NTIMES : 1July: Proposed map of Kukiland/ Kuki State
Written by Mizoram Express Photos Jan 24, 2011
The demand for creation of Kukiland/Kuki state has been revived after a long lull. Earlier, it was mainly confined to parts of Senapati and Ukhrul districts in Manipur. However, this time the Kuki State Demand Committee which was formed last year has released the proposed map of their demand area comprising a major chunk of Manipur. The demand area comprises of Churachandpur district, Chandel district, parts of Tamenglong district, parts of Senapati district and parts of Ukhrul district.
This latest demand which is allegedly supported by the KNO leaves the four valley districts of Imphal east and west, Bishenpur and Thoubal district. It maybe mentioned that the Kuki State Demand Committee had already submitted a Memorandum to UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi last year. The proposed Kuki State/Kukiland During the British Raj, the Hmars and those living in Lushai Hills were referred to as the Old Kukis whereas those living in Manipur’s Senapati and other parts of Manipur were called the New Kukis.
However, with the Mizo Union gaining strength in the Lushai Hills, various tribes living along the present Mizoram-Assam-Manipur border began to identify more with the word Mizo, which was created to unite all Zo tribes under one platform for engaging with India for an independent nation. However, the New Kukis in Manipur remained cut-off from mainstream Mizo nationalism and today they still identified themselves with the word Kuki comprising several clans like the Haokips, Thadou, Kipgen, etc.
It is not yet known whether major Mizo tribes in Manipur- the Hmars and Paites- have joined the Kuki State Demand Committee. However, since, all the Zo tribes in Manipur have so many common features, it will not be surprising if the Kuki statehood had already been chalked-out silently by the leaders of all the major tribes to “safeguard” their land against the so-called Manipuris even as the Nagas want to break away from Manipur.