Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Economic Development VRS History: Rethinking Insurgency in North East India

“North East India”, -the first time you heard these three words, I’m sure other unpleasant words “insurgency” or “troubled zone” would follow in your mind. I don’t blame you for being cautious because that is what the media tells you about. What concerns me more is about how any discussion on North East India in media, political circles, NGO’s, and academic circles share similar conclusions by proposing that the problem of North East India is the “economic backwardness” of the region. In recent period, an economic integration with East and Southeast Asia (popularly known as India’s Look East Policy) has been proposed and discussed.

To some extent, this argument seems to be an outsider’s view; such a view has also been generated by some of the North East intellectuals (perhaps the Middle class intelligentsia who don’t even understand the whole complexities of North East India). No doubt, the problem in the North East is linked to development related issues and several illustrations can be pointed out. I would like to raise one question that whether ‘lack of development fuelled insurgency’ or ‘insurgency failed development in the region’? Which comes first, hen or egg? Let’s put aside this issue and ask further questions.

What is the insurgency group point of view? What is the main problem according to them? Of course, insurgency groups also talk about economic problem. More importantly, the ideological assumption behind all ethnic groups’ claim is ‘HISTORY’. Here I use history in a very restricted sense, it would mean “ethnic view of their past, constructed or even invented from the memories of the past. For all insurgency outfits in North East India, ‘HISTORY’ has become a site of contesting against the Larger Nation State or other ethnic groups in one way or the other. The Mizo National Front (1966-1986) argues that Mizos in their historical past were never under any foreign control but forcibly taken over by the colonial in the last part of 19th century. Similarly, the Naga insurgency outfit claimed “Greater Nagaland” which was divided during the colonial period. All other outfits, be ULFA (Assam) Kuki (Manipur) or National Liberation Front of Tripura share the same ideological stands basing on their historical past.

My argument is thus, historical factor is a shared problem of North East India. Unfortunately, this has been ignored in most of the current discourses. Narratives about the history of ethnic groups give a strong justification of territorial claims, as it does for all insurgency groups of North East India. As long as such ‘justification’ is believed to be true, a particular group’s claim on a territory remains strong. Moreover, constructing ethnic culture area based on ‘history’ for the purpose of fascist political agenda could be equally dangerous. This is exactly what North East India is going through.

When we try to determine the problem of North East India, whether development, economic, social or political reason, we should situate them into a larger historical context by placing the larger Nation State and ethnic groups’ projection of history into consideration.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


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Essays and Articles

Periodical Journals, Souvenirs, Magazines, Government Records, internet Website, Project Works and Proceedings

Avichail, Eliahu; The Tribes of Israel : The Lost and the Dispersed? Jerusalem : Amishav.1988.

Andrew Miller, Roy ; "Research on Tibeto-Burman Languages", Language, Vol.60, No.3 Sep 1984.

Bhaumik, Subhir and Silver, Eric;"Author claims to have found remnant of Lost Tribes of Israel in F.S Ancient Mysteries News, March 1, 1999 .

Bhaskararao, Peri. 1996. “A Computerized Lexical Database of Tiddim Chin and Lushai.” Tsuyoshi Nara & Kazuhiko Machida (eds.). A Computer-Assisted Study of South-Asian Languages. Report No. 6. Tokyo: ILCAA. 27-143
Bhardwaj, Sujata and S. K. Gakhar; Ethnomedicinal plants used by the tribals of Mizoram to cure cuts and wounds, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 4, 1, 75—80, 2005.

Bhattacharjee, Sukalpa; "Feminizing the Civic Space: The Mizo Women’s Federation and the Naga Mothers Association, Proceedings of N.E.I.H.A, 20th Session, Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam, 2000.

Benjamin, V. L. and Yisrael; "Mongoloid Israels of Manipur State ", Manipur: Manipur Jewish Organisation.1975.

Campbell, A.; "On the Looshais" The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland , Vol.3 1974.

Chatterjee, Suhash; Early History of the Mizos? Proceeding of North East India History Association, Ninth Session, Guwahati, 1988.

Chhangte, Thangi. 1989. “Complementation in Mizo (Lushai).” Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 12.1:133-55

Chaturvedi HK, Phukan RK, Zoramthanga K, Hazarika NC, Mahanta J; Tobacco use in Mizoram, India: socio-demographic differences in pattern” Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Med Public Health. March, 29. 1998.

Changli, Zhu Prof; “A Study of the Ethnic Origin and Customs of the Nationalities in Northeastern Area in India- A Comparison between them and some of the nationalities in Yunnan and Xixang, China and Northern Burma?Studies on Minority Nationalities of North Eastern India- The Mizos, International Seminar-1992, The Seminars Committee, Higher and Technical Education, Aizawl, Mizoram.

Claus-Dieter Brauns; “The Peaceful Mrus of Bangladesh? National Geographic, February, Vol.143, No.2, 1973.

Chakraborty , AS; Emergence of Women from ‘Private’to ‘Public’: A Narrative of Power Politics from Mizoram, Journal of International Women’s Studies, 2008.

Chaturvedi HK, Phukan RK, Zoramtharga K, Hazarika NC, Mahanta J; "Tobacco use in Mizoram, India: sociodemographic differences in pattern" Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 1998 Mar;29.

David Klinghoffer (review);"Lost ?and Found??- Across the Sabbath River : In Search of a Lost Tribe of Israel " National Review, Nov 25, 2002 .

Edmund Leach; " Kachin and Haka Chin: A rejoinder to Levi-Strauss? Man, New Series, Vol. 4 (June 1969).

Eugenie J.A Hendenson; "Componential Analysis of Lushai Phonology" Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London , Vol. 39.No. 2, 1976.

Fuchs, Steven; Messianic Movements in Tribal India .?Journal of The Anthropological Society of
Bombay . 12.1966.

Freud, Michael; “Long Lost Jews, The Jerusalem Post Magazine, March 27, 2002 .

Fathers, Michael; “Lost Tribe of Israe? in Times Asia , Vol-154, No. 9, September 9, 2000 .

Goswami, B. B; “By-Product of Christianity Among the Hill-Tribesmen of North East India ? Review of Ethnology, 7: 42 -46.1980.

Goswaini, RB; 'By-product of Christianity iii the Hill Tribesman North East India', Review of Ethnology, Vol. 7, 1-9. No. 2 (July) 1980.

Hluna, JV; “Role of women in the Politics of Mizoram?3rd Annual Magazines 2001-2002, T. Romana College, Malsawm Publication, Aizawl, Mizoram.

Hillard, Edward. 1992. “Whistle and Fontanel: Two Mizo (Lushai) texts with commentary.” Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 15.2:127-49

H.N.C.Stevenson; "Feasting and Meat Division Among the Zahau Chins of Burma : A preliminary Analsis" The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland , Vol.67 (Jan-June, 1937).

Hrangkhuma NL; Church in Dialogue with Women in Mizo Society, 2002 - Fuller Theological Seminary.

Hluna, J.V; Pre- Christian Religion of the Mizos? Studies on Minority Nationalities of North Eastern India-The Mizos. International Seminar-1992, The Seminars Committee, Higher and Technical Education, Aizawl, Mizoram.

“India’s Turbulent Northeast? SOUTH ASIA MONITOR,No.35, JULY 5, 2001 .

Katz, Nathan and Ellen, Goldberg; "The Last Jews in India and Burma " Jerusalem Letter. 101.1988.

Kamkhenthang, Dr. H.; "Grouping For Identity" In search of Identity, Kuki-Chin Baptist Union, Imphal, March 1986.

Kipgen, M. "Tlawmngaihna And Christianity," Encounter Between Gospel and Tribal Culture. A. Wati Longchar, ed. Jorhat: Tribal Study Centre, 1999.

J.Shakespear, JLM; "Notes on Some Tribal and Family Names Employed in Speaking of the Inhabitants of the Lushai Hills" The Journal of the Anthropological Institure of Great Britain And Ireland , Vil.30, 1990.

Joshi, H & Kar, K; Environmental impact of shifting cultivation and its management: A case study of Mizoram, India, Journal of Environmental Systems [J. ENVIRON. SYST.]. Vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 249-267. 1992.

Lyman, Stanford M; :The Lost Tribes of Israel as a Problem in History and Sociology?International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, 12(1): 7-42, 1998.

Lalremsiama, F: “The traditional religious belief of the Mizos” in Historical Journal Mizoram, Vol-1, Issue-1, M.H.A, July 2000.

Lalramnghinglova, J.H; Food plants, fruit plants and medicinal plants of Mizoram, Environment and Forest Department, Mizoram, 1992.

Lalitha Murthy, B. & Karumuri V. Subbarao. 1999. “Lexical anaphors and pronouns in Mizo.” In: Barbara Lust, Kashi Wali, James Gair & Karumuri V. Subbarao (eds.): Lexical Anaphors and Pronouns in Selected South Asian Languages: A Principled Typology. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter
Lalbiaktluanga, Rev., 'Theological Trend in Mizoram,' in Towards a Tribal Theology: The Mizo Perspective, K. Thangzauva (ed), Mizoram, Mizo Theological College, Jorhat, Assam, 1989.

Laldena Intoate Hmar; Tribalism Or Detribalization?www.e-pao.net.

Lehman, F.K (Review); "Componential Analysis of Lushai Phonology" Language, Vol.54, No.3 Sept., 1978.

Leach, ER; Kachin and Haka Chin, A rejoinder to Levi-Strauss? Man.n.s 1969.

; "Aspects of Bridewealth and Marriage Stability Among the Kachin and Lakher", Man, Vol.57, 1975.

(Review);. “The Structure of Chin Society by F.K Lehman , Illinois , 1963.?Man, Vol.64 (Jan-Feb), 1964

Levi-Strauss, Claude; Miscellaneous Notes on The Kuki of the Chittangong Hill Tracts, Pakistan", Man, Vol. 51, Dec 1951.

Lianzela; "Effects of Shifting Cultivation on the environtment with special Reference to Mizoram" International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 24 No. 7/8/9 , 1997.

Lallianthanga RK; Medicinal plants of Mizoram (A project report), Mizoram Council of Science, Technology and Environment, Aizawl, Mizoram, 1990.

Lalrimawia; Lushai Risingin proceedings of N.E.I.H.A, Sixth Session, Agartala, 1985.
Lalrinawmi Ralte; Land Holding Systems in Mizoram, A Feminist Critique Chhinlung, The Annual Journal of Bangalore Mizo Association 2006-2007, Vol.XVIII, Bangalore Mizo Association, 2007.

Mohan Ram HY; "Some Observations on the flowering of bamboos in Mizoram? Current Science, 50, 1981.

Major MacDonald, Caption Tanner & Caption Badley; "The Lushai Expedition" Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London , Vol.17, No.1, 1872-1873)

“Mizo song irks women’s organization” The Telegraph, Kolkata, March 11, 2004 .

Mizo children vow not to hunt wildlife, Date: July 13, 2004 By: David Thangliana Source: The Telegraph, Kolkata

Mills, J.P; " Notes on (i) An Obsolute Kuki Metal Vessel (ii) Fire-Making By men and women of the Old Kuki Clans of Cachar" Man, Vol.30, Jan 1930.

McGIRK, TIM; "Chosen people found in India ", Independent, The ( London ), Sep 24, 1995 .

Matthew S.Dryer; Word Order in Tibeto-Burman Languages, Sunny Boffaloo, 2000.

Nithsdale. F.M.; "Migrations of the Lost Tribes of Israel "

Nag, Sajal; “Bamboo, Rats and Famines: Famine Relief and Perceptions of British Paternalism in the Mizo Hills ( India )? Environment and History 5(1999): 245-252.

Nabakumar Singh, The Anal: A study on Their Village Polity?lt;/I> in Man and Life, (A Journal of Institute of Social Research and applied Anthropology, Lake town, Calcutta ) Vol. 19, Nos 1&2, January-June, 1993.

Pierre Bassaignet; "Tribesmen of The Chittangong Hill Tracts, Dacca ?(Asiatic Society of Pakistan ) 1958.

Pachuau L; Mizo" Sakhua" in Transition: Change and Continuity from Primal Religion to Christianity -MISSIOLOGY, 2006 - AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MISSIOLOGY.

Paul S. Chhakchhuak; "Chittangong Hill Tracts: Stating and Resolving the issues Within the Mountains?American international School, Dhaka , Senior Project 2004.

Re-Unification of the Chin People: Memorandum Submitted by the Paite National Council to Prime Minister of India for Re-unification of Chin People of India and Burma under One Country (Imphal, Manipur: Azad Printing, 1960). The memorandum was signed by T. Goukhenpa, President, and S. Vungkhom, Chief Secretary, Paite National Council.

Rai RN; Perceived Parental Rearing Style Among Mizo Boys and Girls,INDIAN PSYCHOLOGICAL REVIEW, 2000 - AGRA PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH CELL.

Ralte, Lalrinawmi. "Dance Theology", Ann Wansbrough, ed., In God's Image: Doing Tribal Women's Theology, Vol. 19, No. 4. Bangalore: December, 2000.

Robert Shafer; " Annamese and Tibeto-Burmic" Harvard Jounral of Asicatic Studies, Vol. 6, No. 6, No.3/4 (Feb., 1942).

Robert Reid; "The Excluded Areas of Assam ", The Geographical Journal, Vol.103, No.1/2 January-Feb, 1944.

Rodney Needham; "Chawte Social Structure", American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol.62, No.2, April, 1960.

Rangaswami, Amrita: "Mizoram - a Tragedy of Our Own Making", Economic & Political Weekly, July 1990.

Robbins Burling; The Additional of Final Stops in the History of Maru (Tibeto-Burman)? Language, Vol.42, No.3, Part 1 (Sep,1966).

Rev.Khuanga; “Relevance of Customary Law and Justice in the Changing socio-Economic context of Mizoram” in R.N Prasad & P.Chakraborty (edt); Administration of Justice in Mizoram, Mittal Publication, New Delhi, 2006.

Samra, Myer; Judaism in Manipur and Mizoram: By-Product of Christian Mission?The Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, 6(1): 8.1992.

Saptawna. H.S; Medicinal plants and selected traditional medicines, Pu Bawlkunga, Tahan-Kalemyo (1990),

Singh LN ; Marital Adjustment in Mizo Society: A Psychological Analysis, INDIAN PSYCHOLOGICAL REVIEW, 2005 - AGRA PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH CELL.

Solnit, David B. 1979. “Proto-Tibeto-Burman *r in Tiddim Chin and Lushai.” Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 4.2:111.21
Sangkima; “Bawi and Sal as an Important Economic Factor in Early Mizo Society with Special Reference to Chief” Historical Journal of Mizoram, Vol-II, Issue-II, M.H.A. July 2001.

Sangkima (2002); ‘Impact of Ramayana upon the Mizo’ in Sujit K. Ghosh (Ed) Ramayana in the North-East India: Proceedings of the National Seminar Organised by Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Samiti, Silchar.

Sujit K. Ghosh ; ‘Elective Affinities: The Influence of "Ramayan" on Mizo Religion & Culture’, in International Conference on Revisiting Indus-Sarasvati Age & Ancient India, October, 4 (Friday) - 6 (Sunday), 1996 Atlanta (Georgia), U.S.A. Laura Dudley Jenkins; Another "People of India" Project: Colonial and National Anthropology, The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 62, No. 4. (Nov., 2003), pp. 1143-1170.

Shankar Raman, T.R; " Effects of Slash-and-Burn Shifting Cultivation on Rainforest Birds in Mizoram, Northeast India ", Conservation Biology, Vol.15, No.3, june 2001.

Sinha DN, Gupta PC & Pednekar MS; "Tobacco use among Students in the Eight North-Eastern States of India " Indian Journal of Cancer | April - June 2003 | Volume 40 | Issue 2.

Stonor, C.R & Edgar Anderson; "Maize Among the Hill Peoples of Assam", Annals of the Missiouri Botanical Graden, Vol. 36, No.3, sep 1949.

Samra, Myer; ‘The Tribes of Manasseh: ‘Judaism?in the Hills of Manipur and Mizoram,?in Man and Life, (QJA) Vol-71, No. 1, Special Issue, March 1991.

Sinha DN, Gupta PC, Pednekar M; "Tobacco water: a special form of tobacco use in the Mizoram and Manipur states of India "Natl Med J India. 2004 Sep-OctNatl Med J India . 2004 Sep-Oct, Vol.17, No.5.

Simon Denyer; "India's 'lost tribe of Israel ' awaits a second exodus" Independent, The ( London ), Apr 25, 2005 .

Sangkima, Position and Status of Women in the Traditional Mizo Society?in proceedings of N.E.I.H.A, 9th Session, Guwahati, 1988.

, Women and politics in Mizoram? proceedings of N.E.I.H.A, 19th Session, Nagaland University , Kohima, 1999.

Shalva Weil; "Dual Conversion Among the Shinlung of North-East India ", Stud. Tribes Tribals, Vol.1. No.1, 2004.

; Double Conversion among the Children of Menasse.?in G. Pfeffer and D.K. Behera (eds.): Contemporary Society Tribal Studies. New Delhi : Concept, 1996.

T.R.S Raman, G.S Rawat, and A.J.T John singh; “Recovery of tropical rainforest avifauna in relation to vegetation succession following shifting cultivation in Mizoram, north-east India” in Journal of Applied Ecology 35, 1998.

T.R.S Raman; “Effect of slash-and-burn shifting cultivation on rainforest birds in Mizoram, northeast India”, Conservation Biology 15, 2001.

Thangchungnunga Dr ; "Agrarian Change and Social transformation among the Mizo (The Tribal State in North-East India ), International Journal of Social Economics, Vol.25. No.2/3/4 1998.

Thakuria, Nava; "Aizawl Conference clings to democratic mission in Burma " North East Press Service, Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Thangruma, D. 1974. Memorandum to the Prime Minister of Israel . Aizawl: Mizoram Israel Zionist Organisation.

Thanga TH; Analysis of the Value of Myth and Story Among the Mizo People in Myanmar ,1993 - Reformed Theological Seminary.

Tibor Krausz; "Zionism Revisited" Jerusalem Report, The, Nov 17, 2003

; "Are They or Aren't They?" Jerusalem Report, The, Nov 17, 2003 by

; "Zion on the Myanmar Border? Jerusalem Report, The, Nov 17, 2003.

US beckons nurses from Mizoram, Date: August 13, 2004 , The Telegraph, Kolkata.

Van Schendel, Willem; "A politics of Nudity: Photographs of the 'Naked Mru' of Bangladesh ", Modern Asian Studies Vol.36, No.2, 2002.

"Waiting to Wed (Again)" Jerusalem Report, The, Dec 29, 2003.

Zohra, K; The Marriage Customs of the Maras before the advent of the British in the Maralands?Studies on Minority Nationalities of North Eastern India, The Mizos. International Seminar-1992, The Seminars Committee, Higher and Technical Education, Aizawl, Mizoram.

Zochungnunga; Survey of the Pre- Colonial Mizo Economy?in Pialral, A Historical Journal of Mizoram, M.H.A, Vol-V, December 1995.

In Mizo: Periodical Journals, News Paper, Magazines, Government Records and Proceedings:

Environment and Forest Tlangau, Vol. I. Conservator of Forest , Southern Circle, Mizoram, 1996.

Lalthangliana, B; Mizo Identity, Sabereka Khuangkaih, February 1998, Aizawl.

Ralte, Lalrinawmi Dr; "Chawngtinleri?in Chhinlung Magazine, Vol X, Bangalore Mizo Association, 1996- 97.

Sangkhuma, Z.T, Rev; "Mizo Hmeichhiate leh Inneihna?Hmeichhiate leh Mizo Hnam Dan (Seminar Papers on Women and Mizo customary Law), Valcolm Publication, Aizawl, Mizoram, 2000.

Gender/Women Studies


1. "Women and their Legal Status, J.Malsawma; Vanglai (Autobiography), Aizawl 1995.

2. Lalrinliana Colney; "Mizote leh Hmeichhia, Sabereka Khuangkaih, March,1998.

3. Sangzuala Pa; Kan Mizo hmeichhiate hi?, Thlipui, July 2002.

4. Vanrengpuia Chinzah; "Hmeichhia” Sabereka Khuangkaih, September 1998.

5. V.Lalnunmawia; “Hmeichhia nge Minu?” Zunzam, Vol. I Issue. No.2 March 2000.

6. Upa C.Remmmawii; “Kohhran Hmeichhe Rawngbawlna? Chawnhu Centenary (1891-2006) Souvenir, Central Committee. Chawnhu Centenary.

7. Lalsangzuali; Thuthlungthar Hmeichhiate, Synod Publication Board, 1991.

8. MHIP dan Bu siam thu rawtna, Vanglaini, Thu, Nov, 9, 2006

9. Lalzuia Colney; “Mizo Society leh Hmeichhe dinhmun, Vanglaini Nov 22, 2006

10. Lianhrima, (Public Prosecutor); "India dan hnuaia Hmeichhe Hamthatna, Zozam Times, Feb 9, 2007.

11. Hmingthanzuali; "Patriarchy in Mizoram, Vulmawi, Jan 23, 2007.

12. Rev C. Rosiama; Chhungkaw tha din tura Hmeichhiate tha tihchak dan tur, Zozam Times, Jan 26, 2007

13. ZH Ropuia’n MLA turin MHIP member-te a sawm, Vanglaini, Thursday, Feb 22, 2007.

14. Rev K Lungmuana; “Kohhrana Hmeichhiate Rawngbawlna (The role of Women in the Church)” Seminar on Hmeichhe hamthatna, Organized by All India Sunday School Association, AISSA leh Mizoram Presbyterian Kohhran Hmeichhe Central Committee. November, 18, 2006.

15. F. Lawmzuali; "Women Empowerment Year 2001: (Hmeichhiate tihchakna hian Mizo hmeichhiate tan kawngro a su dawn em?, Zoram Kal chhet chhet, Youth Club, Aizawl, 2002.

16. H.Vanlalhruaia; “Hmeichhia VRS Minu, Lunglei Tribune, 8 August, 2006.

17. H.Vanlalhruaia; "Feminism leh Mizo Hmeichhiate; Lunglei Tribune, 22nd April, 2006.

18.H.Vanlalhruaia; India rama Hmeichhe dinhmun thenkhat, 27.July, 2006 www.zawkbuk.net.

19.H.Vanlalhruaia; Mizo Hmeichhiate leh Kohhran Dan” Unpublished.

20. Bianca Son; "Hmeichhiate leh Mipate inkara Inlaichinna Tha? Romei (News paper, Aizawl), September, 23, 2006. Mizo Express (news paper, Aizawl), October, 21, 2006.

21. Ruatfela Nu; "Engvanginnge Mizo Hmeichhiate tihchak an tul. The Aizawl Post, 25th February 2005.

22. Remsangpuii Nu (Buangi Sailo); Mizo Nunhlui leh Tunlai, Aizawl, 2001.

23. T.C Zonunsanga; Mizo Mipate U……., YMA Chanchinbu, August, 2004.

24. E. C. Thomas; Hmeichhiate Dikna humhalh,
25. Lalruatfela Nu (2004); Nawhchizawrhna leh a Kaihnawih, Lengchhawn Press, Aizawl 2004.


1. Upa C.Remmawii; "Women Ministry?Compendium, Baptist Church of Mizoram , Serkawn, Lunglei, 2003.

2. T.Sailo; The Mizo Women and their Weaving? Mizoram Today, 15th August, 1974.

3. Lalnghakthuami; Quest for Women’s Identity From A Mizo Women’s Perspective, Mizoram Theological Journal, Vol.VI. Jan- March 2005. Durtlang Aizawl, ATC 2005
4. JV.Hluna; "Role of women in the Politics of Mizoram, 3rd Annual Magazines 2001-2002, T. Romana College, Malsawm Publication, Aizawl, Mizoram.
5. Linda Chhakchhuak; Women of God Want A Place in Church, Janmanch. http://www.boloji.com/wfs/wfs047.htm, June 12.
6. Mizo Women Today; Tribal Research Institute, Aizawl, Mizoram, 1991.
7. N.Chatterjee; Position and Status of Women in the Earlier Mizo Society, TRI, Aizawl, 1975.
8. R. L. Hnuni; "Feminist Theology", "History, Meaning and Concem", in R.L Hnuni, (ed); Transforming Theology for Empowering Women, Jorhat: Women's Studies, Eastem Theological College , 1996.
9. Sangkima; Women and politics in Mizoram? in proceedings of N.E.I.H.A, 19th Session, Nagaland University , Kohima, 1999.
10. Sumi Krishna; Gender Analysis: Case Study of Mizoram, - CASE STUDY OF GENDER DIMENTIONS IN BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT? INDIA . (Report Submitted to FAO Regional office For ASIA and The Pacific, Bangkok , THAILAND . June 1997.
11. Laldena, Status of Mizo Women, www.manipuronline.com, Feb 8, 2003. The Sangai Express, 2003.
12. Sukhendu Bhattacharya; Women at a disadvantage in Mizoram, www.rediff.com, November 15, 2003.
13. Non Governmental organisation, Mizo Hmeichhe Insuikhawm Pawl, .www. Mizoram.com,
14. Linda Chhakchhuak; “Unholy Trinity rules Mizoram?lt; Grassroots Option,


1. PS Lalhmingthangi; The Status and Role of Women Under the Baptist Church of Mizoram, (BD thesis) Serampore College (University) Jorhat , Assam . Feb 2006.
2. Rawna; Women in Mizo Society, B.D thesis, Jorhat.
3. B.Lalrinchhani (1998); Christianity and Women in Mizoram, unpublished M.Phil Dissertation, North Eastern Hill University .
4. Chhangte, Lalnunthangi. 1986. A Preliminary Grammar of the Mizo Language. Master’s thesis, University of Texas, Arlington
5. Fanai, Lalrindiki T. 1989. Some Aspects of the Autosegmental Phonology of English and Mizo. M. Litt. dissertation, CIEFL: Hyderabad, India
6. Fanai, Lalrindiki T. 1992. Some Aspects of the Lexical Phonology of Mizo and English: An Autosegmental Approach. PhD dissertation, CIEFL: Hyderabad, India.
7. Weidert, Alfons. 1975. Componential Analysis of the Lushai Grammar. John Benjamins Publishing Company: Amsterdam.
8. Raman, T.R. Shankar. (1995). SHIFTING CULTIVATION AND CONSERVATION OF TROPICAL FOREST BIRD COMMUNITIES IN MIZORAM, NORTH-EAST INDIA. M.Sc. Thesis/Dissertation, Saurashtra University, Gujarat. : 56p.
9. Lalramnghinglova, J. H. Studies on plants of ethnobotanical importance in the tropical wet evergreen forests of Mizoram, Ph.D. thesis, North-Eastern Hill University, Aizawl.1998.
10. Lloyd, J.M; The life of the people of North Mizoram prior to and subsequent to the advent of Christianity, up to the year of the Mizo Church's Jubilee in 1944, M.Th., Wales, Aberystwyth, 39-22. 1986.
11. Lian H Sakhong; Religion and Politics among the Chin People in Burma , 1896-1949 ( Uppsala University : 2000).

12. Tlau RS; Intercultural exchange: transformation of Mizo society by Christianity & quot 1982 - Howard University .
13.Unpublished M.A, M.Phil dissertations and Ph.D Thesis Papers

Jackson, Kyle, Mizos, Missionaries, and Medicine: Religious and Medical Contact in Lushai Hills, M.A dissertation, School of Oriental and African studies, University of London, 15 September 2009.

Lalzarzoa, Traditional Religious belief and Practices of the Lusei in pre-modern period, Unpublished M.Phil Dissertation, Department of History, University of Hyderabad, 2008.

Lalpekhlua, L.H, A study of Christology from A tribal Perspective with special reference to Mizoram, Northeast India, Unpublished thesis, Doctor of Philosophy in Theology, The University of Auckland, 2005.

Ralte, Lalrinawmi, Crab theology: a Critique of patriarchy: cultural degradation and empowerment of Mizo women. Episcopal Divinity School, UMI Dissertation Services, A. Bell & Howell Company, Michigan, U.S.A, 1993.
Ramnghinglova, J.H, Studies on Plants of Ethnobotanical Importance in The tropical Wet Evergreen Forest of Mizoram, Unpublished Ph.D paper, submitted to Dept of Forestry, NEHU, 1998.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Reading Insurgency from below: The Works of C.Zama

(Draft for comments only — Not to be cited except in www.misual.com)
Mizo political insurgency came to an end in 1986. However, to many people; this was not just the end. Rather, another painful journey way ahead. The memory of the trauma lingers on in many individual lives. With the ongoing reconstruction of the state of Mizoram in post-insurgency period, vast literatures on insurgency has been produced in academic institutions across India. Unfortunately, such literatures rarely touch how an ethnic individual reads the history of insurgency ‘from below’. Once, conflict, battle and war constituted an important theme in Mizo oral tradition that Mizo heroes were the protagonists, their antagonists were the other ethnic groups, the British colonial power and the postcolonial nation state of India. Such narratives formed an important theme in the local construction of their past. C.Zama has a unique place in the recollection of ethnic memories and history of insurgency in Mizoram.

C.Zama was born in the village of Samlukhai (Northern part of Mizoram) in 1949. To pursue his education, he moved to Aizawl (present capital) in 1952 and completed his primary and middle education. This period witnessed a critical condition in the Mizo hills. In 1946, the district ruling party, Mizo Union agreed to merge with the Indian Union. On 29 October 1958, the Mizo District Council passed a resolution cautioning the government (Assam) to sanction relief funds for the impending famine. However, the government rejected the request on the grounds that such predictions of famine were only tribal superstition. In 1959, standing crops were devastated by millions of rats. Majority of the people who were fully dependent on jhum agriculture for their subsistence were subjected to starvation. It was nearly too late when the government forced to admit her mistake. The famine became worse in almost every part of Mizo Hills. The Mizo National Famine Front offering social service to the people in time of famine was ultimately transformed into a new political party called “Mizo National Front” (MNF) on 22nd October 1961 with the aim of contesting their marginality against the government.

“During the fifteen years of close contact and association with India, Mizo people have not been able to feel at home with India or in India, nor have they been able to feel that their joys and sorrow have really ever been shared by India. They do not, therefore feel Indian”

In February, 1966, Mizo National Front (MNF) overran the entire State in a series of simultaneous and surprise attacks. The Indian army quickly responded with brutality which was in fact seldom seen in the subcontinent and little report to the outside world. It was under this critical situation that C.Zama attended his second year in Government high School at Aizawl. As a young man, he was strongly inspired by the idea of ethnic-nationalism; he immediately left the school and joined insurgency group (Mizo National Front) in 1966.

His experience in the insurgency war (the central theme of his work) was a mixture of ethnic heroism and hardship. Many times, he had been arrested by Indian army and managed to escape several times as well.
“Ka rammut lai hian India sipai nena inkahnaah vawi engemawzat ka tel a. Mihring ngaiha thihna ngei turah tum 4 Pathianin min chhanchhuak a ni.” - “During the course of insurgency, I experienced many encounters with the Indian army. I was supposed to die, but GOD help me to escape those deaths”.
In June 1975, he was arrested for the last time and bailed out of jail the next year. Constant talk between India and Mizo National Front took place. When, the chapter of insurgency was about to close, C.Zama wished to continue with a normal life and continued his studies as a dedicated citizen of India. In 1982, he graduated from Pachhunga University College.

When peace was restored in 1986, he dedicated his time for the recollection of ethnic memory during insurgency period. His first Mizo book “Mizo pasalthate Part-I” (Mizo warrier) was published in 1989. Based on his experience in the insurgency group, he focused on recollection of insurgent army life during the course of war in Mizoram. Their hardships as well as their aspiration for the future Mizo society are highlighted from counter perspective point of view. His second book “Mizo pasalthate Part II”-(Mizo Worrier) was published in 1990. His extensive reading on archive as well as oral interview of the ex-Mizo National Army was remarkable. He successfully uncovered the many lost voices of the people who are in the insurgency war. Another book titled “Chhim keite a fam ta, Thangrehlova chanchin” (The death of southern leopard: Biography of Thangrehlova) was released in the same year of 1990. In the next year, another autobiographical work, “Mi huaisen Capt. Lalhleia chanchin” (Ethnic worrier: Biography of Capt.Lalhleia)(1991) was released in Mizoram. Both books traced/follows the two individual lives of their achievement and self-dedication in the struggle for independent movement in Mizoram. In the post insurgency period, both Thangrehlova and Capt. Lalhleia hold a very high esteemed and their ethnic patriotism and experiences in gorilla warfare are repeatedly narrated by local people. In 2002, another book “Escape” (although titled in English, narrate in Mizo) which was more or less the same theme with the previous books was released in 2002.

Prior to Insurgency movement in Mizoram, songs have served as a rich source of inspiration for communities in Mizoram. Most of these songs portray ethnic identity, ethnic nationalism, and impact of insurgency on local and individual lives. Such songs were scattered in books, news papers, magazines and personal diaries. Many were in oral forms which were sung occasionally by community and individual. C.Zama soon realized the need to preserve these songs for future generation. Hence, a collection of ethnic songs composed between 1961-1986, “Mizo Hnam Hla” (Mizo Nationalist songs) was published in 2005. Three more books “Zinkawng thui” (Long Journey), “Zoram hmangaih vangin maw” (For the love of Mizoram) and “Chhanchhuahna mak leh ropui” (The Great Escape) was released in 2006.

More extensively, the author rigorously explores insurgency in the larger context by realizing the nature of many government records which are often filling with biasness and how ordinary people’s narratives are excluded in insurgency texts generated in India and abroad. In the author words “Many events, ethnic memories, hardship and community feeling in time of war, ordinary people’s lives are not found in standard historical text. If we don’t preserve it, there are chances of getting lost forever.”

Three more books “Chengrang a au e” (The bullet cry), Hmarchhak Mi Ropui Pahnih (Two great people of The North East) and Zoram a tap (Mizoram weeps) were published in 2008. ‘Two great people of the North East’ is a narrative and comparison of two individual and the most charismatic figure of insurgency politics in North east India. During the course of ethnic identity reconstruction, the call for ‘ethno-hero’ from the past went hand in hand with the revival of ethnic consciousness. Both emerged in the same critical situation and share the same burden in the construction of ethnic nationalism in Mizoram and Nagaland respectively. Laldenga led insurgency in Mizoram whereas Nagaland insurgency was shaped under A.Z Phizo. Though brought up in different regions, Laldenga and A.Z Phizo had been good friend, motivated and inspired each others. The book enriched our understanding of individual role in ethnic politics and ethnic identity formation.

Zoram a tap (Mizoram weeps) has earned a big name in Mizo literature circle and selected by Mizo Academy of Letters as top-3 books of Mizoram in 2009. The book is empirically rich and highly original in its interpretations, and provides demonstration of how the integration of social movement and individual approaches to the problems of resistance to authoritarianism and the transition from ethnic nationalism to Indian democracy. Unlike many book generally author male writers in Mizoram, gender perspective had been successfully incorporated in the book.

Besides his dedication to insurgency history, he has made a number of documentaries (based on true story) depicting people’s lives during in the insurgency period. He has four credited documentaries Zoram, ka hmangaih che, (Mizoram, I love you), An nun an hlan ta ram daiah (They died for you in a lonely place), ‘V’Battalion, Thian chhan thih ngam (willingness to die for your friend). Currently, the author has four upcoming books, two already in the press, another two in the progress of writing.

It is no doubt, the richest academic literature on North East India is on insurgency and ethnic conflict because it is very much relevant in the conflict prone situation like the region. However, C.Zama works are confined to Mizo readers and remains inaccessible to any other languages of India. If these texts could be made available to wider readers, perhaps it will change, the way we see, the way we perceive and the way we discuss the various complexities of North East India. It also reminds us how ordinary people’s narratives can be a part and parcel of nation building process in North East India.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Contextualizing “Insurgency” in North East India: In search of Women’s Perspective.

It is without a doubt that the study on insurgency and the ethnic conflict situation is the richest literature produced in the history of North East India in recent times. While a number of frameworks exist in the examination of insurgency, very little attention has been directed toward its conceptualization in relation to women. Relatively, studies on women connected to the insurgency and ethnic conflict in North East India by social scientists is a recent phenomenon. This is mainly due to the fact that the history of insurgency in North East India has always been dominated by the ‘official’ history or the history of ethnic patriarchy so to speak, who lead various political movements. The categories “insurgency” and “ethnic nationalism” requires unpacking because each constitutes ‘patriarchy’ without acknowledging ‘women space’. Most of the current studies are generally confined to the impact of insurgency violence on women in which they are portrayed as victims (trauma, rape, restriction of women movement and hardship). Yet, there are some studies which do lay focus on armed militant women in insurgency war. Other perspectives limit women to the role of a “peacemaker.” These approaches narrow down the woman’s purpose to just that of the need to bargain between ethnic insurgency groups and the Nation State. Such studies leave us with only a partial picture of women's experiences in insurgency wars. Few that do mention women’s participation in ethnic movements have largely dismissed their contributions. The gap is still made wider by the fact that a good proportion of issues are far from being meant to address the real condition of women in the region mainly because there is hardly any literary work that covers insurgency history from a feminine perspective. This evidently raises serious questions in regards to what the roles of women in the formation of ethnic nationalism are. How exactly does ethnic nationalism impact the gender relations in the region? Can ethnic nationalism mean ‘gender equality’ (at least in terms of equal opportunities)? How do ethnic groups place their women? What do ‘ethnic nationalism’ and ‘insurgency’ mean to a woman?

The term ‘insurgency’ etymologically comes from a Latin word ‘insurgere’ which means to ‘rise up’. In English lexicon, the word can refer to either a ‘rebel’ or a ‘revolutionary’. Academically, Bard O’Neil defined insurgency "as a struggle between a non-ranking group and ruling authorities in which the former consciously employs political resources and instruments of violence to establish legitimacy for some aspect of the political system it considers illegitimate. In the context of North East India, several terms have been applied such as “ethnic insurgency”, “political insurgency”, “arms insurgency” so on and so forth. Moreover, there is hardly any work that covered insurgency from the ethnic perspective. For instance, the insurgency movement from 1966-1986 has been locally referred as “zalenna sual” which literally means freedom movement. Apparently, in the North East context, the term has been generated and applied mainly from two perspectives such as Secessionist and “Revolutionary”, whereas other forms of insurgencies such “Restorational”, “Reactionary”, “Conservative” and “Reformist” may also be present. There is a general agreement among scholars that insurgency is a form of political violence and is a means to achieve any of the above mentioned ends. Insurgency may break out against a particular regime, particular persons of a regime, particular structures and salient values a regime upholds, or particular policies or biases of a regime. In all such possible cases, the prime objective of insurgents would be to capture power and replace the political community.

What then, does ethnic insurgency means from a woman’s perspective? Warfare and military service have played key roles in national histories and mythologies and in the fashioning of gender identities. Despite the fact that women, war and conflict are very rich in recent feminist scholarship, ‘political insurgency’ remains marginal in feminist theory. The works of Ranajit Guha and Gayatri Spivak focus on ‘insurgency’ as a crucial point of departure in the rethinking of women exclusion in insurgency politics of colonial India. Ranajit Guha attempted to understand “insurgency” from the peasant point of view in the context of the colonial Indian. He theorised insurgency as the “site where the two mutually contradictory tendencies within this still imperfect, almost embryonic, theoretical consciousness -- that is, a conservative tendency made up of the inherited and uncritically absorbed material of the ruling culture and a radical one oriented towards a practical transformation of the rebel’s conditions of existence -- met for a decisive trial of strength”. Ranajit Guha eventually used “the word "insurgency" in his text as a name of that consciousness which informs the activity of the rural masses known as revolt, uprising, etc or to use their Indian designation – “dhing”, “bidroha”, “ulgulan”, “hool”, “fitura” and so on. However, such generalisations do not cover the entire complexity of the subaltern struggle in colonial India. Gayatri Spivak critically challenged Guha’s over-generalisation of peasant insurgency that obscures the subaltern women’s voice. She argued that the subaltern women's insurgency is rarely accompanied by any substantial historical research mainly because of colonial archive and historical records of subaltern insurgency keeps male dominant. Further, she argued that subaltern women were subjected to three main domination systems - class, ethnicity and gender. Spivak’s study thus provided how insurgency has been problematic because it equates with a masculine story of political evolution, marginalizing aspects of women in history.

In case of Mizo hills, insurgency broke out after the first women’s movement was initiated in the post-colonial period. Ethnic nationalism can at times be emancipating; at other times it is a reactionary force of the subjugation of women. Since its inception, Insurgency organisation (Mizo National Front) was entirely dominated by men. Despite these, many women embraced ethnic nationalism and participated in the insurgency movements, though the actual practice of ethno-nationalism is reserved for men. Women are manipulated, and they themselves internalize patriarchal thinking within a politics of over-determined ethnic nationalism. Recent history of insurgency movements has largely dismissed their contributions. Insurgency in Mizo hill thus, appears as a patriarchal war against the larger National State for the restoration of ethnic patriarchal order in the society. Women were subsuming under the category of ‘Mizo Nationalism’; it had ambiguous effects on not only the status of women by confining them as mothers in the home, but also seldom acknowledged women's issues as significant. It also reaffirmed the boundaries of culturally acceptable feminine conduct and exerted pressure on women to articulate their gender interests within the terms of reference set by ethnic nationalist discourse.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A historian wins Infosys award: Isn't that crazy?

She is none other than our present Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s daughter. Professionally she is a Professor of History in Delhi University. Recently, she was honoured with Infosys Prize for her contribution as a historian of Ancient and Medieval history. I am very surprised that a historian was awarded by infosys. Isn't that crazy? I’m really curious as to why infosys stated its interest in history!

Since, my college days, history students such as myself have been branded as people who are interested in simple facts and figures of the past. Others may also think that a historian's main interest is nothing but things like what Akbar was doing during the Mughal period. If you think the same way as these people, my answer to you is quite simple and clear. You are ignorant on the subject of history as much as I am ignorant in engineering studies. Ok let me stop defending my position as a student of history.

There was a time when the growth of globalization with multi national companies had an impact on the education of history. History has almost become an unwanted subject in many colleges and universities since more and more students have started joining technical courses. However, the last few years have witnessed a revival of the history subject in many technical universities like IIT, medical institutes etc. When more and more multinational companies are expanding their businesses, understanding history is pertinent for successful entrepreneurship in many countries.For instance, India has a strong historical culture which even globalization cannot change. This scenario pushed many technical universities to expand their perspectives in their fields of business. Even infosys has also taken its step in this direction.

I congratulate Ms. Singh on her success and wish her a great future ahead. I hope one day she will be interested in the history of Mizoram just as sister Daman Singh did a very significant research on the forest history of Mizoram (The Last Frontier: People and Forests in Mizoram).