission Union. He, together with Dr. Crozier, worked together in the North and the Northeast of Manipur. In the south, Watkins Robert of the Welsh Presbytery mission organized the Indo-Burma Thadou-Kuki Pioneer Mission in 1913. To have a broader scope, the mission’s name was changed to North East India General Mission (NEIGM). Later, under the division of NEIGM, according to languages, the people who still prefer Kuki were grouped under Kuki Christian Association. In the 1996 Annual assembly of the KCA at Tuibuong, its name was rechristened as Evangelical Churches Association (ECA).

In the Northeast of Manipur, North East Kuki Baptist Association, Manipur (NEKBAM) exists. Kuki Baptist Association was established in 1950 at South Changoubung, which comprises of Kuki Baptist churches in other areas. Imn March 1958 KBA and NEKBAM combined together and formed the Kuki Baptist Convention at the Tujangvaichong conference with T.Lumkim as its first Executive Secretary. Unfortunately many leaders who formed this convention later left to join other organization.

In March 1959, seven delegates representing all the Kuki inhabited areas of Manipur met at Kaithelmanbi military village to search the reason of disintegration of the Kuki Christians and to prevent further disintegration before unification. Resolution No.1of the conference underscores the need felt by the delegates to form a Christian literature organization of the commonly spoken language.

In May 15-16, 1959, two delegates each from all denominations met at Molnom village to discuss the matter further. At the Molnom conference federal organization of the Kuki Christian called “Kuki National  Christian Council” was formed comprising the then existing Kuki Christian Denomination organizations. The council comprised of three-committees: K.N.C.C Literature Committee, Inter-denominational Committee and Church Union Planning Committee. T.Lunkim was elected as the President Khupjapao Singson as Secretary of the Council.

The delegates met again in August 1959, at Molvom village in the Naga Hills where the council’s mane was changed to “Kukis Christian Council”. T.Lunkim and Rev. Seikholet Singson were given the charge of drafting the Constitution. At this juncture the Welsh and American missionaries, while hearing about the proposed unification of churches, said that if such a Christian association is to emerge they have no work to do and must leave the mission works. So, due to the sympathy of the American and Welsh missionaries the proposed unification movements was postponed indefinitely.

Nevertheless, the leaders of the unification movements revived the works again in the late 1970’s. All church leaders were invited for a conference at Nomjang. At the 16th Conference of K.C.C at Nomjang, North Cachar Hills, Assam in April 1977 a resolution (No.11) was passed underlining the need to transform the ‘Council’ in to a ‘Church’. However, the churches at this time had been fully established and all doctrines have been inculcated at all denominations. The conference was not attended by all important denominational leaders. So, even though the conference was attended by most leaders, the denominational divide was strong enough that upholding ones own doctrines and leaderships over-ride the move for unification. On April 8th 1979 in the18th K.C.C conference at Chalwa, the Federal Organisation was transformed in to a church and some groups stated taking Kuki Christian Council a disappeared. As a result of deep misunderstanding between the Kuki Christian leaders the people in different denominations even developed the felling of themselves as being a different nationality.

After several years of misunderstanding among the Kuki Christian leaders came the Kuki Naga conflict, in which many lives villages and lands of the Kukis were lost. In such period of suffering and turmoil the Kuki Christian leaders thought about reconciliation, keep aside their differences and formed the Kuki Christian Leaders Fellowship (KCLF), which is not church level but a forum for the leaders. This was successful not only in reconciliation and working together of the church leaders but was also successful in inducing more love and closeness among the people.

The consciousness of the need for church unification slowly redeveloped among the church leaders. The nationalists more precisely, the extremists, felt the need for church unification for national, social and political reconstruction and therefore, there was plan for the unification of the churches under their initiative. When this plan was underway, the senior church leaders pleaded to the nationalists to transfer the unification work to them and the nationalists did so. Thenceforth, the church unification work was handled by the church leaders (KCLF).

Regarding the unification of churches, a number of seminars were held and there developed a difference in opinion regarding the structure which would eventually become an organic structure. This issue was put up in the assembly of different denominations and most denominations favoured a federal structure except KBC which favoured an organic structure. The KBC Assembly in 2001 again discussed the matter and agreed for a federal structure.

KCLF agreed that after the unification of churches, the unified organization would be called, “United Church of India”. The aims and objects of KCLF are:
1. Unity of churches according to 1.Gods will, (John 17:11)
2. To make God out nations Lord, (Psalm 33:12) and  
3. Nations exercise of strength in unity and in Gods will.
After some years of the inception of the KCLF, especially when the national crisis abated and ended, the associational/organizational leasers meetings were mostly regarded as KBC and ECA. While other looked from a distance, KCC, which dedicatedly and tirelessly worked for the establishment of KCLF, and Chongthu Baptist Association, withdrew from the Leaders Fellowship. And others moved further away and eventually disappeared from the scene. Now, when the workings of the KCLF is observed, it is more like a group of individual activity depending passively upon the donation of some individuals rather than being and associational/organizational level activity.

Among the Kukis there are many types of segregation, but church/religious segregation is much deeper and higher than all others, and this deep religious division is brought about by church/ religious leaders. Rev. Seikholet in his “Good Friday” message in KWS (S) said that the Kukis are segregated into fragments because we do not worship God but the “Church”. It is high time for the religious, social and political leaders especially the most senior leaders to examine themselves. “As people of an older generation and in a position of leadership, if the people cannot follow them and if there is no progress for the nation under their leadership, and because they are still alive and their leadership cannot end, there is a suspicions that God do not use them anymore or has left them.”

In his message in KWS(S), December 2002, Rev Hawlngam said that for unification we must give away our individual preferences, humble ourselves and pray more. Rev. M. Haokhothang said that, “We always have a plan for unification, but it is difficult” he is of the view that we should not hope for unification by creating one more organisation. Only when the people becomes conscious about the need for unification then shall we achieve unity.

We are like Ichabod, which means no glory or the glory of God has departed form Israel, for the ark of Gods has  been captured (1Sammuel 4:21-22).The lost of the ark did not mean that God had abandoned his people but did signal estrangement in the relation between God and his people and it demonstrated the error in the thinking that,  in spite of their wickedness they had the power  to coerce God into  doing their  will simply because they possessed the ark. We should not think that being a Christian we have the power to coerce God in doing our will. We must realize that the glory of God departs form us because of our wickedness, like the Israelites.

We talk and plan big things, but when it comes to implementation it is diluted. We do not receive what we asked, and what we plan are not successful because we (especially the leaders) ask for and plan with wrong motives, that we may spend in our own pleasures (James4.3). We have faced so many political, social, ethnic, and religious crises in the past decades of the 20th century and we have tried to solve with out own strength and intelligence, but we failed,, So brothers and sisters, let us seek God, draw near to God and he will draw near to us (James 5:8) and make God our nations Lord (Ps. 33:12) in the 21st century.

Published at Ahsijolneng Annual Issue, 2003
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