Our Motherland Manipur is Lamenting with Pain and We, her Children Should Not Continue to Silently Spectate

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File photo: Kangla Fort Imphal

BORN AND RAISED in the same cradle, have you no more love for your younger brothers settling in the valley, dear elder brothers of the hills? Even though we have been termed separately as Meitei, we used to reside together with our elder brothers in the hills, and hence we both still have a lot of similarities in tradition, culture, and language.

Lots of folklore and ancient Meitei manuscripts narrated among the Meitei community mention the relationship between the hills-men and the valley dwellers. But there has been a time in the history of Manipur when the arrival of a foreign religion and culture created a big gap in the relationship among us brothers and brought hatred. If the memories of the gruesome events of the past keeps on making our relationship broken and problematic, how can we bring peace and development to our motherland? Dearest good-hearted brothers of the hills, please forgive the past naïve wrongdoings of your dearest Meitei brothers. By building up a united society among us brothers let us save our motherland from the outsiders.

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In Meitei’s Lai Haraoba, the Tangkhul Nuraabi is observed without fail. The epic story of Moirang Kangleirol is incomplete without the story of Kabui Salang Maiba. Among Meitei’s popular adage, there is the mention of the Maring tribe’s craftsmanship. If we remember the story of Maram Chanu Engallei we will surely love the deity Langol Tarung Larembi who is a Maram tribe lady which is being worshipped by the Meiteis to date.

There are other indigenous tribes who have connections with the Meiteis, but now we have been separated as Meiteis and Nagas and have moved away far from our oneness. The changes brought by foreign religions have bought various changes such as development in our land but amidst these good changes, we can see feelings of hatred being grown among us. There have been disagreements among us but even though we are having those past grudges, we must make sure that we forgive each other and agree to bring a solution where there will be a peaceful and safe Manipur for the generations to come.

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Having been born and raised in our motherland Manipur we are bound to love her unconditionally but those selfish outsiders who do not have a proper origin who came and took refuge in our land are trying to destroy this land. Mother nature’s greeneries and forests are being destroyed by them and, they are trying hard to break the relationship among us indigenous native settlers. Is it our fault for showing refuge and sympathy to them when they came saying they were less in number, they had no place to stay and no food to eat? These outsiders have acted like savages and repeatedly stripped the dignity and pride of our motherland and, they have mercilessly killed, tortured, and violated your Meitei brothers. Can you keep on watching such heinous acts, dearest warrior brothers of the hills?

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My fellow Meitei brothers let us not lose hope. Let us try together to console our lamenting motherland Manipur. Do not stay silent. We must respect and fulfil the wishes of those brave souls who have sacrificed their lives for the integrity of Manipur. Dearest brothers of the hills, please rise with full strength and join the safeguarding of the integrity of our motherland Manipur. When we both brothers unite firmly, how can we not succeed? The love and unity among us will bring victory against the outsiders and save our motherland Manipur. I proudly say that I have friends who belong to various indigenous tribes of Manipur, and they have happily translated the sentence below into their respective languages.

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“Let us all unite together and save our motherland Manipur.”

“Eikhoi amatta oina punsinduna Ema Leibak Manipur asi kanminnasi”: Meitei-lon

“Ethum akhasada rangarumda ava ram Manipurhi kanrumsa”: Tangkhul-lon

“Akai meigoi meina lungchamlana akhatna sulana akai jeankamei kandi Manipur ta kanchamdikho”: Rongmei / Kabui-lon

“Ka namba pullak pe kai ema leipak Manipur awa kallase”: Maring-lon

“Nyii maihang asui n’ joisa nyii Manipur sazii go tii hale”: Maram-lon

Marjing Mayanglambam is a M.A. Student – Ethnomusicology, University of North Texas. Views are personal.

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