Sinlung /
02 February 2015

Demand To Rewrite Mizo History

This undated photo shows a ceremonial slaying of a gayal. Such photos of traditional Mizo rituals are extremely rare (above); Lushai (a Mizo tribe) chiefs at Kolkata during a meeting called by the British. The photo is from 1872, soon after the first military expedition into what is now Mizoram, following violent conflict over land rights.


By Santanu Ghosh


Aizawl, Feb 2
: The Mizoram Institute of Advanced Studies will ask leading intellectuals and historians of the state to draw up a consensus on rethinking of Mizo history.The institute is a newly floated think-tank in Mizoram on historical and contemporary studies, funded jointly by the Centre and the Mizoram government.

The state's health minister, Lathanzara, who presided over the first conference of the institute at the secretariat in Aizawl last week, said there was a long-pending demand for a renewed appraisal of the origins of the Mizo people.

Mizo is a common name for the conglomeration of different Indo-Mongoloid tribes, who had migrated from Southeast Asia from the beginning of the 17th century.

Lalthanzara said a number of present-day Mizo historians and intellectuals have felt that the history of the Mizo people, as documented by administrators and army top brass during the British rule, has been wrongly documented.

Hence, he added, there is a need to "rethink and rewrite" the history of the Mizo people and their migration from Southeast Asia, particularly Cambodia, to Mizoram, in the light of new documents and recent appraisals by contemporary historians.

Some of the documents and the histories of the Mizo people by the British rulers and army men are G.A. Grierson's Lingustic Survey of India, Edward Gait's A History of Assam, W.W. Hunter's A Statistical Account of Assam, Major T.H. Lewin's Chittagong Hills Tract and Dwellers Therein, J.M. Lloyd's History of Mizo Church and Alexander Mackenzie's The Hill Tribes of Northeast Frontier of Bengal.

Other books by British authors are E.R. Leach's Political Systems of Highland Burma, A.G. McLall's The Lushai Chrysalis, N. Parry's The Lakhers, C.A. Soppit's A Short Account of Kuki Lushais and J. Shakespeare's The Lushai-Kukie Clans.

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