The Question Behind the Tangkhul Naga Long Demand for Ukhrul to be the Summer Capital of Manipur

The Tangkhuls have a separate underground group of their own, calling with different names in different times. Formed Naga National Liberation Army (NNLA) in 2005, and then came up with another name as United Naga People’s Council (UNPC) in 2008. And now it is again called as Manipur Naga Revolutionary Front (MNRF).

As per their declaration flashed in the local papers of Manipur, the main purpose of formation of such Tangkhul underground group/groups is to safeguard the territorial integrity of Manipur and to maintain peace and harmony between the hills and valley people of Manipur. True to their stand, it is the MNRF who successfully played the role to prevent the near communal clash between the Tangkhuls and the Meiteis when Dr. Thingnam Kisan, SDO of Kasom Khullen and his two staff were abducted and brutally murdered by some Tangkhul NSCN (IM) cadres. The MNRF immediately denounced the act of the NSCN (IM) as inhuman and beastly.

It also alleged that several untoward activities have been committed under the guidance/instruction of the NSCN (IM) in the past and blame the NSCN (IM) that such was the reason that the people of Manipur are unable to repose faith in each other even as it is said that all the people of Manipur are brothers and sisters. The MNRF calls upon all to join hands in hunting down the culprits and punish them accordingly, but said that it would not be correct to harm innocent persons belonging to any community.

All the Meitei underground groups and the Meitei public listened to the MNRF because all of them including the MNRF work for the safeguard of the territorial integrity of Manipur. The Tangkhul NSCN (IM) and the Tangkhul public may say about the MNRF “good or bad” but the existing of the MNRF is a blessing in disguise for them. Again, in case, clashes occurred between the majority Meiteis and the Naga people in Manipur because of the issue of the integration of all Naga areas, the Tangkhuls are still safer than other Naga tribes in Manipur because of the MNRF.

Who knows – those Tangkhuls who are residing in the Imphal valley and the vulnerable villages that are situated in the foot-hills may say that they support the MNRF and the territorial integrity of Manipur. It is said that the combined forces of the MNRF and the Meitei underground groups are more active than the NSCN (IM) in most of the villages in Tangkhul region but the top NSCN (IM) policy makers never adopt step to clash with them. May be because of the above stated reasons.

When in other Naga areas 2/3 underground groups cannot stay together without clashing though their goal are the same. It is not understandable how two underground groups with completely different ideologies (if what they declared are true) stay together in Ukhrul district of Manipur: The MNRF is for the safeguard of the territorial integrity of Manipur and the NSCN (IM) is for the integration of all Naga areas. Therefore, because of the above-mentioned reasons and the confusions arising out of the Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) demand for Ukhrul to be the summer capital of Manipur,

I would like to put here three questions before all Nagas to ponder:

1. Are the Tangkhul Naga Long with the MNRF for the safeguard of the territorial integrity of Manipur?

2. Or are they with the NSCN (IM) for the integration of all Naga areas?

3. If not, are all the Tangkhuls: the TNL, the MNRF and the Tangkhul NSCN (IM) working together in understanding with an aim to bring about Development/benefits especially for the Tangkhuls, the people of Ukhrul district at the expense of the sacrifices of thousands of Naga lives?

KS Solomon Naamai

Member, Core Committee,

Naga National Workers People Support Group


A Brief Introduction of Poumai Naga in Northeast India

The Poumai Naga country is geographically located in Manipur and Phek district in Nagaland. The Poumai Naga is one of the oldest and largest Naga tribe in Manipur. According to the Hill house tax in 2001, the total population of the Poumai tribe is 151,005. (Including the Poumai in Nagaland). About 95.7% of the total population of Poumai is in the Senapati district, Manipur. There are four villages in Phek district of Nagaland with a population of about 6,500 people. There are 33 different tribes in the hills of Manipur and the major tribes are the Poumai Naga, Tangkhul, Thadou, the Kabuis, Paite and Hmar. The major tribes in the district are the Poumai Naga, Mao, Maram, Liangmei, Kukis etc. About 42.3% of the total population in Senapati district is Poumai Naga, which is the single largest tribe in the district.

The Poumai Naga People: The Poumai Naga tribe is a major tribe and one of the oldest among Nagas. The word Poumai is derived from two syllables “POU” and “MAI”. “POU” was the progenitor of Poumai and “MAI” is the descendants of POU. In other words, POU is the name of the ancestor and his descendants are known as POUMAI. The literal meaning of POUMAI means “People of Pou”. The descendants of POU were MEO, LEO and PAO. The Poumai Naga tribe was recognized as a separate tribe by the Central Government of India under the Constitution of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled tribe Order (Amendment) Act 2002. The Poumai Naga is considered an important tribe in Manipur and Nagaland since times immemorial. Their Pottery and Poutai (Pou salt) production was well known to the entire tribal areas in Manipur and Nagaland since ancient times. The whole Poumai Naga community is divided into three units or circles for administrative convenience as – 1. Paomata Circle 2. Lepaona Circle 3. Chiliive Circle The Poumai Naga took the wave of migration from Makhel (dispersal site of Naga) in two directions-Northeast and South East direction. The descendant of Liio (Lepaona) took the southeast direction and settled at Koide village under the leadership of Chief Rokhuo. The descendants of Pao (Paomata) took the northeast direction and settled at Saranamai village after the four Chiefs were chosen to head the new settlement. The descendants of Prou (Chiliive) also went in the northeast direction and settled at Prouphii. However some believed that all the Poumai first migrated to Saranamai and then migrated to different circles or areas.

Socio-cultural Profile: Before the arrival of the British to the Naga Hills, the Poumai Nagas were not exposed to the outside world. Headhunting at this time was at its zenith, with lots of pride but hatred, fear and jealousy filled their hearts. Fishing, hunting and shifting cultivation were the main occupations in the pre- British period. The Poumai Naga had no caste system in terms of high or low, pure and untouchables, rich or poor.

Family: The Poumai Naga community believes in a patriarchal family system. In many of the Naga villages, large families ranging from to 6-8 members in a family are common. More members in the family at the time were considered a boon, since a large labour force was required to work in the paddy fields. The Poumai Naga community follows the patrialocal and monogamous family system. They have Nuclear families; with Joint families seldom found in the village.

Clan: A clan is generally a group of people who have one common ancestor. In every Poumai Naga village, there are some clans or khel as they are called, ranging from 2-6 khels. eg. Koide village has 6 Khels (Khii), Tungjoy has 3 Khels, Liyai Khullen has 4 Khels and Phaibung has 2 Khels. The size and number of Khels depends on the population size and presence of Khels from other villages.

Role of Clan Elders: The Poumai Naga follows a pure and direct democratic form of governance even in a small unit like the Clan. The elders of the Clan play an important role in keeping the community harmonious and peaceful within their own clan and with members of the other clans in the village. From each clan one or two representatives are selected to represent in the village council known as Kabora or Gaonbura (G.B). Community life: All the clans in the village are tied to each other by close bonds of community life. For instance, when a clan member falls sick during paddy transplantation or harvesting –it is commonly observed that the other people from the same clan or Khel come forward to help the sick in different ways.

Judicial Powers: The clan elders with their wisdom play an important role, settling disputes among their own clan members and with the other clans in the village. Any problem or clash between two clans is resolved by bringing it to the village Gaonburas (G.Bs) when they cannot settle it among themselves. The elders of the clan take on the responsibility of settling all kinds of disputes and work towards bringing in peace and prosperity for their clans.

Village: In antiquity, there were only two prominent Poumai village namely, Koide and Saranamai village but it has increased to 69 villages (Hill House Tax of 1999-2000). Some of the important characteristics of Poumai Naga villages show that every village is autonomous and self-sufficient in natural resources. Each village has a democratic system of governance. There is no caste system the system of landlordship is absent (Zamindari system). Beggars are unknown in the village as there is community land in every village for the benefit of the needy.

The Poumai Masou Me (Poumai Naga Union): The Poumai Masou Me (PMM) is the apex body and the largest social organization found in the Poumai Naga community. In addition to the PMM, there are a number of subordinate organizations that are actively involved in the over all development of Poumai community like:

i) Poumai Tsiidoumai Me, PTM (Poumai Students’ Organization)

ii) Poumai Naotoumai Me, PNM (Poumai Women Organization)

iii) Chiliive Naga Union, CNU (North Eastern Poumai Organization)

iv) Lepaona Naga Union, LNU (South Eastern Poumai Organization)

v) Paomata Council, PC (Western Poumai Organization)

vi) Razeba Public Organization, RPO (Northern Poumai Organization in Nagaland).

Apart from these general organizations, there are Christian missionary organizations for spiritual development namely, Poumai Naga Baptist Association (PNBA) and Poumai Catholic Mai Me, (PCM).

Village Gate: The Poumai Naga villages are in a compact settlement. Earlier there were village gates in all the villages but now we can see only the depilated ancient gate in most of the villages. The village gatekeepers opened the gates in the morning and evening for the villagers.

Feast of Merit: The Feast of Merit “Zhosouyu” is a special ceremony observed among all the Naga tribes. The culture of Feast of Merit still exists in the Poumai Naga community. A person who performs the Feast of Merit is highly recognized and honored in society. Elwin Verrier writes, “The Feast of Merit brings the donor an honor both now and after death and henceforth he has the privilege to wear the ceremonial cloth and ornaments, and decorate his house in a special way”. In the Poumai Naga community a person who can afford to perform the Feast of Merit is eligible to wear Zhosa (Shawl for those who performed Feast of Merit). Zhosousa or Zhosa is a cloth of honor to be worn only those who have performed the Feast of Merit. In Poumai village, Liyai Khullen hosted the latest Feast of Merit in January 2004.

Headhunting: In Poumai tribe, headhunting is known as Reipeihuyou. The last headhunting case was reported in 1958, in India among the Naga tribes. The reasons for headhunting are complicated yet interesting. The belief was that by taking the head from another village, a new injection of vital and creative energy would come to the aggressors’ village when he brings the head home. So whenever there was no good harvest in the village, the warriors went out to other villages to bring the heads. It is also their belief that if they killed the animals in hunting, their misfortune vanishes. To bring a good harvest to the village or to restore good fortune the warriors and hunters would continue to hunt the head of man and animals. Another important reason of Headhunting practice among the Poumai village was also to raise the social status of the village and since everybody wants to be recognized in society the warrior brings the head. Headhunting was also practiced to attain manhood and to win the heart of the fairest girl of the village in marriage. In Poumai Naga tribe, when a warrior brought the head to the village, the village chief performed religious rites at his residence.

Festivals: Nii (Festival) is one of the important social activities for human beings since time immemorial. Festival is a time to celebrate together with the loved ones from far and near. There are some important religious festivals of Poumai Naga and it involves some religious rites and rituals. However in recent yeasr, the Christians celebrate all kinds of festival without any traditional religious rites and ritual. Some of the important festivals of Poumai Naga tribe are Thounii, Laonii, Paonii, Rounii, Loukanii, Khiinii, Taithounii, Donii, Daonii, Duhnii etc. Most of the festivals are celebrated only in some villages except the Thounii, Laonii and Paonii and Donii, which are celebrated in all the Poumai villages or circles.

Religion: In Poumai Naga villages, the people who believe in their traditional religion are known as Yaosomai. The literary meaning of Yaosomai means those who drinks rice beer or those who follow the rites and rituals of the King. The Poumai Naga believes in the existence of one supreme God called Rahmai. The literary meaning of Rahmai means Supreme God, the designer and the creator who will judge the good and evils acts of man. He is the god of above everything, powerful and controls everything, including all the gods residing on earth or above. Rahmai is same as Allah in Muslims; Jehovah in Christian; Bhraman in Hindu etc. The Poumai Nagas believe in life after death. The religious rituals and sacrifices of the Yaosomai are quite interesting to note. They conduct various rituals and sacrifices to appease their gods at the individual level and at the village level as a whole. They make religious rituals and sacrifices in time of success or in adversities. Some of the omen examinations are done from grain of paddy (Kiithou), small piece of split bamboo, Lou (a kind of scented small plant), Miithou (embers), Legs and intestine of strangled chicken etc.

Marriage: Marriage is not a matter of ephemera; it is a lifetime matter. Marriage is sacred and one is supposed to abide by the marriage vows to the end of their last breath. In Poumai Naga community, monogamy is practiced. There is no child marriage and dowry system. There is not bride price system among the Poumai community. Intermarriage between the same clan or Khel is prohibited. Marriage with ones own sister and paternal cousins is restricted but marriage with the maternal cousin is accepted. Generally, engagement takes place in the months of July and August. The wedding ceremonies are held in the month of September. In antiquity, arranged marriages were common in the Poumai community. But in the present situation, love marriages are becoming more common. In ancient times, old women administered the marriage ceremonies. After 2-3 months of marriage, the couple is given a special lunch and dinner known as Kotouyou. Kotouyou is a kind of honeymoon for the couple. The bridegroom is introduced to all the bride’s relatives and a good rapport is developed. Kotouyou is held after the harvest i.e. in the month of December or January.

Divorce: Naotayou (divorce) is not common in Poumai Naga society. There is no Marriage Act for the Poumai Naga but the customary law is applied to all the divorced couples. According to the customary laws, if the husband divorces his wife, he is liable to give his movable property to his wife. If the wife divorces her husband, she loses everything, including all the gifts she received during her marriage. Birth: There are some religious rituals and ceremonies performed after the birth. During the birth, the husband and some elderly women assist in delivering the child. In antique there was no doctor or hospital and delivering child is depended on the experienced women who help in delivering the baby. The labor pain women are usually given some salty chicken soup in order to deliver the baby with good strength. The young boys a When the baby is born, either the mother or father cuts the umbilical cord with a sharp bamboo knife and buries it in the ground inside the bedroom. This custom of delivering a baby is still in practice in the village.

Soutouyou (Peace Treaty): One of the greatest changes brought to the Poumai tribe during the British administration in the hilly areas is pacifying the people against headhunting. The British coming to the Poumai areas had some significant socio-cultural impact. The inter-village and inter-tribe feuds in Poumai Naga tribe gradually ceased after British intervention in their headhunting. The British made Peace Treaty and brought reconciliation between the two headhunting villages.

Introduction of Christianity: Introduction of Christianity to the Poumai tribe is another very important event that brought changes in the socio-cultural and economic life of the Poumai Naga tribe. Many Poumai villagers accepted Christianity but the majority of the populations were non- Christians during the British period in the Naga Hills. A Christian missionary Rev. Pettigrew introduced Christianity in Manipur State in 1894. In Manipur Christianity was started from Ukhrul then spread to other Districts. The Tangkhul missionary introduced Christianity to the Mao Naga and then Mao Naga Missionaries brought Christianity to the Poumai Naga. M. Lorho first planted the seed of Gospel to Maiba and its neighboring villages.

Dress and Ornaments: The Naga tribes have different types of colorful shawls and clothing. The Poumai Naga tribe has different kinds of dresses and adornments for different purposes. The dresses and adornments, which are used at different festivals, are not used in casual wear. Before wool was imported in the Poumai villages, only Khailousa and Dolousa (made from wild jute) was mainly used for dresses. Khekaisa: It is a dignitary shawl to be worn by the elected public leaders to be worn by the elected public representatives (MP/MLA/MDC), Gazetted officers, Ordained Ministers (Reverend) and social activists. The dignitary shawl for ladies is known as Loukaisa. Zhosousa: Zhosa (feast of merit performer shawl), Riidusa or Nghasa (white with large stitch), and Khaopeiteisa or Khaopeidasa (embroidered elephant head in black cloth) etc are entitled to be worn by only those who have performed the feast of merit. Community Shawl: All the sections of Poumai community use the Sousa or Teisa (Rainbow color stripe). Hairstyle: Generally the women’s head were shaved or kept short before marriage. But they after they get married they do not cut or shave their hair and the long hair are rolled into a bun and suspended on the nape or plaited. It was easy to distinguish between unmarried and married women earlier from their hair.

Music and Dance: The identity of a tribe also shows through their unique traditional music and dances. There are different types of Poumai Naga folksongs like Patriotic folksongs, Poetic folksongs, Romantic folksongs, Rice men folksongs and Feast of Merit folksongs. Most of the folksongs are composed playing Lana and Chii. The main musical instruments are: i) Lana (a long string with a stick attached to half gourd shell) or (single stringed Bango) ii) Chii (mouth organ) made of small split bamboo iii) Nghakai (a mouth organ made of buffalo horn) kind of bugle iv) Shah and Be (mouth organ made of hollow small plant) v) Mouth organ made of bamboo with four holes

Food Habit: Food habits depend on geographical location, personal likes of different races and religious beliefs. The same geographical location and races can have different food habits due to certain taboos and personal likes. The Poumai’s food is less spicy. No spices or very little spices are used in their food. Generally the foods are braised with some spices without frying with oil. There are no vegetarians in Poumai villages. They have three heavy meals in a day.

Dormitory System: Kheloukizii (Dormitory or Morung) was found in all the Naga villages. In the earlier times the Naga young men and women slept in groups in their dormitory. Many social activities were carried out in the dormitories. In Naga society, the dormitory was a big house where the young men and women slept in groups in different dormitories and trained in different fields before their marriage. It was partly a training centre and partly a Clubhouse for entertainment. There were separate dormitories for boys and girls. In Naga villages, different tribes have different names for dormitory. The Poumai Naga call a dormitory a Kheloukizii or Reipeiki.

Khekizii: Khekizii is one of the important social institutions. When a boy attains adolescence he goes to sleep in Khekizii with other friends. It was prevalent during the headhunting days and strict discipline was taught and they were trained in different fields in Khekizii.

Loukizii: In girls’ dormitory (Loukizii), the young girls slept together in groups. Loukizii is another important social institution for the village girls. The girls go to their own Loukizii to sleep when they attained adolescence till they get married.

Inheritance: In Poumai Naga community, father has the sole authority to decide about the distribution of property for their children as per their tradition. All the ancestral and acquired properties are shared with all the sons. The sons inherit the immovable property according to the customary law. The daughters inherit the movable property; however according to the wishes of the parents. According to the Poumai customary law, the eldest son gets the lion-share. Daughters are excluded from inheritance of their father’s immovable property. In rare cases, some of the families give the immovable properties (paddy field) to their daughters.

Signs and Symbols: Different communities have different cultural, sign symbols, etiquettes, gestures etc. Non-verbal communication is communicated with gestures, signs and symbols. In earlier times, the Poumai Naga tribe never sent any message to the other villages through writing for Peace Treaty, Surrender, Friendship etc. but different articles were used as a signs or symbols to convey them. 1. Sounii or Sousha peiyou (Giving a piece of Meat), It is customary for the Poumai to give Sousha during the Laonii and Paoyi festival to their younger sisters, who are married in other villages. It is a sign and symbol of blessing and remembrance. 2.Poudziiziiyi (Twisted knot on the grass),3.Poudziihisiithouyi (A stick pierced into twisted knot on the grass), 4.Poudziikaonaiyi (A slant knot on the grass),5. Siiberaikho (Rope tied to a tree), if a tree is found tied with a rope, it symbolizes the tree is reserved by other people.6. Pouhuduhi kakouyou (A small long grass across on the way), A small long grass across on the way symbolizes something may be there ahead of you on the way.7.Kikhusiini tyayi (Door closed with stick across),8. Chuhthouyi alia Siishoh (placing stones and planting trees),9.Sahpeiyou (Giving shawl),10.Nghoupeiyi (Giving of spear),11. Zhaiseiveiyu (sending blood),12.Soushi Ho (Sending Chilly powder), 13.Meivipeiyu (giving charcoal),14.Maipeisiseiyu (sending human hair),15.Bahzii siiyi (to show your fist), 16.Khaoto sei you (Piece of rice taken out from the plate), 17.Lou Ki khaiyou (placing a small smelly medicinal plant at the front door), 18.Siibo Rohmii hi khaiyou (a bunch of plants placed at the village gate): It symbolizes that no visitor is allowed to enter the village. And anybody found violating the customary law can be fined or punished.

Games and Sports: Different traditional games and sports are held in Poumai Naga villages during the important festivals. Different games are played in different seasons and at different festivals. Some of the important games which are commonly played in the Poumai villages are, wrestling, High jump, Shot put, Long jump, Carrying a big stone, Kaka, Kabbaddi, Climbing on bamboo pole, Deidei, Louka, Bow and Arrow, Tug-of –war, catapult, Hawk and hen chick etc.

Spreading of Christianity: Christianity first came to Poumai the villages in 1934. The traditional headhunting ceased and Christianity spread rapidly in Poumai villages during the British Period. It was Christianity and the coming of the British who awakened the hearts of the Poumai Nagas and exposed them to new social mores and environments. Besides modern education, contacts with other people, improvement in infrastructure etc has in no small way helped to change the social and cultural life of the people. The coming of Christianity had brought some changes in Headhunting, Feast of Merit, Dormitory system, Marriage and Divorce, Birth and Death, Food habits, Dressing and Clothing, Hairstyles, Music and instruments, Housing Structure, Change in Family relationship, Traditional Festivals, etc.

Modern Education: Education in Poumai villages commenced very late as compared to the neighboring tribes like the Tangkhul and Mao in Manipur. However, modern education spread so swiftly to many Poumai villages and brought in tremendous changes in their primitive way of life. The first mission primary school was established in Poumai village in 1944 at Phuba village. The Catholic Christians established some schools in Poumai villages.

Conclusion: Some of the changes were brought to the Poumai community during the British period. The people could freely move to other village after headhunting ceased. Better relationship was fostered with all the Poumai villages through the Peace Treaty known as Soutouyou and reconciliation made between the rival villages. The other significant change which occurred during the British Period was the introduction of the Christian religion this altered forever the fundamental animistic beliefs of the Poumai people. The Christian Missionaries taught the people to love and help one another, which was a boost to stop further headhunting in Poumai villages. In the later years, the introduction of modern education, contact with other people and other infrastructures available in the region has brought lots of changes in Poumai Naga society.

Copyright© Dr. R.B. Thohe Pou 2009

Ukhrul as the Manipur Summer Capital

The headline in Indian Express on 24th August 2009 came as “Centre explores Ukhrul as Manipur’s Summer Capital”. “The centre is exploring the idea of making Naga-dominated Ukhrul the summer capital of Manipur – to send the message that the territorial integrity of the state is non-negotiable, and that the Meteis must accommodates the people of the hill districts” (Indian Express). I don’t know how far it will be possible to apply the same, “Jammu and Kashmir Model” in Manipur State – where Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. “The centre is keen to impress on the state government that the hill districts must be integrated with the Metei-dominated plains” (ibid).

It is reported in local dailies of Manipur and Nagaland that the Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL), the apex body of the Tangkhul Naga community presented an Eleven Points Charter of Demand for the development of Ukhrul district to Union Home Secretary Gopal Pillai, with signatories of TNL President Stephen Angkang and K Dickson, General secretary, and one of the point charters is to consider “Ukhrul as summer capital of Manipur”. It is also interesting to note that all the ten point charters have given the justification for their proposal and demand but not a single justification is mentioned in their proposal and demand – Ukhrul to be the summer capital of Manipur (Morung Express). For the interest of the Naga people, it would be very appreciable if TNL would give the justification that Ukhrul becoming as the summer capital of Manipur will not affect the aspiration and dreams of Naga people to have One Administrative Unit and Rights to self-determination in the future or they may revoke their proposal and demand. Then the concern Naga people may be free from all kinds of speculation and misunderstanding as they come to know the justifications.

The most interesting part of the reports in Indian express was that Gopal Pillai seems trying to consider the proposal and demand of Ukhrul as summer capital of Manipur immediately – deferring or snubbing the other ten point chaters as he is aware of the state territorial integrity problems in Manipur. It is also observed that the centre may willingly accept the proposal and demand made by the TNL just to retain the State territorial integrity as the Union Home Ministry Secretary also said, “The territorial integrity of the state is non-negotiable”. For all the concern Naga people – Ukhrul becoming the summer capital of Manipur would be a sensitive issue but for some people – it would be a matter of inconveniences to commute. Some people may consider that Senapati should become the summer capital of Manipur – in term of population, multi-ethnicity and location – situated in the heart of the NH39 – the life line of Manipur State. Senapati may be the most suitable summer capital of Manipur but once Senapati or any Naga dominated district becomes the summer capital of Manipur – it may shatter the dream of Naga aspiration to have One Administrative Unit.

I’ve some questions in my mind but instead of directly I engross in answering those questions, it may be more prudent for me to leave the questions for the Naga people in Nagalim, Meteis and other communities in Manipur to ponder and answer by themselves:

A few questions to the Naga people to ponder:

1. What will happen to Nagalim once the Ukhrul emerged to Metei-dominated state and became the Summer Capital of Manipur?

2. Will the Naga people in Nagalim supports the proposal and demand made to the Union Home Ministry Secretary by the TNL, “Ukhrul as summer capital of Manipur”?

3. Do you think that before the Naga Political problem is solved, it may be good to avoid any Naga dominated district to become the capital of Manipur State or any other State?

4. What will be the benefit for the Naga people if the Ukhrul district – the birth place of NSCN top leader Muivah, becomes the Summer Capital of Manipur?

5. Will it be possible to revoke from summer capital of Manipur and become one of the administrative units of Nagalim in the future?

6. Why and how the Nagaland became a State and how many people were assassinated when the Nagaland became of the States of India?

7. Is it necessary to have two capitals in such a small state like Manipur?

8. Is it too hot that Imphal cannot be the capital in summer season in Manipur?

A few questions to the Meteis and other communities to ponder:

1. Should the Meteis and other communities take this opportunity and consider Ukhrul to be the summer capital of Manipur so that the concept of Manipur territorial integrity is implemented practically?

2. What will be advantages of Ukhrul becoming the summer capital, where the district is located in (declared) NH150 and having only 5.9% of the total population of the state?

3. Do you think that it will be convenience for the people of Manipur if the Tamenglong or Ukhrul or East Imphal District becomes the summer capital of Manipur when the accessibility is concern?

4. Should we consider Senapati District to be the summer capital of Manipur instead of Ukhrul as it is situated in the life line of NH39 and everyone from Manipur is accessible?

5. Should the Metei consider more development for the hill districts so that the people in the hill districts are not alienated and consider more on State territorial integrity?

6. Should the Meteis consider Ukhrul as the summer capital so as to bring better relationship with the Naga people in Manipur and keep the State territorial integrity intact?

7. Do you think that it would be good for Manipur State territorial Integration in the future if the Meteis and other communities in Manipur consider Ukhrul or any Naga dominated district to be the summer capital of Manipur?

8. Do you think that the insurgent problem will be reduced if the strong hold of NSCN becomes the summer capital of Manipur?

(The above view expressed here does not represent the view of any organization or community. Any feed-back can be sent to Email: – Dr. R.B. Thohe Pou

Centre for Ukhrul as Manipur’s summer capital

Shishir Gupta  Monday , Aug 24, 2009 at 2326 hrs New Delhi:



The Centre is exploring the idea of making Naga-dominated Ukhrul the summer capital of Manipur — to send the message that the territorial integrity of the state is non-negotiable, and that the Meiteis must accommodate the people of the hill districts.



Government sources told The Indian Express that the gunning down of three NSCN (I-M) cadres by the Assam Rifles on August 12 in Ukhrul district was a signal that there would be no “compromise” if the insurgent group violates the ceasefire agreement.



The Centre is keen to impress on the state government that the hill districts must be integrated with the Meitei-dominated plains, and efforts should be made to hold local elections in the hill districts, which have not seen polls since 1984. In this context, the government wants to apply the ‘Jammu and Kashmir model’ — where Srinagar is the summer capital — by shifting the state administration to Ukhrul in summer.

As part of the new initiative, Union Home Secretary Gopal Pillai and Secretary, DoNER, Jarnail Singh attended development seminars in Bishnupur and Senapati districts last week. Pillai reviewed the security situation in the state this morning with clear-cut instructions against any extra-judicial killings.



The recent killing of a former militant by security forces in a “fake encounter” also figured in the Home Secretary’s dialogue with the state. The fact is that while Chief Minister Ibobi Singh wanted to order a magisterial inquiry, the Union Home Ministry got him to order a judicial probe.


Tangkhul Naga Long charter of demand to GoI

Dimapur, August 3 (MExN): The Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL), the apex tribal body of
the Tangkhul Nagas recently presented an eleven point charter of demand for
development of Ukhrul district, which was submitted before Union Home Secretary
G.K Pillai in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. The TNL also
asked the GoI to consider on priority basis to organize a seminar – cum –
workshop on the eleven point charter of demand at Ukhrul during 2009-2010. The
TNL President Stephen Angkang and General Secretary K. Dickson in their
representation stated that such kind of public interaction will “dispel the
doubts and confusion hovering in the minds of the people to be reconciled
negative with positive thinking to bring drastic changes in the field of
economic and human resource development”. The TNL also hoped that the Union
Home Secretary will do the needful by inviting the concern ministries to
participate in the seminar and “clear the Project on the spot in the interest
of public service and the Nation”.
The eleven point charter of demand included development of National Highway
150; opening of State Bank of India; electricity – 132 Kv Power Sub-Station;
Cold Storage; Shiroi national park; Hill Districts Ring Road; Central Hill
University; Ukhrul as summer Capital of Manipur; F.M. Radio And Doordarshan;
Helicopter service from Imphal – Ukhrul and reconstruction of Tangkhul Naga
Long Shopping Complex.
Eleven point development vision for Ukhrul district
With regard to proper development of NH-150 the TNL hoped that this will lead
to ‘road transport security’. The TNL regretted that there was no water,
air, and railway to connect Ukhrul district with the rest of the country. The
only means of transport for Ukhrul District is the road transport via Kohima –
Jessami – Ukhrul – Churachandpur – Mizoram which has been declared as
National Highway (N.H. 150) in 1999. However, the TNL regretted that even after
a lapse of ten years, there is no sign of progress to achieve the target. “The
pathetic slow progress of the region is one of the reasons for lack of
people’s participation in all walks of life at par with the rest of the
country. Development of national highway in letter and spirit would mean road
transport security of the region”, it stated.
On ‘financial security’, the TNL was of the view that State Bank of India
is the largest and the most reliable public sector bank in India having more
than 11,111 branches in India as on 2008. While stating that many SBI branches
are to be opened in the North-East region, it regretted that “Ukhrul district
is not found in the map of SBI for reasons best known to them” and that in the
field of banking service, Ukhrul district is lacking behind to all the districts
of the country. “The State Bank of India at Ukhrul would mean financial
security of the people”, the TNL noted in its representation.
As far as the need for ‘power security’ was concerned, the TNL termed as
‘strange’  that the consumers are forced to pay light bill in time without
the current being supplied to them. It pointed out that in the absence of
electricity, there can be no industry and factory of any kind in the district
and also described Ukhrul district as the most backward district in the country
as far electricity was concerned. “Therefore, setting up of 132KV power
sub-station at Hungdung is needed to connect with the Power Grid of India for
securing uninterrupted supply of power like any part of India”, the TNL stated
while adding that security of power is essential for development of Industry and
information technology which is the need of the century.
On the food front, the TNL wanted cold storage facilities pointing out that
since the climatic condition of Ukhrul district favours growing varieties of
horticulture products and since they are perishable in nature, proper storage
was required. “The horticulture produces could be stored in cold storage to
enable the farmers to sell them with minimum support price during the season and
the same commodities could be sold out during off season which could fetch more
profit”, the TNL observed while stating that in the absence of cold storage
and state of art road transport facilities most of these produces have been
wasted before they are converted into money in the local, national &
international markets. “Setting up of cold Storage would mean food security
and incentive for farmers”.
Charter number five calls for development of ‘Shiroi National Park’ which
will give ‘water, ecology & environment security’. According to the TNL,
Shiroi Kashong and its surrounding foothill areas is the only source of drinking
water supply to district head quarter Ukhrul. “The Ukhrul district ceases to
exist without Shiroi Kashong water resource. Therefore, preservation and
conservation of Shiroi Kashong natural resources such as forest, water, flora &
fauna and surrounding catchment areas in the form and status of national park is
very much essential”, the TNL argued. Further Shiroi national park would also
mean saving the endangered flora ‘Shiroi Lily’ the state flower of Manipur
and “Uningthou –Phoenbehainesiana” the state tree of Manipur besides
“Dragopan Bhlythe” and many medicinal plants and herbs. “The proposed
national park will hasten Micro – Climate to reduce global warming and adverse
climatic changes. National park would ensure water, ecology and environment
security of Ukhrul district”, the TNL states.
The TNL has also proposed a ‘Hill Districts Ring Road’ for the purpose of
‘tribal trade and commerce security’. According to the representation the
five hill districts namely, Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel, Tamenglong and
Churanchandpur dominated by the indigenous tribals of Manipur state have been
recklessly neglected in the past by successive governments since Indian
independence. There is no connectivity between one hill district headquarters to
another by road or by air and as such one has to travel via Imphal which entails
more distance, expenditure, time and energy, the TNL stated. To overcome this
hurdle, construction of Hill Districts Ring Road is necessary. In this
connection the TNL has extended gratitude to the Japanese government for
sanctioning Rs. 1000/- crore (Rupees One Thousand Crore only) for the project.
The TNL stated that for such mega infrastructure development the contract work
shall be awarded to BRO or renowned national and international company which can
build quality road to connect all hill districts of Manipur. “Hill Districts
Ring Road would mean development of trade and commerce Security of the
On the human resource development front, the charter of demand has also called
for a Central Hill University. The TNL regretted that the Manipur Central
University, Chanchipur is yet to be a temple of learning for the tribals of
Manipur and that this centre of learning has become a centre for exploitation
for tribal and minorities in every aspect such as in the matter of recruitment
of teaching and non-teaching staff and allotment of seat for admission of tribal
and minorities in various disciplines. “Under the prevailing system of
administration, the tribal and minorities have been treated with step motherly
treatment and as such there is no congenial atmosphere to pursue higher
studies”, the TNL stated. As such, a separate central hill university would
mean new horizon and space for learning the value of life, culture and
development of scientific temper. Further Hill University would mean promotion
of culture, interest, indigenous method of learning and quality education,
stated the TNL.
The other charter of demand includes F.M. Radio and Doordarshan for promotion
of culture and national integration. In particular the TNL was of the opinion
that setting up of F.M. Radio Station at Ukhrul is the need of the hour for
dissemination of news in local dialect such as local, national and international
news, besides information of various developmental scheme such as NREGA, Rural
Health Mission and Right to Information Act, so that rural masses are well
informed in time about their rights and duties and enjoy the benefit of the
scheme. It also stated that such communication medium can lead to “revival of
Tribal Culture and Economic Development of the North Eastern Region” and that
this will “cement Unity in Diversity and National Integration”.
The TNL has also called for helicopter service from Imphal – Ukhrul to
promote tourism industry and also reconstruction of Tangkhul Naga Long shopping
complex which is situated at Wino Bazaar, Ukhrul. The place was gutted into
ashes on the 9th March 2009. The main source of income for running day to day
affairs of Tangkhul Naga Long is the house rent from this shopping complex. In
the absence of alternative source of Income for the existence of Social Apex
body of Tangkhul Community is at stake, it stated. It may be mentioned that the
TNL representation was also forwarded to Chief Minister, Manipur, Secretary,
Govt. of India, Ministry of Development of North East Region; Secretary, Govt.
of India, Ministry of Finance; Secretary, Govt. of India, Ministry of Human
Resource Dev; Secretary, Govt. of India, Ministry of Road Transport and
Highways; Secretary, Govt. of India, Ministry of Broadcasting and Information;
Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests; Secretary
Government of India, Ministry of Food processing; Joint Secretary, Govt. of
India, Ministry of Home Affairs( NE) besides other top officials from Manipur.
Demand for ‘equilibrium development security’
Dimapur, August 3 (MExN): The Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) in its eleven point
charter of demand for development of Ukhrul district, which was submitted before
Union Home Secretary G.K Pillai has also pushed the case for making Ukhrul the
summer capital of Manipur to achieve the objective of ‘equilibrium development
security’. In its representation the TNL lamented that since independence till
date, all developmental activities are confined within the “narrow cave of
Manipur valley” and that “funds allotted for development of Hill Districts
are being diverted to the narrow cave”. It pointed out that centrally
sponsored scheme funds are often refunded without being utilized for development
of tribal and backward areas “giving justification on ground of time bound
factors”. Further under the present job reservation of Manipur thirty one
percent (31%) jobs are reserved for the tribals, however, the tribals have
occupied fourteen percent (14%) only and the rest seventeen percent (17%) tribal
job Quotas have been “snatched away by the Meiteis who think that majority is
always right in democracy”. “In short, to bridge the gap of development
between Hill and the Valley, it will be sensible to make Ukhrul as the summer
capital of Manipur like Srinagar the Summer Capital of Jammu & Kashmir to secure
equilibrium development without which the scar of lopsided development will
remain incurable injustice”, the TNL stated.

TNL appeals GOI for developmental activities

DIMAPUR AUG 4 (EMN): The Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL), HQ Ukhrul has submitted an eleven point charter of demand to the Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI, its contents of which, the TNL stressed are in actuality basic

 developmental activities neglected by the Manipur government for the hill district of Ukhrul and its confluence.
In this connection, TNL has appealed that a seminar cum workshop on the charter demand entailed be conducted during the year 2009-10 so doubts and confusion hovering in the minds of the people are dispelled. The charter of demand submitted before GK Pillai, Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi, with signatories of TNL President Stephen Angkang and K Dickson, general secretary, implicated that all developmental activities since the day of independence were confined within the narrow cave of Manipur valley.
“Funds allotted for development of Hills district for many a time have been diverted to the narrow cave or often refunded without being utilized for development of tribal or backward areas,” it alleged.
TNL charter alleged that ‘17 percent out of the 30 percent of the present job reservation of Manipur have been snatched away by the Meiteis who think that majority is always right in democracy’.
While pointing out such anomalies, TNL has also included into their charter of demand that Ukhrul be made the summer capital of Manipur so as to ‘secure equilibrium in development and also bridge the gap of development between Hill and the Valley.’
TNL also projected the only means of road transport for Ukhrul district via Kohima-Jessami-Unhrul-Churachandpur-Mizoram which was declared as NH-150 but ironically has no seen any sign of progress after a lapse of ten years.
‘The pathetic slow progress of the region is one of the reasons for lack of people’s participation in all walks of life at par with the rest of the country. Development of National Highway in letter and spirit would mean road transport security of the region, TNL representation urged.
The charter also demanded a separate central hill university for the tribals of Manipur while alleging that Manipur central university in Churachanpur was hardly a temple of learning for the tribals because of step motherly treatment meted out to them. “This centre of learning has become a centre for exploitation for tribals and minorities in every aspect such as in the matter of recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff and allotment of seat for admission of tribal and minorities in various discipline,’ it further claimed.
The charter also demanded on the setting up of the 132 KV Power sub-station at Hungdung. The charter deemed the present electricity distribution of Ukhrul district as strange in a sense that the consumers have been forced to pay light bill in time without the current being supplied to them. Lamenting that most of the time there was no power during day time, it alleged that the supply of power are hardly 2-4 hours.
Also highlighting on matters of financial security of the people, the charter expressed sadness that Ukhrul district do not seem to have a place in the map of SBI for ‘reasons best known to them.’ Even a small hamlet like Sekmai, famous for local liquor production has an SBI branch, but Ukhrul district is lacking behind, the charter stated adding that SBI at Ukhrul would mean security of the people.
The other points of demand included the need for cold storage for food security, setting up of Shiroi National Park for water, ecology and environment security and connectivity of the five hills district ring road for tribal trade and commerce security. 
The TNL further appealed to the Home Affairs that all the concerned ministries be invited to participate at the proposed seminar and the numerous projects cleared on the spot in the interest of public service.