The Battle of Imphal and Kohima (March 15-July 8, 1944), is India’s forgotten war. Fought in various phases in 1944, it was a turning point in the Second World War fought on the Indian subcontinent between the British and Japan. Many Manipuris fought this battle on both sides. An upcoming museum near Imphal will honour its memories. This is a civilians’ initiative. War relics are scattered all over the Manipuri countryside and history buffs have been at work to give it a permanent home. Nagas, Kukis, Meiteis — the peope of the Hills and the people of the Valley — took part in it. Subedar Ninglam Tangkhul, 90, a Naga, fought in the Battle of Kohima. “I was given 200 rounds of ammunition, a rifle and a water can. The British told us to fight, we fought.” Years later when he battled Naga insurgents fighting for a separate nation, as part of the Indian army, he seemed to have applied the same rationale. “I’m a soldier. In a situation where I’m likely to be killed, I will kill,” says the retired Subedar. The north-east’s ethnic conflicts intensified post World War II with various ethnic groups contesting joining the Indian nation.