False Claims by Meiteis: Dr TS Haokip

                        ~ Dr. TS Haokip
                       The 19th May 2023.

"Clarifications on MLA Nishikant and Karan Thapar Interview" ~ The Wire

In regards to Meitei MLA Nishikant's claim over SONGPI-LAMKA
(Churachandpur) in Kuki Hills as Meitei Land in his interview with Karan Thapar in the WIRE on16th May 2023, stating that Churachandpur was named after the name of Meitei King of Kangleipak Churachand Singh, one needs to know the underlying historical facts and official gazettes and orders.

The origin and original name of present day Churachandpur was SONGPI @Songpi-Lamka in Manipur South district, located within the erstwhile 'HAOKIP RESERVED' (Cosgrave's order, Manipur Darbar Hill Misc. Case No. 616 of 1907,Haokip Reserved) in Kuki Hills (History of Kuki Hills in Kanglei Manipur 1852-1949, 2010).

The word LAMKA means Road Junction, named since longtime back, even before the colonial regime in Indian sub -continent, by the Songpi Chief
   1. PU THONGHEL HAOKIP, (1775-76)
   2. Khellet
3. Helkhup
4. Letthong
5. Khupkhosem
7. Thongkhomang
8. Semthong
9. Mangkholun
10. Thenkhogin
11. Lunminthang, f/o a minor boy,
12. Letminlen Haokip (2023) [12th Generations from (L) Pu Thonghel ].

(Source: DS Haokip, Lunkhosei & Teiseng Haosapi)

As per Thadou-Kuki customary 'Law of Inheritance & Governance', the current Incharge Chief of Songpi village is Pu Kamthang Haokip, till the 5 years old minor boy attains the age of 15 years of age to hold the Chiefship of Songpi village.

Geo physically, Songpi-Lamka is the meeting point of 4 (four) routes as Sugnu-Imphal -Thingat-Tipaimukh' roads. Basically Songpi-Lamka, briefly known as LAMKA (Junction) was a marshy wetland infested with insects, flies and leeches with grooves of huge oak trees between. Pu Zenhang Valte and Pu Phungkhothang Guite were the first settlers of present day Zenhang Lamka (former BIJANG LOUBUK) and Hiangtam Lamka in the jurisdiction of Songpi as per gifted to Zenhang and Phungkhothang by Songpi chief (L) Semthong Haokip [Great, great Grandson of (L) Thonghel ] with a Kuki traditional system of acquiring/ gifting of land through a Jar of wine (Jubel/ Dangkabel), after independence officially  during 1956-57. Both Zenhang Lamka and Hiangtam Lamka were recorded as a scheduled villages by LHUNKHOLET KIPGEN, SDO SONGPI (SW) SUB-DIVISION in the Manipur Gazette, dated, the 4th December 1957. As a sign of Kuki
traditional gratitude, shri Zenhang named his son as LETBOI (current Chief of Zenhang Lamka, 2023) after the name of SDO Khupkholet, as KHUPKHOLET- LETBOI as per Kuki traditional system of naming.

Prior to Indian Independence, SONGPI was the headquarters of Manipur South-West district, and Mr. B.C Gasper was the SDO of Songpi (Dr. Tualchin Neihsial, Understanding the Zoumi, 2023, p.183) during 1919-1925 with all administrative offices and Christian Mission centre at Songpi Mission Compound' till late 1960s. Predominantly, the so called Manipur/ Kang Leipak@ Kangleipak was in the Central valley with Kuki Hills in the first outer layer, towards South-east and Manipuri Nagas inhabiting the 2nd outer portion Northwest of present day Manipur.

For administrative conveniences, Manipur Hills was divided into 3 divisions as Manipur South, Manipur North and Manipur East divisions respectively by the British. Later in the
year 1969, Manipur East was changed into UKHRUL, North into TAMENGLONG and South into CHURACHANDPUR, (after the name of Churachand Singh K.C.S.I.C.B.S the Maharaja of Manipur) by an order of Manipur Government No. 20/39//69-D, dated the 12th November 1969, thereby dividing Manipur into 5 districts having 25 sub-divisions. Manipur South district was again consolidated as Churachandpur for the second time by the Revenue Department's Order No.43/2/81-R(pt), dated, 15/07/1983,

(Source: District Census
Handbook- Churachandpur 2011).

To prove the true ownership of outer Manipur including Songpi-Lamka
(Churachandpur) in Kuki Hills, with Kangleipak (Manipur) in the middle, it is imperative to mention the order of British Officer BC Gasper, SDO (SW), dated the 22nd June 1925, Case No. 25 of SW Crossiur of 22/6/1926, that stated the Meiteis (Manipuris) to give Ukok (Tax) to Kuki chief, Waison Haokip of Waison Leirik village to cut large trees for boats, bamboos and plantain leaves at Thangting (Thangching) Range of Kuki Hills in the form of tobacco etc. ..

(Sources: B.C Gasper‟s Order 1925 & Hill House Tax Payment Slips, 1915-1916.

In regards to the name of Songpi-Lamka which is equivalent to Moirang-Lamkai, sometimes called only as LAMKHAI, Songpi-Lamka, named by the original pattadar/ owner of the land, Pu (L) Thonghel Haokip during 1775-76, was mostly called only as LAMKA for convenience sake, as in the case of Moirang-Lamkhai as LAMKHAI (road junction for Imphal-CCpur-Kumbi'. Relating to this issue, in the year 1982, several organisations such as 'All Paite Students' Union (APSU), Churachandpur Students Union (CDSU), All Zomi Students Associations (ALZOSA), and Paite Media and Communication Committee (PMCC) had submitted a 'Memorandum' to the then Deputy Commissioner of Churachandpur, Mr. D.V Singh, vide No. nill, dated, the 27th October 1982, signed by E. Vungkholian, general President and G. Langchinkham, General Secretary, requesting for renaming Songpi-Lamka (1775-76) then into Churachandpur (1969) as LAMKA.

Accordingly, the then DC Mr. D.V Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Churachandpur
Vide Memo.No.2/DC/(S)/234/83, dated, the 23rd March '83, forwarded it to the Secretary (Revenue), Government of Manipur, Imphal with the subject, "Renaming of Churachandpur Township as L.A.M.K.A". the Government of Manipur through the Revenue Department's Order No.43/2/81-R(pt), dated,15/07/1983,consolidated as Churachandpur.The probable reasons behind might have been due to non-co-operation from the part of other tribes at oneside and the Government of Manipur to annex Songpi-Lamka into Kanglei Manipur on the other perspectives, which resulted into the Government of Manipur's Genocidal War 2023 epicentre at Songpi-Lamka.The district continued to be officially called and known as Churachandpur, which the Meiteis in general and in particular MLA Nishikant claimed as the Land of the Meiteis in his interview with Karan Thapar in the WIRE on the 16th May 2023.

Regarding the  'Tug of War' over Churachandpur and Lamka of former Songpi Sub -Division, then into Manipur Southwest and then into Manipur South district and finally into Churachandpur district officially, by Churachand Singh K.C.S.I.C.B.S the Maharaja of Manipur by an order of Manipur Government No. 20/39//69-D, dated the 12th November 1969, and consolidated as Churachandpur for the second time by the Revenue Department's Order No.43/2/81-R(pt), dated, 15/07/1983.

In this connection, mention can be made of Calcutta re-christened into its original native name as Kolkata, Bombay into Mumbai and Orissa into Odisha etc etc can be a 'Guiding Light' to re-name Churachandpur into its original and native name as SONGPI or SONGPI-LAMKA or Songpi District, Lamka town to solve the long pending Socio-Political issue and name of Churachandpur, former British SONGPI SUB-DIVISION, 1919.

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