GUWAHATI: A Tai History Researchers Group from Myanmar has sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protect their clan, the Meiteis (Mei-Tai), in the wake of the violent clash with the Kuki community on May 3 this year.
According to history, the Tai-Ahom of Assam and Meitei (Mei-Tai) of Manipur are two branches of the great Tai race. They are Mongoloid people.
Pa-Khangba, the first historical king of Manipur, is the common ancestor of the Tai-Ahom of Assam and the Meitei of Manipur.
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The medieval history of Assam contains accounts of marital alliances between the two kingdoms of Assam and Manipur.
In a letter to Modi on August 23, Tai History Researcher Dr Saia Sanaik said, “Please provide prompt protection to the weak Meiteis who need help from the Central government so that no fresh clash takes place in Manipur.”
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The Tai historian said, “Tai/Shyam people from the Shan State of Burma do study and like India’s Act East Policy. India and Tai people have a long relationship. In AD 233, King Abi Raja arrived in Tai Kingdom “Ta-Kong” and later in 240 founded Puru-Garama (Pu-gam) town there, some 127 miles north of present Mandalay. Another Puru-garama (Pu-gam) was founded in AD 1044 by King Anuradha (present Bagan).”
“From the Chinese Yunan border, Mang Mao, 9,000 Proto-Tai-Ahom fought their way to Brahmaputra, for better rice fields in 1215. It took them 13 years to get there. Now they are your good citizens (Assamese people),” Dr. Sanaik said.
“Then many of Tai (Shyam/ Shan) moved to Arunachal, Manipur); originally they were Buddhists, now they are known as Tai Kassay or Meitei there,” Dr. Sanaik also said.
“In Shan State, we have many Indian friends (Punjabi, Nepali) here, they can speak our Tai language very well. We do not have many Chin in Shan State, they are mostly known as government soldiers. Kuki moved east, and now we have 40 different Chin tribes,” the Tai historian said.
“Tai Shyam/ Meitei/ Tai Kassay are Buddhist land owners, self-sufficient, contented people. Chin/Kuki people are mostly hilltop dwellers, later missionaries gave them better education,” he said.
Dr. Sanaik appealed to the Prime Minister for the protection of the Meitei of Manipur in the volatile situation of the state.
Presently, both Tai Ahoms of Assam and Meitei of Manipur have been demanding Schedule Tribe (ST) status, even as the Central government has yet to include them in the ST list.
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