TODAY -

The Thadou renaissance

Paoginthang @ Boigin Lhouvum *

Thadou Dance performed at Cultural Exchange programme of Chandel District at Aimol Khullen Village  :: December 16 2014
Thadou Dance performed at Aimol Khullen Village on December 16 2014 :: Pix - Daniel Chabungbam



The 1st Thadou Cultural Festival 2016 or "HUN" in Thadou with the theme "My Culture, My Identity" from April 6th 8th at Ngahmun, Sadar Hills has been overwhelmingly successful. Billion thanks to the Thadou Cultural Festival Organising Committee, Thadou Inpi, TSA, TYA and TWA. It is due to their untiring efforts that gave the Festival a glittering success. Besides, the bands Jingkar Bongnoi and Anggu Sings It and a bunch of Thadou singers MK, Mjay, Lovejoy, Paoboy, etc enthralled the jam-packed audience. Indeed it was one of the greatest festivals Manipur and the entire country witness.

Delegates and Cultural troupes from Assam, Delhi, Myanmar and elsewhere added it to the beauty of the Festival. The Festival shook the Kuki community paving the way for a better future. The presence of several sister tribes is a manifestation of the gravity the Festival have had.

The President of the Thadou Inpi stooping low and asking the forgiveness of the sister tribes is a never-heard-before ritual in modern days illustrating the age-old practice of the Thadous in mending shrunken relationship with its kinsman and others. This amply signifies the peace loving Thadous and their great zeal for the unity of Kuki unlike the 'dismantling propagandist' tag as projected by some nuisance individuals.

Some Literati might peruse and object it to why the word 'Renaissance' has been applied to Thadou Cultural Festival. Renaissance is a period in European history between the 14th and 17th centuries when there was a new interest in science and in ancient art and literature. It is a situation or period of time when there is a new interest in something that has not been popular in a long time.

Thadou is not a new phenomenon that pops out of nowhere and assert its rightful place. It has a fine long history dating back to the 600 BCE. 'The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma' chronicled vividly beyond doubt the renown 17 Thado kings whose reign began with Thado Dhajaraja in 600 BCE and ended with Thado Maharaja whose sons founded Sri Ksetra kingdom in 483 BCE.

The Cave or Khul from where the Thadous originated is said to be in Kholmunlen village in Chandel district. The expedition conducted by Kuki Research Forum at Kholmunlen village bolster many Research Scholars in pursuing the origin and history of the Thadous and many tribes otherwise based on a hypothesis. No doubt the Thadous are the indigenous people and never bother for land as they considered the places they tread upon as their territory.

There are many historical evidences to prove it and extensive research is in the process. The Myanmar Govt accorded Thado as one of the significant indigenous tribe of Myanmar and many souvenirs extant today aptly unveil the dignified status Thado had and still occupied.

The Kuki society is infested with numerous fallacies dissuading the younger generation from factual evidences. The truth is distorted and gimmick widespread. Truth is far from the grasp of the common man. It is a well known fact that the Bible is translated into Thadou mostly by Ngulhao Thomsong also known as the father of the modern Thadou.

He accomplished in translating the New Testament in Thadou and some books of the Old Testament. Someone took up his unaccomplished task and changed the name Thadou Bible to Kuki Bible, a non-existent language sowing the seed of misunderstanding in the Kuki society hitherto. But truth can't be hidden for long and someday somewhere it will shine the light of day.

Thadou as a vibrant and dynamic tribe flourished gradually from the day the Constitution of India recognized it as a Schedule Tribe under the Constitution in 1956. So, Renaissance is an apt word to exhibit the current trend of the Thadou. It has come a long way with many ups and downs. The rejection and misunderstanding of many lead to its seeming slumber for years.

Yet it gain momentum through the tireless efforts of few dedicated Thadous and its rebirth or Renaissance begin many years back and cemented at the Thadou Cultural Festival. People abashed of professing their identity as a Thadou now proclaim it publicly. It has an immense future and will regain its past glory and honour someday. That day is not far from today.

Being a Thadou I have been observing and following the activities of the Thadou leaders every now and then. We do know every human being is replete with flaws in someway or the other. The demeanour, outlook and ideology of the Thadou leaders be it the Inpi, Students Association and Youth Association is commendable.

Unlike other organisations where its leaders compromise people movements with hush money, the Thadou leaders fought tooth and nail against injustices without any expectaions for money or other worldly gain. Their sole concern is for the welfare of the people and nothing less. However, some black sheep might be there as is usual in every society. But that's an exception compare to the legacy the leaders adhere to.

Once again I would like to inculcate in every individual mind that there is no Kuki language as such. We adopted Kuki as a common nomenclature encompassing sister tribes Paite, Gangte, Vaiphei, Simte, Kom, Chiru,etc. Each tribe has its own distinct and unique culture, tradition and language. The languages do have some common relation in terms of history, origin, usage and many more in between but retaining their own unique character and taste.

So, to bypass all these distinctness without the knowledge of the tribes and projecting Thadou language as Kuki language was and is a gross injustice and utter deception. Meanwhile, the Thadou never supports such absurd theory and unilateral concept of some vested interests. But when all the stakeholders which are the sister tribes acquiesce to have a common language it will consult with them for good.

The appeal of the Thadou Inpi President to the sister tribes is very much appreciated by the latter and they make the assurance that they will take up the matter with their tribe leaders and members. Some tangible positive outcome is expected. Nevertheless, possessiveness of Kuki will lead us to nowhere. Stop monopolizing and commodify Kuki if you desire intensely to be a glorious nation. But rather persuade the dissenting tribes heart and soul to come into the fold once again without any foul play. Until then no lip-service Please!


* Paoginthang @ Boigin Lhouvumwrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on May 20, 2016.


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