Chin-Kuki-Mizo (CKM) in North East India and Bangladesh

By Dr. Lal Dena One of the worst victims of British imperialism and perhaps the most misunderstood ethnic groups are the Chin-Kuki-Mizo (CKM) people who are found today in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. In India’s North East alone, the CKMs are scattered in all the seven states. Naturally they are known by different names to their neighbors. Those who lived in Myanmar are called Chin and Kuki. The same group of people who lived in different parts of North East India and Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh are known as Kuki while the Chin-Kuki-Lushai inhabitants of the Lushai Hills are collectively known as Lushais during the colonial period. Even the land where these people lived was called Lushai Hills. But now the term ‘Lushai’ was later replaced by the more inclusive term ‘Mizo’, ‘mi’ means ‘man’ and ‘zo’ ‘hill’ (Mizo=hill men) and Lushai Hills was also named Mizoram.

Tribalism Or Detribalization ?

Tribalism has become one of the major ills of a state. It is used as a term of abuse-like 'bourgeois', 'capitalist' or 'communist' are used in other parts of world. In any state with multi-ethnic groups or tribes, inter-tribal relationship has always played an important role in social development. This inter-tribal relationship has assumed different characters. It has sometimes been reduced to tribalism. There is now a tendency even among social scientists to attribute to tribalism everything reactionary that is affecting national unity.

Schizophrenic Alienation of N.E India: Its Historical Roots

It is purely by an accident in history that North East formed a part of India. The social formation in mainland India and North East must first of all be explained from historical perspective of three definable phases of periods: pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial periods. Among societies in mainland India, social organization took the form of a caste structure and this continues to be so even to the present day. In this way they had been linked up with one another culturally and politically as a part of chain as it were even in pre-colonial era. With the exception of Meiteis in Imphal valley and the Assamese in Brahmaputra valley, the hill people remained essentially outside the orbit of Hindu influence and caste-based societal formation. While mainland Indian society could evolve pan-Indian homogeneities and Hindu ethos in social formation all through historical period, the hill people in North East with their diverse social alignments and group identities produced a high degree of fluidity and flexibility in their socio-cultural arenas. But even among the Assamese who were perhaps the most Sanskritised community with their Indo-Aryan language, the new intelligentsia began to see secession of Assam as the only means to save the Assamese nationality from prospective extinction. In Manipur valley too, the adoption of Vaishnavite Hinduism with its belief of the Aryan connection also provided a sense of belongingness to the Hindu world of India for some time. But in Manipur today, the belief that identification with Hinduism would ensure their emotional integration with India is proved false. The new generation tends to look upon Vaishnavite Hinduism as “cultural imperialism”.

Waiting for Justice

Discrimination Against Tribe Peoples in Matters of Land Management and Self-Government in the Hill Areas of Manipur

Following India’s Independence in 1947, the Government of India placed Manipur, then a princely state with mixed populations (tribal people constituting about 36 p.c. of the total state population) under the Fifth Schedule on the basis of the A.V.Thakkar Subcommittee’s report. That means that the tribal peoples of Manipur do not have the constitutional safeguard which aims at maintaining the traditional pattern of self-governance by giving the tribal areas concerned, certain degree of autonomy to deal with and preserve their way of life, their land, their customary law, etc. through the Sixth Schedule District Council under the state supervision.

The Gospel in the North East India

A rapid survey

On this historic occasion of the Diamond Jubilee, our memory naturally goes back to the late Watkin R. Roberts who first brought the Gospel amongst us seventy-five years ago. The coming of Watkin Roberts to South Manipur hills in 1910 was not an isolated movement.