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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chp 492. Quora: What do people of Mizoram think about India?

This is my answer to a Quora question: What do people of Mizoram think about India?

There are no answers to the question yet, so I decided to give it a shot. There are two comments from other Quora users embedded with the question:
Anonymous:Is it true that people of Mizoram don't consider themselves to be Indian? Or is it just one of those myths? I really want to know what Mizos really feel about India.
Benjamin Rualthanzauva:We do feel like Indians as a Citizen but culturally we don't. Because we are just too different, to keep a long story short.

Well, here’s the long story -

Culturally, yes, we feel very different...

...but then again, India is a land of diversities, consisting of many different cultures and traditions. Here is my attempt at answering your question.

First of all, let me state that it is difficult to answer such a blunt and direct question that will have different answers based on the perspective and background of the person answering. And I will need to generalize a bit here in order to simplify my answer, so I’m just grouping the entire Mainland India (that is, excluding the North Eastern States) as one group. Of course there will be aberrations and exceptional cases here and there which I hope we can ignore during this discourse.

I'm a Mizo, a person from Mizoram, but I was brought up outside Mizoram since class 3 (1992 onwards) at various boarding schools and colleges across India, and I travel back to Mizoram once or twice a year for vacations to be with my friends and family. Apart from Hindi and Mizo, I speak a bit of Tamil, and also understand a bit of Malayalam, Bengali and Marathi. I have been exposed to different Indian cultures and cuisines, so the way I think of India may be a bit different from a Mizo who has never set foot outside Mizoram, hence let me try my best to give a balanced and generalized answer.

How do Mizos think of India?

The first thing most Mizos experience when we leave our state and come to this side of the country for education or jobs are the racial abuses. This is a problem faced by most North Eastern Indians with mongoloid features. Being called “chinkis”, “ching chongs” and being jeered at on the streets in public (even after the SC prohibition) is still a common experience for us even today. So yes, somebody experiencing that for the first time will definitely have a bitter opinion about Indians in general.

But does that mean we Mizos are just victims and we aren’t racists ourselves?

In Mizoram, we call mainland Indians (people having the Indian majority “Indo-Aryan” and “Dravidian” looks and physical features) as "Vai". The word “Vai” originated from the Hindi word “Bhai” which means “brother” and it is used to describe a non-Mizo, an outsider.

According to one legend, when Mizo warriors ventured from the mountains to the plains for the first time and met the plains-people who had completely different facial features, cultures and languages, through the use of sign languages and colloquial words, those people introduced themselves to the Mizos as “bhai”, to indicate their friendliness. Another legend stated that it was the British who brought people from Mainland India to our land and introduced them to us as “Bhai” so as to bring in a feeling of goodwill between our two groups.

Since we didn’t have a “bh” in our Mizo vocabulary, we ended up pronouncing it as “Vai” instead of bhai, and henceforth, people with such facial features, ie, ANI - Ancestral North Indians and ASI - Ancestral South Indians (refer: Wikipedia: Indian People) came to be known as Vai’s.

So that’s what most Mizos think of India, that a majority of its population are made up of Vais. And calling somebody a “Vai” actually means calling that person a brother and it was never a derogatory slur.

The word “Vai” took an ugly turn after India's independence from the British. Mizos, unlike the Nagas and a few other North Eastern ethnic groups, decided to remain a part of India when the British said they were leaving. You should know that what is now Mizoram, a land once governed by various warring Mizo clan chiefs, and most of the other North Eastern states were never once a part of any Muslim dynasty or Hindu ruler that ruled over what is now India before the British took over the entire area.

But soon after India’s Independence Day, Mizoram (which was known as the Lushai Hills district back then) experienced a terrible famine in 1958 due to the flowering of bamboos (known as mautam in Mizo, which means “Bamboo death”). The flowering of bamboos led to a boom in rat population, that in turn ate up all the food stock of the people.

Hundreds of Mizos died every day, but all pleas sent to the Indian Government were ignored. Finally, Pu Laldenga formed the MNFF (Mizo National Famine Front) where every Mizo took it to task to help a fellow Mizo member, sending food, no matter how scarce, to those who needed it more. After many more casualties, the famine finally passed. That was when many Mizos said enough was enough, that there was no point in being a part of a country that didn’t care about its people, and the MNFF became the MNF (Mizo National Front), demanding a sovereign Mizo country.

The Indian army moved in, and life became difficult for those caught in between. Then came “Operation Jericho” in 1966, when the MNA (Mizo National Army), the armed wing of the MNF, overran various government institutions in one swift and well coordinated attack across different cities, beating back the Indian army and executing officers and other Mizos suspected of being informers to the Indian army. That was when Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, ordered the Air Force bombing. On March 5th and 6th, 1966, Hunter and Toofani jetfighters deployed from Tezpur IAF base continuously bombed various cities, indiscriminately killing anyone and reducing many villages and towns to ashes. (TimesCrest: Gaddafi in Mizoram)

Till now, the Indian Government has denied bombing its own soil that resulted in the loss of many innocent lives, including many civilians who actually didn’t support the MNF’s aspiration of a sovereign nation. The MNF was pushed back to the forests and more Indian soldiers were deployed in the area. From the 764 villages governed by various clans and chiefs, the army demolished 516 and converted it into 110 PPV (Protected and Progressive Villages) described as "something like the concentration camps of Auschwitz, minus the gas chambers" by researchers. (Air attacks in Mizoram, 1966 - our dirty, little secret)

There were many allegations of Mizo women being raped daily by the army officers, as most of the Mizo men were in the forests engaged in guerrilla warfare with the army. There was the dreaded "black diary" every Mizo women feared, where top army officers would write down the names of village damsels, and such women had to report to the officer's quarter in the night to spend the night with him. That happened in rotation and it only provoked more youth to join the rebel cause.

Finally, through many meetings with Indian Government representatives, conditions started becoming more and more peaceful from 1972 onwards. The Mizo Peace accord was finally signed between the MNF and Government of India in 1986, bringing in permanent peace and making Mizoram the most peaceful state in North East India till today.

Why did I just take you through a brief history of Mizoram?

Because to many Mizos, especially those who had experienced the insurgency and atrocities committed by the Indian army first hand, even though there’s peace now, there is still that feeling of bitterness lingering in the air. To such people, all “Vais” are still the evil perpetrator. But this trend of generalizing all Vais into one bucket is not as common as I used to remember when I was a kid.

However, if you’re a non-Mizo and you walk on the streets of Mizoram today, you may still encounter an unfortunate incident of a few miscreants (usually inebriated ones) menacingly passing comments at you like, “Vai chhia” (disgusting outsider) etc at you. This of course happens extremely rarely today, and I know so many non-Mizo tourists who had visited Mizoram and not experienced anything like this. But I’m just giving you a heads-up in case you do visit Mizoram in the future, it’s a beautiful place there. A large majority of us aren’t like that today.

One reason why such animosity still exists even today is because of our insecurity. Mizos are threatened by Vais, the outsiders, especially since many of us were brought up with stories of what the army did to our women. And sometimes, even today, in order to discipline a spoilt child, a mother may say stuff like “Behave yourself, don’t make such loud noises, or else a Vai will come and kidnap you.” This works in favour of the mother, because the child is now quiet, scared of the so called Vai. However, this also psychologically affects him/her as that person grows up, making it hard for him or her to trust a non-Mizo. I really feel such disciplinary tactics should be stopped.

Another reason for our insecurity is because of the difference in advancement between our Mizo society and the broader Indian society (in general). For us Mizos, it’s been just around 100 years since the Welsh missionaries came to our land and converted all of us to Christianity. We were animists before that, worshipping the sun, forests, animals and spirits. Along with Christianity, they educated us, teaching us how to read and write, and giving us our own written script.

Compare that to the rich cultural heritage of various Hindu and Muslim empires that ruled over the rest of India before the British came. We know we’re no match when it comes to business or manufacturing or even agriculture, but we gave it our best shot and today we’re the second highest literate state in India. But we still have miles to go if we want to compete with other Indians, so there is always that tinge of insecurity within us because of our “late start”.

Other than that, the situation today has vastly improved. Hindi shows like Kasauti were a huge rave in Mizoram a few years ago. Hindi movies are also quite popular for a population whose mother tongue is not Hindi, and photos of various Bollywood actors can be found in many shops and houses. Songs like “Papa kehte hain” and “Pehla nasha” are iconic and when a group of Mizos sit together with a guitar (we LOVE to sing), those two songs are usually sung. Long before the arrival of Star TV network, we tried our best not to miss shows like “Chitrahaar”, just like the rest of India.

Sometimes, Mizos coming to this side of the Country for the first time find it funny how most Indians immediately get up from their seats once the plane lands, even though nobody can get out of the plane yet. In our Mizo society, you will not find us fighting with each other to get in line etc. Even when it comes to basics, like waiting for LPG gas, people politely form a queue. Here is one such picture I took recently.

In fact, whenever we fly home to Mizoram (or from Mizoram), we call that moment the plane comes to a halt after landing as “Vai thawh hun”, when all non-Mizos immediately spring out from their seats grabbing their bags and knocking over each other in spite of the flight attendant pleading them to remain seated. Every Mizo sitting in the plane just grins at the circus show.

Not to sound racist, but many Mizos are also sceptical of other Indians, finding it hard to trust strangers. This probably stems from the fact that in Mizoram, everybody trusts each other. We actually have unmanned shops in Mizoram. There are many vendor-less road-side stalls, where vegetables, fruits and other goods are displayed for sale, with their prices written next to them. All you have to do is pick up what you want, put the money in a box and leave. You can even take change back from the box yourself. And the owner comes to the stall at the end of the day to collect the money and he never sees a loss.

I’m not saying other Indians are less untrustworthy than Mizos just because you won’t find such vendor-less shops this side of the country. The reason why we trust ourselves so blindly is because we’re a homogenous group with a very small population of just 1 million (second least populated state in India). I’m sure as we grow and become less close-knitted and more apart from each other, more and more antisocial elements will creep into our society as well. But as of now, yeah, when I am in the midst of other Indians, like travelling alone on a train with strangers, I will take my bag with me when I go to the loo (just like how you would do it too). Likewise, when I leave my apartment here in Mumbai, I always lock it up (which again I’m sure you do too), whereas in Mizoram, many of us don't, and some of us even sleep with our doors unlocked. Below is a photo of an entire locality feasting together, displaying our bonhomie.

When it comes to food, most Mizos travelling outside Mizoram for the first time find it very difficult to adjust to the Indian cuisine here. In Mizoram, we eat three times a day – Breakfast consists of rice, dal, boiled vegetables and meat, so yes, it is quite heavy compared to the breakfast we eat in the rest of India like dosas, puri bhajis, sandwiches, pohas, cereals etc. “Lunch” in Mizoram consists of just a tea break with light snacks like one plate/piece of momos, chow, paratha, alu chop etc. Dinner on the other hand, tends to be heavy again, which consists of the usual rice and other accompanying dishes. It takes time for a Mizo to get used to such a different routine.

Even when it comes to the type of food served, rice is a staple diet in Mizoram, and many Mizos are not used to breads like roti, chapattis, naans etc. I know many Mizos who cannot consider a meal to be a meal if there is no rice! True fact. And we love our meat. Pork, beef and chicken are some of our favourite meats, and they are usually boiled with veggies together. We also love spicy food, but by spice, I’m talking about “chilly” spice. Most spicy Indian dishes are spicy because of the masalas. We Mizos on the other hand, use very little masalas in our dishes, and many Mizos cannot stand the smell of oily masala-rich curry being prepared.

But it is something one can get used to and I know many Mizos, especially students, who ended up loving the food served in this part of the country. I for one, love the diversity of cuisines and am a foodie myself, actively taking part in many “food lovers club” initiatives in Mumbai.

When it comes to Loyalty for India, yes, the patriotic sentiment of the Mizos is strong today, in spite of some people still holding grudges as mentioned earlier. There are many Mizos serving in the Indian armed forces. Two of my cousins are officers in the Air Force, another in the Army, and here in Mumbai I have many close Mizo friends currently serving in the Indian Navy. But what saddens me sometimes is the fact that many Indians are not aware of the number of people from the North East serving in the armed forces.

For example, during the recent Chinese incursion in Arunachal Pradesh, a cell phone video recorded by a Mizo soldier whose contingent was posted there, was obtained by TOI. In the video, you could see Mizo Indian soldiers grabbing the Chinese soldiers and telling his Mizo mates not to let any of them through. There were a lot of scuffles and wrestles and Mizos shouting out instructions. But the TOI comments (Timeline Photos - The Times of India | Facebook) were full of racial hate, abusing even the Mizo Indian soldier, saying stuff like, “shoot all these chinky dogs”, “shut up you ching chang chong”, etc. Later on, TOI did delete some of the comments after we complained, but that really hurt many of us, especially friends and family of those Mizo soldiers posted at our borders who were ready to die protecting all of us.

So, yeah, as “anonymous” commented on this very question – “Is it true that people of Mizoram don't consider themselves to be Indian?”, I would like to reply and rephrase that as “No actually, the people of Mizoram do consider ourselves to be Indians. It is the Indians who don’t consider us to be Indians.”

I hope you consider this reply satisfactory. Like I said in the beginning, I had to generalize here and there in order to avoid making this reply any longer than it already is. Please feel free to disagree to my views, whether from a Mizo or a non-Mizo’s point of view.

*Ps. Some photos are mine, others from our site mi(sual).com and a few from FB and Google image search, so in case you don't want me using your photo, please let me know and I'll take them down.


Dini Chongte said...

i totally agree with your answers, especially the summary of might still be a matter of time before the 'mainland people' accept us as Indians, and that looks don't really define one's nationality...until then, we'll always feel like foreigners in our own country unless we are considered otherwise....:)

Unknown said...

Wow! WiKIMpedia ni ringawt alawm le. :)
“No actually, the people of Mizoram do consider ourselves to be Indians. It is the Indians who don’t consider us to be Indians.” (Y)

Jesleen Awmi said...

very well written as always Kima..cept for the Mizos being Animists and worshiping trees etc....Mizos never worshipped them...but believed evil spirits lurked in them and tried to appease the evil spirit in them out of fear...didnt worship them...we did believe in Pu vana....

siamlawma soap said...

A va tha tehlul em... Mizo tawng ngei a lehlin la awm zui se... zokhaw lama saptaqng thiem lem lo ho chhiar ve atan ka va it e

shah kamal khan said...

Such a wonderful elaboration by the person who wrote
this article I want to hug him tight and thank him to
represent our grievances to outside world. Kn lawm
lttk sk khan Venglai, Leitlangpui

PRO Lunglei said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PRO Lunglei said...

Very well put! Enjoyed reading it, gave me a lot of food for thought too! I think the problem will be solved when Mizoram/Northeast becomes developed enough to contribute in a large way to the Indian economy & our share in taxes will allow us to call some of the shots in this country... and high-time we stopped using our small number as an excuse to progress well! (Y)

tonsing said...

Well written piece - albeit, slightly long and takes some dedication to complete it. Nicely balanced depiction. God Job. I wonder why works like this do not get published in the print media?

Unknown said...

Beautiful and very balanced article!
As someone who has many Mizo friends and as a 'Vai' who often has to educate his other friends on matters of racism and discrimination subjected to people from the north-east (and as someone who has dated some beautiful people from the beautiful land of hills in the past), I'm happy that you wrote this article. Hoping that many many people read it and change the way they think!
Thanks :)

Unknown said...

This is something wonderful.
I won't feel bad if any one calls me a "vai" now as its true meaning is the brotherhood.
Awsome. I loved it.

Sujay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prakash said...

A wonderful article. Had never heard of Operation Jericho or the bombings by us on our own soil.

Btw I too was always intrigued with people who stood up from their seats while the plane was still taxiing, as if they get first dibs on the luggage on carousel or something. Guess its due to the daily competitive grind in our cities where u always have to run to catch a bus, train or grab a seat somewhere

Unknown said...

Eye-Opener for a Non-Mizo....I believe lack of exposure due to several factors such as media coverage, sports coverage, cultural coverage are few reasons for ignorance of non-mizos.Also its just not about mizos but about the entire north-east that this ignorance prevails.I have my relatives staying in north east for many years now but never had the opportunity to visit my country's north eastern part.. whose beauty i can only imagine... All i say is let us have one india identity and shred down our regional identities to act and behave one nation... one identity..imagine an awsome blend of such diveristy in all aspects of life....

Rustam Tiwari said...

Awesome article, is an eye opener!

Unknown said...

A very elaborate and clear description of perception of people of mizoram. Anyone who has been close to mizo community can really relate to it and for others, it can serve as a great insight to the people of mizoram

Sujan Dutta said...

Thank you for this. I will share it with all my friends. I wonder where my friend and neighbour in Bombay in the late '70s-early '80s, Lalthangkima, is today. He was a tearaway fast bowler.

Sujay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
harshad said...

Hi Bro,

Read your blog, not full, but most of it, n m very srry to tell u dat i m one of those guys who ll distiguish people as "chinkis", althought trust me I never meant to offend any 1 in a racial manner, its just the general classf i give to people. But after reading your blog it has just given me an understanding that many people dont like it and they consider it as an abuse, n i surely intend not to do that and hurt some 1. Hencforth, i will make sure i dont do that. Likwise you i also love and respect every part of my country and the northeast the most, and I keep travelling to northeast a lot, I have been to sikkim , arunachal, and assam, and just loved it. I ll be planning for nagaland and mizoram as well soon. I came across your blog on fb and just found the heading intersting. Thanks to you, you have given a very gud n unbias enlightment on the facts and given a very thoughtful ,clear n a bold perspective of urs as well. Very well written bro, keep up the good work.


Kapil Kumar Vijay said...


I got to read your blog (every word of it, thanks to FB) and believe thats wonderfully written. it was very informative to know such things..I was not aware of them earlier. But one thing I want to say that "chinki" word we (at least I am talking about generally) don't use being racially or something ...its just when you see some people different to you recognize them by certain things ...this is how humans happens with other state people also like Gujaratis called Gujju....we did not know it hurts and from the time I knew it did, I personally have stopped using this word (this was never racial to me)...I or say we (the mainland indians) always consider everybody to be Indian be it Kashmiri, Tamil or NE people ( its just that we always hear they áre not happy being a part of India) I've travelled a lot...every part of it except NE (which certainly I will some day) go to Tamilnadu and they will treat you like a foreigner...I mean I can't speak Tamil because I grew up in hindi speaking society..what is my fault....Kashmiris embrace you like any good friend ...lets experience NE to in coming years...and yes that 'Beef' thing know how we treat cows in central of people may not like that...
P.S. Lets all become Indians despite of our differences, respect each other so that we can cherish our society...we have enough outside forces trying to see us apart..let us not give them a chance ...its our family ..we have to save it from the outsiders creeping in...

Unknown said...

well written..awsome article

Rahul M said...

very well written article.Do understand tht ppl from north east are subjected to racist slurs and needs to be stopped .On a personal note i feel India is very much racist divided by colour race as have even noticed some people referring to people with dark complexions as kaalu all which needs to be stopped.Also looking forward to visit mizoram in the near future

Sanju said...

Nice write up brother.....we do consider you as our brothers....and proud of's all politicians and media who have not given enough importance to NE India.... keep up the good work...

ghetufool said...

people who call names beat up their wives at home. never give them more importance than what they deserve. those idiots don't have basic respect for humanity or themselves. they don't even feel they are insulting themselves and not others.
Excellent writeup, I have shared it on my FB (coudn't resist it). Be well!

shy said...


I think this is the story of person from every state of the country. Although the type and intensity of abuse may differ. Once we leave our territory and visit a new state, we are seen upon as strangers. But this is our Country, Diverse. And we must learn to accept all kinds of diversity that there is in the nation, only then can we call ourselves Indians.

Yogesh Jayant Khandke said...

No word about the Mizo Jews and the hatred they faced at the hands of the church! Also the fact that Mizos were animist is mentioned as a legacy to be ashamed of, something that the church indoctrinated the Mizos into thinking! a typical Christian device. Gorkhas also have Mongolian features, I've been living with Gorkha neighbours and co-workers for over four decades, never witnessed racism. I can empathise with the bad governance experience, bad governance is the price we pay for being a democracy, see how the Han Chinese are devouring the Tibetans and the Central Asian minorities, if Mizoram had been a part of China it would either have seen an invasion of Han Chinese or with the ten Lakh population would have been relocated to say Madhya Pradesh, just my $ 0.02

Yogesh Jayant Khandke said...

The plight of the Bnei Menashe

In contrast we have the Bene Israeli, who arrived at the Kokan coast 2000 years ago, peacefully coexisted with Hindus, immigrated to Israel when the opportunity came, and now are building their lives in Beeesheba and Dimona, and today Martathi is one of Israel's smaller languages.

Bhaskar Khaund said...

What an astonishingly good piece K. Tops. Much admiration. This def needs to get published in the mainline media.

Bhaskar Khaund said...

What an astonishingly good piece K. Tops. Much admiration. This def needs to get published in the mainline media.

Anonymity said...

I am a "Mainlander," a Mumbaikar to be precise.

I do consider all North Eastern people Indians; heck, even writing that makes me feel weird. Understand what you guys go through though: the number of times I have berated people for using the term "Chinki" is way too many.

Lovely write-up, and not everyone has forgotten Operation Jericho.

Hope things change as more and more people-to-people interactions happen.

Jatinda said...

Me and my wife stayed in Mizoram for more than 9 months. From begging people to let us stay in their house to crying unconsolably on the farewell dinner that our family there served for us, the journey overwhelmly helped us understand history's perspective in general.

Now, we cant eat masalas anymore and cant do without rice and dal in the morning (we were mumbaities who could do with a vada pav to our office and have late lunch earlier!)

Thanks Mizoram and its people. Credit people for their perceptions, because most of it comes from the history - first hand or second...

Nynol said...

Your comments about "vendorless shops etc" are silly. It is not india vs mizoram. Rather you are just comparing a village lifestyle with a non-village lifestyle.

The points you mentioned are similar to any indian village where everyone knows everyone and people live their lives in slow metabolism.

It's not that people don't know mizoram. We actually know. We know exactly where mizos and chins live. We know the meities and chins and involved in internecine warfare. We know the mizos have evicted other tribal communities out into neighboring tripura. We know the nature of society in mizoram, the involvement of religion in politics at all that.

The point is, mizoram is 20 years behind other indian states is terms of human and societal development. 1/3rd of the NE(except tibetans) fights the other 1/3rd and the other 1/3rd fights the indian army. This doesn't happen in the rest of india. Do you ever see marathis burning down bhaiya villages etc? Or andhras chasing away tamil?

The things that happen in NE are entirely non-indian and on a different level and scale. Yes, india and NE are culturally very different. Absolutely true. If you want mainland india to report NE in a positive light then give it something positive to report, not just sport stars like mary kom and meitei bodybuilders. Change yourselves from a land of numerous war theaters riddled with identity politics to something homogenous. Don't say you are homogenous when clearly you fight blood wars. Just 2 weeks ago, the nagas executed a dozen karbi villagers as revenge.

Is this the homogenous NE you talk about?

Yes, many indians don't know about NE but there are people like me who follow the events NE regularly because of our profession. If we actually started reporting the NE to mainstream india, it would not be a pretty picture because of obvious ongoing events in the NE.

Your regions sad truth is that it won't change in our lifetime. Your kids might but not your generation.

shah kamal khan said...

I m totally dissetisfy with the view of Nynol .. Actually he is comparing Indian culture with incomparable mizo culture which is full of smile, honesty, love, fear of one god and virtue which rest of Indian may learn after 100years .
Person who think vendor less sops are funny seems he/she never imagine of honesty and humanity can exist in this world . Seem like humanity and honesty never exist where he/she living .
And we don't want to see our children's to learn it either to unrest our society . We help each-other for equality in every way we never discriminate poor or unhealthy people we love each-other unlike the place wr u belong to. You can't convert us into inhuman rather you learn from our society abt the true meaning of morality . We are not 20 years behind rather 60 years ahed that's the reason you will not c litter or garbage on the road unlike rest of india . The reason why we fight outsiders is because we love our culture as a whole in terms of morality and humanity and we will continue to fight if external force try to Change us. If one die entire locality keep awake and shuts shops and prey for his/her Marcy unlike rest of india . If any neighbourhood states want to influence our culture we will never gonna accept it as we knew it's gonna be ugly. Because no good results can be seen we are more healthy and beautiful then them and we will fight to keep it at any cost.
The problem with you is that you only following u don't live here so how can u able to judge the ground reality about mizoram . ITS A DREAM LAND YOU NEVER THOUGHT OF AFTER YOU BORN THAT CAN BE EXIST IN THIS WORLD :)

Nynol said...

@shah kamal khan

1) Ethnic politics
2) Christian extremism
3) Ethnic executions
4) Inter-tribal warfares
5) Mass eviction of populations to other states
6) Bomb blasts
7) Nexus between religious nut cases and state
8) Tribal vs Everything Non-tribals
9) Demands for 2 dozen new states
10) Executions of non-mongoloids
11) Demands for 5 new sovereign states
12) Nexus between local politicians and militants who have committed mass executions of ethnic groups
13) Nexus between local politicians and international drug trafficking

and on and on and on

It's sad that the people of north-east themselves fail to see these gigantic flaws in themselves and get have the bandwidth to fight tooth and nail over someone calling them "ch!nkies".

Do I see a light at the end of the tunnel? I rather not answer.

Nynol said...

Btw, you need to understand some cultural traits about indians.

When indians talk about others, it's usually full of "praises". That's why when the indian prime minister goes to iran, he starts his speech with 2 pages worth of words that praise irans history and culture.

You might be getting the wrong information about indians opinions about north-east. Indians will always talk nice about north-east because it is a cultural trait. That's why you see most indians in newspapers and TV praise the north-east as a matriarchal society blah blah.

But you see we already know that it is the women in north-east who wash the clothes and cook the food; not the men. Indians do actually know that NE is not matriarchal. Indians only actually say NE is matriarchal because that the praise which NE wants to hear.

The problem is that the NE has taken the praises from indians very seriously. In the process, the NE has forgot to introspect.

Unknown said...

As someone who belongs to North India... or Too North of North India I can vouch for the treatment that is meted out to people who look different. Mainland India which is usually the plains of India has a habit of thinking India and Indians as themselves only. They might claim the borderlands as part of India but people of border lands are still considered as foreigners. This gets accentuated by the occupationist attitude of armed and para military forces in these areas. So it is uphill task for all of us. As for the ethnic clashes in NE, it is deplorable and it is high time that youth stands up against this mindless violence. But just to level as this flaw with NE people is being myopic about history of ethnic violence in rest of India, Lets use this space to improve our understanding of each other in a positive atmosphere.

Buata Bawihtlung said...

Chhiar a nuam thin hle mai. Indian kan nihna lamah chuan Pu Rualthanzauva chhanna hi ka pawm e. Ka huat deuh chu Mainland (NE ni lo) lama awm, mi pangngai ve hmel deuh deuh ten kan state Mizoram an hre lo thin hi a ni. A awmna lai chiang lo palh te chu ka ngaidam thei, mahse Assam tih vel bak NE ah hriat an nei lo thin hi rilru a lo na ve thin. Mi vantlang hnuai lam chuan hre lo pawh nise a zia a, mahse inti changkang ve takten an hre lo thin hi a mak ka ti. An knowledge zim zia te ka ngaihtuah fo thin.. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu ah ka tawng tawh..

Bd Chawngthu said...

"about indians opinions about north-east" ????
Why do you keep using Indians to describe the mainland people, the north-east are indians too.
The very discrimination is highlighted in the usage of words in your comment.

benjamin rualthanzauva said...

"as most of the Mizo men were in the forests engaged in guerrilla warfare with the army"

Was it?

Nynol said...

@Bd Chawngthu

You yourself are propagating confusions.

The word "indian" is a term identifying a racial group. It's not a nationality.

The mizos/kukis are in reality "chin people" only, not indian.

The arunachalis, sikkimiese are "tibetans", not indian.

The naga people are "naga", not indian.

Geo-politically, the tibetans are part of the indian union by "consent".

On the other hand, the chin and nagas are part of the indian union by "force".

A simple reading of the accession agreements wrt kashmir and north eastern states will reveal how india views its relation with these regions.

When punjab insurgency took off, it was crushed with brute force once and for all because that is what the punjabi politicians in new delhi wanted. With kashmir and NE insurgency, it doesn't do that because delhi politicians do not consider it a "part of india"(different from "indian union").

To crush the insurgency in NE and incorporate it as "part of india", the command needs to come from NE politicians in delhi, as punjabi politicians in delhi did with their own insurgency in the 80s.

But since there are no NE politicians in delhi, there is no decision. It's fate remains hanging.

The non-NE politicians is delhi will not do the job for you. U will have to do it yourself.

Puibawiha said...

In comment-na lam hian Chhiar a nuam

Bharat Verma said...

i have some friends who are from NE...believe me they are like my brothers here...i praise them for their artistic skills, their sense of humour and above all their innocence...I am a north indian, but i feel ashamed when when i see most of us fighting for petty issues, like water, breaking queues on metro station...and wrt to the video TOI got, I saw that video and liked the soldiers for their bravery...what i can assure you here is that I will make more and more friends from NE here and will visit Mizo for sure...god bless and keep writing :)

!! Oxymoron !! said...

The question itself is based on the assumption that the people of Mizoram are in some way outside of being Indian. That annoys me.

That said, I was amazed at so many things (unmanned shops, queue formation). Loved reading (and learning) so much about Mizoram. So much so, that it's on the top of my list of travel destinations now. Cant wait! And thanks for such a comprehensive and lovely post.

And...apologies on behalf of all your Vais for the way you've been made to feel.

Helen Pari said...


Thank you. Your verbal diarrhoea beautifully proves for us our daily challenges of being heard without a defensive and personal attack. For your information, we all know Mizo soceity and politics is not an utopian one, and I bet yours isnt either. But that doesnt negate the fact that its not our regions' imperfection that is our biggest problem, but making ill-informed, arrogant, idiotic people like you understand that its actually your 'everyone else is wrong but me' attitude which is and has always been our biggest problem. So, thank you, again :-)

sandyjaswal said...

Well written. But being a non mizo ANI and having been in Mizoram from age 3 to 18, I hav a slightly different perspective. The racial discrimination I faced in Mizoram is engraved on my mind.The term 'Vai' is mostly used as a derogatory term for people like me. As a child there i was always made to feel so different and so much lesser in every aspect than the Mizos. There was a deep racist tone when the term Vai was used in Mizoram wheras the terms like 'Chinki' used by mainland Indians most of the time is without strong racial overtones as it is the way of calling a person with mongoloid features. By this i do not exonnerate all non mizos as being not racist but the percentage is much smaller. Non mizos may generally be insensitive but that do not make them Racist. Even after having experienced racism in mizoram, i deeply love their culture and the community feeling they share amongst themselves and also the ethics they display in their social behaviour. Only one wishes their condescending behaviour towards non mizos changes. Rest of the post i completely agree. Mizoram is making great progress and i wish i becomes the best State because its inhabited by the most wonderfull people.

Unknown said...

Citizens of India are called indians.
'Indians' doesn't denote a specific race...
....most north indians are 'aryan' race & south indian are 'dravidian' race.
Hope you can now understand what race is all about.

Unknown said...

I am from Mizoram as well, and I personally DO NOT think racism against us will end any time soon. There will be racist feeling among us and other Indians as long as we have a difference in appearance. One little blog comments doesn't solve everything, there were too many times people threw a racist word against me while I was studying in B.Tech in Punjab, and not only in that area, but also in other states like the capital of India, Delhi. I was robbed, ignored etc. Too many things to mention actually,I couldn't complete my studies and my aim in life due to that, I'm not a guy with much patience and I just couldn't tolerate that more. Just saying this "I don't want to be an Indian any longer".

Anonymous said...

We are all one; I hope a day will come where we don't hate each other. the sad truth is that every Indian hates each other. I am a Gujarati and when i went to Madhya Pradesh I was harassed people use to say "oye sala gujju vapass ja tu" .... I hate this about our country Bhaiya. I just want to say it doesn’t matter if you are from Mizoram,Tripura,Gujarat or Punjab we are all and we are all Indian I don’t see states I see a country as a whole. If you are ever in Gujarat please come to Amalsad,Gujarat a very very very small village play some garba. Much Love My friend.