Unfortunate/inappropriate misundertanding within the Zeliangrong community

Amu Kamei *

The President of Manipur Kabui Union (MKU), Shri. Heera Malangmei Kabui on 10th June 2019 misquoted and condemned Amu Kamei, President Zeliangrong Union (Assam, Manipur & Nagaland) in the local newspaper over the Kabui communities stating that “It reflects the elements of disregarding his own original custom and tradition and he should clarify in connection with the misleading statement as it may create hatred and disintegrate among the communities” based on the discussion programme on Gaan-Ngai broadcasted by a local cable network on 20th January 2019.

As stated above, being the President of the Zeliangrong Union (AMN) would like to clarify as below.

(1) As per historical background of Zeliangrong Union, the ZU was formed in the year 1925 and was called

(2) According to the formation of the Zeliangrong Union and the historical background during the British period when the Political Agent of Manipur was Mr. G.P. Steward ICS, he granted a plot of land for the KABUI Association, he noted in the allotment order the name as KABUI NAGA ASSOCIATION. Since then "Kabui Naga Association" became its name. But on 15th Feb 1947 prominent "Kacha-Naga"(Zeme/ Liangmei) leaders from Naga Hills of Assam visited Manipur and held a Joint Conference with the leaders of the Kabui Naga Association of Manipur State at Keishamthong, Imphal.

During the British period Zeme, Liangmei, Rongmei and Puimei of Manipur state were known as KABUI while Zeme and Liangmei of Naga Hills of Assam were branded as KACHA-NAGA. The Joint Conference decided to form a combined organisation for the KABUIS' and the KACHA-NAGAS, since they did not prefer to use neither KABUI nor KACHA-NAGA they coined a new nomenclature for the combine organisation as "ZE-LIANG-RONG". The combined and united body was called ZELIANGRONG. After the amalgamation the plot of land belongs to the Zeliangrong community as a whole.

(3) In 1959, a delegation of Puimei leaders met the MZU ( Manipur Zeliangrong Union) President and executive members at Tamenglong and complained that their name (PUIMEI) was not in the nomenclature of "Zeliangrong". So they demanded for inclusion of the name "PUI" in the nomenclature of Zeliangrong and MZU executive committee gave an assurance to the Puimei delegation. Accordingly in an executive committee meeting of MZU presided by President, Shri. D. Athuibou and the members present resolved to replace "Zeliangrong" by "Haomei/Hamei" in the nomenclature.

In the gap of 1947 to 1959 i.e. 12 years, the Puimei delegation made a rightful claim to protect and preserve their culture and tradition. Accordingly, during the year 1972-73, under the leadership of Shri. G.L. Gaishing a memorandum was submitted to the Government of India for recognisation of of Zemei, Liangmei, Rongmei & Puimei as any Zeliangrong tribe but GOI differed the demand of any Zeliangrong tribe due to different language and dialect.

But in the year 1980-81 under the President ship of Shri. K. Meijinlung a memorandum was submitted to the Information and Broadcasting Union Minister, GOI during his visit to Manipur for recognition of Zeliangrong committee in lieu of Kacha-Naga as Zemei, Liangmei and Kabui as Puimei & Rongmei.

At that point of time when Puimei made a complaint to the MZU( Manipur Zeliangrong Union), the Kabui did not make any complaint or any objection/ regret for the recognition as per MZU and ZU record so far according to historical documents. But in the year 2012 a bill was introduced for recognition of any tribe for further clarification and objection from any angle. The Zeliangrong Union further stated to the Ministry of tribal affairs, GOI that we have no objection to the long standing demand for recognition of Zeliangrong union.

After that Ministry of Law and justice published in the Gazette of India under the Ministry of Law and Justice on 9th Jan 2012/PUSA 18,1933(SAKA)
(a) for entry 8, substitute
"8. Kabui, Inpui, Rongmei";
(b) for entry 9, substitute
"9. Kacha Naga, Liangmei, Zemei";

And Manipur gazette notification on impahl, 22nd March, 2012.
(i) for entry 8, substitute
"8. Kabui, Inpui, Rongmei"
(ii) for entry 9, substitute
"9. Kacha naga, Liangmei, Zemei";

After a long gap of 71 years i.e. from 1947 to 2018;

(4) On 29th March 2018, Shri. Lanbon Kabui Secretary, General , Kabui Kariumei Phom submitted an application regarding formation of Kabui Kariumei Phom addressed to me. Accordingly I share the matter before the Union Assembly on 2nd April 2018 at Majorkhul community Hall. The assembly took a decision based on Gazette of India and Manipur and resolved under resolution No. 7. tribes of the Zeliangrong.

But as a contradict on 10th June 2019 through a local newspaper Shri. Heera Malangmei Kabui, President, Manipur Kabui Union published an article condemning me stating that "Kabui is replaced by Inpui and Rongmei" and disregarding his own original customs and traditions and to clarify in connection with the misleading statements as it may create hatred and disintegrity among the community.

(5) I, Amu Kamei being the President of Zeliangrong union (5) I, Amu Kamei being the President of Zeliangrong union (AMN) for the several indigenous cognate tribe under Zeliangrong have rendered my sincere service, sacrifice, time for the unity, integrity, prosperity, peace, harmony, development and to safeguard and protect the indigenous cognate tribe based on the historical background and footprints of our forefathers.

It is my humble and strong determination to work and exercise my duty and power as President to uplift the Zeliangrong cognate tribes in every field and aspect of life. My sincere service of 38 years as a social activist rendered to my community shall not be unnoticed and be in vain. Those times will not come back as I grow older i.e. 68 years. Though I maybe a poor man but my zeal to work for my community is prosperous and I am satisfied and contended for the service that I have rendered.

Even so in the future I will render my service withstanding all obstacle for my community. I have never noticed objections/condemnation/challenge among any other civil organisation so among our Zeliangrong community instead of pulling each other down with condemning, objecting and also challenging let us work together with appreciation and encourage each other to achieve our goals with understanding and sharing each other view instead of showing our weaknesses to the world in this context through media. Let not hatred takes over us, Love, understanding, and hard work among our Zeliangrong cognate tribe is the only tools to achieve an overall development in our life and for the generations to come.

(6) Regarding the formation of Kabui the letter addressed to the President, ZU (AMN) was from the organisation " Kabui Kariumei Phom" with Shri. K. Heera Kabui as President and Shri. Labon Kabui as Secretary, General. Unfortunately on 10th June,2019 through local newspaper an article of condemn was published by Shri. Heera Malangmei Kabui of an organisation " Manipur Kabui Union" but as per the record of Zeliangrong Union " Kabui Karuimei Phom" is recognised but Zelianrong Union does not hold any records about "Manipur Kabui Union" till date.

The ZU would like to know if "Manipur Kabui Union" have excluded the Kabuis of other state i.e. Assam and Nagaland, a clarification would be needed on this. If any sub organisation change the name it is the duty of the concern organisation to inform and submit to its Apex body, so far ZU does not posses any records of the changed name of the organisation.

(7) For knowledge of everyone "Kabui Kariumei Phom" is one part of the Zeliangrong Union. As stated by Shri. Heera Malangmei Kabui , President, Manipur Kabui Union about the discussion programme on "GAAN-NGAI" broadcasted on 20th Jan 2019, If there is any unsatisfactory comment or doubt about the discussion, everything could have been sort out within our community and why does the organisation delay for 5 months, was it intentionally or being instigated by others to falsely condemn me.

I would request the above said organisation to watch the broadcast again and review their condemnating allegation and apologise at the earliest. I strongly disagree the statement of Shri. Heera Malangmei Kabui about disregarding my original customs and traditions and misleading statements to create hatred and disintegrity among the community but contradictly it is their action which will bring disunity.

I have never betrayed my tribe of Zeliangrong community and I will never do so. I work only to safeguard and protect the Zeliangrong tribes. So clarify and apologise at the earliest as this is a strong action of defamation.

(8) However, I appreciate Shri. Heera Malangmei Kabui, President, MKU for his sincere and sensitive action taken up to protect his people. I hope he will continue his zeal for his community but falsely condemning each other will only bring us down. I would like to request and advice to think hundred times before publishing any allegation or condemning any leaders in future.

* Amu Kamei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is the president of Zeliangrong Union (AMN)
This article was webcasted on June 25, 2019.

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