All 10 Kuki MLAs in Manipur recently urged the Centre to create a separate administration in the wake of the violent clashes between their community and the Meiteis.
About Kukis –
- They are an ethnic group comprising multiple tribes who originally inhabited the North-Eastern states of India, parts of Myanmar, and Bangladesh.
- Kuki is not a term coined by the ethnic group itself but is used generically for tribes associated with it under colonial rule.
- They are present in all Northeast Indian states except Arunachal Pradesh.
- Around fifty tribes of Kuki peoples in India are recognised as scheduled tribes.
- The Chin people of Myanmar and the Mizo people of Mizoram are kindred tribes of the Kukis and are collectively known as the Zo people.
- In Manipur, Kuki tribes comprise around 30% of the population and mainly reside in the hills.
- History — The first resistance to British hegemony by the Kuki people was the Kuki Rebellion of 1917-19, after which their territory was subjugated by the British and divided between the administrations of British India and British Burma. Up until their defeat in 1919, the Kukis had been an independent people ruled by their chieftains.
- Religion and Culture —
- Normally they do not arrange any marriage alliance outside their community.
- Traditionally they were not Christian but animist and worshipped different deities and spirits.
- But for the last 90 years, the majority of them have embraced Christianity as their religion.
- They have their own customary laws and village council. LAL is a term used to denote village chief.
- The village chief generally looks up all sorts of social and religious disputes, Including disputes related to marriage and divorce.