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No Ram in Mizo‘Ram’

In a conversation with a Christian Missionary in Calcutta, Swami Vivekanand asked. ‘What would you do if someone insulted your mother? ’ The Missionary answered. ‘I would fall upon him, sir and teach him a good lesson.’

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‘Bravo!’ said the Swami. ‘Now, if you had the same positive feeling for your religion, your mother, you could never see any Hindu brother converted to Christianity. Yet you see this occurring every day, and you are quite indifferent. Where is your faith? Where is your patriotism? Every day Christian missionaries abuse Hinduism to your face, and yet how many are there amongst you whose blood boils with righteous indignation and who will stand up its defense?’

Mizoram is the only Indian state which has unconstitutionally declared itself as a Christian state. No other Indian state has an official religion. In the hilly forests surrounding Kanchanpur, spread over five camps, live the displaced Reangs. The Reangs, also known as the Bru, are a designated Scheduled Tribe spread in the states of Tripura, Mizoram and Assam, along with some Chittagong hill tracts of neighboring Bangladesh. Reangs consider themselves as the followers of Hindu Saint Kashyapa. We all know that Kashmiri Pandits were thrown out of Kashmir because they refused to convert but not many aware of the plight and suffering of Reangs. Sixteen years before Reangs forced to leave Mizoram, Christian majority state, for refusing to convert.

Some victims of Reang massacre living in refugee camps told their horrific stories. At the Ashapara Camp Shri Om Prakash Trehan a noted thinker met with one of victim Ringku Reang. She told him about the horrific incident when 15 years ago, hundreds of Mizo youth armed with machetes and guns, accompanied with a group of Mizoram armed police, attacked her village, torched many houses, killed many and raped many women. She further told that she was raped by goons and his husband was killed in front of her. The goons looted chickens, pigs and all grains that Bru had.

Lalfakaemi, President Bru Displaced Women’s Welfare Committee at the Hamsepara Camp stated that 150 Reang women were raped, many young girls being forcibly taken away.

Mizo fundamentalist groups not only took away Bru’s right to live in Mizoram but also took away their right to vote. Election Commission had to deferred the election dates for 2014 Elections for Mizoram to April 11 from April 9. The EC decision followed the 72-hour state-wide bandh called by the joint NGO Coordination in protest against the exercise of franchise by Bru voters in six relief camps through postal ballots.

Secular fabrics of our nation in pursuit of cheap vote bank politics never debated for the rights of Kashmiri Pandits and Reangs but stalling Parliament over the issue of Ghar Wapsi.

Writer is an independent Researcher