A history of Manipur: C.1890-1930

Mrs. Grimwood: From Sylhet to Manipur- C.1890

Mrs. Grimwood [c.1890] gives a vivid description of the journey they had taken to reach Manipur. From Sylhet, it took them 16 days to reach the remote kingdom. First, they started in a boat. A nightlong boat journey it was with a romantic moon giving it a dreamy look. Then came the second phase: a journey on horseback. One interesting event she mentions was that of the reluctant coolies leaving their job and escaping. The coolies had in one voice protested that the Memsahib’s boxes were too big, awkward and unwieldy. But they could not disobey an English officer’s orders. So, reluctantly though, they had started carrying the bundles employing as many as three for one particularly bulky box.

A few miles down the route, something lying by the road struck Mrs. Grimwood. And she was right. It was one of her boxes. But bigger surprises were awaiting her. A little distance from there, all their belongings were lying by roadside and there were no signs of the coolies. They had left the job and made themselves scarce leaving the luggage there. They would rather live incognito in different localities than carry the unmanageable loads. Mr. Grimwood had to, with the help of the local thana, hire a new set of coolies from among the villagers there and make them carry the luggage without allowing them to stray beyond his eyes.

It took them a few days to reach Silchar where the European officers gave them a warm welcome. They stayed there a day or two before finally starting for Manipur. The coolies now were some Nagas and Kukis. While the Nagas had fascinating haircuts, the Kukis had worn long hairs in nape buns. These people did not make a fuss about the unwieldiness of the boxes. Continue Reading

The Meetei and the Bishnupriya

A book discussing the origin of the Manipuris and the Bishnupriyas written by Wangkhemcha Chingtamlen, Published by the Wangkhem family in 1999, Price Rs 65/, (in special cover), Page 70.
Reviewed by: Konsam Kulladhwaja

While the Manipuris, especially the Manipuris outside Manipur are still facing the Bishnupriya problem it would be worthwhile to bring out such books that shows a clarification on the Bishnupriya. Besides Ch Manihar’s book ‘A clarification on the Bishnupriya in relation to the Manipuris’ which is commendable, this book is also worthy to be mentioned. Continue Reading

The crisis poses a clear threat to Myanmar’s democratic transition.

The international community’s failure to address Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis has resulted in massive displacement from Rakhine state. The crisis poses a clear threat to Myanmar’s democratic transition. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – Third Update early warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to support strong Security Council action and push for multilateral and bilateral engagement with Myanmar’s civilian and military leaders.

Since Crisis Group’s warning in its February Watch List, Rakhine state’s “alarming trajectory” has deteriorated further. The views of most people in Myanmar and those of much of the international community on the crisis are diametrically opposed. Domestically, the situation is seen to stem from terrorist attacks and a legitimate security response to them; internationally, the focus is on the disproportionate military response to those attacks involving serious abuses characterised as possible crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. Myanmar’s political direction in relation to the crisis has now been set and is very unlikely to be altered. Views domestically and internationally are hardening in different directions, with huge implications for domestic politics and Myanmar’s standing in the world. Continue Reading

Meitei Manipuri Real

In the Mahabharata period one state was named Manipur

(A) Some words about the origin:

The origin of Thang Ta is full of myths & legends; is believed to be born out of the basic survival instinct, the self- defense needs, the hunting activities{some of the sequences of a particular Ta-Khousaba depict various stages in hunting & catching wild animals}- [Ta-Khousaba: an ancient collection of moves/exercise series designed for mastering/increasing efficiency in handling Ta (spear) & Chung (buckler),& their techniques – in simple words, most likely, a spear forms/patterns. Its main types are: Maram Nungsetpa, Maram Achouba, Maram Macha, Kabui, Tangkhul, Thel,(Athou, Yangbi & Atan, the main 9 types, as per many learned masters; according to others, in addition to the above six, other main types are- Maram Nungjongba, Athou Chumthang, Athou Macha & Athou Achouba)] – , the military training & experience, & most importantly, the burning desire & the utmost passion of the Meetei race never to be dependent or under any foreign rule. Continue Reading

Bishnupriya Manipuri in Barak Valley to hold 101 hr Rail blockade

Bishnupriya Manipuri in Barak Valley to hold 101 hr Rail blockade

A 101 hr rail blockade has been declared by five major Bishnupuria Organisations starting from December 21 in Barak valley to demand reservation of seats in the assembly and in the Lok Sabha for their community.

According to Subal Sinha, President of All India Bishnupriya Manipuri People’s Mahasabha they have total seven demands for which this protest has been initiated and that on December 16 the organization will also hold a bike rally in Silchar in continuation with their protest. Continue Reading

Source and Origin of Bishnupriya Manipuri

The Bishnupriya Manipuri Language comes under the group of Indo-Aryan languages.

The structure of the language is undoubtedly of Indo-Aryan origin, but it also retains some older sounds of medieval Meitei. The vocabulary is influenced by many Indo-Aryan and Tibetan-Burmese terms. There are many theories in regard to the source and origin of Bishnupriya Manipuri. Continue Reading

Dialects of Bishnupriya Manipuri

Bishnupriya Manipuri has two dialects, namely –

(1) Rajar Gang ( Kings Village) and
(2) Madoi Gang ( Queens village ).

The Madoi Gang dialect also known as Leimanai and the Rajar Gang dialect, as Ningthounai. The term Leimanai derived from Leima (queen) + nai (attendant), and the word Ningthounai from Ningthou (king) + nai (attendant). Continue Reading

Population using Bishnupriya Manipuri language

Population using Bishnupriya Manipuri language

3,00,000 in Assam
60,000 in Tripura
5,000 in Jiribam (Manipur)
12,000 in Ningthaukhong (Manipur)
10,000 in Bishnupur (Manipur) Continue Reading

Places Where Bishnupriya Manipuri is Spoken

Bishnupriya Manipuri was originally confined only to the surroundings of the Lake Loktak in Manipur.

The principal localities where this language was spoken are now known as Khangabok, Heirok, Mayang Yamphal, Bishnupur, khunan, Ningthankhong, Ngakhong,Thamnapoxpi and so on. However, later a great majority of speakers fled away from Manipur and took refuge in Assam,Tripura, Sylhet and Cachar during eighteen and nineteenth century due to internal conflicts among the prices of Manipur and due to Burmese attack. Continue Reading

The ” Manipuri” Question

In the post Sixties, with the power of the Manipur State behind them, the Meitei clan has been waging an organized campaign to discredit and disown the Bishnupriya counterparts.

There have been suggestions that Bishnupriya was never the language of Manipur and Meitei is the “Real” Manipuri language. These assertions are contradicted by historical and anthropological evidence. Unfortunately, some writers have repeated the ‘Official’ Manipuri line without thought or reason. Continue Reading