Memoranda : PNC, 1960

MEMORANDUM
Submitted by the Paite National Council
for
Re-unification of the Zomis of India, Burma and Pakistan under one Country

To,

The Prime Minister,
Government of India,
New Delhi

Submitted by the Paite National Council to the Prime Minister of India for the Re-unification of Zomis of India and Burma under one country.

We, the undersigned, in continuation of the resolutions passed at the Annual General Assembly of the Paite National Council held at Hanship village from the 10th to 13th October, 1957 and at Mualnuam village from the 6th to 8th February,1960 and the Memorandum submitted thereof, have the honour to submit this Memorandum of ours again in pursuance of the resolution passed at the General Meeting of the Paite National Council held at Hiangtam Lamka village from the 27th to 29th May,1960 with a request that Government of India, with good-will and under standing, will take initiative as to group all Chin people inhabiting the Indo Burma border areas within one country as specified and justified herein for the safe-guard of their economic, social, political rights, etc.

[1] Re-Unification of The Chin People into One Territory

The name “Chin”: The word “Chin” is supposed by some Authorities to be a corruption of Chinese word “Jen” or “Man”. It is related to names such as Chingpa, China, Shan, Siam etc. Many leaders have always attempted to interpret the word Chin as analogous to Kuki. there has been no difference of opinion that there are some, of course, Kuki stock of people. But there is a gulf of arbitrary difference between Chins and Kukis in the sense of grading or grouping system. The identity of the Chins can be best verified in the Linguistic Survey of India, Volume III, Part III by G.A. Grierson, I.C.S.; Ph.D; D. Litt; C.I.E. because the Author who collected the Data, Specimen and Records by referring to 30 Authorities, was an authorized one by the British Indian Government. Thus, according to this Book, under Chin, as a genius, come all the Kuki tribes and other various tribes; whereas Kuki as a species is a sub-group of Chin or in other words, Kuki is another grouping system excluding some tribes under Chin. Hence Chin is a wider denotation and Kuki a narrower denotation.

[2] THE ORIGIN OF THE CHINS

The Chins are believed to be of Chinese origin as supported by Bamboo-reed musical instrument and others. The traditional memory claimed their remote original place as a Cave in China where, for fear of enemies, they hid themselves; which is interpreted in different dialects as Sinlung in Hmar and Khul in Paite and other languages. Thus in view of the tradition and history, the Khul Union as assigned to the place of their origin was once constituted as a political reconciliation by some leaders in Manipur. Nothing of their sojourn is known beyond this cave-period till they settled in Burma. But there is a traditional belief that during their sojourn some of them migrated to Siam and some through the Northern Hilly Tracts of Burma. However, the fact is that the Chins are Tibeto-Burmese origin as also manifested in the Linguistic Survey of India. The fact of their relation with Tibetans is revealed amongst others by some common dialects of which mention may be made of ‘Five’ and ‘three’ which are pronounced as ‘Nga’ and ‘Thum’ respectively in both Tibetan and Chin dialects. Then within the memory of man, some of them migrated through the Chin Hills and settled in the Manipur Hills, Mizo District, Tripura Hills, Chittagong Hill Tracts and North Cachar Hills; and this is still proved by the names of villages which the Chins carried from place to place during the period of their sojourn.

[3] THE PEOPLES OF CHIN

In this respect also, the Linguistic Survey of India is the most reliable source of information which easily and apparently revealed who the Chin are, from the view point of Anthropology. The word “Chin” is synonymous and is used to denote the various hill tribes of Burma, Manipur, Mizo District, Tripura, North Cachar Hills in India and of the Arakan and Chittagong Hill Tracts of Pakistan. Even Manipur language is said to have originated from the Chin stock as Meitei-Chin. Attempts have always been made by some leaders to group all the tribal of Manipur, except the Nagas, into Kuki just to confuse the authorities and some leaders by citing the Government’s records. This is wrong analogy and is connoted due to the fact that during the British Regime, some Kuki officials who manned the key posts personally enticed the British officers that no proper, correct data and records could be assessed as to record some tribes to the effect of their genetical existence and to the true picture of their ethnology, with a result that many tribal communities were whimsically misnamed as Kukis. Again emphasis has always been made by some leaders that the same stock of people are called Kukis in the Republic of India, and Chins in the Union of Burma or a Chin becomes Kuki the moment he crosses the Indo-Burma border and vice-versa. This fickle change of nomenclature, as if metamorphosis, is nothing but too fictious.

Opinions may be differ and leaders may claim as belonging to one group or another, and also published some self interested books like “Thado-Kuki Clan” so as to include all other tribes under their whimsical encirclement. But no other information, data, specimen and records are more accurate and reliable than that of the Linguistic Survey of India by G. A. Grierson. Thus according to page 2 and 3 of this Book, under the Chins of India, over and above that of Burma, come the following tribes:

Thado 
Ralte
Lai
Bangjogi
Bete
Aimol
Jiroi-Lamgang
Purum
Chinme
Yindu
Khami
Sokte
Paite
Lakher
Pankhu
Allam
Anal
Kolren
Hmar
Welaung
Chibon
Siyin
Tashon
Lushei
Rangkhol
Langrong
Chiru
Kom
Cha
Chimbok
Khyang or Sho

These peoples, as Chin tribes, form a distinct ethnological unit and closely related to one another linguistically, traditionally, socially, culturally, physically, historically, etc. The Chins, unlike the Nagas, can converse with a clear understanding in their respective dialects.

[4] THE TERRITORY OF CHINS

According to an unbiased Anthropologist, as manifested in the Book of Linguistic Survey of India, the territory inhabited by the Chin tribes extends from the Naga Hills in the North down into the Saudoway District of Burma in the South, from the Mytha river of Burma in the East almost to the Bay of Bengal in the West. Hence, the territory of Chin had been demarcated as to include some part of India and Burma and their existence of geographical bounds also had been circumscribed by their consolidated ethnological inhabitant of these areas. Moreover, though the territory due to the Divide and Rule Policy of the British, was artificially disintegrated into main Divisions; yet the International Boundary, the Mac-Mohan Line, which is the basic point of Sino-Indo border dispute, still seals Burma as a part and parcel of India.

[5] THE RELATIONSHIP OF CHINS OF INDIA AND BURMA

Mentioned has already been made of their ethnology that all the tribal peoples, other than the Nagas in the Indo-Burma border areas, are called Chins and no sane tribal of this region could deny of their relations with the tribal peoples of Burma and of the recent migration from the Chin Hills of Burma to India. As such, the ethnological unit or origin and the relationships of the Chins of Burma and India have been conspicuously transmitted through their culture, social life, history, tradition, language, poetry and songs and customs as marked by their uniform celebrations of National Festivals, etc. So is the case in many other aspects of their daily life and administration. There may be slight variations in the dialects, but the Chins, unlike the other tribal people, can converse in their respective dialects freely. And the chain of their relationship is circumscribed not only by geographical bounds but more often by racial unity. The Chins of Burma and India have and still maintain a distinctive culture and social life of their own which have been pervaded through ages in poetry and songs with thoughtful and meaningful ideas. The feeling of their blood relationship has been imbibed so much in them that no constitution on earth or no existing law will justify this separation of Chin people who had been living together through ages without bar and segregation.

[6] THE POLITICAL STATUS OF THE CHINS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER BRITISH REGIME

The Chins lived in a complete independence before the British Regime without any outside interference whatsoever from any quarter, and no part of her territory was ever subjugated under Burmese or Indian administration. They even raised into the plains of Burma. The contiguous area inhabited by the Chins as already mentioned was a compact and homogeneous one. But as far as in the Nineteenth Century, the British came and eventually conquered the Chins (in all nearly 7,000 guns were taken from the tribes between 1893 and 1896) and the area was arbitrarily divided under them for administrative convenience by disintegrating it into Chin Hills, Manipur, Tripura, Arakan, Chittagong Hill Tracts and North Cachar Hills. The land so conquered was annexed to their administration. Even then the Chins in various regions were still knitted together by common tradition, custom and culture, mode of living, language and social life. During the British Regime, the Chins of Burma and India freely mixed together and lived harmoniously. As there was no restriction of movement as is imposed today there was free intermarriage and social and commercial trading intercourse amongst them. They administered themselves in accordance with their own customary laws and ways. It was rather a sovereign land where the people enjoyed a perfect harmony of their own, and their recognition attributed by the Government was the levying of Nominal House Tax by the British. When Burma was partitioned from India in 1937, we were not consulted nor were a chance given to us to explain what we were and are.

When India was in the threshold of Independence from the shackles of foreign domination, the terms were agreed upon that Burma and Pakistan would also be given self domination status. Thus the Chins have undisputable right of regaining their former political status. But, unfortunately, no such provisions were guaranteed to the Chins nor were they given a chance to claim perhaps, due to their ignorance and unconsciousness of their political fate. Inspite, the artificial Indo-Burma boundary demarcated by the British was secretly confirmed between the contracting parties themselves without considering the culture, custom, history, tradition, relation, economic condition, political rights, etc. of the Chin people of these regions. This Division not only leads to the detriment of the people’s weal but deprives of their political, economic and social rights and is quite unfair, unconditional, undetermined and unadaptable because no strong voice as to preserve their fundamental rights can be raised from either side.

Since no part of the Chin Territory was ever subjugated under the Burmese or Indian Government and the Chins enjoyed their self-administration before the British annexation; they after the British let the country, have legitimate right to be free again. But when India achieved her independence in 1947, the Chins in this region were too ignorant and illiterate as to determine what future form of political status would be most desirable and conducive form them and for the Indian independence. They in the true sense were far from being realized, and subsequently some part of the Chin areas were annexed to Burma and some to India without their knowledge. The consequence is that while the other brethren of India, for more than ten years of keen exercising their right to enjoy self-determination to solve their political destiny, the Chins have been neglected too much and given no chance other than the step-motherly treatment as a second rate citizens, to enjoy such status irrespective of their legitimate right and of provision incorporated in Indian Constitution for minorities and tribes. Hence something could be done for their preservation and checking all these shortcomings and maladjustment by re-uniting all the Chin tribes, for they will surely succumb sooner or later to extinction and extermination, and may even cause costly and irreparable loss. Thus for a stable and sound administration of the country and as our legitimate rights, we, for and on behalf of all the Chin peoples, put forth this demand for the re-unification of the Chins within one country where every community can has District or Division or Region for the preservation of their fundamental rights.

Therefore, for all the facts and reasons enumerated above, we approach the Government of India with good-will and understanding to take initiative step immediately as to re-unite all the Chin tribes into one Territory by rectifying the artificial demarcation of the boundary between India and Burma as specified thereof.

Yours faithfully,

Dated: the 30th May, 1960
Churachandpur

Sd/- T. GOUKHENPAU
President,
Paite National Council

Sd/- S. VUNGKHOM 
Chief Secretary
Paite National Council

(Source: True Copy)

 

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