Monday, May 16, 2011

Chakmas decry 'racist' Lalthanhawla

Chakma organizations criticized Mizoram Chief Minister Lalthanhawla for his alleged racist remarks against Chakmas and other communities. They asked the Chief Minister to desist from racial discrimination and work for welfare of minorities.

By Paritosh Chakma

ON MAY 14, 2011, eleven Chakma students’ and social organisations strongly condemned the alleged racist statement made by Mizoram Chief Minister Lalthanhawla against Chakmas and other communities as reported in a vernacular Mizo daily. 

The Aizawl Post had reported that the Chief Minister while speaking at a function organised by Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) to felicitate the HSLC toppers at Vanappa Hall, Aizawl on 27 April 2011 called the Chakmas as “hnawksak” (“nuisance”) in Mizoram, and referred to Brus as “Tuikuk” (literal meaning: “water insects”), and other mainstream non-tribals as “vai chheho”, which literally means “useless or insignificant people”.

In a joint statement, the Chakma organisations stated that such kind of “racist” remarks/references against other communities coming out from the state’s Chief Minister is uncalled for, highly objectionable and has the potential to create further sense of fear, insecurity and alienation in the minds of the minority communities in the state.

“We consider the alleged statement/speech of Chief Minister Lalthanhawla as “racial profiling” against the Chakma community and insult to all the Chakmas. Racial profiling/ racial discrimination is explicitly prohibited under national and international laws”, stated the joint statement signed by representatives of eleven Chakma organisations.

The joint statement added that “Chief Minister Lalthanhawla has alleged racial discrimination against the people of North East region by the mainstream society of India in both national and international forums. He must live by his conviction against racial discrimination and not practise the same racial discrimination against the ethnic minority communities, who are his own people, in his own home state, i.e. Mizoram.”

The Chakma organisations further stated that “peace” was the biggest contribution of Chakmas in Mizoram. Chakmas with their distinct culture, scripts, language, religion and folklore are assets to the nation’s diversity and of Mizoram.

They said the state has the constitutional responsibility to work for uplift of all the sections of the citizens, without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, religion, language or discrimination of any other kind or manifestation; and protect and promote all their human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined under the Constitution of India and international documents to which India is a party.

The Chakma organisations demanded that Chief Minister Lalthanhawla make a public statement clarifying his positions on the contents of the news story appearing in The Aizawl Post and apologise to the Chakma community.

Pointing out that the Chakmas are the most backward and disadvantaged in all fields, they demanded constitution of a judicial committee in the line of “The Rajinder Sachar Committee” appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at national level, for preparation of a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Chakmas and other minorities in Mizoram.

They further appealed the state government of Mizoram to pursue an inclusive growth policy, which will lead Mizoram to a peaceful, democratic and prosperous state where all citizens, irrespective of caste, creed, language or religion, live side by side in harmony and prosperity.


john said...

i think we should not take it so serious neither so light,we r peaceful in mizoram comparing to other chakmas in various part of da world..this is da first time a leader speaking against us in such a way so u(MCDF) can solve it officially and in respectfull manner but not publicly...becoz if law make him to ask forgiveness he'll do it but hatred against us will occur not only in his heart but to every mizo people so i wish u should think about it....thanks for so much concernd for our society:)

Paritosh Chakma said...

@John. There is nothing harm to publicly criticize our representatives. Leaders are to be criticized by citizens who elect them if they fail them.When Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit made similar remarks about Biharis and people from UP, she had to apologize. This is only a matter of public relations.Mizoram CM should learn it.

john said...

but u kno mizo peopl r not like dat dey always look down us not only him bt evryone...............

Paritosh Chakma said...

@John: I believe you are wrong..All Mizos cannot be put under the same bracket. Majority of them are just like us. Of course, some are fundamentalists just like in any other society, including Chakma. But what happens is: political leaders corrupt peoples minds and incite communal hatred. We together (all sections of Mizoram's population) should fight against any such an attempt to divide and rule.WE MUST RAISE OUR VOICE AGAINST INJUSTICE and MIZOS WILL ALSO SUPPORT US IF WE ARE RIGHT. Why are you seem to be so afraid?

john said...

actually rural peopl wont thnk da same as u r thinking nw...recently da CEM's of 3 district council met da C.M to ask abt da mattr but he refused it,now we have videography of dat so its clear dat he lied to da leaders believd and acceptd him..

Paritosh Chakma said...

In Orissa, there were brutal atrocities and murders against Christian minorities(Kandhamal riots) and against Muslim minorities in Gujarat (Godhra riots) but the minority communities there did not keep silent. They rose against the repression and campaigned successfully. If there is any direct threat to the safety of anybody/community there is rule of law in this country. Lalthanhawla is the boss of CADC CEM, so he will have to defend Lalthanhawla. There is nothing surprising in it.

zurosurih said...

This incident is sure to damage the Chief Minister's reputation and integrity and put the state of Mizoram in a bad limelight as the regional and national media widely picks up the story.

Thinking back he now so much sounded like a cry baby when he talked about his personal experiences of discrimination he faced in mainland India.

Double standards? I say YES!

What a stupid way to garner bad publicity for himself and, worse for his own people and the state he rules.

A wannabe Narendra Modi in the making? Hope the CM clarifies his stand before the people.

lal said...

hey Paristosh due..nice blog forst of comments as in


lal said...

nice blog paritosh


आशीष कुमार 'अंशु' said...

Keep It up Paritosh ...

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