Sunday, October 24, 2021

Jonai dok tribal belt éla block mopen namdé kémo lo:pé ní:líknammé

Gíné September 30, 2021 do Assam sok Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dunggéboné migomé Dhemaji do cabinet meeting ila 400 crore aré ko dek project ém tosék Dhemaji odokké Assam sok légangé. Takaméi édé project kídar dokki bojéko tanié aiyé émna mé:líkla dung. Ki:nam kangko poko, ané ru:yi bédang la:len nam odolo:pé Mising réngamké mé:mopénam kamang.
Source: Govt. of Assam

Mising réngamké mé:mo pénamdé migom tarung ager dok bottan agomdé Murkongselek tribal belt and block (Jonai) dém mopen namdém. Réngamém luposuma:pé mé:nam mé:sala moték nam aiman lékor. Anupé tribal belt ko Sisi Tongani do mogetak émna sin ru:lento. Sutkanpnam agomdé sé anu tribal blet mogenam légangé ru:mi ru:tum dé lutad biné ope: kéra:do ludagai bulu non-tribal tani lok dolungém langamang émna buluk réngam kébangém léngkanka. Sékkésin objection kama émdakdo:pak bulu Sis Tongani tribal belt la:lentak. Sé agomsé migomlok democratic né agomé, bulu non-tribal tanié kinmo ge:la decision la:tak. Émpigel Mising tani abarungko dungko Jonai amo:dok tribal blet and block odokké Charikaria tribal belt dém mopen-moren nam dém Mising manggom angu tribal ope:ém tatsu ka:su ma:pé itak. Sémpé taniém kinmo ma:pé public policy tosék named aimané samténgko migom lokké. Ngoluk dungkodoi ngolum kinmo ma:pé decision la:namdém undemocratic dokké authoritarian séuom ladkansunamé.

Lédu mokutsula du:né ope:lokké sé migom a:péné adí do ngasodlo níbutlíkyé. Sixth Schedule ma:nam ager dok agom apir ko:sin supak lu:len tokuma. Ngoluk Sixth Schedule ara:lok district council ma:named édílo aropé iyen édém kémo lénggel ngoluk dungko dakko amongé angunon-tribal ésin réla-kola monamdé ngolum aíké amongí:do ajjimo:ye (minoritypé imoyé lédu-lamkupé. Dírbí, agom, political, rénam, murkongtarung takm kéreng Mising réngam lokké ngasod a:
Lutad pangkampé Jonai do supak 48 per cent ko Mising dung, sé moimnag 75 dítak po:pé Mising 100 per cent kai. A:péné 25 dítak lo ngolukké édé percentage dé nértok nam abayang chance ka:dung.Dhemaji dok cabinet kébadé Mising lokképé yakané longé pé ila du:yé.
Source:Govt. of Assam

Sapdanmílo Jonai-Murkongselek dém 1911 do Pasighat amonglo Poju Mimak lédupé British é la:té name. 1947 dítak do:pésin Mising among Jonai dé Assam so:k ara:so langa mangai. Murkongselek Transferred Area Act dok kokki 1950 lédupé Murkongselek dé Assam ara:so dungkangku. Sé le:ke do:ying sém saptékmílo Jonai dok history dém migomé respect bila mopen-morenpénam kamangai tribal belt éla block dém. Ngouk dungko amongémsin Article 370 dokkémpé me:yísula inam dé tribal réngam lokké yampok légang aima sé migom ager inamsé.

Monday, March 15, 2021

End of road or era of new beginning in Mising ethnic politics?

The Mising ethnic nationalism has been, of late, characterized by shift in political alignment instead of mobilization. There are concerns among the hardliners and some section of middle class that the Mising’s ethnic aspiration will be muzzled with advent of majoritarian politics. Such beliefs and doubts are natural at this juncture especially as the last bastions of nationalist constituents have moved to join national political parties. This assembly elections of Assam, 2021  is crucial in the political path of Mising ethnic nationalism. The politics of participation of  Mising ethnic nationalists reflects complex equation and puzzle as a linear direction is absent. While switching alliance and support with political parties was always there  in Mising ethnic politics especially among the nationalist organizations, this election is a departure from the conventional alley of parliamentary politics practiced by the nationalist organizations and political bases as the candidates are directly contesting from national political parties cutting across ideological lines. Ideally nationalist organizations backed Ganshakti was not a failed experiment but could not become a formidable force except in one assembly constituency. The mainstreaming of Mising nationalist leaders of the former student organization leaders into national political parties such as the Bharatiya Janata Party and Indian National Congress in the assembly constituencies of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts marks an end of the road of the Mising ethnic politics with their independent political identity for the first time in the  history of “parliamentary struggle” for realizing ethnic aspirations of the community.

The need of addressing the fundamental Mising aspirations

Majority of the Mising public are  in the dark  about the terms and conditions of the sudden shift. As the key issues of Mising aspirations are not yet addressed, there are concerns of loss of  cultural identity and potential threats to language, customs, tradition and resources in the absence of independent political assertion.

The talk of granting constitutional status to tribal autonomous councils including that of Mising Autonomous Council of Assam at the peak of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act movement  is nowhere to be seen in the political theatre now. The big dream of achieving Sixth Schedule under the Indian Constitution today is gradually dying down. Of course, it is claimed that the current phase of political alignment is part of the process of ethnic movement itself.

Flood and erosion are one of the prior concerns of the Misings. This perennial problem has triggered displacement and conflict in various parts of upper Assam districts. Natural disaster based internal displacement should get priority in resettlement and rehabilitation agenda. It is compounded by conservation based displacement and worries of eviction from their traditional habitat. In the name of wildlife conservation and expansion of protected areas especially the Kaziranga National Park, it is observed that Mising people of Gohpur and Bokakhat are one of the foremost sufferers. There is need of reviewing the current conservation approach followed by the government that constantly keep indigenous people and forest dwellers under threat of eviction and forceful relocation. There are also demands for Poba reserved forest of Jonai in Assam-Arunachal border should be declared as protected areas. However, from the evergrowing experiences encountered by the people, all these matters need to be carried forward to environment and conservation policymakers of the country . The grievances must find solution. People and conservation must co-exist, they should not be mutually excluded.

In the cultural front, the demand of state holiday on Ali-aye Lígang could not be realized even after years of movement. In the context of development of language, the issue of medium of instruction in mother tongue in Mising inhabited areas in primary schools are not yet addressed. The New Education Policy, 2020 has been welcomed by Mising organizations as it automatically stressed on providing education in mother tongue  in primary level. However, given the scenario of language politics prevailing in the state of Assam, the introduction of such language policies will face challenges. Key Mising inhabited area lacks a full-fledged university or a medical college. A proposed campus of Tezpur University which was to be set up in Jonai did not see the light of the day even after years of donation of land by local people. While rehabilitation and land crises are on the rise among the Misings, the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park residents are yet to be fully addressed. Vast majority of people does not own land entitlement certificates. Forest land inhabited by Misings should be dereserved and be accorded  as habitat tag.

In the southern bank of Brahmaputra river, the riverine belt from Kaziranga National Park to Bogibeel bridge communities  live in pathetic condition in terms of road and communication. Majority of the Mising inhabited river bank areas live a challenging life in monsoon season in districts like Jorhat, Sivasagar and Golaghat. There is a need of attention from policy makers to improve the infrastructure along the river bank to ameliorate the miserable conditions. Raised platforms for cattle are required more in the region. Embankment built in the river bank should be transformed into a highway for better communication in order to address the communication bottleneck beginning from Kaziranga area of Bokakhat to Bogibeel bridge after proper scientific study.

Will national parties be committed to Mising aspiration?

The fundamental aspects of Mising aspirations must be addressed at first while the quest for power and influence might continue like any other politicized ethnic groups. Otherwise, the remnant of ethnic mobilization will not decompose easily even after capturing power in the future. It will, of course, satisfy a section of clietilistic network of followers but collective benefits  in the form of public goods cannot be accrued for the community at large.  This assembly elections of 2021, for Misings, is nevertheless a new beginning in political participation of the Mising nationalist path. However, common Mising public will wait and watch whether the national parties honour with commitment to the fundamental aspirations of Mising tribe.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

What is the Constitutional status for Misings and other tribal councils of Assam?

It is reported that constitutional status would be granted to Misings and other tribal councils of Assam by the government.The information is confusing because the specific report is not saying about Sixth Schedule. It is said that the chief executive member of the councils would be an ex-officio member of sub-divisional land advisory committee.

There are reports or cabinet decisions for various packages ranging from education, autonomous councils , financial packages, wage increment in tear gardena to state holiday targeted at the six communities demanding schedule tribe status in Assam.

Therefore, regarding so called constitutional status reports in media  other than Sixth Schedule is short of the demand by the Mising national organizations.

What could be the constitutional status then?

 Else, the Constitution of India have to add certain parts that will mention about these tribal councils.

What is it specifically? 

Like Article 371 (A), where there is a protected clause for Nagaland's own control over resources , customary law and practices, there can be a constitutional clauses specifying the tribal councils' land , customs , traditions, social identity etc.

However, there is no clarity on the entire issues. The BJP led state government in Assam seems engaging in political manuevering to deal with the public dissent. These reports are emerging in Assam amidst rising protests against citizenship reforms in the state as well as across the country. 

More about Article 371(A):of the Indian Constitution:

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Conservation Discourse in Assam must Consider a Sustainable Rehabilitation Plan for the Mising Tribe

The Misings in Upper Assam continue to lose most of their arable territory to constant floods, forcing the affected people to look for alternate living spaces. Often, they find themselves occupying land in protected forest areas, leading to conflict and opposition; both from conservation groups and the local population of the region.
Read more :

Monday, February 26, 2018

Disparaging content in Assamese dailies on the plight of Mising tribe

Mising tribesmen inhabiting the Laika and Dodhia areas of Dibru Saikhowa national park in Upper Assam has been struggling for survival space due to continuous flood and erosion coupled with government restrictions since last year. They have been met with opposition from the locals that include indigenous groups and colonial era migrants whenever they were trying to settle down in government notified forest land over last one year. Some section of Assamese dailies have reported the news in a most disparaging manner with the use of words such as khedar parikalpana korise (planning to chase away), khedi pothiouwa (chased away) while reporting the incidents happening in Tinsukia district. The news items with provocative content are no less than incitement to inter-group conflict given the social climate in Assam. It is against public taste of ethical and impartial journalism expected from the local Assamese language media.

Apparently, the government has failed to rehabilitate the suffering people that has compelled them to look for settlement in forest areas in their own. On July, 2017 there was written understanding between the representatives of Mising student union TMPK and the government authorities that the people would be rehabilitated in eight months after similar events erupted in the district.

When even illegal migrants cannot be expelled forcefully by the state but have to follow the procedure established by Indian laws, it is quite disheartening that marginalized indigenous tribe like Mising are accorded with partisan and contemptuous words in the heights of plight in the Assamese language press. Flood, erosion and legal restrictions in National Park have already crippled the Mising tribesmen but some Assamese language media who are dominant in Brahmaputra Valley are celebrating the sufferings with their disparaging and vexatious content devoid of public responsibility and civility. It is no less than adding salt to the wounds.

One can find the proof of content published in Assamese dailies: Niyomiya Barta and Dainik Janambhumi on 25 and 26 February, 2018.

Read more on the plight of Mising people:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The selective silence of civil society and sufferings of indigenous Misings in Assam

In the month of July, 2017, rural people dwelling in Dibru-Saikhowa National Park from indigenous Mising community were left without a choice amidst opposition of resettlement in Torani reserved forest in Tinsukia district of upper Assam by organizations of indigenous Moran group as well as colonial-era migrant groups such as Adivasis and Gorkhas/ Nepalis. There was ethnic tension between the park dwellers looking for settlement and local people resulting in stand-off for nearly a week.
Source: Pratidin Time Youtube Handle
The ill-conceivedly declared Dibru Saikhowa National Park straddles between Tinsukia and Dibrugarh district. The human dwellers of celebrated protected area who were apparently affected by flood came looking for higher ground for shelter as well as settlement. The media figured​ it as about 700 men and women. The stand-off was a sort of humanitarian crisis as the Misings were left like 'people of nowhere'. Thus, the tension in ethnic groups from a bigger angle reflects the fight for scarce and most valued resource: land. Even if it is a reserved forest, that is under the government, the people won't allow to settle even an indigenous community whose land has been sacrificed for a greater purpose such as protected areas-national park as the local people wants to preserve it as forest area itself.
The events led to moderate level media coverages in Assamese dailies such as Asomiya Pratidin( with a front page article in the following day of incident by a Mising journalist based in Jonai), Dainik Janambhumi and English daily, The Telegraph. Even Pratidin Time, a local television channel, showed video footages of the stand-off. But it was surprising that none from the civil society groups including the top-notch public intellectuals in Assam utter a voice regarding the helplessness of the tribal people. Is not it a selective silence on such a humanitarian issue?
Since the places has been declared as protected area(national park) under India's laws in 1999, the people of the villages such as Laika and Dodhia are living with a fearful life of dispossession, helplessness and uncertainty. Talks of relocation were in paper and in the words of bureaucrats and politicians but has never been fully implemented. People have no right to build concrete houses. They have no access to state benefits such as housing, health care, education, drinking water and electricity. Is not this a reckless conservation system? Where are those conservation groups at the time of crisis? It is despicable that environmental and wildlife conservation groups did not mince a word at time of stand off at Tarani. Conservation groups may be in need of human rights education as well in addition to what they eulogized.
According to local account, the population in the park is 12,000. They have been in the villages since ages. Some were resettled by the government after the great earthquake of 1950 and some villagers were already settled there even before that. Government who became a source of blessings in1950s has turned out to be curse in 21st century. Putting animal protection first rather than human beings!Human-beings are becoming victims of conservation politics.

Although Assamese dailies does not provide eye-catching front page headlines, they cared to publish few news items in the inside pages about the sufferings of indigenous Misings.

In the first half of August, 90+ Mising women were put into jail in the same Tinsukia district  Some included lactating mothers with child. The women were​ accused of encroachment of Namphai reserved forest. Women are bearing the brunt of fight for living space now. The people who are accused of encroachment are from flood affected riverine areas often prone to erosion and sandcasts leading to landlessness. This has pushed people to fight for survival at the risk of their lives and inviting legal troubles in newer territories.
When people are struggling for basic needs: food and shelter within Assam, this must be enough to raise the conscience of thinking people. Still these  incidents are not enough to generate the will of civil society groups and intellectuals to raise their voice for the helpless tribals. May be because of less political stake and influence in the power dynamics in Assam!

There are talks of rehabilitation of refugees and migrants including grant of citizenship to various religious groups from neighbouring countries of India for quite sometime​ now. One may wonder whether such struggling indigenous tribe within India be declared as refugees in order to get the same priorities and attention of the policymakers and ruling establiments.

Some may claims my observations are not true, therefore, sources of the above facts are provided below:  
1.Flood-hit people encroach Tarani
- Tension in reserve forest area in Tinsukia, July 20, The Telegraph
2. Encroachers stay put- Minister reaches out to flood-hot Misings, flood affected people refuse to leave reserve forest, July 23, The Telegraph :
3. 150 families evicted from Namphai reserve forest, Aug,4, 2017, The Times of India:
4. Khilonjiyak loi sorkar nirowb kiyo?( In English: Why is the government silent on indigenous people?) by Royal Pegu, July 22, Asomiya Pratidin:
5. Encroachers re-occupy cleared land in Namphai RF, arrested, The Assam Tribune, August 8, 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Atrocities by immigrant Muslims on Mising tribal in Assam

Asomiya Pratidin, April 17, 2017

Source: Amar Asom, 17 April, 2017

Amar Asom, April 18, 2017

The news report in Assamese dailies says that five persons which include teenagers from Dighali village was tied up in a tree at Gelua Tinali near Silapathar in Dhemaji district of Assam and stabbed by knives after a minor scuffle with immigrant Muslim settlers on April 14, 2017. The teenagers named Takuli Mili, 16 and Matang Morang, 17 from Dighali village were returning from market centre after doing a television recharge. Three other youths too were tortured by the immigrants who came to rescue their friends. The injured youths were admitted in Dhemaji civil hospital in night itself. The youth belongs to ethnic minorities group  called Mising. They are recognized as Schedule Tribe under Indian constitution. Police arrested 11 persons out of the 19 persons involved in the stabbing incident in 48 hours as pre-emptive measure to prevent inter-group conflict. It is said that the following morning tribal villagers came to immigrant Muslim village looking for the tormentors but police fired bullets on air and tear gas shell to disperse the agitated people. The district administration clamped Section 144 /curfew but in between one cowshed and a dome of paddy straw was lit with fire. The local legislative member, Bhubon Pegu took a stick and engaged along with police in dispersing the agitated villagers, the dailies reports. The women folk took to protest alleging that even after four days all the persons involved in the gruesome incident were not arrested by police. 

Source: Niyomia Barta, April 17, 2017

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hegemonic nomenclature over ethnic minorities' place in Assam: The latest example from Indian Railways

There has been a consistent effort from chauvinist quarters to undermine and destroy the identities of small ethnic groups in Assam. The ethnic groups are victims of suppression in terms of the language and culture because they are hardly influential in political arena where electoral politics takes precedence and more importance to numbers than humane consideration in a populous country like India. I would like to point out a latest unethical public policy carried out by the Indian Railways where Mising ethnic group's identity has been sidelined in their own inhabited region which can be called "denial of identity, recognition and belongingness"through hegemonic nomenclature practice on  particular train that connects to their soil from the main city of Assam, Guwahati.
The railway notification for the nomenclature. Source: NFR/ Facebook page

The Kamakhya-Murkongselek Intercity Express that was started in 2015 after a gap of decade due to conversion to broad gauge (BG) brought many cheers to the people in upstream north bank of Siang river, the region characterized by underdevelopment and non-industrialization in Assam. Being inhabited mostly by tribals, it is one of the most neglected region in the state. Silapathar, which is in the same region, was recently in news due to the attack on a local office of influential student union by supporters of refugee rights body.

The train to Murkongselek, which was once a part of North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) now Arunachal, was introduced post-1962 Sino-Indian war as metre gauge (MG) line in 1976. The foothill Mising inhabited region was clubbed under the  "Excluded Areas" (Sadiya and Balipara Frontier Tracts ) in the colonial British period that followed restrictive intervention in interaction and policy matters and total exemption from provincial laws unlike the other plains part of Assam.The then MG train was named Arunachal Express. But, what surprises many in recent times in greater Murkongselek region (also known as Jonai) is the Indian Railways lack of  demographic and cultural sensitivity after the introduction of BG  line. Without any consultation with any quarters, the train was named via notification in March , 2017 as Lachit Express, which has no cultural resonance with the place. The Mising people, who are otherwise the second largest tribal group, having their own language and culture, came under the grip of hegemonic project adopted by ruling elite's parochial nationalists. The Mising has no influential and conscious leaders in the political quarters which could had exert influence or offer resistance to such chauvinist policy. There has been many trains running from dominant Assamese elite belt such as Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Guwahati , Kamakhya which are also a developed and industrialized region located in the south bank for many decades almost to all parts of India. The majoritarian communities has produced influential leaders who has enormous say in policy matters of Assam since the post-independent period. There cannot be just one but  ten of trains named after the great general Lachit Borphukan. But it remain a questionable policy as to why the north bank's tribal belt was targeted?
The order copy from Indian Railways to Guwahati office. Source: Facebook

These trains running for decades in southern bank of Siang/ Brahmaputra has never been named Lachit Express but some has quietly pushed the nomenclature to a place where train has been introduced in recent times. It may be noted that Rajen Gohain, a long time BJP Assamese MP is the minister of state for railways in India whereas Suresh Prabhu is the union minister of railways. The policy matters relating to Assam and the northeast must have been under the Assam minister's charge. If he was not aware of it or involved in naming it, he should help in withdrawing the same as matter of ethical public policy practice .
Screenshot from IRCTC app, notice the nomenclature
Source: The Assam Tribune news on  inauguration of new train to Murkongselek in June 19, 1976
The train to Murkongselek was named  Arunachal  Express. The news report also mentioned Murkongselek was in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Naharlagun-Guwahati Intercity Express was named Donyi Polo Express with an indigenous name which literally means Sun-Moon, respecting the animist belief of the indigenous tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. In the same vein, why the only train that connects Mising inhabited place from Guwahati be not named with a fitting cultural nomenclature? If not, the train should be reverted to previous name itself i.e. the destination nomenclature and be left without any hegemonic politics. This hegemony over small tribes by majoritarian elite must stop in Assam, they should know to respect and provide  space of identity of belongingness and presence in the fruits of infrastructure development too.
The train was inaugurated by then Assam CM Sarat Chandra Sinha,one of most progressive chief minister Assam ever had, in presence of S. Tayeng from AP due to absence of CM Prem Khandu Thungon..

Oi nitom, a form of Mising folk song, composed based on "Intercity Express" will be a living testimony against  imposition of nomenclature.
There must be equality for all people irrespective of their numbers in our democracy. There should not be forced and malicious imposition. Assam has multiple cultures, it does not just belong to certain privileged linguistic groups. The composite character must be uphold.

N.B. We are not against Lachit's ideals and his great deeds in protecting Assam. One of our great warriors Miri Sandikoi was subordinate of Lachit, fought in the historic battle of Saraighat of 1671 to repel Mughal invaders. Many Mising soldiers took part in the battle. For further details on the role of Miri Sandikoi (Hazarika), please read  eminent historian Surya Kumar Bhuyan's book , Lachit Borphukan and His Times. The step taken by Ministry of Railways reflects Mising's contribution to peace and harmony being undermined, cultural insensitivity and ignorance about the demographic significance of the region.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ranoj Pegu's exit: Endism of Mising ethnic politics in Assam?

As the regional television channels, local dailies and social media users are updating their views on noted ethnic Mising Tani leader Ranoj Pegu’s exit in the context of upcoming Dhemaji by-poll, I felt I should write on this transition that would likely to have implications in the Mising nationality’s political life in particular and northeast Assam’s politics in general in the years to come. The
Misings are the second largest recognized Schedule Tribe social group in Assam.

Since the 1980s, Mising people has been demanding political autonomy under the Sixth Schedule even before Ranoj Pegu’s entry into marginalized tribal people’s movement. The Mising Agom Kebang (MAK), the literary body, was formed in 1972. The MAK too had the roots with Adi and Mising tribes students and teachers led alfresco feast while in Cotton College, one of the oldest centres of higher learning, founded in 1901 in northeast India. The apex body, Mising Bane Kebang,  was formed as old as in 1924 in the colonial period. Student organizations such as the Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK) had the history of organization in co-ordination with Adi students since the days of India’s independence in 1947.

Ranoj Pegu is known for Left-oriented political inclination. It is said that Vinod Mishra faction of Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML) had considerable influence on Karbi and  Mising national organizations struggling for autonomous state and constitutional autonomy in their respective inhabited areas. I called it Leftist-orientation because Mising ethnic movement is independent of Left parties although it has mixed influences of Marxist, Leninist and Maoist political
philosophy.  Pegu, a son of civil servant originally hailing from fringes of Kaziranga National Park of Bokakhat, is said to be educated in Shankardev Seminary at Jorhat and Guwahati Medical College and Hospital. However, Ranoj Pegu is more contemporaneous in north bank of Siang river of Assam where majority of the Mising lives. He mostly shuttles between Gogamukh, head quarter of MAC, of which he is the chief executive member and Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. There were fratricidal clashes in 1990s between the supporters of Indian National Congress party-influenced Mising Autonomous Demand Committee (MADC) and the national bodies such as the TMPK, Mising Mimag Kebang (MMK), Takam Mising Mime Kebang (TMMK) in Mising inhabited areas.  The intense struggle for supremacy and influence among the political organizations created an atmosphere of chaos and anarchy in the less-governed inaccessible Mising territories of those times. The infamous 1995 Bilmukh killings of Mising ethnic nationalists over the grant of boundary-less Mising Autonomous Council (MAC) by security personnel was the consequence of tussle and differences among the ethnic leaderships.

Come 21st century, there was a change in the political course in Mising autonomy movement. During the early Congress-led state government, after regionalist Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) was defeated in 2001, constituted Cabinet sub-committee to study the feasibility of  Sixth Schedule based autonomy but it was met with violent opposition from neighboring indigenous communities in the north bank of Siang/ Brahmaputra river.  The government response was due to the Mising-Rabha-Tiwa alliance popular movements in their respective belts and demonstrations for autonomy in New Delhi and Dispur. Thus, it led to undeclared moratorium of growing intense non-violent political mobilization for autonomy. In 2006, the Mising leadership prior to state assembly poll with other sympathizers in their inhabited areas founded the Sanmilita Ganshakti, Asom, a micro-regional party with Leftist orientation that claimed to fight for marginalized communities in the upstream belt of north bank of Siang in Assam. It vowed to wage ‘’parliamentary struggle’’ instead of armed movement in contrast to the tendency of many ethnic groups in northeast India. However, in contrary to perception from media it would be wrong to called Ganshakti as Mising-only party. It draws supporters and political aspirants from neighboring communities in the Tani belt. A simple analysis of elected representatives of MAC in 2013 poll clears the air.  By then, the political tempo had resulted in strong support-base for pro-Sixth Schedule voice particularly in Jonai, Dhemaji, Majuli and Dhakhuakhana constituencies challenging the ruling Congress party along with parallel anti-autonomy organizations mainly from the indigenous non-tribal Assamese-speaking populace. Bhubon Pegu won the Jonai constituency in 2006 from Ganshakti party. In 2011, he lost to Congress’ candidate Pradan Baruah. Bhubon Pegu, son of a forest officer from Silapathar, has the distinction of being a former general secretary of Cotton College Union Society (CCUS) at prestigious Cotton College. Pegu has huge following in Mising-inhabited areas which was established during his days at TMPK and subsequent struggle for Sixth Schedule based autonomy. Sixth Schedule became a buzzword in Mising society in early 2000s during his leadership for political autonomy where Johan Doley was the president of TMPK.  In 2016, he won again with the distinction of being the only independent candidate elected to Assam assembly when there was Modi-wave in most of constituencies of Assam that promised security for ‘jati, mati and bheti (nation, land and homestead) under the leadership of former All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) leader, Sarbananda Sonowal. It may be recalled that the Ganshakti, having Leftist-orientation, did not enter into pre-poll alliance unlike other smaller parties in the 2016 Assam poll.
Ranoj Pegu and Bhubon Pegu seen with Sarbananda Sonowal Photo: Facebook

The Mising political imagination of achieving constitutional autonomy is on the crossroad. The main steering figures of non-violent political struggle for autonomy such as Ranoj Pegu joining of BJP  and Bhubon Pegu’s hinting of joining the saffron outfit marks an era of mainstreaming of Mising ethnic nationalism to pan-Indian nationalist fold after a break of three decades. Three decades can be counted from post-Assam Accord (1985) to BJP’s triumph with the mantra of aligning the “khilonjia’’ (indigenous) in 2016 assembly election. The advent of populist Hindu nationalist fervor since 2014 together with many regional sub-nationalist leaders aligning with BJP in Assam may be attributed to the exit of ethnic leaders. And most significantly, the decades of experiences and experiments of parliamentary politics on Mising ethnic nationalist plank could be the factors behind this development.

Drawing from theories of international relations, the latest political development in Mising political life may be identified as “endism''. Endism is different from declinism. While declinism is conditionally pessimistic that provides warning to the pathway to historical decline of ethnic politics and longing for reverse political state but endism signifies unwavering optimism with the illusion of well-being and escape from history (emphasis added). According to Sameul P. Huntington, endism does not provide corrective action but relaxed complacency. There is a widespread hope, optimism and complacency in the society that Mising ethnic leaders are joining the alliance of powers. Endism, when consequences are met with errors, could be far more “dangerous and subversive.”  The ‘political’ Mising society, bereft of its key personalities and ideologues, may riddle into disarray. It may also lead to 'no exit" at all from the ethnic politics but a shift in the cycle of Mising ethnic nationalism. Nevertheless, the forthcoming by-poll of Dhemaji constituency, whether Ranoj Pegu wins or loses, would be an outlier in the political history of the community.

(Views expressed here are entirely personal. This article doesn't reflect the views of institutions or organizations the author is associated with.)

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Silapathar dok pa:mín sunam: Mo:di sok ommang ké taupénam

             Gíné  March 6, 2017 do Silapathar town dok Jonai bélamlo du:né All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) ophis dém Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samannay Samiti (NBUSS)  dé bottan kébang ko igela “procession” la:len douém lumín sula édé poriné ope:lok tani yé démbito odokké gerko okum démsin mopen-moren bito. Udbastu dé Bengali gompiré, édém “refugee” émdo.  Mo:di akolokké agin dungko amo:lo lokké ménpakla gílad langkumane tani ém“Refugee” pé sapla do. Gílad kugom sin kangkan pé turra dula ma:yé, pésola turpa:yé. Aba:yang Bornoi (Siang/Lali?Brahmaputra) ané kekon-kesak pé du:ne Bengali British longé (1826) dok Bangladesh (1971) lendo do:pé  Assam sop ginné. Odok lédupésin gítíla dung motum la:ma do:pé.
March 6, 2017 dok AASU ager okum mopen-moren binam Silapthar do. Source: Youttube

Assam mimak éla tribel opín

Assam mimak (Assam movement) dok lédupé Rajiv Gandhi bí Prime Minister pé ila du:dodo August 15, 1985 dok sukti ko ika.  Assam mimak dém ibomnédé AASU dokké supakke Asom Gono Porishad.  Odo ayir do Asom Gano Songram Porishod emdagai. Amin de Assam Accord / Asom Sukti. Ede sukti dem dekko mé:mi-sigila-sapkum-sappala 24 March, 1971 (yume 12 do:pé) do gí:ané takam taniyém “Indian citizen” émna sapyé émna to:likto. Mimak moné ope:yé Hindu dak Muslim dak appingéméi torík su:ye. Odok lédu dokkédem torik sula ma:ye émna atgab ligdanla ru:sékto. Odok lédudok giné sékomsin torik sula:maye emto. Édé Assam mimak dém Mising, Boro Kachari, Deori, Tiwa, Karbi, Rabha, Dimasa appingéi dité-di:rung kinma pé gítéminla angu modi lok taniyém Asom sokké gílen kupé lagiyé émna imín-gímínka. Tiwa taniyé Morigaon district do Nellie émkodo February, 1983 do 2000 boje ko oinu kumli ope:lok bojepe taniyem moketo. Silapothar do:sin ginga la du:ne Bengali taniyem Arne Sapori do moketo. Sapyém Assam mimak do 1979 dokké 1985 dok sukti ido takam do Assam so sékri pé du:toma. Tiwa tani lok popé amongém pa:lad yékuji émna mé:la odo Tiwa taniyé  iboka émna lédudo lusudungku. Émpigel AASU do bottan leaders kídíde “kinma” émna sappakto, Tiwa tribel kídídém aíké émna saptokuma, bulu tani mokene opeye émnam asin ko imoto. Gohpur do mipak taniyé Boro-Kachari taniyém dolu lokké ménpakla Arunachal dok yumrang ara:lo dugsi la du:pa:to. Indira Gandhi bi gikal kado do mipak kidi dok dugra sula dungko camp ong kididem lengkanka. Lubiko kamala Boro kebange Arunachal dok Chief Minister Gegong Apang me kumtin sula Prime Minister Gandhi bí Boro ngasod démsini kinmoto. Odok lédupé 1987 do Assam sukti do Boro légang okkosin kamang émna kinla Upendranath Brahma bí All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) dokki “Divide Assam 50:50” ilaboi émna mimak tarungém morop kang. AASU igé-gígébonékídídé Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) dem la:len ge:la bulukke migom dola dungai. 2003 do Boro sukti em Bharat sorkar ésin ipatoku abbuk jo:la mimak monékididém, BTAD lenmotoku. Édém bojeko luyar pénam kama emna me:do. Séko opínémsin mé:tin sukanmang nérkur la luyémilo.

Silapathar témpin ansin jégalo bagémpé  kapé édempe ikan?

                 Lékoda Silapothar do odo longédok  édémbulum ka:la gíla gíkun tani lukampé 2 kilometre kopé procession dé iyyapé dokké 10, 000  ko:pé giminé tani dungai. Gimin ne tani kidi de ko:kang kamangi, mine-mijing, yame-mimbir, ne-milbong gidagai . Kanggabla ka:nampe aike agom lok placard  dokké poster appidém attagai. Aiké genam-bomnamém gebomdagai. Mising amo:lo kape edempe idun takam Misingei taddung ? Mising kébang kidi dok bulum Silapothar dok doying em okkomna luyen tani taudung? Mising  képé Aasu dé amik opinlok porin kébang. Bengali détu amik kérung, bulu okolai lokké gidung émnamdé ta:to-ya:yo manggom 50 ditag Mising tani ko iné taumiloi kinyé. Ludaggomsin Silapothar dé ngoluk Mising among lo dung, émdaggom ngolukké émna tokuma:bo. The Telegraph dé attak 25-30 per cent ko Bengali yé dung. 2001 census léngkankampé 22, 307 ko tani dung. Supak 30000 anindupé bong.  Town committee do:tu séko du:dakji kindagai.
      2014 do BJP pa:la central (ki:ni)odokké  state government so 2016 do BJP pa:ma dapébong “Hindu refugee” émsin citizenship biyé émna buluk “manifesto” doi bitak. Émpila 2016 do Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 émnam ko Parliament do tosatak “refugee” kídí dém lomdanla citizen pé idopé. AASU odokké angu-angu Assam sok kébangé édém ilam:ye émna lutíla ajéngém jé:la dung.  Sok “khilonjia”/ “tholuwa”/ “indigenous/ “mo:di sok ommang” taniyé “minority” pagyé agom , tani, migom gomnam (politics) appílok émna.

Agomdém sapyémilo  Silapathar do kapil Mising asop dun? Ngok méngkipé sé do:ying kídí sokkipak: Misingé mé:ra sula du:padak :
                               Gíné 2013 dok Mising Autonmous Council (MAC) election idodo Akajan constituency ( Silapathar desin giadak) Bengali luné éla mipak agom luné ope: (Ahom, Sutiya, Koch, Kolita, Bamun, Rajbongshi appidé, odokké migom dola traibel ammem ka:titné takamdé) takamdé bulu jigyed motomang, édé opín anyyi déi topaksuto MAC election imoma émna. Simen Somkong constituency do:sin du:pakkang édémípé. “Indefinite bandh” Dhemaji do binamko buluk ope: kébangé ika.
             2004 dok “independence day” lo  Dhemaji do bomb bukmola ngoluk Sixth Schedule modak do “law and order” ngasod aba:yang ko angkang abbuk jomapé sékri inam mimakdo. Dhemaji district dém bojéko “militarized”  zone pé imoto. Dhemaji tém séko bayukkan  buk mop lage émna, angu district patomapéyam (Ngolu army camp ru:yi lo saikel dugyém lo:dém gíy bekdungai édé sin iskul lendom. Police ésin émmumpé ngolum yuméko lock-up lo léngkita)
           Jonai do Ali-a:yé Lígang dírbí yumédo 2008 do séko bullan bomb bugmonékidé, édémpé sékkai opinlok dirbi yumélok bugmo kitakne Assam so okolai? Sékom ménggédan? Sékai mipak organization “culprit” kídídém etgabla “justice” pabopé lage émdune? 2016 assembly election do takam adjin opiné BJP manggom Congress do “alliance” ito,  Sanmilata Ganashakti, Assam éla Autonomous State Demand Committee (Karbi Anglong) mégela. 

              Bengali lok “Bongo Sena”dé Karbi dité talédo angupé Bangladesh “Hindu Bengali du:téng: mayeku émna longku lenkang émnabdém kindanlang ngoluk tani kídídé? Sapyémilo Ganshakti dok dunggab ko:dém rago ko:pak monam légang “Hindu” “refugee” kídí dok do:yingém itélíkla igo-siro dung.
                NiBBUSS dé Rashtriya Swayam Sevak  (RSS) dok alagkan kébangko émna lugéngko kadung. Buluk President Subodh Biswas émnamdé Nagpur do du:dak émna lutad bigoné ope:yé ludak. RSS dé BJP lok luyir odokké bélam sutkan biné abu é. “Citizenship” dok “politics” dém odo idung okol mipak agom luné opeye sin bojek kamaji, tribel bojeko dungkodo. Tribel kébang lok érokné kébang dém andan ge:la. NiBBUSS dé Morigaon do:sin édémípin kébang iyé émnamko ludagamalang. Morigaon dé Tiwa lok du:téng mo:diyé okolo mipak opeyéyasin gingane tani abayangkaboji. Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Silchar odobulu édé kébangdém ilatomane sékriru:pé ipé mé:mílo?
           Mising agom lok sign board/ poster ko mo:la “aíké” émnam tani kídídém “ayang” ko léngkandagne ngoluk amo:lo dung émla. Mising tani lokképé annyi opíndéi édílai lokkébong ngolum aíkémpé mé:mang émna léngkan la dung. Annyi déi Mising ké pé“amme” (other) pé ila dung.
        Gopinath Bordoloi 1947 ma:da:pébong “reserved constituency” dokké tribal belt ilen bo:ye émna odo gígéboné tribal leaders kídar dém luka. Odokképak Bordoloi ké ibonam Assam Congress Committee do gímínka:ku. Tribal leaders Bhimbor Deuri, Rupnath Brahma, Rabi Chandra Kachari, Karko Chandra Do:le bulu Bharat sé “independence” ma:da:pé angu modi lok gi:né amme tribal lok among ém dungkulub bomye émnamdém ka:bekdagai. Tribal belt and block lo amo:lo amme (non-tribal) é amongém la:la ma:yé réla ma:yé émnam ko 1938 do:bo lunamki  lédupésin édémípé iyépé émna mé:tinsuto. Po:pé Congress é taniyém ginga líktak mílo, supak lottado sok tani-íngém mo:ríd do:pé karé dém rébidung suppakké migomsé.

Assam Accord do tribal légang okko dun?

Assam sukti dok Clause 10 dé sémpé attak:
“It will be ensured that relevant laws for prevention of encroachment of government lands and
lands in tribal belts and blocks are strictly enforced and unauthorized encroachers evicted as
laid down under such laws.” ( Traibel dungko belts dokké blocks among éla migom amongém lupa-tatpasuma:pé dungkabbomném la:pakyéku runggo atténg saptékdanla)
Sé adnam sém éddíko supakké ayir sok migomé ménggabla gerduji édépék nérkík agomdé. Odo mé:dak Silapathar démpin ngasodém lékoda sido Assam “mo:di sok ommang” (sons of soil) ka:bekma:yé dokké lékopé ager tarungém iyar tílayé.

Réngamké angka:nam (nationalism)

Assam sok mipak réngam manggom Boro réngam lok  ang ka:nam kayir sula Mising taniésin dakropa:yé émna dekkoi mé:né dung. Silapathar dok pa:mínsudak  lédupé  Mising lok porin kébang édémarpésin kínggípé imín-gímínla ang léngkan toma, luyémílo “limited participation”  itak. Sapyémílo mipak ang dém  mikjém gel gímín ma:nam de aidak. Buluk kolok ang dém ka:yir suma:pé Assamese agom éla gomlab (language and literature) la:sa bokunamdémpak ka:yir supénammé, angu kídí takamdém aidak émna luguma, réngam agl£ng ka:mínsunam pé iyé. Mé:po ménganla sékri du:nam dé ajukayé. Réngam ang-kanam  dém kangkanpé irop pé réngam ako murkong-tarung dok dakra su:namdémpak (economically self-reliant) irop po:payé. Amikolok réngam ager gerdung émla murkong langkumsunam (kumlai la:daggom morítlai la:daggom) dírbídém mokab pa:yé..

Jonai dok tribal belt éla block mopen namdé kémo lo:pé ní:líknammé

Gíné September 30, 2021 do Assam sok Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dunggéboné migomé Dhemaji do cabinet meeting ila 400 crore aré ko dek proj...