Kabui/Rongmei: Observations of a doubling ethnic identity

Aug 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Commentary

By  Sanjit Kamei & Gwangphun Gangmei

Freetalk is a Voluntary Research Initiative team usually organise to bring about a desire change, progress and prosperity in the society through researching and reasoning. We believe that, more of public open Interaction will bring our people closer’to each other for common growth of the society. It will bridge the gap of understanding and make us more aware of the problems and respect each other’s personal opinion. The outcome of the interaction would be placed on record and proposes for wider information and needful implementation thereof. Freetalk is not a forum to resolve or decide the will of the people but a simple means to strengthen the people organisation through feeding reliable information, logistic thinking, and possible technical support.

The members present in the session have freely expressed their concerns, views and suggestions on the interaction agenda without any negative mindset and the rapporteurs’ recorded the pulse and perception of the members of the session. Therefore, this session concludes in the following common considerable points that:

Considering the actual implication of having dual identities as Kabui/Rongmei for the same indigenous community or tribe, the matter is viewed as a hindrance and undesirable creation causing disturb feeling and undue differences among the community.

It is observed and believed that, the name Kabui or Rongmei are not given name by any rule or authority on earth but called by other people as per their assumption prompted them phenomenally or by creation. Even so, at no point of time have the community collectively established or accepted as people mandate or consensus on either Kabui/Rongmei. Past history may prove of what we are today, but we can create our better history for tomorrow by how we decide and live today without losing the value record of the past history. Therefore it is pertinent to gather facts, reasons, truth on the history of the community and establish a commonly acceptable term or tribal name as our people’s true identity.

Observed and Concerned that, the community have deeply sensed the need to assert, maintain and develop their distinct identity including the rights to identify themselves as indigenous people amidst and among the many ethnic groups in the North-eastern region and world-wide.

Recognising the deeply attached feeling of Kabui on one side and Rongmei on the other side, both the name is to be honoured as synonyms and official recognition of both the name for the same community be taken for granted as advantage rather than drawback. It is only an inclusion of the community in the Scheduled tribe list on the aspect of equality and economy stability of Indian citizen as per constitutional provision of India. It has nothing to do with the whole aspect of the community lorganisation culture, tradition etc. Here the will and the desire of the people to live as one without any feeling of separatism, or division is final despite the dual name. It is also sensed that, incorporation and development of our history, cultural, tradition and custom of the community be considered essential in asserting our distinct and unique identity among diverse ethnic communities of the world around us.

Views and suggest that, the nomenclature Zeliangrong cannot be accounted for a tribe because it has three distinct names of communities, Zeme, Liangmai & Rongmei. Many speakers support to adopt the Zeliangrong as the tribe name of this community saying that if called Zeliangrong than no any other confusion or misunderstanding of Kabui/Rongmei will exist. However now, that, the Zeme, Liangmai, Rongmei and Inpui are separately recognised and distinguished as tribes. The seeming residues of Zeliangrong, Kabui and Kacha Naga are left to the wish of the people.

Admit that, the above views and observations are only collective personal opinions not people’s decision. However, proposed that, the views and observations may be considered for further references and study in the future course of researching, refining and consultation for ultimate people resolutions. Together let us create our history that will make the poster generations live in prideful acknowledgement of our right action and decision we take today without.forgetting; the past history.

Other groups of people claimed that Haomei is the right term or name of the community giving lots of historical fact and finding as evidences. Many others express their opinion to adopt the possible choice of the majority not to have any more problems and confusion however truth should be reveal and make clear to the public even if we have to accept the opinion of the majority without the alteration of the originality of the community.

Finally many middle path followers suggested and gave their opinion not to stick only in one theory but need to do more in-depth research work and more frequent freetalk interaction seeking the consensus of the people to have its originality before we finally decided to call by one correct and acceptable name so that no further confusion exist. This interaction is perceived and concluded to be a change catalyst and an agent of understanding and information sharing for the progress and prosperity of the community breaking the hard core barrier of orthodox thinking.

Here is an elaborate outlook of the Contendine aspect of doubline Identity:

There are different opinion regarding the origin and the evolution of the community like Kabui, Rongmei a recognised one and many more unrecognised single man theory like Haomei, Longdimei, Haamei etc. Another theory called Zeliangrong also co-exists. However, different groups considered it to be an organisation name and other group as a tribe name since the formation on 15th Feb. 1947 at Keisamthong for a positive and development of the people. Since the existence of this name Zeliangrong, many attempts were made for the recognition as a tribe name. However, certain technical problems and divided interest among the communities and their involvement in high level has made it non feasible till today. The community Zemei and Liangmei which were known as Kacha Naga and Rongmei is now recognised as a separate distinct tribe in Manipur state without any more confusion.

We have a habit to consider being right in our stand and we become static. We are afraid of losing our work or theory or importance in the society for what we have initiated. However, many of us does not realised that we need to look beyond our own concept for the common interest and for the development of our society to have a better place to live and prosper. Whatever we say or do may be right or wrong, without unity and common consensus there will not be a true development.

It becomes a high time that we need to rethink or relook seriously on the aspect and type of our people problems. Our personal egoistic, mental lethargy, indifferences to social responsibility, selfish oriented leaders, must be put to check and changed. Today we have the knowledge but not wisdom. We have the data but not information. We hear the news and understood but we do not produce it in action. The freetalk team strongly believed that we can change and makes a difference in the society if we improve and change our mental culture to a positive one. We can unite our effort and create a conducive environment for growth, progress and prosperity. We can easily solve our problems. As J.F. Kennedy once stated that problems are man-made, and so man can solve it. It is not the trouble makers that destroy our society; it is the inactivity of the good and able people that destroy it. It is up to us to decide what type of society we want to have and inherited. No miracle will take place to change us or no any outsider will come to solve our problems. It is only we who is responsible and who can solve our own problems when we have open mind and free thinking habits. It is firmly believe that we all together can win and create a better society if we think we can and we must. No force or power on this earth can stop us from uniting against our wish and will. Always truth and love for humanity can strengthen our power to change anything for the betterment of our society.

Free talk is an open sharing of Ideas, interest and concern in a friendly manner intending to heighten our thoughts, capacity, relation and responsibility towards building and serving humanity and Nation. It is a research initiative of likeminded friends whose hearts and hands have been touched by the graces of service to humanity.

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