The former UNLF chief stressed on the need for mutual respect among different communities making Manipur their homes. He also emphasized that “communities coming in from outside the State need to respect the diverse cultures, history and sentiments of the people”.
TFM Report by RK Tayal
Former chief of the proscribed United National Liberation Front (UNLF) of Manipur, RK Meghen aka Sanayaima said that issues related to the existential crisis of the Meitei/Meetei community are turning out to be more acute with each passing day. He pointed out that the Meitei/Meetei community had their own tradition on philosophy of life in-tune with the indigenous faith Sanamahi religion. However, with pressures exerted by external forces throughout different epochs in history, the indigenous ways of life have turned into a queer cauldron of various beliefs and ideologies.
The former UNLF chief said this on the side-lines of a function to pay tribute and commemorate Numit Lal Numit at the Nupi Lal Memorial Complex on Monday. Meghan said that identity crisis has been plaguing the indigenous Meitei/Meetei community since a long time back. As such, this has created an elusive environment where the community’s existence is akin to “a floating moss, with no deep rooted sense of belongingness”.
RK Meghen maintained that the recent incident at Khurai Ahongpung was a prime example of the issue that arose out of Manipur’s historical crisis. The incident could have been averted if appropriate authorities and local residents had taken prior measures to safeguard and respect the traditional sanctity accorded to the area.
The former UNLF chief stressed on the need for mutual respect among different communities making Manipur their homes. He also emphasized that “communities coming in from outside the State need to respect the diverse cultures, history and sentiments of the people. If not, such clashes will be unavoidable”, he added.
RK Meghen also stated that in recent times Manipur is seeing a rise in number of local entrepreneurs trying to break into big markets using local indigenous products. Such efforts however enterprising, cannot match up to the mammoth capitalist economy which has infiltrated the State’s economy, he said. He pointed out that most the products sold in the local markets are imported products which actually showcased the fragile reality of the State’s economy. As such, Meghen stressed on the need to support local enterprises and encourage indigenous products.
On the occasion, the former UNLF chief Rebel stated that Nupi Lal Numit signifies the daily struggles of every Manipuri women who are making their ends meet by earning wages, raising their children and also raising their voices to be heard by the “deaf social and political reality”. He maintained that conjuring the courage to face the daily struggles of life is the true essence of Nupi Lal. He further stated that Nupi Lal Numit serves as a reminder to awaken the spirit to fight against injustice committed by State and people who pay no heed to the sufferings of the people.
The Nupi Lals were two demonstrations led by women in Manipur against the then colonial forces. In 1904, the First Nupi LaL broke out as a result of an order by the colonial authorities to send Manipuri men to the Kabaw Valley to fetch timber for re-building the then Political Agent’s bungalow. More than 5,000 women folk took part in the uprising which lasted a week.
The second Nupi Lal broke out in 12 December, 1939 in response to the export of rice by Marwari businessman with the support of the colonial British authority during the Second World War. The export induced a man-made famine in the State. The movement later evolved into a movement for constitutional and administrative reforms in Manipur.