Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Discovery of Misingmese Creole in Golaghat Tani belt

I was at least for five days in Golaghat district of Assam in the belt inhabited by Mising ethnic people during the last Durga  Puja vacation. Here is a brief account of my experience. We toured the countrysides mostly inhabited by people speaking a lingo in unique ethnic tone.

Evidence of Apathy: Thousands of hectares of lands belonging to Mising people have eroded into Brahmaputra river over  several decades in Bongkual, still this is the sample of dyke to protect the people's lives and property.
While it must be said that there are large number of non-speaking Mising people, the diversity in the community must be acknowledged and accepted in the same time. The figure stands nearly 50,000,  as per local youths of  Bongkual.  We found that Misings of Bokakhat belt speaks in Assamese with Tani/ Mising tone to which many rebuke as distorted form. Bori, Loyi(ng), Paw, Daw, Morang etc. are the clansmen more in prominence in this Tani belt. The people speaking here the distorted Indo-Aryan Assamese language might had happened  due to historical circumstances connected to politics, culture and society. 

By my personal experience I must say what the Temargoyas, Samugurias or Bongkual sub-groups speaks cannot necessarily be dubbed as Assamese language. Contrary to common assumption, it is a creole if not language, just like Nagamese, for the Mising people have retain their own unique ethnic tone in their speaking, also used Mising words in between although in lesser degree in their conversation. People have not diverted their tongue from their parent tone. We can called this creole as.Misingmese. ( See here, what  a creole means? ) When I was with my friend Surjya Loying in one of  his sister-in-laws house at Joraguri countryside, I overheard a conversation between the woman and a village guest, " O apong tu hek buli babisilung, aru okoman dung, kabi jodi lo" ( Here, apong and dung are Tani/ Mising/ Miri words)(.Oh! I  thought the rice-beer/apong was finished up but there is a bit more, take if you want it". After saying these words, I saw the host woman pouring the remaining apong  into the guest's bowl from the can.This episode of Misingmese is open for further research who are specialized in linguistics.

 Except the language all traits are similar and history says that the Misings of this belt were one of earliest settlers in the plains of present day Assam. One should not feel complacent or deprived that the people are neglected just because of the language. Most of the Mising organizations till today used Assamese in public gatherings and in their exchange of communication except the Agom Kebang. Political mobilization similar to Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur (Gohpur) and Jorhat (Majuli) should be carried out to create awareness among the masses in areas where ethnic nationalist waves have not touched evidently so far. There is much scope of Mising people becoming politically stronger and address their grievances through the medium of elections in Bokakhat belt. Most evidently, today's middle class Mising has virtually discouraged their offspring to speak or learn their mother tongue contributing to the global bracket of cultural holocaust in modern days, so what's there in a language if people are suffering?

A grainless paddy field in Bongkual: Rice is the staple food of Mising people but this late October picture tells us what was the enormity of last deluge and their affects on economy as well as survival. What can one imagined during an harvesting season if one see his paddy field grain-less instead golden-bearings?

We hope to see Mising people's participation in arena of politics and become leaders from institutionalized  parties, this will certainly pay dividends in areas that are not prone to Mising nationalism and identity consciousness. In democracy, head counts are very important and this is the call of the hour in developing country like India.Civilizations in the world all grew in the banks of rivers and are saved from devastation in these days but in India,  particularly Assam and Arunachal, the Mising people who are settled by the river banks as precursor of earliest civilization makers in the region have been subjected to strategic domination and paralyzing.