DIPHU — In a historic moment, the Karbi traditional chiefs (kings) of four regions came together on the same stage during the 28th foundation day of Karbi Bangthe Asem, a socio-cultural body of the Dimoria Karbis living in the district of Sonaour, Assam.
They were the chiefs of Ronghang Rongbong, Chinthong Rong Arak, Amri Rong Arak, and the traditional king of Dimoria Karbis. The celebration was held at Naziraghat, Dehal Rongker than on November 5.
Humsing Bey, vice president of the Karbi Cultural Society Central Committee (KCS-CC), said on the occasion that there has been a long separation between Karbis living in the hills and Karbis living in Assam’s plain districts and noted that while the government might divide the Karbis for separate administration, they are the same and should not forget each other.
Bey mentioned the revival of Karbi culture and traditions as a result of the efforts of individuals such as Dhansing Terang, Roy Enghi, Lunse Timung, and others in organising the Karbi Youth Festival (KYF) and later forming the KCS.
Holising Ronghang, the Karbi traditional king of Dimoria, stated in his speech that Karbis are the same whether they live in Karbi Anglong, the plain districts, or the Ribhoi district of Meghalaya and added that there should be exchanges of ideas, perspectives, and language between Karbis in the hill districts and those in the plains to improve cooperation and unity.
The Karbi traditional king of Ronghang Rongbong, Longsing Ronghang, said that the administrative system of the traditional king of Dimoria Karbis and that of Ronghang Rongbong are the same, as are the social life, rituals, and customs of the Karbis of hill districts.
Sharing similar views as others, Ronghang maintained that there should always be a close bond between the Karbis of the hills and those of the plains so that they can get to know each other better.
Ajith Kathar, general secretary of Assam Plains Karbis Adorbar (APKA), spoke on the occasion about the lack of constitutional safeguards for Karbis living in the plain districts.
He stated that while Karbis in Karbi Anglong enjoy Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, Karbis in the plain districts are denied even Scheduled Caste (SC) status, and that because there is no constitutional safeguard, their land is not protected, and their language and culture are under threat.
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