Intriguing and fascinating as it may, a Hindu based online magazine, Sanskriti magazine, had published an article titled, ‘North-East Tribals and their connection to Ancient India’ where the magazine made tall claims about the indigenous tribals of the North East belief that they are an integral part of Mahabharata and Ramayana and that the indigenous tribals are still following their traditions.
An extraction from the article said that Ukhrul in Manipur is connected with the wife of Arjuna.
‘Ukhrul in Manipur connects itself with Uloopi, the Naga wife of Arjuna who played a major role as a stepmother to Bhabhruvahana and also in saving Arjuna’s life. Iravan was the son of Arjuna and Uloopi. The Thangkul tribe is well known for its martial arts and they comprise of over 40% of members of National Socialist Council of Nagland that wants to establish their own sovereign state of Nagalim.
All in all, India’s indigenous tribes belong to India. Sadly, they have been segregated, used and abused the British Empire who, while ruthlessly suppressing them, imposed their religion and ideology on the people. The post-Independence political parties of India who see these tribal as nothing more than a voting bank haven’t helped much in improving their situation. Thanks to this indifference, foreign ideologies both from Christian Missionaries with their number game and the Maoists of China threaten to rip the North-East apart from rest of India.’
The tall claim made by this Hindu based magazine is baseless and at best flimsy. The district, Ukhrul is inhabited by the Tangkhul Nagas and absolutely have no connection whatsoever with Arjuna or Mahabharata. The botched Sanskriti magazine researcher perhaps forgot to fact check history and got very confused with the term Nagas as mentioned in the Mahabharata and the word Naga associated with over 60 Naga tribes of North East. While the former means snake in Sanskrit, the later, Naga is derived from the word Naka meaning people with pierced ears, something a 5th grader should be able to research over google.
The other indigenous tribes of North East and their connection with Mahabharata as mentioned in the articles are:
1. Idu Mishmi tribes of Arunachal Pradesh considers itself to be from the lineage of Krishna’s wife, Rukmini.
2. The Khasi tribe of Meghalaya are famous for their archery skills. However, this archery is peculiar because they use two fingers only in shooting and discharging the arrows in place of a finger and thumb as done by other archers. Most of the people in the Khasi tribe have never heard of Eklavya but legend has it that one of their ancestors gave up his thumb in Guru Daskshina and therefore the thumb should never be used during archery.
3. Dimapur is the largest city in Nagaland. Some people believe that this word is a corruption of Hidimbapur, depicting the city of Hidimba of Mahabharata, wife of Bhima and mother of Ghotokacha. He is believed to be the progenitor of Kacharis, a kingdom that was prosperous once in the region. Kachhar dynasty is the descendents of Kirat dynasty described in Mahabharata. There is a place in Dimapur where huge chess pieces still lie around in dilapidated state. Folklore marks this to be the place where Bhima and Ghotokacha played chess.
4. Bodo tribe of Assam consider themselves to be descendants of Brahma and those not converted into Christianity practice Brahmoism.
5. The Karbis claim to be the offspring of Sugriva. Karbis believe they came to the Northeast in search of purthemi kungripi (Sita Mata) during the Treta yuga, and failed to return to Ayodhya according to “SABIN ALUN“, a Karbi version of Ramayana.
The writer’s cheap attempt to saffronise the tribes of North East India with distorted facts, eliciting deception of historical facts to the vast majority Hindu Indians is certainly at best outrageous and condemnable, and invites contempt charge against the entire editorial staff of Sanskriti Magazine. To cherry on top, the writer accused the British Empire, the Christian Missionaries and the Maoist China for alienating North East from the rest of India.
This article was published way back in 2015 but is as relevant today as it was in 2015. To read the full article click the link here