Naga body slams Kukis for ‘distorting’ Manipur’s history 

The United Naga Council said the British planted Kukis, who have no land at all, in the Naga hills after 1830 

August 21, 2023 11:16 pm | Updated 11:16 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Naga community people participate in a rally organised by the United Naga Council (UNC). Photo used for representation purpose only.

Naga community people participate in a rally organised by the United Naga Council (UNC). Photo used for representation purpose only. | Photo Credit: PTI


An apex body of 20 Naga tribes on August 21 stirred a debate on indigeneity by slamming the Kuki-Zo community for allegedly distorting the history of Manipur. 

The United Naga Council (UNC) said the Kuki-Zo people have no land in Manipur at all and the name of their community was first heard when the British “planted” them on the Naga hills between 1830 and 1840. 

The advent of the British brought about many unwanted changes in Manipur and “one of the problems we inherited” from the colonial rule “is the issue of the planting of the Kuki tribe”, the UNC said. 

Also read: Nagas say Kukis are laying claim to ‘disputed’ territory

The Naga body said the British found the Kukis useful as a “mercenary tribe” and utilised their “total lack of attachment to any land and landscape” to crush the indigenous communities of Manipur. 

The majority Meiteis, involved in an ethnic clash with the Kukis since May 3, and the Nagas consider themselves indigenous and the communities belonging to the Kuki-Zo group as largely “illegal immigrants” from Myanmar. 

“The UNC would like to set the record straight that the recent blatant attempt of Kukis at distorting the history of the Kuki rebellion of 1917-1919 as the Anglo-Kuki War to legitimise their imagined Kuki homeland within Naga ancestral homeland is one of the classic examples of their habitual lies,” the UNC said in a statement issued by James Hau. 

It said the Kuki rebellion was a “savage” episode of murdering, torching houses, plundering, and enslaving women and children of indigenous Nagas in the present-day Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong districts of Manipur. 

“Thus, it was never a war but a mere rebellion with the colonial power as there is no record of the Anglo-Kuki War in the history of India,” the UNC said. 

‘False territorial claim’ 

It also said that the Nagas were taken aback by the “blatant lies, lopsided history and fabricated information” contained in every statement and memo issued by the Kuki-Zo community, which was tantamount to distorting the Naga history and insulting the Nagas. 

The UNC opposed the demand of the Kuki-Zo community for separate administration incorporating two new districts carved out of the Senapati and Chandel districts (Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal). It said the two districts were created by the then Congress government as part of its appeasement policy. 

“The Kuki-Zo people’s representation to the Union government, Israel’s Prime Minister, European Parliament, UNO, etc., is on false territorial foundation and an attempt to befool those authorities because in the context of Manipur, the name Kuki was first heard sometime between 1830-1840 and therefore, ‘Kuki hills’ that appear in the fourth para of the mentioned memo to the Prime Minister of Israel is non-existent and Utopian concoction,” the UNC said. 

It said the memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the 10 Kuki MLAs demanding the creation of the posts of Chief Secretary and Director-General of Police in Kuki-Zo areas was nothing but the demand for separate administration in a “different tune”. 

The UNC claimed Manipur was now flooded with illegal immigrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh and that villages were expanding and new villages were being built at a rapid pace. 

“Columns of illegal camps are being built at an alarming rate near the town of Moreh and its surrounding areas to facilitate the settlement of those intruding Kukis from Myanmar. If the flow of illegal immigrants is not stopped by the Government of India and the government of Manipur, the day will not be long when the indigenous population will be reduced to a minority,” it warned. 

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