A shocking case of online bullying happened yesterday evening on Twitter. “True Indology” is a well known Twitter handle due to the eye-opening threads he posts on historical events. After being threatened and suspended from Twitter in the past, he had come back as @BharadwajSpeaks. As the Mizo-Assam conflict on the border of these states has been in the news, he wrote a thread detailing the roots of the conflict and historical instances when the Christian Mizos behaved violently towards Hindus of the same state etc.
The thread by TI
The thread by TI(True Indology) has been archived here and had the following facts: –
- Assam is not the only state with which Mizoram has a border dispute.
- Mizoram government imposed Section 144 in a disputed village on border with Tripura(claimed by both states), because a vanvasi organisation named SONGRONGMA was rebuilding a Shiva temple in that village. The temple was opposed as it could result in “law & order problems”. It was also pointed out by TI that the state does not celebrate International Yoga Day as the powerful Christian Churches deem Yoga to be “dipped in Hinduism“.
- TI pointed out that there is not a single reference of the term Mizo before 19th century and it was officially known as Lushai hills. So how did the Mizo identity form?
- The region today inhabited by the “Mizos” was originally inhabited by Reang, who are Hindu vanvasis and Chakmas, who are Buddhist vanvasis.
- According to their own folk-tales, the tribes now called Mizos have origin in a place called Silung, which is somewhere in China. They came to Chin hills of Burma in 17th century and to current location in 19th or 20th century. (Author’s note : Clearly they are not “indigenous” or “aboriginals” of the land. If we take the currently used terms, they are not “moolnivasi” and their DNA is “videshi”).
- There was no common identity of Mizos and they used to fight with each other, behead their enemies and capture women as slaves. The earliest known photo of a Mizo is of a Lushai woman, who had been captured by Mara tribe.
- In early interactions with Assamese, Mizos admired their superior culture and some even wished to be born a vai(a Hindu from plains).
- Missionaries converted the tribes in the Mizoram area to Christian(Author’s note : British millionare Robert Arthington financed the Christian missions to the North East of Bharat. He wanted to Christianise the area, so that Jesus may soon come on earth and grant him salvation. After being refused to preach in Tripura by the Maharaja, they travelled north and set foot in Lushai hills on January 11, 1894. January 11 is now celebrated as Missionary Day in Mizoram. Within half a century, the Mizos had been Christianised.)
- Christian missionaries created a Mizo racial identity and were instrumental in Mizos shedding their traditional culture, dress, religion and script. The new Lushai converts formed a “Young Lushai Association” in 1935. One of the stated aims of the association was to “remove every trace of pre Christian pagan culture among the tribes”. Later, the word “Lushai” was replaced by “Mizo”.
- At the time of independence, a group of Mizos formed “United Mizo Freedom Organisation” and demanded merger with Burma. Later, they created a terrorist organisation named Mizo National Front (MNF) in 1966 with aim was to “kick India out of Mizoram through violent means if necessary.”
- They received support and training from the Pakistan’s ISI, with the present CM being in a leadership position. During 1971 war, he was in East Pakistan and later in Islamabad until 1975.
- During the Mizo insurgency, 34000 Hindu Reangs(Bru) were violently targeted and forced to migrate from Mizoram to Tripura. Pu Laldenga, who later became CM of Mizoram, had given the slogan of “Mizoram is for Mizos only“
Threat by Swaraj Kaushal
This was when Swaraj Kaushal, husband of late Sushma Swaraj, threatened TI with consequences of what he is writing. The threat of FIR and spending many years in jail resulted in TI not only deleting his thread, but also his account. This was when not a single one of the assertions made in the thread was untrue or without backing of reputed citations.
If the threat was not clear, he made it clearer in a later tweet.
Swaraj was the lawyer who defended Laldenga in a case in 1979 and thereafter was appointed the “constitutional advisor” of the Mizo National Front. He negotiated the Mizo peace accord, which was signed in 1986. Thereafter, Laldenga became CM of Mizoram and all cases against MNF were dropped. Swaraj was appointed the Advocate General of Mizoram in 1987. Later he became Governor of Mizoram in 1990 and remained on the post till 1993. Later, he was a Rajya Sabha MP from Haryana Vikas Party from 1998 to 2004. This was the period, when his wife was a minister in NDA governments. His party later merged with Congress.
Clearly, he has been a friend to Mizos for a long time and his feelings about them are natural. However, threatening someone for telling facts as they are cannot be justified in any manner.
Reconciliation : by truth or by deception?
The argument Swaraj gives for restraining others to speak out the truth is that it may disturb peace and tranquillity in the country. According to him true patriots must do noting to disturb the peace and tranquillity. This begets a lot of questions.
One wonders what would have happened if Sri Krishna had advised Arjuna to be a “true patriot” in Kurukshetra? Is the current situation on the Assam- Mizoram border signalling “peace and tranquillity”? How was TI sharing some facts about Mizoram history, all backed by reputed sources, “an offence to create disaffection against an ethnic group”? If the peace that he negotiated so fragile that a single tweet thread can destroy that? When forward castes are called “videshi” and Brahmins described as the root cause of all social evils in Bharat, why is this offence not invoked?
The attempt to establish peace by lies or misrepresentation is not going to be permanent in any case. We have already tried it with our history of medieval period, where Muslims have been glorified and the barbaric deeds of Afghans, Turks and Mughals are papered over. Truth always finds a way to come out.
Thus, can any reconciliation happen without truth? Many Mizos are clearly not yet reconciled to Bharat and the official acceptance of their narrative paints the country in bad light. This is apart from the racial and religious exclusivism that many Christian majority states in north-east harbour. The restriction on truth hurts any chance that Bharat has to integrate Mizoram completely. A one sided narrative will only cement the position of separatists, who are active even today in the north-east.
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