Saturday, November 29, 2008


"Love is the beginning of Wisdom and Love stems from Understanding. One cannot Love blindly; he's got to understand first."

One has to understand the uniqueness of tribal culture, in order to love them, to experience their warm hospitality, simple ways of living yet a shrewd and sincere judgement of opinions and why we demand our birthright to self-determine our own destiny.

Presently numbering approximately 20 million people, we have existed as a distinctive tribal community for thousands of years, surviving wars, plagues and epidemics, man-made and natural disasters, and we therefore owe allegiance to our Land which have suffered with us, and have protected and preserved us as a people through all these centuries, comforting our dead, blessing and enriching the living.

With our unique tribal genius we have been able to live in harmony with nature, possessing the inbuilt knowledge of knowing the extent of development when to do it and how to do it in the best capacity to incur lasting result for benefiting the present and future generations. We take from nature sufficient enough to keep ourselves fittest for survival without disrupting the balance of natural development, of man and his environment, adopting our ways of living in conformity with the changes of the natural environment.

Yes, we are sensitive to change, for we are able to deeply feel and appreciate the goodness and wisdom of the Creator in giving us this beautiful earth for man to live in harmony and at peace with his fellow man and with mother earth; to develop and not to destroy.

But with the beginning of the 20th century we have witnessed an unprecedented flow of an alien community into this region, indeed, more so after India got her independence - alien in the sense that they are alien to the ways of the indigenous people and an alien to nature. In the name of development, he turns to be a greedy and 'take-all' master, grasping everything that nature has; his unquenchable appetite devouring the fertile earth slowly turning it to an infertile barren wasteland endangering the existence of man and beast. He pollutes not only the air be breathes but the once pure water that sustains the life of every living being, indifferent to the stench of pollution that saps the life of everything around him, including he himself.

And in the process of this mass silent population invasion the political, economic, socio-cultural and physical structure of the indigenous people is drastically altered, and using the numerical advantage that he possess, he brutally and forcibly subjugate the tribal population, who more or less taken by surprise and being far outnumbered, look on, but, not for long. The inbuilt mechanism warns us of the danger ahead, and we are on the defensive, defending justice - what has rightfully been ours all through history's centuries.

In brief, the following are some of the exploitations presently taking place in the region, which if left unchecked, leaves us, our identity and our supremacy over our own rights, in an uncertain future.


One of the main factors responsible for the present explosive situation in the North East Region is the presence of and incoming large number of illegal emigrants or infiltrators from neighbouring countries particularly Bangladesh and Nepal, which have caused immense social, political, economic and ethnic imbalance in this region, and the Indian Government's inability or reluctance to check this unabated flow. These infiltrators who find easy access to Government jobs, easy bank loans to set up business in the region and constant exploitation of the region's vast forest resources are not only politically exploited by the national and regional parties for their vote-banks, but also have political ambitions of their own as well.

Their political ambition is seen in the case of Tripura, one of the seven tribal States of the region where, once basically a Tribal State, the tribal population has now been reduced to a minority of less than 25%, the government and all key Government posts being run and held by these illegal infiltrants. It is a travesty of universal constitutional right and more important, a mockery of the constitutional safeguard of the centre, upon which we in the North East have so long been dependent.

Democracy, as the modern world have christianed the political systems of today, is a birthright, a natural phenomenon with the people of the N.E. region where there exist an elected monarch and the city states run by a Local Durbar or parliament and proceedings and issues of the State are decided by the people through their various clan representatives, were the individual is assured by his rights, and the outsider though allowed to reside, there is a check on his continuing influx.

Though the old democratic system still exists today, it exists only in name, and the modern democratic set up is being imposed on the region with its volumes text on human rights and freedom. But in reality the provisions specially provided to protect the rights and interest of the national minorities, are only theatrical, whereas continuing violations of these provisions have put the existence of us tribal in a very critical and dangerous position today, leaving us a subjected race, subject to the whims and fantasies of the majority community.

The entry of Foreign Nationals from the two neighbouring countries i.e. Bangladesh and Nepal, had existed since India's Independence and has been more pronounced since the liberation of Bangladesh. Even after more than 30 years of independence a regrettable feature of centre negligence is that the Indo-Bangladesh border still remains to be demarcated, and to add to the problem no steps whatsoever are taken to check this increasing influx. Rather the hundreds of thousands military and para-military forces that could be used to patrol the border are in fact stationed inside the region to reign terror and death upon the tribal people who are fighting and demanding that these infiltrators should be driven out from India soil and all 'black laws' be withdrawn immediately.


The infiltrators numbering approximately 1 lakh 50 thousand in Meglialaya, 23 lakhs in Assam, 1 lakh in Manipur (mostly from Nepal) 30 thousand in Mizoram, and 75% of the total population of Tripura, give themselves to be politically exploited by this national and regional parties of India, who help them registered as voters without having to go to the formalities of getting Indian citizenship. And through their party affiliations and helped by their kith and kin who had already crossed earlier to the region in the pre- and post independent period, they through underhand manipulations manage to get government jobs thereby, depriving the local indigenous people, easy bank loans, (since most of their people are in control of the bank management) to set up business while the tribal people are deprived of the loans by strict formalities and red-tapism.

In this way they manage to control the economy and also the administration.

When they find that they have sufficient number of their own people registered as voters, they set up their own candidates to the State legislature and in later years when they are in the majority, they form a government which amends all the laws that protect tribal rights and lands, placing them more or less in the reservations. As for example, in Tripura, the Land Transfer Act that prohibits the sale of land to non-tribal was amended to give the non- tribals the right to acquire as much land as required.

The important feature to note there is that most tribal acquire land freely and need not have any paper or documents to prove their ownership. The infiltrators take this opportunity through manipulation with their own people in the government to get hold of as much of tribal lands as they require with 'documents' to prove that they are the rightful owners of the land.


TRIPURA: In Tripura, the tribals though having waken up rather late, have taken up this issue with the Central Government but finding a negative response and no protection from the Indian Constitution, have sought the only alternative left, and that is to fight for independence where they hope to solve the problem by themselves.

In the other states where this problem of infiltration exist, having seen the tragedy in Tripura facing a repetition of the same in their own States in the near future because of the increasing unchecked infiltration have launched a peaceful democratic movement demanding that the Government put a stop to this infiltration by completely sealing the border, and deporting all the infiltrators from the region, and effectively implementing the constitutional provisions that protect the rights and lands of the tribal of the region. But not only is the response from the government negative, they have instead sent more and more military and para-military forces to brutally suppress the movement at any cost, and have sealed the region from any legal foreigners entering and reporting the movement and anti-movement activities of the government to the world.

Therefore because of the injustices meted out towards the indigenous people of the region by the Indian Government, the tribals find no alternative but to join hands with the other tribals who are fighting for independence so the problem can be solved by their own Constitution.

MIZORAM: In Mizoram, apart from the presence of a large number of infiltrators, the tribals have been completely neglected by the government in terms of development since independence such that, when a plague occurred that took the lives of many tribals, there were no adequate medical facilities, and since their existed no proper roads and transport to bring aid from outside the State, (at this juncture also, the government barely responded to this major disaster) many more tied. Angered at this total neglect and unable to protect tribal rights, the Mizo too realised that only an independent State can give any real kind of aid and development to their people.

After the Mizo and other tribes have taken up arms against the Government, it has speeded up the construction of roads, and this too mainly to make it easier to transport the arm forces to counter the insurgency, and not really to develop the region.

NAGALAND: The Nagas were in fact the first from among the tribals, to demand independence from India. Being an independent nation even during the British rule, they demanded from the British that after they left India, the Nagas would be given back their former independent States.

Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independent movement also assured the Naga, that when India achieved its independence, the Nagas would have theirs too. But unfortunately, immediately after independence Gandhi was assassinated, and the Indian Government instead of fulfilling Gandhi's promise, refused their demands and immediately cent in the army to crush the movement and in the process, countless mass killing, torture, rape and daily harassment of the innocent people was committed.


The Indian Government being a country that have acknowledged the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, have since the movement for freedom by the tribals of the North East began, barred any foreigner (except illegal foreigner from Bangladesh and Nepal for political purpose and that is to annex the two countries in future to its mainland as had happened with the State of Sikhem) from knowing and reporting the innumerable human rights violations that it has committed upon the tribal people to the rest of the world. Black Laws are being imposed time and time again on the people when they have declare areas as Disturbed Areas such as the Armed forces (special powers) regulations of 1958, North East Armed forces special powers Act, 1972, etc, which empowers an army Havildor or Corporal to shoot to kill or cause the death of any person in the name of maintaining law and order, even if there is no facts to prove that the person is breaking the law, only on mere suspicion, without being questioned in any court of law.

Special Ordinances are promulgated from time to time that can imprison any individual for a period between 6 months to one year without trial.

The present number of military and para-military forces that are stationed in the region to suppress the tribals in more than 500,000 men, with more special mountaineering divisions to be permanently stationed in the near future (their permanent camps are now under construction).

Apart from these injustices and exploitations that are being done on the tribals we also face economic exploitations. As for example, Industries that are set up in the region like the plywood industry, paper industry, oil industries etc. are merely 'fronts' to exploit the natural resources of the tribal region without benefiting or developing the region in any way. The profit and riches acquired from the industries are being increasingly drained off day by day leaving us not better off than what we were, and turning our rich fertile soil barren and wastelands.

Bank Loans are being made easy to the non-tribals to set up business in the region, while formalities and red-tape prevent the tribals from acquiring these loans.

Although 79% of India's crude oil is fount in Assam, it is being pumped and refined outside the region, thereby benefiting the other States other than the North Eastern States.

Finally, unable to suppress the tribals' demand for freedom and justice they have adopted another inhuman policy of moral and physical genocide. They are now flooding the region with money and alcohol; money to buy off tribal lands, and to buy tribals into betraying their brother tribals, thus creating all round suspicion and distrust so as to disorganize the movement, and alcohol to corrupt the morality of the youth and thereby killing their inherent right to freedom and justice and drugs to put the final nail on the tribals coffin.

To the privileged people of the World who now live in comfort and security enjoying every freedom and rights, man should enjoy, we place before you, the facts and figures, without emotions and without lies, to judge for yourself if our movement for justice is justified. We have tried both the violent and non-violent methods in trying to achieve justice, but the result is suppression, brutal inhuman suppression. We have been fighting in isolation, unknown to the world that we exist, and that as human beings we are living in an inhuman environment.

We therefore put before you our case, that if you feel justified, do in any capacity that you can, to help us find the justice and freedom that every man is entitled to. But as our message gets through to you, know that we will continue in our fight, not waiting for when help shall come, for waiting means, another tribal murdered.

God made man to be free - He did not charge anything when he gave us this land. Let no man them enslave his fellow man, for then he would be violating God's Given Law.

Basic Facts that further endanger tribal population being swamped out India's present population - More than 650 million
Annual Increase of 13 to 13 million at the rate of 1.4
sec - 1 Indian is born.

and they continually come to our region in large numbers and therefore together with the Foreign Nationals there is an imbalance in the population structure in favour of this outside community, who therefore possess all the political, social and economic advantages.

Number of Foreign Nationals (F.N.) registered in the electoral rolls till 1979

ASSAM - 13 lakhs, though officially it is put at 6 lakhs showing that the government acknowledges their presence and their inclusion in the electoral rolls. Assam's Indigenous population - 19.5 million (Plain and Hill tribals) Presence of F.N. in Assam - 2.3 million

MEGHALAYA - 39 thousand
Meghalaya's Indigenous population - 1.3 million(3 tribes combined)
Presence of F.N. in Meghalaya: 1.5 lakhs

MANIPUR - inclusion of F.N. in electoral rolls - no specific figure yet Manipur's Indigenous population - 1.4 million (2 major tribes) Presence of F.N. in Manipur - 1 lakhs

NAGALAND - negligible number of F.N. because of strict regulations of entry - mostly under 'Disturbed Areas'. Total Tribal population - 0.7 million

TRIPURA - 3/4 of total State Population is F.N.
Tribal population - 1.7 million

MIZORAM - 30,000 number of F.N. mostly Chakmas from Bangladesh.
Total Tribal population - 0.4 million F.N. mostly Chakmas and Tibetan refugees.
Total Tribal population - 0.5 million

Some of the major demands of the Indigenous tribals of the North East were:

(i) Taking the constitutional provision that all persons entering India after 1951 and who have not registered themselves as Indian citizens shall be treated as Foreigners and be deported forthwith, the people demanded that all Foreign Nationals (F.N) residing in the North East Region (N.E.R.) from 1951 are to be deported immediately, consulting the National Register of Citizen of 1951 and Electoral Rolls of 1952.

(ii) A fresh and correct electoral roll must be prepared before the elections are held after all F.N. are deleted from Electoral Role and deported from the region.

(iii) The Indo-Bangladesh border should be demarcated clearly and completely sealed.

Humanitarian considerations for the F.N. will be considered if the rest of India is prepared to share the border, but the majority of F.N. who have infiltrated into the region not because of any persecution in their home country but because of political motives, must be deported.

(iv) Immediate and permanent withdrawal of the military and para-military forces from the civilians areas particularly from the villages of the N.E.R.

(v) Repeal of black laws such as:

(a) Assam maintenance of public order (Autonomous District) Act of 1953
(b) Armed forces (Special powers) regulation of 1958
(c) North East Armed forces special powers Act, 1972, etc.

(vi) Thorough investigation of the black deeds of the military on the innocent tribal people by an independently based commission of enquiry, or on International Human rights organisation.


We know that the Indigenous people of the World today are facing genocide of different nature and magnitude in their respective countries. Each of us know the kind of problems that we are facing throughout the countries and even today in the 80 called civilized World. But let us not indulge too long in self pity. Feeling sorry for ourselves will not help us nor remove the injustices we face. Rather, let us sit together and pool-in our tribal genius to find a solution, a strategy of how to combat this colonial imperialism that force us to live as a subjected race, second-class citizens. Let us come out of our shells, learn the problems of other indigenous tribes, and in a united international platform help one another to fight for an environment of equality and justice, that our generations to come will live as free men, freely in their own land.


The Indigenous tribals of the North East of India would like to put forward the following request to the W.C.I.P., to put pressure on the Government of India to implement the following demand;

(i) To deport all Foreign Nationals from the North East Region who have come since the year 1951. (This base year is constitutionally provided in the Indian Constitution).
(ii) To repeal all Black Laws which are used as repressive measures against the Indigenous tribals of the North East.
(iii) To remove all military and para-military forces from all civilian areas especially from the villages.
(iv) To give the Indigenous people of the North East Region more autonomy to rule over their own States.


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Manipur loses son in Mumbai - Bullets snuff out budding manager

Imphal, Nov. 28: It was a little after 9pm on Wednesday. Maibam Bimolchandra Singh, a 30-year-old youth from Manipur working as an assistant manager (housekeeping) at the Oberoi Trident, had just ended his shift and was waiting for his replacement on the ground floor reception.

His Manipuri colleague working on the same shift, C.L. Mate, left for his quarters 2km from the hotel, after handing over charge to his replacement.

Hours later, as people across the nation watched in horror the serial attacks in Mumbai unfold on television, Mate got a call from the hotel saying Bimolchandra Singh was dead.

After the initial shock, it was he who conveyed the heartbreaking news to Korouhanba Singh, Bimolchandra’s friend from his neighbouring village.

Korouhanba, a captain in the Navy and posted at Hyderabad, informed Bimolchandra’s family in Manipur’s Imphal East district.

The bullet-riddled body was later recovered from the hotel’s reception, exactly where Mate had left his friend minutes earlier.

Like Jupiter Yambem of Imphal East who died in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre, Bimolchandra Singh’s ambitious career flight was cut short by terrorists.

Jupiter was the manager of the largest restaurant in the world, Windows on the World, on the 107th floor of the tower. One of the two hijacked planes had hit the 101st floor of the tower. As all hell broke loose, Jupiter had helped others to safety, sacrificing his own life in the process.

“Had my son’s replacement come on time, he would have escaped the attack,” wept Bimolchandra’s father Nando Singh at their house at Khurai Ningthoubung Leikai on hearing the tragic news.

Just three days before the attack, Bimolchandra had called his father and spoken to him about life in a metropolis, far removed from his home. In an affectionate exchange, he had also chided Nando Singh for overeating.

“He warned me that overeating could lead me to my grave. But instead of me, he died,” the grieving parent said. Nando Singh works as a mechanic in the state PWD.

The family had just been planning to demolish their mud hut and raise a concrete structure after Bimolchandra Singh expressed his desire to marry a co-worker from Kerala. The wedding was tentatively scheduled for 2010.

“They killed our hopes,” was all that his inconsolable mother Sanahanbi Devi could utter, still in shock. His sister, a local schoolteacher, has been numbed by grief.

A framed photo of Bimolchandra Singh with his co-workers at the Oberoi Trident was placed on a table in the courtyard for visitors.

Bimolchandra’s uncle, Maibam Ningthou, an army captain posted at Hyderabad, will bring the body from Mumbai to Imphal tomorrow. It will then be taken to his native village.

The assistant manager was to leave for further training in hotel management in the UK. “We were happy when he told us that his salary would be doubled after the yearlong training course,” his father recalled.

The promising hotel manager was also a national-level handball player.

He had led the Manipur junior team to national meets in the late Nineties and early 2000.

His father, who is also the president of Peaceful Club, has been organising state-level Peace Trophy football tournaments every year.

“I will never pardon them (the killers). They should be punished and the nation should stand together against such terror attacks,” said Nando Singh.

“I just pray that there no more victims like my son in future,” he said.


Sonia slams Mizo govt for BJP link


Kolasib, Nov. 28: Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi today lambasted the Mizoram National Front (MNF) government for associating itself with the BJP, which had harassed the Christians in states like Orissa and Karnataka.

Turning the heat on the ruling party at an election rally here, about 85km from the state capital Aizawl this afternoon, Sonia said the government had failed on all fronts and it was time for Mizoram to vote for a change.

Earlier in the day, the Congress president addressed an election rally at Lunglei where posters had been put up questioning what she had been doing when Christians were being persecuted in Orissa and Karnataka.

Apparently reacting to the posters, the Congress chief hit out at the MNF for its association with the BJP as a constituent of the NDA.

She said the BJP had inflicted great damage on the secular credentials of the country.

“It is only the Congress which is the true guardian of the religious beliefs of all communities in the country,” she said to the several thousands who had thronged the only meeting ground here.

Sonia said the MNF had been in power for a decade but had done precious little. “Mizoram should say enough is enough and vote for change,” she said.

The Congress president said the MNF government had ruined whatever the Congress had built, with infrastructure being the main victim of its misrule.

Sonia alleged that the Centre had disbursed an unprecedented amount of funds for Mizoram but it was misappropriated. “There was just no development,” she said.

She promised that the scenario would change drastically if her party came to power.

She said the 350-bed hospital in Aizawl would be upgraded to a referral hospital or even a medical college while no stone would be left unturned to complete the Tuirial hydroelectric project.

“Only the Congress knows how to run a government,” she added for good measure.

Dressed in a red-and-white puanchei, the Mizo version of an Assamese mekhela, and a black sweater, Sonia evoked nostalgia when she recollected her visit to the state with her late husband and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and her children in 1987.

“I have very special memories of Mizoram, its pristine beauty and unspoilt air,” she said echoing her son and Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi’s feelings on the latter’s recent visit to the state.

Rahul, who is also the AICC general secretary, recalled pleasant memories of Mizoram during his daylong campaign.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Aw, Delhi Vangkhuo !!! Life Drama: a Calling from Delhi

S. Thangboi Zou, NEHU, Shillong.

“Kanau Henry aw, ahithei leh vapei da mai in, Delhi asat a sa ahia, asatdan khu Va-ah (crow) nasan zong athuahla a kam-ka vawt ahi. Kisia teitei vateh, vapei sin..” chia ka upa (cousin) Mr. Malcolm in Darj Hill a ka um lai ua zankhat ang na khamna pen ka lung ah a’ng kilang kia hi.

August 10, 1998 zankim nai 11 a ging ta hi. Kanasepna mun khu Mayapuri Industrial Complex mun ahia, atangpi in khawl nasepna munpi ngen ahi. Bus ngahna-buh (waiting shed) ah kaseppi kolvom ngen toh Bus ngah in ka ding lemlum gam ua, hinanleh, hunsawt lou kaal in kaziet-kavei a kadinpiten bus ang mat san sieng ta ua, atawp ah kei maimai kading ta hi. Bangchidan adiei mah, tua zan in ka umna Palam Colony zuon ding bus ava’ng mama hi. Kamai lam ka et phei chieng in muphah natan street light asan phimphem a, zanlai huivot ten ang sem hieu hieu a, tuachiin katunglam kava entou kha a – hapi zong anua-delh um ma bang in, tumlam manaw in atai veng veng a, khatvei teng meilum vompi khat in alia jel a, ahinlah ang dawh doh jel sam hi. Bangchi adiei mah, asan-au pempom a, tua zan in vang hapi zong atan siem vawt sih hi. Ka lung aleng mama a, hinanleh ka sunglam ah thawmhauna lienpi khat zong kanei hi.

Pawl sawm (matric) ka zaw zou laitah, June 1997 in Zogam ah sanggam-melhai huipi hing lang in kazil ban PUC zop thei nonlou in ka upa (cousin) in Darj Hill a asepna(army) posting namun ah ang puitou tahi. Hinanleh, September 1997 ahi tah man in tuamun ah college admission teng kikhel in sunzom theilou in kava um jel ta hi. Innlam kile kia ding chilei lah niteng a thukiza khu “tuami khuo kihal in mi khuzat shi…”chite ngen ahiman in vapei kia nadan umtheilou hi. Atawpkhon in computer Certificate course ka zil a, akumkia 1998 June ha chienga college admission bawltha mai ding in thutanna kanei mai ta uhi.

Thei manlou kaal in hun le ni hing liem in May 1998 hing tung man hi. Maban college kai dingdan lungsim geel pum a hinkhuo kana mantou jel lai tah in, zan khat, Jackson nu leh pa ka inn uah hing haw kha uhi. Amau nupa kung ah Jackson (kum 24) leh a unu Cylvia (kum 26) tanchinte kana dong hi. A unau ua Darj hill apat Delhi a sepna hawl ding a kuon khie ana hi ua, tu a Pvt. Company ah sem ua, halaw siingval mu ahi dan ang gen pi uhi. “…Tuajieh in Henry nang zong vapei lechin nasepthei ding sil umtei sam dinga, nang le nang kitoudel thei ding nahi” chiin Jackson pa in ang hanthawn hi. Tami hanthawnna kamteng kazah khu’n katha anuom sah mama a, mijawng leh neilou aki hina toh, innkote subuoi kha nonlou a eima le eima kitoudelthei ding chi kangaituo chieng in Delhi a va umkhiet kaal kangahla ta mama hi.

Hun sawtlou nua in Jackson Delhi apat Darj Hill hing pei chi thu kazah tah in, Delhi a sil umdan dong chien ding in a inn uah kava haw ta hi. Jackson in bangma thusau ang houlimpi nuom seng sih a, hinanleh Delhi umleng nnasepna khattei nei ding a lai zong sim kawm thei ding kahi dan ma ang na genpi kia thouthou hi. Tuazieh in thalawpna lienpi toh Delhi pei ding in thutanna ka bawl suh maita hi. Inlam a innkote kadonga, hingphal chet sih nan ulezong kathanopdan ajah chieng un ang kham ngam seng sih ua, keima thuthu in ang koipi mai uhi. Hinanleh ka upa Malcolm in vang ahitheitan in angphal sih a, ang kham kham nalai vang in, khamzou ding guolte kahi nawn sih hi.

June ni 7, 1998 zan in Jackson toh amau inn ah kagieh khawm ua, azingni zingkal matah a Delhi zuan a pei ding kahi ta uhi. Khum zan ka ihmu thei mawng mawng sih a, azieh zong kathei tuon sih hi. Kei chauh ihmu theilou kamah kachi lai in Jackson zong a ihmu thei tuon sih hi. Azingni zingkal in kei, Jackson leh anaunu Rosline, kathum un Delhi pei ding in Darj Hill apat Siliguri kazuon ta uhi. Train reservation bangma bawllou pi in ka kuonkhe thop suh mai ua vangphat huoitah in Sleeper class kamu ua, Delhi zuon in katou ta uhi.

Train sung katou un lamkal ah Jackson umdan in ang sulung kham mama hi. Ahun tamzaw kakung uah hing tou ngailou in compartment tuomtuom ah vah lele a, sunchieng tomkhat ten ang toupi jel hi. Keipen mundang gamla zin ngailou kana hizieh in kalung akhampi thei mama a, hinanleh Roseline pen in phamaw asah teuh sih hi. A upa umdan lungkhama kadoh chieng in ang ngaisah ut se sih a, “anop nop na ah um ta ven” ang chisan giep hi.

Zankhat kalung nuom thei nonlou ahiman in Jackson enkhe ding in kading doh a, daba tuom kava hawl lele lai in toilet gei khat ah kava mu doh hi. Tua kasil mu in ang jau sah mama mai hi. Jackson toilet bang ah akingam a, amit sing in atahsa pum aki sat zotzot a, akamsung apat in chiltui phuon akai khe zengzung hi. “Ulal (Jackson) bangchi ne, bangchi ne?” chiin atahsa kaloh a, tomkhat zou in amit hinghah a, kei angmu tah in nopmaw asa mama a, “E, bangma chi sing e, imaw, Siliguri a inga (fish) neh in ang bawl ahi, kasung asia hi” achi a, hinanleh gintat ha kasah deu hi.

Delhi katung un Jackson unu Cylvia Ching umna mun ka phone ua, hiunanleh ana kisuon ta a, asepna office zong ana kisuon ta hi. Delhi katun in khuo lum kasa mama a, ana kigen dan toh kibang kasa simsim pan hi. Tun na ding inn kathei non ta sih ua, Manipur Innpi ava tun ding kachi chieng un kalawi tegel Manipur a um ngailou ahi jieh un a ut sih ua, Nagaland Innpi kava zuon uhi. Nagaland house kava lut ua, asunga receptionist ten registration hing bawl sah pai lou zawzen ua, kaki tawldam phot uhi. Jackson daileng ding in toilet ava lut a, dahkal khat lam ava tou tazen hi. Amapa ngahna kawm in Roseline in amelthei mi khat, ainn ua tunthei ahi khah leh chiin phone ding in ang pawtpi hi. Tomkhat zou in phone boot apat Roseline hing pawt khie a, a inn uh aneu seng zieh in tun theina hilou ding ahi dan ang gen hi. Nagaland house kalut kia un Jackson pen toilet apat ana pawt tasam hi. Kichen sunga ann huon te toh ana kihou a, amel ka et leh amit angui jen jun a, a awh zong suoh thei manglou in, ihmu thoupan abang a, houpi thei tahtah ahi sih hi. Toilet sunga ava lut zou ahing pawtdoh kia chienga hibang a amaisuoh kilamdan thei pen kathei patna ahiman in lamdang sahnan kadim a, kaki geel thakia a, Siliguri a toilet baanga amel puoh toh kibang chet kasa a, nanleh bangchi e chi kakan ngam dieh sih hi. Kalungsim ah silkhat hing kilou a, “oho! tampa pen loutang ne hi ngel va e,” chiin kangaituo pan ta hi.

Nagaland apat kipan kahilou zieh un Nagaland innpi ah ka tung thei ta sih uhi. Sun nisa khu mei am abang hiel a, kal som vel isuon zou chieng in idang atah paipai a, champara tui kaha dawn mama uhi. Jackson te unau in phone asuh bawl atou bawl khop thithe ua, hinanleh bangma aphatuom sih hi. Delhi khodung khovai kaki viel lele ua atawpkhon in nitah nai 5 bang aging hiel tahi. Delhi Cantt. lam kava zuon ua, Nepali sepia Mr. Bahadur kichi khat kava sui ta uhi. Sepai ten Roseline amu chieng un a en nuom thei mama ua, mitphelou hiel in a en den uhi. Tomkhat kana ngah uleh, Bahadur ang tung a, ka bawn un a quarter ah ang pui ta hi.

Bahadur inn a ka um sung ua, kalung guot pen uh khu Jackson unu Cylvia sui khiet ding chi ahi. Hinanleh Jackson damlou kipan ngal a, malaria hing vei in lupna tung angah den tahi. Tuachiin kei leh anau nu’n lah mun leh gam katheilou zieh un hapta khat lam bangma bawl theilou in ka umden ta uhi. Cylvia contact theina ding lampi kasui sui ua, hapta ni vel zou in ang tung khong sam hi. Kalung a nuom dawm a, kasum nei teng akim khat vel amanu kape khie hi. Tuachiin Cylvia zong kou toh Bahadur inn ah ang um phot tahi. Zankim teng in Jackson adamloupa khu ana thou zing a, agieh khawm kahi vang un kakhahlaw teng in kakung ah ana lum ngai sih a, baang ah ana kingam in, amangham dan deu in anop-nop tengpi agen zing hi. Zingkal khat ka inn neipa un toilet septic sung ah kikapna phin (syringe) ana mu kha a, koima theilou in kei ang dap doh a Jackson umdan hoilou ahi dan ang genpi a, alungthah mama hi.

Hapta khat zou vel in Jackson zong ahal dawm ta a, khatveivei Bazar ah apawt thei tahi. Nikhat newspaper apat in “job vacant” chi kamu a, kava interview leh Sales & Marketing lam ahizieh in bailam tah in angla ta uhi. Zingkal nai 8:30 a sepna office tun ding, khunah naikal khat sung vel ivan zuoh dingdan training hing kipie hi. Tuazou chieng in Delhi khopi muntuom ah itang chiet in ivan zuoh ding in akidieng lele a, Delhi nisa nuoi ah, mi kotbieng, mi office teng ah va ki vah lele in kamsiem thei tawp in va kiham a, ivan vaki zuoh hi. Mikam siemthei kahilou toh, kavan zuoh puon-ah (kameez) ahoi seng lou toh koiman ang leipi ut sih a kakhawng zou mawngmawng sih hi. Ahasatna khat khu zingkal ann ne manlou a kikuon zing, sunni sa lah ‘meidil cheplawhna’ bang vawt, kalkhat isuon leh idangtah paipai ahiman in sum aheh mama hi. Kasum nei teng ang bei hiei hiei tahi. Kalungtup ahile nasep kom a college kai ding chi ahi.

Jackson malaria in ang pha jel a, akhosih ahun-hun in ang nei jel hi. A sanggam numei tegel in lah bang lung ageel uh ata diei, lou tang khat zong alei pi ut tasih uhi. Ama pan sum nei nonlou ahichieng in ken pharmacy leh private doctor te kung ah kava pui jel a, damdoi kalei sah mai hi. Akal vang chieng in amapa zieh in kasepna mun ah kapei thei sih hi.

Hakhat chinglou deu Bahadur inn a ka um zou un, muntuom a kituon khe ding in ang ban nawdoh tahi. Lawihoi tah khat kanei ua, ama ahileh Mukesh Kumar kichi MBA student ahi. Ama inn ah nithum vel ka um ua, tua zou in Palam Colony lang ah ka kituon ua, ei singtangmi khat beh umlouna, kol kulmut vawt ngen umna mun kava tung uhi. Kasum teng lah bei ta, Jackson lah damsieng thei ngailou, khatveiteng numei tegel in Jackson toh kihau in kei leh Jackson ang nusia jel ua, anntang huon ding umlou, neh diing bangma umlou in ka um top jel uhi. Silbangkim Jackson chatvai jieh ahidante u Cylvia in ang genpi jela, bangding a hi Delhi a hing pei a Jackson kang jui adiei chite hing dong in Jackson in juou leh naal a anu leh apate ahem banah kei nasan ahing kimawh juisah pen Cylvia alung thah mama hi.

Kasum beita ahiman in ka office peina bahara leh ann neh na ding nasan zong kanei non sih a, katawp mai ta hi. Cylvia in High School khat ah Asst. Accountant na khat amu a, niteng in akuon khia a, adang teng nasem umlou in inn ah kamawh um mai uhi. Neh ding angpuo hun in kane ua, ang puohlou hun in kangawl mai uhi. Koima eimi toh lah kakithei sih ua, kouteng maimai kol leh vai lah a ka khosa uhi. Sepna dang kahawl chieng in lah sales lam ngen ahi a, vanzuoha Delhi khopi a vah lele kia ding kageel thei non sih hi. Siemna (qualification) lah matriculate maimai kahi banah, bangma siemna ‘skill’ dang kanei lou zieh in kana sep ding ava’ng mama mei hi. Ka computer thei teng zong kakhoikhah louna asawt seng tazieh in kamanghil sieng ta a, kaki muong zou nonsih hi. Nasep khatphot ah asiemsa (experience) dei jel ua, keipen khat beh a ka china a um sih hi. Nisa nuoi a vah loua nnasepna khat phot kimu leh kachi mama a, hinanleh bagma kamu zou sih hi. Jackson lah dampan ichi chieng in sawtlou kaalin adamlou kipan jel a, Roseline inlah nna asem ut nai vet sih hi. Hunsawt kuom sim ahi ta man in College admission teng aki khel sieng tahi.

Cylvia in Delhi khopi umdan leh mite hinkho mandan ana thei tam mama a, ei Darj Hill vel town neu te toh Delhi metro life kikhietdan ang genpi hi. Adieh in numeite ading in siettheina ding hun (chance) atam mama hi. Company manager khenkhat ten numei nasem a guonte uh lemchanna a zang in, physical relationship (tahsa kichimatna) anei thei nading un a law uh supung ding bang in zawl zel dan ahi uhi. Numei tampite hichi bang thaang ah awh ahi dan uh Cylvia in agena, amanu mama in zong khumbang zawlna/chielna tuohkha ahi dan zong ang hil hi. Cylvia zong ana umna sawt senglou ahi zieh in eimi koima melthei anei seng sih hi. Kabawlkhiel khat ahileh, Delhi kapei masanga eimi ana umsate koima ka contact khahlou khu ahi. Hinanleh Cylviate unau bel dinga vakuon khie kahi a, amauh kana pum muon khah ziah ana hijel hi. Ka High School kailai a ka best friendpa Steve Haokip khu Delhi heimun tenga um ahiei chi kathei khamkham in kakan zelzel a, hinanleh koiman anghil thei vawt sih hi. Ka umna veng uh lah kol kulmut ngen ahi toh koima ang lungsiet ding akimu sih hi.

Bangzieh a tami mun a vatung kha kata de aw, chiin kisiana ngen in kadim tahi. Kalungtup – Delhi a nasep pum a college zop ding leh innkote subuoi khanonlou ding, chi ana hia, tunvang, ani in bangma kamuolsuo zou aum tasih hi. Nasem ding in lah siemna kaneilou toh ka qualification aniem toh, bangma kei a ding a umthei sih a, college kaiding kachi chieng in lah sum kanei non sih hi. Ka innkote kung ah ka hinkhuo umdan kagen ut sih a, kapei kuon a hing kikham a phallou sasa a keima utna toh pei kahi chieng in kisuonglana in kadim a, koima bangmathu kahil ut sih hi. Ka innkote zong ha ni (2) lam katungtang thu zalou ahichieng un alung uh nakham seng va kachi zieh in ka Unu Mercy, Lamka a um, lai kathon a, bangma buoina tuoh lou a college zong kaithei kahi chi in zuou kagen mai hi. Hinanleh, kalaithon dan ka unun asim chieng in alungnuom thei tahtah lou hiding hia, bang dinmun a um kahi e chi ang kan tin ten tahi. Hinanleh bangma ka dawng kia non sih hi.

Jackson hinkhuo umdan khu nuo in kang thei pan nabou hi. April ha in aunu toh Delhi ana zuon ua, tuamin Sales & Marketing Co khat ah nna asem a, sempei suoh lou in ana tawpsan tahi. Niteng hunteng in aunu Cylvia kung ah sum angen a, apieh lou chieng in vuoh sawm in agii den keei a, asum nei sunte in damdawi tang leinan azou zel hi. Darj Hill umlai in bike accident na ah akhutgu asu kha a, tuami jiah in akhut dam sieng thei tahtah lou in aum den hi. Akal vang chieng in ana (pain) thuohla seng in akikou vapuol jel a, anat thuoh nopna ding in damdawi tang (pain killer) ane zing a, tua khu azawngsang (addicted) gawp dan ahi. Tua pain killer maimai a hunkhop hinonlou in ana pei sau sim dan hileh akilawm hi. Daileng ding in ehbuuh alut a, atompen in dah kal khat teitei hun ala zing a, alut chienga bangma chilou alut hina piin, ang pot doh chieng in a melpuoh ngai abang sih a, amit ngau jenjun in ang pusuo jel hi. Tua khu asanggam numei tegel in zadah in aphawh chieng un lungthah in akihau jing uhi. Nidang huna damlou a aumlai a keplou donlou a koi te uh lamdang sa in “bangjieh a Jackson nahi chi ngaisahlou uh e?” chia kana doh chieng in Roseline in “khatvei chieng nathei hun hing um na ven” ang chi san giepte khu adih dan kang man pan nabou hi. Jackson pen dam thei mama lou ahichieng in lampi dang um nonlou in innlam a kile kiamai ding in kajawl ua, tuachiin innlam apei khong tahi. Hinanleh apei nuo in vengsung a dawr bawlte kung ah zuou a hem in van bat in ana la hi. Apei zou in, nikhat ka ke’dap repair sah kava lah leh gas leh siah (iron) tuomtuom repair bawl Bihari ten ka kedap khu Jackson sumbat toh kithung ding in ang nalasah ta mai uhi. Ke’dap khat sunsun ahoi zong hilou kanei khu katanlaw vawt a, nibangzat e khat zou in Cylvia in sum ang pia a kava tan khe kia sam hi.

Hun hingpei jel in September ha hing tung khong tahi. Nikhat Cylvia in alawite Punjabi, factory manager khat kung ah kasepna ding angva nget piah a, tua khu Mayapuri a um ahia, ke’dap leh akhau (lace) bawlna factory ahi. Tuanah niteng zingkal lam nai 9 apat nitah nai 9 tan nna kisem a, Pasianni nasan zong kikhawl theilou hi. Tomkhat zou in Christian kahi natoh Pasianni suty kei maimai ang pe ta uhi. Kanaseppite khu atang piin Bihari labour ngen ahi ua, e’n amauh isim maw bawl sim leh amaun zong ei bangman ang mukia sih uhi. Kei chou singtangmi kahi zieh in ang simmaw thei khop mai ua, kapan tung laiteng bang kamdam in zong anghoupi khasih uhi.

Nikhat Cylvia sepna lui school address ah innlam apat in ka laithon ding hing tung chiin ang gen ua, ala di’n kava kuon a, lampi peikom a lung kageel geel leh kanuolam ah bus khat hing tai, a horn ameh ging kana za sih a, thakhat in kakinuo hei leh bus hat deu in angtai khu’n ang phu kha deh tah a, angphu khahna ding inch 2 le 3 vel chauh in aki vat hi. “Kadei aw nu, shi tang e!” kachi lai in bus atai suoh vut mai hi. Kazau sengseng kadip akihot den keei a, suntung tawn in ka dip ako den hi. Ka upa Malcolm in Darjeeling apat lai ahing thot ana hia, “Henry nang jiah in innkote alung kham thei mama uhi. Bang dinmun a um nahiei chi bangma lah koiman akithei sih a, natanchin beh hing hil thei lechin ka chi uhi. ….Ahin, nangma kingam a peita nahi chieng in hing tahpan mai in len genthei hasat nathuoh zong in hing thuoh den mai tan….” chin ang giel hi. Kalung ah, “mithu manglou a pawt kahi chieng in, koima kangaw thei sih a, tami mun ah kashi zong in ka um den mai ding hi, mikhat kasuoh mateng in” chiin kalung katah (hard) sah den sawm ta hi. Hinanleh, kalungsim thuh tah ah kakisia mama a, bang vatuoh kha katade aw! chiin kaki ngaiseh thei mama hi. Zanchieng in ka inn tung uah kava kal a, kathei kham in Pasian ku’ah thumna vanei jel in, “Mangpa tami Delhi khopi ah hasatna chikim kaphu ta hi, ahithei leh hing lakhe mai tan” kachi jel hi.

Sun khat lunch break laitah miteng ann ne di’a apawt siang lai un, kangen tang in sing phung nuoi khat ah kava tou leh kagim seng man in kava ihmu suh khata a, mang (dream) ka nei ta hi. Kamang in Delhi khopi ah kana vah lele a, sa kasa mama a, kakhosa ul in kadim a, kana gim thei mama hi. Kamang hel/noplou seng ahi jiah adiei kakhanglou pai a, nisa in ang nakap kha a, tuami nisa thuohla a kamang nasan a kana mat dan ahi. Keizong nihim lam deu ah kikhin phei a, kava ihmu suh kia kha tahi. Tuamin mangkhat kanei kia a, kamang khu amasa a banglou in anop mama a, ka umnalui Darj Hill lam ngen kava mat tahi. Darj Hill a ka umlai a Mariah toh ka hinkho man dante uh kava zil kia a, anop mama mai hi:

Mi innsung khat ah lawite toh TV en a kana tou dim dem laitah un gintatlou piin Mariah anglut hi. Mi kitam sim ahiziah in kahoupi ngam seng sih a, hun tomkhat zou in dingkhie in apawt tahi. Kei zong dingkhetou in kanuo del phei pai a, “Mariah, Mariah” chiin kanuo hat leh, ang dawng ut sih a, ken zong hat deua del in kanuo phah ta hi. “Kisathei nachia kanghat lezong nang dawng ut sin!” kachi leh, “kei a kisathei kahi di? nang na veleh akisahthei” chiin ang dawng hi. “Banglah kakisahtheina?” “Akisathei hilou di’ chin maw, zing chieng a kipei ta di’a inn a zong nang haw nuom lou”. Khum in lamgei a suongtung khat ah katoukhom ua, kaki houlim gel uhi.

“Mariah, ash! nou jing a pei ta ding hi uchin a maw… ngai huoi ve chin maw.. keipi bang kachi hin ding ata diei, namgmelmulou a?” “Henry lungkham sin, tun kikhenlei zong khatvei chieng in kimukia ni hing tung thou nalou ding maw”.

“Mariah, nang midang ngai ta ding hichin a maw”, chia kagen kia leh, amit phelou in ang en kilkel a, “Henry ngai in, ken midang kapien apat koima kana ngai khanai sih a, maban ah zong nang bang a kangai ding mi um sih va, lungkham sin nang kang it mama a, kami it-theina teng toh kang it nahi” chiin ki-imlou in ang gensuh zungzung mai a, kakipahna asang mama hi. “Nang ka first love nahia, ka last love zong nahi ding hi” ang chi nalai hi. Koima umna phawh khalou zen a ki-ittah leh kihomthaw tah a kana toukhom thit thet laitah un, ka upa Malcolm in “Henry, Henry” chin innmai apat kikou in ang han a, tuachin thakhat in ka khanglou tahi.

Ka khahlaw ahileh kagei a kaseppi kalawi Nepalipan “Henry, Henry nasep kipat hunta, thou in” chia ang na phawng dan ahi. Kalung ahel mama a, kahunluite ang phawhtha sah kia a, Mariah kangaina akuong dieh hi. Kalungsim ah geel lou ding teng kang geel tha kia a, Darj Hill ka umlai ua, Mariahpa posting muntuom a pei ding ahi tajieh in, a innkuon un apa umna ding Chandigarh zuon in apei ua, kakikhen masang ua, itna thu kana lelkhawmte uh kamanga kanuo mat kia ana hi dan hi. Delhi ah sum leh pai dei naziah apei hinanleng zong asung guh a koima theilou - azieh dih tahkhat khu, Mariah toh kana um khawm lai un kana kiha gop mama ua, kalenkhawmna munluite enzou nonlou a Darj Hill ana nusia ut ka hidan kalung ah ahing kilangtha sah kia hi.

Nikhat ka unu Mercy in lai ang thon kana mukia hi. Tam alaithon kasim in kalungsim suong banga tah khu ajunn sah sieng hi. “Bawi na dinmun teng na gen utlou vang in kathei siem tahi. College nakai sih chi zong gense lou in katheisiem mai a, tuazieh in hing kile kia mai tan. Bangma nanga ding in tam khovel ah akikheel um nailou ahi. Nalung neu sah sin, inn ah hing pei inlen nalai sim hingpan tha kia mai in…” ang chi a, kasim in ki-ipzou lou in kamittui aluong zutzut mai tahi. Kenzong akin theipen a reply bawl kia in ka umdan tengteng akim sitset in kagenpi ta a, tualou in, kapa a ding in zong laithon kagiel a, “nathu uh manglou a keima thuthu a vai kakihawm tah jieh in, tabang dinmun ah kading tahi. Innlam hing pei vang in college zong kai da mai tang, kasum zaw khiet teng tam seng ta! Ahithei leh inn ah um maimai vang in, nasep ah nang leh kanu hing panpi mai tang” chiin kisuongla pum in kagen hi. Hinanleh, Aw!! Nu lepa ule naute itna alien mama hi!! U Cylvia kung ah zong ka innkoten hing pei mai tan chia ang hat uh ahi chite kagen chieng in, amanun zong, tami mun a, tabang hinkhuo zanga ka um um sang in inn lam vapei kia a, laisim vapan tha ding in ang deisah dan agen hi. Ang vaihahna thupipen khu “Henry, hi Delhi khopi a mite hindan nathei dim diem ta a, mite bangzahtah a hahpan (hard working) ahi dante namu hi. Nahinkhuo ah hakatna ana mangsah het sin aw” chiin ang hanthawn hi. Aman zong nikhatni chienga mikhat suoh tei a, Delhi a hinkhuo a struggle dante laibu khat ah giel khe teitei ding ahi dan ang hil hi.

Delhi apat Darj Hill ah ka u Malcolm kung ka zuon kia a, tomkhat zou in innlam -Manipur zuon in ah kapei ta hi. Tuana pat in, khovel bang ahiei, bangchi tuh a lien e, koite khovel a chethei leh koite chemaw ahiei, siemna leh pilna bangzatah a manpha leh silbawl thei a, mite dinmun asuh sang thei ahiei? Khopi ah siemna neiloute ding a hinkhuo ahasatdan, khopi a kilungsietna atawmdan leh miten bangchi banga hinkhuo aman ua, mite bangtan a gin um a, bangtan a chalak ahi uoi? Sepna hoi muna dinga siemna/zilna sang leh ahoi poimaw dante leh keibang a siemna neilou leh matriculate maimaiten bang nna asepthei giep uh ahiei? chite zousia Delhi apat in kathei khe sieng a kazil sieng tahi. Hinkhuo kichi namailou leh nuom mailou ahidan ang muchien sah hi.

Jackson pen Darj Hill apei nuo in, anu leh apa kung ah Delhi a peiding in kitum kia dan ahi. Anu leh pan abuoipi peilou zieh uh ahi diei vang thei sing, athu amangpi kia ua, Jackson maimai hilou in, anaunu Celine toh Delhi ah asawl kia uhi. Delhi umlai a kou a unauteng ang suh buoi dan leh ahinkho mandan ningkitel ahuoi dante kangaituoh chieng in Cylvia bangzatah in alungthah tadiei maw…? chi in kageel zing a lungsiet um kasa mama hi.

December ni 3 niin ka u Mercy te inn, Lamka ah katung hi. Kamel ang muchieng un kipahnan adim uhi chi kathei siem mai hi. Nitah ann nehzou innsung ah kakhawldam ua, tuanah vengsung papi khat leh ni hing kholai vahte kihoulimna kangai hi. Delhi a hing kipan kahi dan leh Delhi khopi hinkho umdan tangpite ang kihoulimpi ua, kahinkho mandan tahtah mi ku’a gen ding anuom chiem sam sih hi. Khum hun laitah in papi khat in “Henry nang Delhi a hing kipan nahi leh, Darj Hill a um Francis tapa tang neisun Jackson Delhi ah shi akichi a, nang ana thei khalou na mah?” chiin ang dong ta mawh hi. Lamdang sahnan kadim a, gending kathei pai sih a, tuazou in, “bang e, bang e, Jackson shita e !! Bangchi shi , bangchi dan in la ????!!! [BEITA]

(This is a true life incident)

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Mizoram Poll | Up against prejudice & patriarch

She is fighting against twin odds — a formidable opponent in Brig. T. Sailo, a former chief minister and a Mizo prejudice against women in politics. But she is confident of vanquishing both. Zothankimi, 47, is the lone woman Congress candidate from Aizawl II Assembly constituency.

She plunged into politics just after matriculation in 1978, lured by the Congress’s promise of ushering peace into the insurgency-ravaged state.

Incidentally, her current opponent, Brig. Sailo, was then the chief minister.

“The state was yearning for peace and as a youngster, the Congress’s promise for peace caught my imagination as I realised that only permanent peace could ensure a bright future of the state. Brig. Sailo’s government had completely failed in arresting violence. I then decided to join the Congress,” she said.

She worked as a Youth Congress joint secretary in a local party unit for a short stint before resuming her studies.

She went to Calcutta and completed her graduation there.

After returning home, Zothankimi got married, mothered two children and devoted herself to household chores.

But politics always remained at the back of her mind, prompting her to rejoin the Congress in 1990.

She is now one of the general secretaries of the PCC and also a member of the party’s political affairs committee, the highest policy-making body.

Having tasted electoral defeat in the Assembly elections in 2003, Zothankimi is aware of her drawbacks.

“It is unfortunate but I have to say that there is a tribal male chauvinism in the state which is preventing women from doing well in electoral politics,” she said.

It is because of this mindset, that she opted for an urban constituency this time in place of Serlui in Kolasib district, from where she had lost to Assembly Speaker Lalchiamliana by a narrow margin of 500 votes.

“Even my party leader, Lalthanhawla, feels that a woman has a better chance to win from an urban constituency,” she said.

This time, she is confident of doing well and she has a reason.

The women’s organisations, including the state’s second largest social organisation, Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawn Pawl, have been actively campaigning for women candidates.

Since 1972, the year Mizoram became a Union Territory, only three women — Thanmawii (1978), K. Thansiami (1979) and Lalhlimpui (1987) — could make to the Assembly.

Of them, only Lalhlimpui became a minister.

“I am sure the trend against women is going to change this time,” the Congress candidate said.

As in most of the constituencies in the state, in Aizawl West-II, too, the women voters outnumber their male counterparts.

Zothankimi hopes that the campaign by women’s organisations this time will ensure at least 8,229 votes from her constituency.

She is promising a separate department for women and child development if the Congress is voted to power.

Zothankimi feels since both of her main opponents — Sailo of the United Democratic Alliance and Laruatkima of the Mizo National Front — are from the same locality of Kanan, it will give her an edge.

“Kanan has around 2,000 voters and it will be divided this time between the two contestants. The votes of my Vaivakawn locality will root for me,” she said.

Having said that, she admits that Brig. Sailo is a big name in state politics and he has a loyal vote bank.

When Mizoram goes to the polls on December 2, Zothankimi will have to dent this traditional vote bank and defeat the prejudice against women candidates. It is a tough challenge indeed.



Special team to probe killing

Imphal, Nov. 27: The Okram Ibobi Singh government today constituted a special investigation team to track down the killers of Konsam Rishikanta Singh, junior sub-editor of Imphal Free Press.

Police recovered the bullet-riddled body of Rishikanta from Langol area of Imphal West in the evening of November 17.

The killing triggered a ceasework by journalists in Manipur from November 19 and suspension of all daily papers in the state from November 20.

The scribes, gathered under the banner of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union, are demanding a judicial inquiry into the murder.

The constitution of the special investigation team came a day after the scribes’ union supported by citizens’ groups took out a procession in Imphal to denounce the government’s inaction to do anything in the case.

A source said inspector-general of police (intelligence), L.M. Khaute, will head the three-member special team.

The other members of the team are K. Tomba Singh, additional superintendent of police, Imphal West, and N. Herojit Singh, sub-divisional police officer of Imphal West.

A source in the All Manipur Working Journalists Union said the government was yet to inform it about the special investigation team.

Members of the union decided to continue with the strike.

The general secretary of the union, Y. Biren, said it was not happy with the setting up of the special investigation team as it was demanding a judicial inquiry. He also slammed the government for its delayed reaction.

Employees strike

Manipur government employees today launched an indefinite strike demanding implementation of the sixth Pay Commission recommendations.

Members of the Joint Administrative Council of employees’ unions joined the strike.

L. Priyobrata, information and publicity secretary of the council, said employees of essential services and teachers of government educational institutions had not joined the ceasework but would do so if the government remained indifferent to their demand.

The council launched the strike after a series of agitation, which began on November 6.


Manipur press to continue stir

NEWMAI NEWS | IMPHAL, Nov 27 – The general body meeting of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) has decided to continue agitation. The meeting held at the Manipur Press Club in Imphal on Thursday, unanimously agreed not to publish or broadcast news items until the next journalists’ body meeting, when the issue would be discussed once again.

Since the murder of Imphal Free Press sub-editor Konsam Rishikanta by unknown gunmen on November 17, the AMWJU has been on an indefinite cease-work agitation and non-publication and non-broadcasting of news items.

While condemning the failure of the state government in probing the case, S. Hemanta, president of AMWJU informed a private investigation of the matter is being carried out.

Assam Tribune

‘AIDS can be eliminated in 10 yrs’

The virus that causes AIDS could theoretically be eliminated in a decade if all people living in countries with high infection rates are regularly tested and treated, according to a new mathematical model.

It is an intriguing solution to end the AIDS epidemic. But it is based on assumptions rather than data, and is riddled with logistical problems. The research was published online on Tuesday in the medical journal, the Lancet.

“It’s quite a startling result,” said Charlie Gilks, an AIDS treatment expert at the World Health Organization and one of the paper’s authors. “In a relatively short amount of time, we could potentially knock the epidemic on its head.”

Gilks and colleagues used data from South Africa and Malawi. In their model, people were voluntarily tested each year and immediately given drugs if they tested positive for HIV, regardless of whether they were sick. Within 10 years, HIV infections dropped by 95%. Other initiatives like safe sex education and male circumcision were also used.

The strategy would cut the estimated number of AIDS deaths between 2008 and 2050 by about half, from about 8.7 million to 3.9 million, leaving only sporadic HIV cases. Experts think the strategy’s cost would peak at about $3.4 billion a year, though expenses would fall after an initial investment.

“This is certainly beyond the bounds of the current infrastructure for many countries, but that is not a reason not to think big,” said Myron Cohen, of the University of North Carolina, who has done similar research.

Only 3 million people are currently on AIDS drugs. Nearly 7 million people are still awaiting treatment, and about 3 million more people were infected last year. Worldwide, WHO guesses that about 33 million people have HIV.

Increasing access to testing and drugs would stretch already weak health systems in Africa, which has most of the world’s HIV cases.

WHO emphasized that the study findings do not signal a policy change. “This is only a theoretical exercise,” said Kevin De Cock, director of WHO’s HIV/AIDS department. He said WHO would hold a meeting next year to study the idea more closely.


Brus to abstain from ‘postal polls’ and more North East news

Agartala: The displaced Reang voters of Mizoram, based in six evacuee camps in Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura district on Wednesday decided to abstain from voting through postal ballots in the coming Assembly polls but said they would vote through normal ballots only.

President of Mizoram Bru (Reang) Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF), Elvis Chorkhi said, "most of our voters of the total 8205 are illiterate and they cannot vote by ticking in the postal ballots. As in postal ballots no symbol is used, so it became difficult for the voters to cast their votes," Mr Chorkhy told PTI.

Mr Chorkhy said, "We are not boycotting the elections and if the Election Commission arranges voting through normal ballots and ensures safety and security of the voters, we would vote in the December 2 elections."

He said the decision of the voters were conveyed to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Mizoram, representative of Mizoram Election Department present in the camps and to the CEO of West Bengal, Debasish Sen, who is camping in the evacuee camps as special envoy to observe the voting.

Mr Chorkhy said there was no summary revision for inclusion of Bru voters in the electoral rolls as a result of which names of many eligible voters were not included in the voter list. He also demanded a summary revision so that the names of genuine voters were not deleted from the voter list.

When pointed out that summary revision may not be possible before the December 2 Mizoram assembly poll, he said they wanted a written assurance from the Election Commission that a revision would be conducted before the next assembly elections.

About 33,000 Bru/Reang people had migrated to adjacent Kanchanpur subdivision of Tripura from western Mizoram following ethnic clashes between Mizos and Reangs in 1997.

Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer Lalmalsawma told PTI at Aizawl that the Bru voters demanded that symbols of the respective candidates should be printed in the postal ballots as majority of them are 'illiterate' and might make mistakes while casting votes. "We have consulted the Election Commission on the issue, and though no official directions have been issued, we have been given verbal approval to reprint the postal ballots."

He said that the two-day polling at the Bru camps, scheduled to begin at the six relief camps, have to be postponed for one or two days.

The Brus also demanded inclusion of around 5,000 names in the voters lists which the Election Commission had already turned down, he said.

High security along border

Additional forces were deployed along the State's border areas with Manipur in the run-up to December two elections to the 40-member Mizoram Assembly to prevent any insurgent activity in the wake of threats by ultras to border villages.

While one platoon of state armed police was deployed at the border hamlet of North Chaltlang, patrolling by the armed personnel was also stepped up along the sensitive pockets of the border to prevent any insurgent group sneak in and interfere in the hustings, police said. (PTI)

Thousands protest killing of journalist

Imphal: Thousands of people on Wednesday took a rally amid tight security deployment at Manipur capital complex here in protest against the killing of a 22-year old journalist by unidentified gunmen on November 17 last.

Organised by the All Manipur Working Journalists' Union, the rallyists first gathered at Tiddim road, marched through Imphal airport road, then to Keisamthong, Pishum and later to Hapta Kangjeibung here but were prevented from entering main road near Raj Bhavan and Chief Minister's office.

The rallyists whose placards read: 'Stop Extra Judicial Killing,' 'Uphold Freedom of Press,' 'Gun will not bring Solution,' 'Stop Silent Killing' and 'Do Not Target The Press', later held a public meeting at Hapta Kangjeibung.

Several speakers during the meeting condemned the attempts of the state government to prevent taking out of the rally and said hundreds of people who were coming to attend the rally from interior districts were prevented at various points from reaching the rally spot.

A spokesman of the AMWJU said authorities also prevented the live coverage of the rally by local cable networks. (PTI)

BJP alleges Congress hand in Assam blasts

Guwahati: The BJP on Wednesday accused the Congress of having a hand in the serial blasts in Assam on October 30, which left more than 80 people dead.

Releasing a series of photographs of the main accused Bimal Mushary with several top-most leaders of the Assam state Congress, BJP national vice-president Bijoya Chakravarty and MP Rajen Gohain alleged that the Congress had a definite hand in the blast. The main accused, Bimal Musahary, is a Congress activist and very close to Assam Revenue Minister Dr Bhumidhar Burman, who is also the senior most in the Cabinet after Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. ''These photos clearly show that the mastermind of the blast was patronised by state leaders like Dr Bhumidhar Burman and state general secretary Haren Das. These are not private photos but all of them are from public functions,'' Mr Rajen Gohain said. (UNI)

Bombs recovered on eve of ULFA’s protest day

From Our Correspondent

Guwahati: Alert has been sounded in Assam on the eve of the annual ‘protest day’ of the banned ULFA on November 27 even as police and the Army recovered two bombs at two different places in the State on Wednesday.

The ULFA observes November 27 as ‘protest day’ every year denouncing continued counter-insurgency operation by the Army in the State.

Counter-insurgency operation by the Army was launched in the State on the night of November 27, 1990 at Lakhipathar in Tinsukia district of eastern Assam.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police (Eastern Range), LR Bishnoi informed that a powerful bomb weighing over one kilogram was recovered from a bus at Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) bus stop at Jorhat on Wednesday.

The bomb planted in the luggage box of the bus was first spotted by the handyman of the bus, who raised the alarm. Police immediately threw a blast preventive blanket on the bomb before it was defused by an explosive expert.

The police official informed that vigil was mounted in all the four districts – Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia – of eastern Assam where the banned ULFA has a strong presence to prevent any terror strike by the outfit on its ‘protests day’.

Meanwhile, Army recovered another bomb from Bhalukjaroni at Solmara under Salonibari police station in North Assam’s Tezpur and apprehended one Abitullah Khan in this connection. It happened to be third recovery of bombs in the same area during this month.

Missing link between Ainus and Assamese?

Guwahati: A missing link connects Assamese with the Ainus, a group of people with a cultural and racial background different from that of ethnic Japanese living in extreme Northeast Asia, according Dr Satyakam Phukan.

''In fact, I have been working on this subject for the past eight years after accidental discovery of a word - 'Meko' and a passing reference by a book written by renowned historian Debananada Bharali, way back in the twenties of the last century,'' said Dr Satyakam Phukan, the man behind this new exposure puzzling purists.

If this new revelation has to be accepted, then the whole story of migration of the Assamese will be rejected.

So far, it has always been the case of migration of Aryans from Konouj (North India) to Assam, who were supposed to have formed the core of the Assamese.

''The number of similarities between Ainus and Assamese languages is not a mere coincidence. I have found at least 133 groups of words which have more similarities,'' said Dr Phukan, who, despite being an active surgeon, has been researching the subject for nearly a decade.

According to him, Assam people have their own identity. ''It is not a myth but there are historical records which say that there was a Kolita or Kolta Kingdom somewhere in Tibet and there were references of both in the books of Dr Banikanata Kakoti as well as Tribes & Races by RG Lathan,'' claimed the surgeon.

According to him, the Kolita Kingdom either got assimilated or got overrun by Tibetans and one section migrated towards Northeast Asia, which eventually became Ainus of Hokaido and Sakhalin and the other section went southwards to the Northeast India to take the shape of Assam.

However, scholars of the Assamese language are a little skeptical about the new theory. ''This is an interesting revelation and must be encouraged, but I would love to see some more deliberations on the grammar and morphology before arriving at a conclusion,'' opined Dr Pramod Chandra Bhattacharya, considered a living legend of indigenous language evolution in the State.

An unfazed Dr Phukan, however, said, ''It will be quite difficult for the old school of thought to digest the new revelations. I am confident that more and more revelation will come to support the theory in future.''

But who actually are Ainus? The Ainus are people with a cultural and racial background different from that of the ethnic Japanese. They have been populating Hokkaido, northern Tohoku, the Kurile Islands and Sakhalin. But today, only a small population remains mainly in Hokkaido.

According to one of several theories, the Ainus are descendants of Mongoloid migrants who entered the Japanese Islands before the Jomon period. They were later displaced and assimilated when the ethnic Japanese expanded their territory further north.

These are certainly fascinating facts but only more research will reveal whether the Ainus are isolated people or have their long lost cousins in Assam.

In fact, Dr Phukan has come up with a book called 'Tonokori', graphically showing the similarities between Ainus and Assamese languages. (UNI)

Mizoram News from Zonet

The Election Commission has re-fixed Friday and Saturday for the polling date in Bru Refugees Camps in Tripura. Replying to ZONET question, the Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Lalhmingthanga said, postal ballot papers indicating the symbols of candidates have been printed and despatched to the Refugee camps this morning following Election Commission’s direction.

About 8000 voters in 6 camps are to cast their vote by postal ballot papers and the time of polling has been fixed from 8 am to 4 pm on both the polling days. The inmates of the Refugee camps in Naisingpara, Ashapara, Khapchangpara, Hamsapara, Kaiskau and Hazarchera and two transit camps within Mizoram at Tuipuibari and Damparengpui are expected to exercise their franchise in this election. Two Asst. Returning Officers and Polling Officers deployed for duty in these camps are presently staying in the camps waiting for the intruction of the Election Commissions. The Special Observer, Mr. Debashi Sen, who is currently camping in this area to supervise the polling briefed the election officials, candidates and their agents in a meeting at Kanchanpur and Kanhmun today. Meanwhile, the Bru leader also had consultations among themselves and they are yet to decide whether to cast their votes or to boycott it. As already stated, the Bru leaders in these camps staged a dharna in the polling stations yesterday demanding postal ballot papers indicating symbol of the candidates and revision of Electoral rolls to include about five thousand more voters who are said to have been excluded in the last Summary Revision.

Preparations for the Assembly Elections slated for 2nd December is going on smoothly. In Aizawl district, briefing for Presiding Officers begun in the DC Conference Hall today and this will be concluded tomorrow. As already stated, 21 polling stations in the District have been identified as sensitive polling stations which need better security cover. In these polling stations, well equipped Central Para Military Force will be deployed for election duty. Meanwhile 2nd IR Battalion personnel detailed for election duty in the district and micro-observers cast their votes today by using postal ballot papers in the polling booth set up in the DC Office.

While electioneering is proceeding to its feverish pitch, most of the Political parties continue to adhere to the guidelines formulated by the MPF and there is no major breach of the guidelines reported from any quarter. In Saiha district, the last training for Polling personnel was held today. As per the schedule drawn up by the Returning Officers, the Polling Parties to go to interior polling stations are to depart on 30th of this month and the security personnel will have their last briefing tomorrow. As already stated, there is 1 village to be covered by foot and four polling stations in the vicinity of International boundary are identified as sensitive polling stations.

In Lawngtlai district, the first batch of polling parties to proceed to interior areas including 32 villages which have to be covered by foot march are to depart on 29th of this month. Of the 145 polling stations in the district, 6 polling stations are identified as sensitive polling stations which need stronger security cover.

In Lunglei district, preparations are going on smoothly and the last briefing of polling personnel including security staff was completed today. The first batch of the polling party will set out on 29th of this month. Out of 164 polling stations in the district, 12 of them have not been link with jeepable road and the polling parties are to cover it on foot. 8 polling stations in the Indo-Bangladesh border area have been identified as sensitive polling stations.

In Serchhip district, the last and final randomization of polling personnel is to take place next Saturday and the first batch of the polling party will depart on 30th of this month to their respective destination. In this district, the polling parties are to cover 2 villages, Thinglian and Hmunzawl on foot.

All arrangement in Champhai district are going on smoothly. Randomization of polling personnel was completed today and the first batch of the polling party are to depart on 29th of this month. 15 of 101 polling stations are sensitive polling stations which need better security cover.

In Kolasib district, randomization of polling personnel will be completed tomorrow and the first batch of polling parties are to set out by the next Sunday. Kolasib district has 11 sensitive polling stations which will be manned by well equipped Central Para Military Force.

In Mamit district, the final randomization of polling personnel has been slated for tomorrow and the first batch of polling parties are to depart on Saturday. 7 villages not connected with motorable road are to be covered on foot. 11 villages in the vicinity of Tripura and Bangladesh border area have been identified as sensitive polling stations.

The MPC Party accused the Congress of breaching the agreement signed by Political Parties under the leadership of the MPF. Talking to news persons in Aizawl Press Club, the MPC Consultant, Mr. Clement Lalrema said that under the initiative of the MPF, all political parties including the Congress agreed to eschew connivance with insurgence or unlawful element during the coming election. He said that it is unfortunate that the Congress Party is working with the HPC (D) which recently asked village council Presidents and political party leaders in the HPC demand area to vote for the Congress candidates. He also said that the MPC is investigating the incident to ascertain the culprit behind it.

BJP National Secretary, Mr. Kiren Rijiju said, there may be no single party to form the government in the up coming Mizoram Assembly elections. Talking to news persons in the BJP Office at Upper Khatla today, Mr. Kiren expressed hope to get some seats in the State Assembly through this election. Highlighting the aims of the BJP, he said, development, transparency and good leadership are 3 important planks of the party. Earlier, Mr. Kiren visited Chalfilh and Tuivawl constituencies to campaign for their party candidates.

A grand reception was held at the Ist MAP Parade Ground today in honour of the 2nd IR Battalion personnel who returned from Chhatisgarh after 2 years of deployment in the Naxal infested state. In this function, the DGP, Mr. Lalrokhuma Pachuau presented a bouquet to the Commandant of the 2nd IR Battalion, Mr. PC Lalchhuanawma in recognition of the remarkable role played by them. Addressing the function, the DGP said, the Centre and the Government of Mizoram appreciated the role played by the 2nd IR Battalion to maintain law and order in the Naxal affected state of Chhatisgarh. The Commandant of the Battalion, Mr. PC Lalchhuanawma said that the life of 23 persons were lost during their tenure of 2 years in Chhatisgarh and expressed gratitude for the endless prayer offered by individuals and the Churches for their safety and well being.

New MPF Local Forum office in Zemabawk North was inaugurated today by the MPF Vice President, Mr. H. Raltawna. In this function, the Pastor of Zemabawk area, Rev. RC Zokhuma offered prayer for the smooth functioning ot the office during the coming elections. The function was attended by representatives of the Churches, Village Council and Voluntary Organizations.

The left thigh bone of the tallest man among the Mizos, late Tumpanga was handed over to the State Museum today by his grandsons including the Power Secretary, Mr. K. Lal Nghinglova. In this function, the Art & Culture Director, Mrs. Boihchhingpuii said, Tumpanga has been proved to be the tallest person among the Mizos and thanked his grand sons for presenting his bone to the State Museum which will add value to the Museum. Tumpanga, the tallest man among the Mizos was said to be 6 feet 9 inches tall. Born in 1884 at Khumzawl and migrated to North East Khawdungsei and lived their till he died in 1961. The Forensic Science Laboratory which had thoroughly examined his bones proved that his height cannot be less than 6 feet 6 inches and half.

NSS Unit volunteers of Govt Mizo Higher Secondary School donated 154 units of blood for the needy patients in Aizawl Civil Hospital today. Their blood was drawn by the blood bank officials in their School Hall…………. This was to prevent scarcity of blood during Christmas time.

Trainees of Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Aizawl also donated 68 units of blood for the patients in Presbyterian Hospital in Durltang today. Donors of blood included 56 male and 12 female. Their blood was drawn by the blood bank officials in the Institute.

The Government of Mizoram and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. signed a deed of agreement in Aizawl today for exploration of Gas and Oil in an area of 255 sq. kms in the North Eastern part of Mizoram. The deed of agreement was signed on behalf of the Government of Mizoram by Industry Secretary, Mr. K. Riachho and Joint Director of Geology and Mining, Dr. H. Lallenmawia, while Basin Manager, Mr. S. Choudhri and Chief Geologist, Mr. SK Kumar signed on behalf of the ONGC.



- Dr. Tualchin Neihsial

HE IDEA OF INTEGRITY of the Manipur hills and plain is not a novel concept. It was there in the past and inspite of religious, cultural and political differences, the people of Manipur somehow had lived together under one political head. However, this issue comes up now and then and is a burning probe today, thus exposing the validity of this very unity.

There is always a tendency, thought quite natural to shift the blame to the former administrators- indigenous or foreign and ignoring the possible responsibility of the present society which also plays a vital role. Yet, one cannot but, do so, as today’s society was built on the yesteryears. Thus, to understand the present problems, the study of the past is essential so as to bring about a positive solution, to the present day problems. It is something like diagnosing the disease of a person so that remedies can be taken.

The distinction between the tribesmen and the plainsmen was already there even before the British. The contrast between the Vaishnavite Manipuris and the freedom loving tribesmen of the hills was particularly glaring. The boundaries of the state did not enclose a cultural unit but were rather a measure of the limit to which the Darbar was in the past able affectively to extract tribute from the hill tribes. The hill tribesmen were obviously made a source of profit and till 1891 as much tributes as possible was extracted from the hills while not a single rupee was spent for their benefit. They were excluded from the direct rule of the Rajas.

Right from the establishment of British Paramountcy in Manipur in 1835 till they left the state in 1947 the administration of the tribesmen was in the hands of the British Officers such as Political Agents, Vice-Presidents and President of Manipur State Darbar. Inspite of the two major anti-British movements of the tribesmen of Manipur as a result of their “DIVIDE AND RULE POLICY” and ineffective administration in the hill areas, the British Government refused to hand over the hill administration to the Raja of Manipur on the excuse that “the Manipuri has not yet learn to look upon the hillmen as a human being.” In 1937, the Maharaja was anxious to appoint his own nominee as President of the Darbar. In fact, he intended to appoint his second son to the post. In such an eventuality it was proposed by the British government that the administration of the hill areas should be taken over by the Political Agent. It was made clear that “to place the Manipur hill tribes under the direct administration of His Highness and the Darbar would be far more dangerous than to place the Assam hill tribes under the ordinary administration of the Assam Legislature” In this way, the gap between the twos remained wide.

Throughout their rule, the British adopted a similar policy towards all the hill tribes of the Northeast India. Their motive was to create a Crown Colony somewhere in the Indo-Burma frontier areas consisting of the tribal inhabited hill areas. Justifying this Coupland Plan, Sir Robert Reid, the Governor of Assam stated that he saw, “no other line along which we (the British) can fulfill our duty to these primitive peoples. They will not get a square deal from an autonomous Indian Government and the sequel would rebellion, bloodshed and ultimate ruin.” His prediction has proved true in the present context and the “ULTIMATE RUIN” is left in the hands of the government and the present generation.

Now, having traced the root-cause of the present problem to the indigenous and the British Colonial Periods, can we just be satisfied? Remain silent and wait for a time to solve by itself or for foreign powers to unite us? Can we erase the historical facts? The answer is definitely “NO”.

There can be no ideal society in a sense of the term where people are not given equal treatment and share. There will be always some trace of inequalities due to physical abnormalities or wealth. In the case of the plain people of Manipur, there is a distinct sense of discrimination against the tribes based on their social and religious beliefs. The hill people were never treated by their counter-parts on equal footing. To be specific, there are few matrimonial alliances between the two communities and that too only in one-way traffic i.e. the Meitei men marrying the tribal girls but the tribesmen could hardly marry girls from the plains. This is an example of social discrimination. In addition to this, the tribal girl married to the Meitei can never feel quite secure because her husband is likely to bring another and she can be divorced easily.

When we open a book on Manipur, we find mostly the history of the Meiteis and their culture and only a passing reference is made on the indigenous people such as the tribes thus keeping them at the back seat, whereas, the two have affinity in their origin, language, and in modern politics. The theme on the integration of the two has been high-lighted and discussed in some books, articles and at seminars but they have failed, to influence the public as a result of the attitude of the people remained unchanged.

When we open the economics and commercial book of Geography, we find that localization of industries or factories depends to a great extend on the supply of abundant quantity of raw materials at the lowest cost and therefore nearness to raw materials is an important point for consideration regarding growth or establishment of a particular industry or factory. It is a fact that the hill districts of Manipur especially Churachandpur District is the greatest producer of pine-apple, sugar-cane and cotton but Fruit Juice crushing centre, Spinning Mill etc. were all located in the Valley. In addition to this the tribals are sometimes forced to sell their goods at cheaper rates as they must return home before sunset.

With the joining of Manipur to the Constituent Assembly and the introduction of the responsible government, the hill tribes of Manipur were politically integrated with the plains people but their emotional integration remained an open question.

It has been observed that the so-called “CHINGTAM” [hill and plain] relationship have only maintained a low level equilibrium. A high level equilibrium will not be achieved unless we touch it with “A FEELING A MUTUAL LOVE” and “A SENSE OF UNDERSTANDING”.


Forward: Hiai article pen kum 16 paisa a Blue Star Academy Unit, Siamsinpawlpi Third Anniversary Magazine 1992 pp.45-48 a kisuah, tuni a le a thu diktou deuhdeuh ahih ziak a hong kisuahkhe thak ahi.


Northeast India : Where scribe falls prey to miscreant´s bullets

By Nava Thakuria

At least 20 editor-journalists were killed in Assam during the last 17 years and surprisingly enough not a single perpetrator of these heinous crimes was booked under the law- this is how a Northeast India based journalist rights body expressed its concern and resentments.

In a memorandum to the Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Journalists’ Action Committee, Assam (JACA) also argued that the media fraternity had shown their mettle to pursue the democratic values in Northeast, where scores of secessionist armed cadres remained active, and hence it must be ‘the duty of the government to ensure their safety.

The anger was spontaneous among the journalists, when they witnessed the brutal murder of an Assam based reporter by miscreants. Jagajit Saikia, a correspondent for Amar Asom, a leading Assamese daily published from Guwahati fell prey to unidentified gunmen in Kokrajhar, the head quarter of Bodoland Territorial (Autonomous District) Council in lower Assam. Shot at and killed in broad day light on November 22, Jagajit, 30 left behind his wife, a minor daughter and his parents.

Earlier, the JACA, an umbrella organization of scribes in Assam, organized a massive protest rally on the premises of Guwahati Press Club on November 25. Soon after the meeting, hundreds scribes and other attendants joined in a procession to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (Metro) to hand over the memorandum to the President. But shockingly the DC did not come out to receive it, which annoyed the journalists and tempted to stage a brief demonstration in front his office. Later the memorandum, signed by the JACA president Sanjib Phukan and JACA secretary Prakash Mahanta, was sent directly to the office of the President.

Presided over by Bhupen Bhattacharya (editor of Asomiya Purboday), the protest meet was addressed by Kanaksen Deka (editor of Dainik Agradoot and President of Asom Sahitya Sabha), Ajit Kumar Bhuyan (editor of Asomiya Pratidin), Adip Kumar Phukan (editor of Edinar Sangbad), GL Agarwala (editor of Purbanchal Prahari and owner Amar Asom), Prashanta Rajguru (executive editor of Amar Asom), Dileep Chandan (editor of Asom Bani), Hiten Mahanta (senior journalist) with many others.

The trouble torn region earlier witnessed the brutal killing of a scribe in Imphal on November 17, when unidentified assailants shot dead Konsam Rishikanta, a trainee sub-editor of The Imphal Free Press, an English daily of Manipur. The Manipur police is yet to get any breakthrough, where as no armed group has so far claimed the responsibility got the killing.

The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union, Editors’ Forum, Manipur had taken the path of agitation and went for a four-day strike by all Imphal-based daily newspapers and local channels in protest against the murder of Rishikant. The union members also met the Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and demanded prompt investigation and

actions against the killing. Manipur has lost five editor-journalists to miscreants’ attack since 1993.

The Editors Guild of India, while expressing shock at the killings of scribes in Manipur and Assam, appealed the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ‘to take personal interest in the situation’ and if necessary, order a CBI investigation into the murder of journalists.

The editor’s forum in a statement said, “The Editors Guild has noted with increasing dismay the spate of violent incidents involving journalists in the north-east and has brought this to the notice of the union home ministry. We hope that concerted action will be taken to ensure the safety and security of journalists.”

The Guild president, Rajdeep Sardesai later personally met the Prime Minister to apprise him about the situation in Northeast. Rajdeep, also the editor-in-chief of CNN-IBN, while talking to this writer informed that Prime Minister Singh expressed concern over the recent killings of journalists and asked both the chief ministers of Assam and Manipur for prompt investigation into the incidents. He also recommended for adequate measures to ensure the security and safety of all journalists and newsmen in the region, Rajdeep added.

Facing the heat, the Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi announced an ex-gratia grant of Rs three hundred thousand for the family of Jagajit after three days of the incident. Gogoi also assured that the government would take the responsibility of Jagajit´s daughter. The chief minister also declared that the culprits would be arrested and appropriate punishment would be given to them.

The Paris based media rights body, Reporters Without Borders also expressed shock at the assassination and asked ‘the authorities in New Delhi to order the Central Bureau of Investigation to carry out an exhaustive investigation to determine the motives and arrest those responsible’.

The rights body also argued that the security situation is very worrying in Northeast and it can not be acceptable that journalists should be made to pay for refusing to relay propaganda for the different parties to a conflict. This latest murder must not go unpunished, it asserted.

The Assam Tribune in its editorial highlighted that ‘Saikia’s murder in broad daylight — occurring just four days after the killing of another journalist, K Rishikanta in Manipur – lays bare the growing vulnerability of the journalists working in conflict situations in the

Northeast’. “Targeting of journalists by militants and anti-socials is nothing uncommon in the region, with Assam alone accounting for the killing of half a dozen journalists in the past eight years. This is a rather disturbing trend, and the failure of the Government and the law-enforcing agencies to book the culprits in most of the cases is only emboldening the miscreants to carry on with their dastardly acts,” the editorial commented.

The New York based Committee to Protect Journalists also mourned the loss of Jagajit. The CPJ’s Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz, while raising voice for ‘thoroughly and transparently’ investigating Jagajit’s killing, also added, “Local governments in India’s northeast should make journalists’ security a priority to enable publication of essential news about local conflicts.”

“It has been a grim year for journalists across the world. So far in 2008, at least 36 journalists have been murdered and another 17 are missing or unconfirmed as to whether they died on the job. Across Asia, two each were killed in Thailand, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, four in Pakistan and at least three in India,” reports the CPJ last month.

International Federation of Journalists, Journalists’ Forum, Assam, All Assam Photo Journalists Association, Assam Press Correspondents’ Union, North East Media Forum (a body of New Delhi-based Northeastern Journalists) with a number of journalists organizations, student organizations, civil society groups and various political parties also condemned the killing and demanded punishments to the perpetrators.

Condemnation also poured from Sudhir Karmakar (secretary of Kolkata Press Club), Pranab Sarkar (secretary of Agartala Press Club), Bhim Rawat (secretary of Sikkim Press Club), David Laitphlang (president of Shilong Press Club), S. Hemant (president of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union) with others.

The Sentinel, a leading English daily from Assam, commented in an editorial that the killing of Jagajit only reflects on the vulnerability of the profession of journalism to the designs aimed at weakening the very foundation our democracy that is a free press to

complement the flourish of democracy. It insisted that ‘the gang of cowards who killed Jagajit Saikia must be brought to book and punished exemplary’.

The editorial also stated that ‘one must realize that if there is any community that faces the greatest threat from the graduation of insurgency to criminal terrorism and that, despite the threat, must keep working because that is what their profession demands of them, it is the community of journalists, unarmed and defenceless’. Therefore, it is they who need the best protection; after all, it is they who serve democracy in the best manner possible, it concluded.

Speaking to this writer JFA president, Rupam Baruah argues that journalists must be safeguarded from other perspectives as well. The media persons in Northeast have to work under miserable conditions regarding the economic package and job securities. Many times, the low patronage from the management put the journalists in most vulnerable situation. Justice has to be delivered to the victims in a comprehensive way, Baruah asserted.

The JACA memorandum to the President revealed that Northeast is the home for more than 50 armed outfits, who have been fighting New Delhi for various demands varying from sovereignty to self rule. The militants display a common tendency to defy the democratic values of the country. But the media fraternity, working in the trouble torn

region, does their best to pursue all the values that India stands for. And hence it remains the duty of the government to ensure the safety of these sentinels of the society. Otherwise, it argued, our claim as the largest democracy in the globe will be in stake.