Continuing with part 2 of this series, here's a brief recap:
Assam Police and Mizoram Police had clashed on 26/7 due to an ongoing border dispute, which resulted in the unfortunate demise of six policemen from Assam's side. The incident shook the nation, and Mizoram & Mizos have been the target of various false allegations and online abuses since then.
In my previous post, I had debunked some of the popular lies about Mizoram that were being forwarded all over social media. Those points included:
#1. "Miscreants shot Assam Police".
#2. "Shootout happened inside the buffer zone".
#3. "Civilians attacked Assam Police unprovoked".
#4. "Mizoram Police fired first".
#5. "Mizoram Police is the aggressor".
#6. "Mizo civilians used sophisticated weapons".
#7. "Mizo Police celebrated the deaths of people".
I do recommend you read my previous post [click link] first in case you haven't yet, before reading this post.
The number of different crazy allegations and conspiracies against Mizoram out there is just mind-blowing. As one allegation is debunked, two others would pop out in its place with even more ridiculous claims, pretty much like the Lernaean Hydra of Greek mythology.
The list is endless, from blaming Nehru for the clash to accusing Mizoram government of being controlled by the Chinese government, the Bangladesh government, the Pakistan government, the US government, and finally the Vatican.
As Rahul Mukherji correctly pointed out, most of these people don't even understand the region or geo-political issues as they happily spread such false news, completely unchecked by Twitter or Ministry of Home Affairs.
My friend Jacqueline too hit the nail right on the head with this tweet:
I'm not going to debunk such lies in this post as they are just too ridiculous to even deserve a response. Many of these accounts too have fewer than 100 followers, so in this post, I will continue focussing on just the lies stated by official accounts and the CM of Assam Pu Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Lie #8. "Violence is due to Cattle Preservation Bill".
You know you're slowly winning the popularity war and support of Indians when HBS has to resort to such desperate measures. HBS suggested that external forces could be involved in the clash between Mizoram Police and Assam Police because of Assam's Cattle Preservation Bill 2021.
Here is his exact statement on Times of India:
Seriously, beef? Our beef with Assam is because of beef?
We Mizos of course love beef. But I'm sorry to inform the respected CM of Assam that beef is NOT our favourite meat. For Mizos, our number 1 favourite meat will always be pork. Yummm!
We love our pork sooo much that we even have a popular saying in Mizo, "Sunday vawksa hmeh ni" which loosely translates to "Yayyy its Sunday, we'll be eating pork!" (Because Sunday is considered a holy day for us and it is a day when we dress in our best attire to Church and eat the best meat in our pantry, which is pork).
If you take a poll right now across Mizoram on what their favourite meat is, I predict the popularity of pork to be around 70%, followed by chicken and beef at 15% each.
Now had HBS instead said he was trying to ban pork in Mizoram (he can't, but hypothetically speaking, let's just assume he can), then you can very well expect a bloody riot all across Mizoram! But beef? Meh...
Also, the number of cows imported to Mizoram isn't much. According to Pu Lalremliana Khawlhring, Addl Director of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, Mizoram, the total number of cows imported into Mizoram from Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Bangladesh and Myanmar from the year 2016 to 2020 are 1313, 1675, 1256 and 1264 respectively.
Pu Lalremliana also told me that from the above figures, a large portion, around 80%, are from the East as well, so the number of cows coming in from Assam is extremely small. So yes, do you really think Mizoram would be fighting with Assam over this?
Beef is not the issue with Mizoram, just as how it is not the issue with Meghalaya and Assam. Let's leave it at that.
Lie #9. "Mizoram Govt is distributing arms to civilians".
This statement was made by Cachar DC Keerthi Jalli.
Now I know what you're thinking. "When did Mizoram start having insurgents again?" Yeah, we're as baffled as you are. We're in the year 2021. Every educated Indian today knows that Mizoram is the most peaceful state in North East, with no insurgency problem or civilians totting around with guns.
There is no gun culture in Mizoram, so why would Mizoram government distribute arms to civilians when none of them had any experience in using one? A loaded gun in the arms of an untrained civilian is more dangerous than the one carried by an enemy.
You would expect an IAS officer of Keerthi ma'am's calibre to know all this, right?
If Assam Govt had such evidence that Mizoram Govt was indeed distributing arms and ammunition to civilians, they should report this matter directly to the Home Minister, instead of just claiming it on national media.
In fact, I hope they report it if they really have proof. This is a very serious allegation. I definitely do not want my drunk neighbour U Liana roaming around with a loaded gun at 3 in the morning screaming, "wHYyy DoESn'T sHe LoVe mEEEE!"
Lie #10. "Most of these armed civilians are former militants, who are trained".
This is the funniest part of the above statement made by Cachar DC Keerthi Jalli. She said the arms and ammunitions are distributed to civilians "who are mostly former militants, hence trained". Oh my. Oh my my. Does Keerthi ma'am not know that our so called "former militants" are all in their 80's and 90's today? :D
Trained? Probably potty trained, yes. That's the only type of training that matters to family members of these "former militants". Train them to find their spectacles or false teeth. That kinda training.
Our CM Pu Zoramthanga, who was one of the youngest people to join the armed struggle back then, is currently 77 years old. I mean, just look at the man. He's a sharp shooter with his mouth, not with a gun. :)
Can you imagine some of these old grandpas moving slowly towards the Assam border, unable to differentiate between their gun and their walking stick, shouting at the top of their voices among themselves due to hearing defects, "SHOOT HIM", "SHOOT WHO?", "DID SOMEBODY SAY BAMBOO SHOOT?", "I'M HUNGRY", "SCREW THIS, I'M GONNA TAKE A NAP".
Ahhh, what a funny and cute sight that would be!
While many Mizos are infuriated at Keerthi Jalli for lying, personally speaking, I don't blame her. Civil servants in India have one of the toughest jobs when it comes to morality. If they disagree with the ruling government or say anything to jeopardise a political propaganda, they are immediately transferred. And this holds true for any political party, regardless of whether it is BJP or Congress or any other party in power.
Of all the Indian states, we Mizos should know better, after all, Mizoram is now considered as the "dumping ground for governors" where party dissidents are transferred to as a form of "punishment" (11 different governors in the past 10 years).
We also saw what happened to our beloved Aizawl District Magistrate Pu Kannan Gopinathan when he went against the system. Hence, I think it is not surprising to find Keerthi ma'am speak this way as she's just securing her future. Let us not divert our attention from the fact that she only said what HBS had instructed her to.
Lie #11. "Violence happened because Assam refused asylum to Myanmar refugees".
HBS claimed that Mizoram had asked Assam if they could accommodate Myanmar refugees in their state, to which he apparently said no, hence it was "one of the reasons why the violence between Assam and Mizoram took place".
I mean, at this point, I don't even roll my eyes up anymore, for fear of suffering permanent damage.
For my non-Northeastern readers, let me do a quick refresher's course. Here's a map of the major ethnic groups in Myanmar according to reliefweb.
As you can see from the above map, a large Chin population in Myanmar live adjacent to Mizoram on India's side, just as a significant Naga population in Myanmar live adjacent to Nagaland. Chins and Mizos are the same people, divided by an international border.
Remember, these international borders were drawn at the whims and fancies of old white men who had no proper acknowledgement of the history and geography of the region. Till today, everybody in Mizoram says, "The largest lake in Mizoram is Rih Dil, it lies in Burma".
Due to the recent Myanmar coup, there had been a few incidents of Chin refugees seeking asylum in Mizoram. Mizoram Home Minister Pu Lalchamliana clearly stated that Mizoram had never asked Assam to settle the refugees in their state.
And why would Mizoram do that? Think, people, think. It doesn't make any sense to do that.
These Chin refugees ran with their lives to Mizoram and not any other place, simply because we are the same people. We speak the same language, follow the same custom and share the same tradition. They find comfort and solace in our state. Why would they want to settle in a completely different community that is foreign to them?
Just imagine there's a coup in India. You're from Amritsar and you have to take refuge in Pakistan. Would you rather take refuge in the Punjab province of Pakistan or Balochistan province? Or say you're a Hindu from Rajasthan, would you rather take refuge in Umerkot district of Sindh province or Abbottabad district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province?
Likewise, relocating Chin refugees to Assam is a nonsensical accusation.
With that, I'll come to the end of this post. I have covered 4 more lies about Mizoram currently being spread on social media, and I'll be covering about the "drug mafia" accusation in my next post, so do kindly visit again.
If you have come across any new lies or false accusations against Mizoram not covered in my posts yet, kindly do mention me on twitter @Mizohican and I'll take note. So until then, take care everyone.