Sinlung /
18 July 2013

Unsung Mizo Heroes


Jorhat, Jul 18 :
A literary-cum-publishing organisation of Assam has stumbled on some interesting facts about unsung heroes of Mizoram, who resisted the British invasion to the erstwhile Lushai Hills while researching for a book on the history of undivided Assam.
While doing preliminary research for the project to bring out 100 volumes in Assamese pertaining to all kinds of historical accounts of the region encompassing the northeastern states that earlier were part of Assam, Asom Jatiya Prakash found various facts about unsung Mizo heroes, who had resisted the British invasion to the Lushai Hills.
The secretary of the Asom Jatiya Prakash, Devabrata Sharma, told this correspondent that the possibility of an English translation of the same was also being considered.
In its earlier project during the last decade, the group published the largest Assamese lexicon in several volumes, with over two lakh words of languages spoken by all communities and indigenous groups in Assam.
He said the first phase of the project was planned for 10 volumes to chronicle under the title — A Complete History of Freedom Movement of North-East, India — and is expected to be ready by the end of 2018.
“There are a large number of unsung martyrs and freedom fighters in the region, who had opposed the British armed aggressions in the 19th century, who needs to be adequately focused on and that is our aim,” Sharma, the editor of the project, said.
Sharma said last week, a four-member team, led by him, visited Aizawl as part of research and visited the Mizoram State Archives and have come across a lot of information and historical documents of the British administrators that sheds lot of light on the armed movements by tribal chiefs and persons.
Tribal chiefs like Kairuma, Jaduna, Lalbura, and woman leader like Ropuliani and her son had opposed the British expedition to Lushai Hills with Lalbura and Roipuliani sacrificing their lives for the cause.
He said papers dating back to late 19th century of the British administration (commissioner’s office) in Chittagong Hill Tracts (now in Bangladesh) and from Burma (Myanmar) throw light on the intelligence gathering on the hills before the military invasion.
Apart from collecting information on the geography and topography of the places the British wanted to capture, information on the movements of the tribal leaders opposed to the British reign, have been found in the archives.
Sharma said minute details on planning military attacks on the hills are mentioned in the documents, which are over 130 years old.
The project editor said the team had several meetings with various prominent organisations of Mizoram related to history, academics, culture and literature, including Mizo Academy of Letters, Mizo History Association, Assam Cultural Society (Mizoram).
He said all the bodies have promised to extend their cooperation to the project.
Aizawl Government College principal and North East India, History Association president Sangkima, Mizo History Association vice-president J.V. Hluna, Mizo Academy of Letters president Lalthangfala Sailo and retired IAS officer, who served in different parts of Assam, Romingthanga were among the prominent people with whom discussions were held.
“We will soon visit other states in the region as part of our groundwork,” Sharma said. He said historians, archaeologists, geologists and academicians will be involved in the project.

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