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Weaving Histories of Northeast Within the Narrative of India

Nov 21, 2012

6 pm to 8 pm 21 November 2012, Conference Room – II, India International Centre, Lodi Estate, New Delhi-3 Did you know that the Chinese called Manipur ‘Hsiao po-lo-mein’ and the Burmese called it ‘Kathes’;that Manipur is the oldest surviving state in Northeast India tracing its written history since 33 AD and has a written Constitution dating back to 11th century? To many in India, we are just one block of people, ‘The Northeasterners’. Isn’t it time to weave our collective histories? IIC 21 November 2012 poster 20 Nov 2012,New Delhi: For more than 63 years in the history of the independent Republic of India, the history/histories of 45 million of its citizens living in 8 states of the northeast region of the country have been absent from our school, college and university text books. This ignorance or lack of awareness is one of the major causes of the wrong perception about people from the region. This is one of the main reasons that people of the northeast region are discriminated against when they travel for study and work to different parts of India. Citizens, scholars and the general populace feel that this needs to be urgently fixed. Northeast India is home to over 272 ethnic groups and communities. However, there is no collective writing, publication or inclusion of its varied histories in the syllabi or the text books of the country’s schools and universities. Lack of proper understanding of the region’s history and its experiences has been the main impediment to proper policy formulation. Compilation of collective histories of some of the many ethnic communities will go a long way in building community peace-building in India’s northeast and also help forge true pan-India unity. The northeast Indian region is home to eight states and is rich in indigenous chronicles, many of which were penned about 2000 years back like the “Cheitharol Kumbaba” (Manipur), “Rajmala” (Tripura), “Buranjis” (Assam) etc. .”Buranjis” (Assam) etc., which were not taught as history as they should be. Northeast India also has lots of oral history in the form of folktales, folksongs, lullaby, church records, private letters of the 2nd World War period etc. available abundantly in each of the Northeast state which has been passed over the years through their ancestors. The inclusion of the History of the North East in the academic syllabus of the nation would help in bringing peace and prosperity in the Nation. Understanding and noticing this major lacunae, a team led by Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network and Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace started a movement in September 2012 wherein they met with Indian Council of Historical Research. Later, a meeting was convened in Manipur on 13 October 2012. A follow-up to the above two meetings is being held on 21 November 2012 titled “Weaving Histories of Northeast India: Stories from Taktse and others “, 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm, Conference Room – II, India International Centre, Lodi Estate, New Delhi-3. The event is supported by Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBF), New Delhi. Please find here poster, see http://womensurvivorsnetwork.org/event-detail.php?event_id=34 and complete programme schedule attached. For any questions or clarifications, kindly contact: Ms Binalakshmi Nepram Founder, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network Convener, Northeast India woman initiative for Peace Email: Binalakshmi@gmail.com

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