By C D SOUZA
It is almost a year since the now infamous exodus of the people of the North East from Bangalore last August following sinister SMSs and rumours.
The exodus taught many lessons to the state government, to the general public and to the students of the North East.
Following this development, a few students had realized the need for unity and cooperation among themselves to face any contingency and ensure their own protection.
A positive development of such thinking has now led to the setting up of Thadou Students’ Association, Bengaluru (TSA-B) an association of students of Thadou tribe in Bangalore. Thadous are the single largest tribe in Manipur and they belong to one of the Kuki tribes.
The association was founded on June 29, 2013 at K K Halli, Bangaluru. The oath taking ceremony of the executive members of TSA-B for 2013-15 was held on August 3, 2013 at Tripti Party Hall, HRBR Layout, located near Kammanahalli. Those who took oath included newly elected office bearers – Michael Haokip, President, Haolenlal Haokip, General Secretary and Jack as the finance secretary.
Pastor Hemminlun Khongsai who was the chief guest during the oath taking function blessed the occasion and held prayers. Tonglen Thadou, Speaker TSA-GHQ (Manipur) and Miss Neinou Kipgen were the guests of honour.
Speaking to Enarada.com President Michael Hhaokip pointed out “TSA-B has been founded with the singular object of giving representation to the Thadou student community in the state of Karnataka and to protect and promote the interest of the students of the community. This organization would strive for planning and providing educational help for the students in addition to highlighting the rich cultural heritage of Thadou community”.
In addition to this TSA-B also wants to provide help to newer students coming to Bangaluru by providing them accommodation for a month and also to provide financial assistance in case any of the students is hospitalized.
It is estimated that there are approximately 150-200 students in Bangalore and the strength of TSA members is expected to be 1000-1500 approximately. (There are about 1000 to 1500 Thoadou people in Bangalore both students and people who are working.)
A few students of the community are in other districts of the state like in Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli, Bellary and Udupi.
The organization says it would encourage the students of the Thadou community in Bengaluru to become members of TSA-B so that the student community can be a cohesive force and can help students whenever the need arises.
TSA-B has three major programmes for the calendar year. It plans to observe Talent/Foundation Day on June 29, every year to mark the day. There will be annual sports meet for the students of the community in November every year. There will also be an Interactive/Fresher’s Day in the month of August every year when new students join various educational institutions in the state.
“These annual events would encourage our community student to bond well and would spread a feeling of bonhomie among the students especially when they are away from their homes”, says President Michael Hhaokip.
The Thadou tribe is mainly found in Manipur, Assam, Nagaland and Mizoram in India and in Chin State and Sagaing division of Myarnmar. Taoudu tribe is well known for its distinct culture, language, literature, dress, tradition, family life, customs and practices. Since Thadous have a language unique from other tribal language Government of India has recognized the Thadou as a tribe and as a language-cum-culture and customs.
The Thadou Tribe Council and the Thadou Students’ Association are the two important bodies constituted by the Thadous for the wellbeing of their people and TSA-B also comes under one of the Associations. They also want to resuscitate the good old demand for a Kuki nation. Majority of the Thadou tribe people are Christians. Christianity among the tribe can be traced back to 1894 when an Anglican missionary by name William Pettigrew was working in Manipur in 1894.
Thadou tribe has an important role in the freedom struggle of India. The Kuki Rebellion of 1917-19 had an major role in the freedom struggle as the rebellion is equated on par with the Indian National movement for freedom.
Let us hope the TSA-B will succeed in its objective of strengthening unity among its students in Bangalore and also give Bangaloreans a taste of its rich and distinct culture and tradition.