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Ms. Nandita Haksar “Constitutional Crisis of Manipur”
Needs clarification and apology

By T. Lunkim

24 June, 2010

Ms. Nandita Haksar,

Your article about The Constitutional Crisis of Manipur published by Mainstream Weekly, Vol XLVIII, No 26, June 19, 2010 , has been forwarded to me and I have given a thorough reading. I appreciate your painful awareness of the “divisions within the Manipur Society.” Even as I appreciate your painfully written article, I am convinced that it is bound to cause a disastrous effect unless you clarify your viewpoints which are more or less stemmed out from your ignorance about Manipur and her citizens. As such you are urgently required to clarify the following points by tending an apology to the people less your painfully written article will be like adding fuel to a burning fire. Here are a few serious points you should have been aware of before writing the article.

•  In para 5, you said that five nationalities live in Manipur. However you seem to conceal or left out the original inhabitants (indigenous people) namely - (1) the Meiteis, (2) the Kukis and (2) the Nagas. You should have said that all others like Muslims, Nepalis are illegal immigrants, who later on secured citizenship. For your information please see the attached 2001 census figure in which - (1) Meiteis are the largest, (2) Kukis are second largest and (3) Nagas come to third, and (4) others follows.

•  In para 7 of your article you said, “There are five Hill Districts…” whereas there are six Hill Districts, Sadar Hills being the sixth, which equally enjoyed all administrative benefits, infrastructures, members, staffs, etc. etc. Please be informed by the Ministry of Home Affairs of India which has listed six Hill Districts in Manipur.

•  In para 8, you said that “Ukhrul district is the home of the Tangkhul Nagas; Tamenglong is the home to the Zeliangrong group of tribes; Senapati district is the home of four Naga tribes: Mao, Maram, Thangal, Poumai; Chandel is home of eight Naga tribes: Aimol, Anal, Lamkang, Tarao, Kom, Maring, Mayon and Monsang.” In fact these eight tribes of Chandel are Kukis who have been cheated into believing the NSCN (I-M)'s false propaganda that Nagas will become Independent from India . Thence, they were forced to or opted to become Nagas. You have also completely concealed or left out the Kuki people living in all the six hill districts of Manipur. Please see the following 2001 Census report:

•  Hill District wise land holding of Nagas and Kukis

Sl. Name of District Land holding in percentage

Naga Kuki

1. Churachandpur Nil 100%

2. Chandel 25% 75%

3. Senapati 75% 25%

4. Sadar Hills 10% 90%

5. Tamenglong 65% 35%

6. Ukhrul 70% 30%

•  Manipur population as per census 2001

1. Kukis - 4,23,227

2. Meitei Hindus - 13,61,521

3. Meitei Muslims - 1,67,201

4. Nagas - 2,94,585

5. Others - 1,46,096

Total Manipur population - 23,88,631

I presumed you must have seen the reality and be quite aware of since you have spent many years in Manipur. Then how is that you have totally ignored to include the Kuki people, the second largest population who have been living together with other communities from time immemorial. What have become of two centuries of Kuki war fought against the invading British on behalf of all indigenous people including Nagas in the northeastern India and northwestern Burma ? You have again failed to mention the last Anglo-Kuki War of 1917-1919. The Kukis continued to oppose the colonial rule by fighting together with Indian National Army during World War II. The living proof is the 300 Kuki INA pensioners we have in Manipur State .

•  You also said in para 9, “The fifth Community is of Indians,” Here, do you want to portrait the other “four communities” as non-Indians? If so, you are siding with the secessionist movements in India . You need to explain whose side you are on.

•  Under your headline “Now the Constitutional crisis has become full blown. What are the issues?”

Referring to Issue No.2, I am to enlighten you that there are 20 ST/ Reserved seats in the 60 seats Manipur Legislative Assembly. In your article you have stated as if the 10 seats are exclusively reserved as Naga seats. However, in the 20 MLA seats reserved for all the tribal people, the Kukis often got more than 10 seats. So the 20 MLA seats are not for Nagas or Kukis alone. The same thing goes to the one ST reserved MP (Member of Parliament) is alternately goes either to Kuki or Naga. At present the sitting member is Mr. Thangso Kuki. This is also a seat meant for Hill people. It is neither for Nagas nor for Kukis alone. You failed to present the truth.

There are also plenty of discrepancies in your statements when you said, “Ibobi sent his criminal force…” You may have to answer to this in a proper court of law, if challenged.

Therefore, please clarify on these false propagandas and tender an apology to the Kuki people, within ten days' time to avoid further misunderstandings which could both affected Indigenous people and those persons in the decision making positions. More importantly it could further lead to mutual misunderstanding among the indigenous people in the northeastern India , which have become a killing field. Please don't forget that Kukis are observing the whole situation and imploring the Government to do justice for all. Loyal citizens' duty is to ask those decision makers to restore peace and harmony. This is what the Kukis have been doing thus far. We expect favourable response from the Government. Please never forget that Manipur is one state and the state has never been divided as Kuki, Naga or Meitei inhabited areas. Meiteis, Kukis and Nagas have been living peacefully from time immemorial. The cause of the present turmoil is something every responsible citizen wants to find out. The Kuki people will leave no stone unturned to reveal the cause.

T. Lunkim, Chairman


Copy to:

1. Mr. Sumit Chakravarty Editor “Mainstream Weekly”

f or kind publication for the sake of public information and peace


2. Editors of Daily papers for kind publications


3. Hon'ble Chief Minister

Govt. of Manipur


4. Guard file