By Paritosh Chakma
Sat, May 22, 2010 09:40:14 IST
ANOTHER SHAMEFUL act of physical attack on Buddhist monks has come to light in Mizoram. On May 20, 2010, two Buddhist monks were physically manhandled, harassed and humiliated by two passengers while travelling in a government Mizoram State Transport (MST) bus from Aizawl to Marpara.
The Buddhist monks identified as venerable Kabidananda Bhikku and venerable Gautamananda Bhikku from Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) were on their way to Marpara village in Lunglei district. When the MST bus reached Phuldungsei town in Mamit district, 147 km from Aizawl, two passengers (aged between 25 and 30 years) began to harass them. The accused pulled the ears of venerable Gautamananda Bhikku while the other monk was not allowed to sleep in his own seat.
The accused asked the monks, “Why are you wearing this kind of clothes,” referring to the saffron robe of the Buddhist monks and pulled the ears of venerable Gautamananda Bhikku in a very demeaning manner.
All this was going on in front of other passengers but none intervened. Among the passengers were three Chakmas – one male and two females but they too could not pull up courage to protest.
The victimised Buddhist monks have confirmed the incident to this writer over the phone. They have told this writer that their ordeal ended only when the two accused passengers got off at Pukzing village about 18 km from Marpara.
This is the second case of physical attacks on Buddhist monks in two days. Earlier on the night of May 19, 2010, Buddhist monk, venerable Kacchayana Bhikku (also a Chakma) was brutally assaulted by unidentified Mizo miscreants in the same route near Phuldungsei in Mamit district.
Buddhists constitute about eight per cent in Christian dominated Mizoram. Chakmas who are Buddhists have alleged marginalisation and discrimination in the state which is considered the most peaceful state in the North East India. On May 24, 2008, then Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) of West Phaileng, Sangthuama in an official communication threatened the elected village head of Khantlang village in Mamit district to stop all welfare facilities/schemes enjoyed by the Chakma villagers of Khantlang if they refused to allot land for construction of a Presbyterian Church there.
Read: Is Mizoram becoming a radical society?, http://paritosh-chakma.blogspot.com/2010/05/is-mizoram-becoming-radical-society.html