The Mizo Uprising: Assam Assembly Debates on the Mizo Movement, 1966-1971
Author: Dr. J. V. Hluna and Rini Tochhawng
Date Of Publication: Sep 2012
From March 1, 1966 when the Mizo National Front declared independence, to June 30, 1986 when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the MNF and the Indian Government, the peace-loving Mizo people were caught in the midst of a devastating war. Records of this twenty-year period are rare, as the very keeping of written accounts was considered a crime against the government. The Mizo Hills was a district in India’s state of Assam and the Assam Legislative Assembly Debates from 1966 to 1972 are one of the few official records available of the period. Members of the Assembly bring to light significant events during the course of the insurgency, including India’s only aerial attack against its own citizens on March 5, 1966 and the re-settlement of eighty percent of the Mizo Hills’ population, reminiscent of South Vietnam’s Agrovilles. The book traces the twenty-year movement through these debates, supplementing them with notes on the course of events gleaned through extensive research leading up to the creation of the state of Mizoram in 1986. The Mizo Peace Accord remains one of the most successful accords in the world and Mizoram one of the most peaceful states in India.
Dr. J. V. Hluna is widely accepted as an expert on insurgency research. He has been teaching history for over 35 years and has published books both in English and Mizo. As well as numerous papers on the subject, the books Church and Political Upheaval in Mizoram (in English) and Zawlkhawpui Senmei Chan Ni Kha (in Mizo) are two of his best known works with special regard to the question of conflict and peace in Mizoram. As a social and political activist, he has been instrumental in reviving academic interest on the Mizo Insurgency and continues to work for the protection and preservation of Mizo historical records. His other areas of specialization include the histories of the church and education in Mizoram.
Rini Tochhawng is a student of folk narrative. She also teaches undergraduate English courses and has been actively involved in research and production of insurgency literature.
“The years of insurgency in Mizoram remain the darkest period in the known history of the land and its people. The very nature of the counter operations – restricting freedom of expression and annihilating existing records – have made it even more difficult to access the history [of] this recent past. In the twenty-five years since the conclusion of peace, mouths that were previously gagged have been loosened and we now have a small body of work that may safely be called ‘insurgency literature’. This book, by an acknowledged expert and authority on the subject, is a welcome addition to this body of work . . . [The book] gives the reader an additional insight into the state of affairs ignited by the [Mizo National Front (MNF)] insurrection. Told from the differing perspectives of the two authors – one who was a witness and the other initiated by interest – the book offers astute observations on pertinent issues including Village Grouping, implementation of the [Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)] and the use of air power in the operations. Although historical, the book is formatted not on chronology, but rather on issues the authors have sought to highlight, making it especially helpful for a study of the insurgency. The many personal accounts and recounting of witnesses to life-changing events make it interesting, and the readable language also contributes to making the book an essential addition to any collection of literature on revolt and the process of peace.”
– Dr. Tawnenga, Principal, Pachhunga University College, Aizawl, Mizoram
“Dr. J. V. Hluna and Rini Tochhawng have painstakingly collected the Assembly Proceedings which chronicle the sequence of developments in the hill state and how they were viewed, questioned and debated by the legislators. It also recorded the Government’s response to the crisis. Dr. J. V. Hluna is a very senior Mizo historian, who not only has actually seen the troubled times, but has meticulously collected and preserved the documents of the period which were destroyed during army raids in their original office. Dr. Hluna has already written extensively on various aspects of the twenty year insurgency period and is a known name in Mizo history. This time he is joined by his worthy daughter Rini Tochhawng, and jointly, they have put together this immensely important volume of documents which recorded the developments. It is a minefield of information . . . an invaluable piece of work for researcher[s] and a repository of information for the general reader. [R]esearchers and readers of Mizo history now have ready material in one book and need not search [through] the archives. I congratulate the authors for rendering this service to the discipline of history and strongly recommend it to the growing community of researchers on the history and politics of north east India.”
– Sajal Nag, Professor of History, Assam University, Silchar
Price Uk Gbp: 49.99
Price Us Usd: 74.99
Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)