Dimaraji is long cherished aspiration of the Dimasa Indigenous People, one of the Indigenous Peoples in the North East India, the earliest known community in the region, the Dimasas belonging to the Tibeto- Burman group of Mongloid race. The issue of Dimaraji has been narrated in the following memorandum submitted to Shri Shivraj Patil, the Hon’ble Home Minister, Govt. of India, New Delhi by the Peoples’ Supreme Council of Dima Raji, Dima Halam Daoga, (D.H.D), Sengya Bojhom, on the 23rd September, 2004. Therefore, by a consensus of all concerned, the copy of the said memorandum is being presented as the position paper of the Dimasa tribe on their burning problems and an analytical over view has been done to draw conclusion at the end of this short note to intervene on their issue.
(A) A BRIEF HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE DIMASAS
“The Kacharis may perhaps be described as the aborigine or earliest known inhabitants of the Brahmaputra Valley. They are identical with the people called Mech in Goalpara and North Bengal. These were the names given to them by outsiders. In the Brahmaputra valley the Kacharis call themselves 'Bodo or Bodo-fisa' (Son of the Bodo). In the North Cachar Hills they call themselves 'Dimasa' a corruption of Dima fisa or son of the great river. They were known to Ahoms as Timasa, clearly a corruption of Dimasa so that this name must have been in use when they were still in Dhansiri Valley.”
(E. Gait: A History of Assam)
The Dimasa also known as Kacharis believe that they descended from Ghatatkacha, son of the second Pandava-Bhima and Hidimba the demon princess mentioned in the 'Agyatbas Parva' of the Mahabharata. Thus being the descendents of Hidimba the Dimasa called themselves as 'Hidimbasa' - their kingdom as Hidimba or Heremba kingdom or Heremba Emperor or Lord of Hidimba or Heramba'. The use of this terms are abundantly found in the Coins, Rock-Cut Inscriptions, Endowment Deeds and Seals, etc.
Prior to the advent of the Ahoms in the 13th Century it was the Kacharis who dominated the whole of the territories covered by undivided Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and North Bengal. The proof of this statement is well established from the fact that there are many principal rivers in Assam and adjoining territories like Di-puta, Di-karai, Di-hing, Di-bang, Di-Bru, Dikhow or Dikhu, Digarau, Diphu, Di-karang, etc. bear the syllable 'Di' before them which is invariably a Kachari or Dimasa word, meaning - water. The Dimasa called the mighty river Brahmaputra as 'Di-Iao' meaning Long River.
An old-age Dimasa tradition has it that sixty thousand moon (Lunar months) ago when their ancestral land went dry after a severe drought they move away from it, and after wandering about along way halted at 'Di-Laobra Sangibra' meaning the confluence of the Brahmaputra and Sangi or Di-sang (the River Tsangpo) rechristened in Dimasa and there they held a great assembly. The place is near the present 'Sadhiya' of upper Assam, where the Kacharis established their first Seat. By the passage of time, they spread their Kingdom over large territories.
“In the Thirteenth Century, it would seem that the Kachari Kingdom extended along the South bank of the Brahmaputra from the Dikhu to the Kolong or beyond and included also the valley of the Dhansiri, and the tract which now formed the North Cachar Sub-Division. At the time, the Country further west, though largely inhabited by the Kacharis appears to have formed parts of the Hindu Kingdom of Kamata. Towards the end of this century, it is narrated that in the outlying Kacharis settlement east of the Dikhu River withdrew before the advance of the Ahoms. For a hundred years, this river appears to have formed the boundary between the two nations and no hostility recorded until 1497, when a battle was fought on its banks Ahoms were defeated and were forced to sue for peace. But their power was rapidly growing and during the next thirty years, in spite of this defeat they gradually thrust the Kachari boundary back to the Dhansiri River” (A History of Assam; E. Gait)
“The Ahoms appeared on the political scene of Assam in the beginning of the 13th Century. But they did not try their strength with Kacharis, their western neighbors, till the end of the 15th Century. The Kacharis were the most important and organised tribe of Assam at that time ruling over an extensive territory covering from the Dikhow in the east to the Kolong on the west. The Kachari Kingdom in the 13th Century thus included the major part of the Sibsagar district, about half of the Nowgong district and also the district of Cachar. (Ahom Tribal Relations; Lakshmi Devi)
It is a matter of history that after the fall of Dimapur in 1536, the Kachari King shifted his Capital to Maibang in the present North Cachar Hills in 1540. The last migration, i. e., shifting of Capital of Maibang to Khaspur in the plains of Cachar took place around 1761. A large majority of the Kacharis, however, remain in the hilly country where to this day they retain their language, religion, customs etc. to great extent.
It is seen that after shifting royal seat to Khaspur, the conversion to Hinduism followed. Coming under the Brahminical influence, the last Heramba Kings become worshippers of Ranachandi, the Hindu goddess of war. However, there is evidence of some of the Royal families having come under Hindu influence even in the earlier days as seen from a silver coin issued by the King Jaso Narayan Deb, a worshipper of Hara-Gauri, i.e., Siva and Durga which bears a date equivalent to 1628 AD. Generally speaking, the Dimasa consider themselves to be Hindu though they have their traditional Gods and Goddesses and even to this day are given to liberal practices of Animism. The Dimasa Society is known for its conservatism and loyalty to its own religion and in their unique way it has so far stubbornly resisted the attempts for conversion to Christianity ever since the days of the British Raj. God-fearing, peace loving, tolerant and amiable by nature, they have been living in perfect harmony with the neighbouring tribes and communities for centuries whether in the North Cachar Hills or other areas inhabited by them.
“In 1832 the British annexed South Cachar, i.e. the plains valley of Barak, which was a part of the princely state of Cachar. The hills Division comprising the North Cachar Hills, parts of the Diyung Valley, the Kopili, the Kopili Valley and the Dhansiri Valley including the ancient capital of Dimapur, the ‘Brick City’ of the Dimasa Kachari Kings of Cachar. The hills Division was finally annexed by the British in 1854 on the death of Senapati Tularam the Dimasa Chieftain who holds sway over that area. But the British acted very treacherously after the annexation of the territory. They did not tag the Northern (Hills Division) with South Cachar but unscrupulously annexed the territory to the Assam district of Nowgong. The territory was then placed under the charge of junior political officer with headquarters at Asaloo. Subsequently in 1866, this territory had been sliced away and distributed among the neighbouring districts of Nowgong and present Naga Hills. Thus, while the parts of the Diyung valley and the Kopili Valley had been given to the district of Nowgong and large portion was joined with the newly created district of Naga Hills. The rest formed the territory of the North Cachar Hills comprising exclusively the hilly region". (Shahid Vir Sombhudhan Phonglo ... U. C Barman)
“But the act was drawing to a close, and Raja Govinda Chandra soon fell a victim to the assailants. The murder which was an outcome of a deliberate a plan, occurred on a night of the 24th April 1830, when a band of Manipuris in league with the Manipuri members of the Raja's bodyguards entered the Haritikar Palace, and hacked Raja into pieces and set fire to the capital complex.
"Accordingly, by a proclamation, issued on the 14th August 1832, the plain of South Cachar was annexed to the British dominion. Tularam, the Rebel Chief was confirmed in the possession of the hill tract that has been assigned to him by Raja Govinda Chandra through the mediation of David Scott in 1829. A suitable provision was made for the widows of the deceased Raja with rent-free grants and monthly cash allowance of the total value of Rs 3,875 (Three Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Five only) per annum out of the revenue of Cachar."
"Nevertheless, the death of Tularam Senapati in October 1851, offered Captain Butler a fresh opportunity to reiterate his recommendation for the resumption of the territory on the ground that the arrangement entered into with Tularam, was a life tenure and therefore it lapsed to the British Government with the death of the Senapati.”
"Accordingly, in early 1854, the status of Sub-Division under the direction of the Government of Bengal, Lieutenant H.S. Biver immediately resumed the administration of the tract and granted pensions to several members of Senapati's family aggregating to Rs. 1002 (Rupees one thousand and Two only) annually, beside rent-free grants in the village of Mohung Dijua on the understanding that these would be resumed upon the death of the respective holders. Thus the whole of the Heramba Kingdom came under the Government of East India Company and the British Paramountcy in the Cachar became the fait accompli". (Cachar under British Rule in North East India: J.B. Bhattacharjee)
"The policy that the Ahoms followed in dealing with the Kacharis was quite clear. They tried to occupy the fertile plains territory in the Brahmaputra Valley that belongs to the Kacharis. They succeeded in achieving their objects and wrested almost the whole plains territories in the Sibsagar and Nowgong district over which the Kacharis retained their hold".
(Ahom- Tribal Relations A Political Study - Lakshmi Devi)
(B) THE POST ANNEXATION PERIOD: -
Since the annexation of the Heramba Kingdom by the British administration there gradually followed several changes in the administration. The British Government of India started diving of the great Heramba Kingdom into divisions, divisions into districts, districts into sub-divisions, thanas, etc. for their administrative conveniences. The province of Assam was divided into divisions Surma Valley, Brahmaputra Valley etc. The Cachar and Sylhet district were under the Surma Valley. The Cachar district was divided into three Sub-divisions- Silchar, Hailakandi and Haflong. The North Cachar Hills Sub- Division, Haflong was at first created in 1853 with headquarters at Asaloo. But when the Naga Hills district was created in 1866, the North Cachar Hills Sub-division was closed. The territories of Tularam's Country when annexed were cut into several pieces and distributed to the neighbouring districts of Nowgong, Sibsagar and Naga Hills. The North Cachar Hills Sub-division was again created in 1880 with it's headquarter at Gunjung and it was later shifted to Haflong in 1898. The Karimganj sub-division of Sylhet district was transferred to the Cachar on the partition of Bengal retaining Sylhet with the present Bangladesh. Thus, the great Heramba Kingdom of Govinda Chandra and Tularam were divided into several districts and sub-divisions. With the distributions of the land, the aboriginal ruling Dimasa people were also divided as the least minority everywhere.
The land settlement procedure of the British Government was very liberal and encouraging for the new comer settlers in Cachar. The Government allotted lands as much as one could occupy at different rates for different terms at a time -10 years, 15 years, 20 years and 30 years etc. Even the practice of offering of waste lands at progressive rates with rent-free terms had also been in vogue in Cachar. The land of Cachar being very fertile and suitable for agriculture also attracted the people. Thus the fertile soil and the liberal land allotment procedure of the Government immediately attracted the landless outsiders of the neighbouring areas in large numbers and settled. The opening of Tea and Rubber plantation industries in Cachar was another cause of influx of outsiders there. The Government also imported thousands and thousands of tea labourers from outside the district and state for plantation purposes. It had, overpopulated the aboriginal Dimasa Kacharis losing their every rights and benefits, autonomy, political, economic, language, culture and heritage, etc. The illiterate and minority Kacharis being unable to adjust themselves with the latest administration and developments which brought fast 'growth of population, towns and civic lifestyles, left their earlier homes and hearths and started settlement in the remote and dense forest areas. The Indian Independence movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the world war etc. also brought several changes and in turn affected the Dimasa in politically, Socially, Territorially and Economically etc.
(C) THE POST INDEPENDENCE PERIOD: -
After India's independence too there developed several changes in Assam. A new district was created in the name of 'United Mikir' and North Cachar Hills. The Mikir Hills District was formed by curving out some territories of land from the district of Nogaon and Sibsagar, the land which belong to the Heramba Kingdom or Tularam Senapati's province. The North Cachar Hills Sub-Division was separated from Cachar and tagging it with Mikir Hills formed into a district. The Naga Hills district of Assam was separated from Assam and formed into a separate state of Nagaland in 1963. The Dimapur area of Assam, the capital of ancient Heramba Kingdom was also leased out to Nagaland. The North Cachar Hills sub-division was again separated Mikir Hills district and formed into a full-fledged district in 1970. The Mikir later renamed 'Karbi Anglong district.
Barring the district of North Cachar Hills, the population of Dimasa people turned out as the least minority in all the remaining district of Cachar, Nowgong, Karimganj, Hailakandi and Karbi Anglong of Assam and Dimapur district of Nagaland. What is the most saddening is that the Dimasa people have been in that the Dimasa people of same language, culture, and religion are classified by different names and scheduled by different castes in the constitution of India. The Dimasa of the North Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong districts were recognized as 'Dimasa' scheduled as scheduled Tribe (Hills). In the plains district of Nogaon, they are classified as 'Hojai Kacharis', recognized as Scheduled Tribe (Plains), in the districts of Cachar; they are recognized as 'Barman'- Scheduled Tribe (Plains). The Dimasa in Nagaland are recognized as 'Kacharis' only and belonged to Scheduled Tribe (Hills). Moreover, the Dimasa of Hailakandi and Karimganj district are recognized as 'Rukini Barman'. Thus the Dimasa has completely lost the identity and oneness of the community though they belonged to the same language and culture, etc. It has harmed our society in many ways.
So, the administrative procedures so reformed and enforced for the protection, growth and peace of the tribal do hardly work at all. The Tribal Belts and Blocks, their Rules and Regulations framed for the protection of tribal interest could never work perfectly. Even the two autonomous districts of Assam with more autonomy powers are seemed to want something more because it could not fully serve the interest of the tribals and their districts. The demand for Autonomous State under the Article 244 (A) & (B) of the Indian Constitution, therefore soon followed. But, how long would this Autonomous State would last even if the centre granted it? Could it fully provide the hopes and the aspirations of the people of the State?
OUR SUGGESTION: -
The only way out to the Dimasa people for their existence, growth and peace is to grant a full-fledged State to be created by carving out all the Dimasa inhabited areas from the districts of Cachar, Nogaon, Karbi Anglong and the entire district of North Cachar Hills of Assam and a few portion of Dimasa inhabited areas of Dimapur district of Nagaland there after to be tagged with North Cachar Hills district as shown in the enclosed maps. It would be the only fair and absolute means to meet the entire burning issues and problems of the Dimasa people, which have been facing since they lost their territories to the British administration. The grant of statehood would surely provide the constitutional rights and facilities to self-governance for growth and peace.
TO CREATE A FULL FLEDGED STATE IN THE NAME OF "DIMARAJI STATE" BY CARVING OUT THE ALL DIMASA INHABITED TERRITORIES AS MENTIONED ABOVE AND MEET THE DIMASA PROBLEMS.
In conclusion, we the following signatories for an on behalf of all the Dimasa people living in the demand area are very much hopeful that the Government would definitely understand the causes of our burning issues and grievances, hearts and sentiments, and the exploitations etc.and to pay due and sympathetic considerations to meet the demand without much delay in the greater interest of the Nation and its people as a whole.
DESCRIPTION OF DETAILED BOUNDARIES OF THE PROPOSED ‘DIMARAJI STATE’:- 1. AREAS TO BE CARVED OUT FROM NAGAON DISTRICT, ASSAM.
i. Lumding Reserve Forest
ii. Lumding Town
iii. Bordolong-Lanka Bheta Tribal Belt
iv. . Hojai Tribal Sub-plain (TSP)
2. AREAS TO BE CARVED OUT FROM CACHAR DISTRICT OF ASSAM.
i. Kalain Block
ii. Katigorah Block
vi. Lakhipur Sub-Division
vii. Barak Reserve Forest
3. AREAS TO BE CARVED OUT FROM KARBI ANGLONG DISTRICT
i. Lumbajong (Lamayung) Development Block
ii. Dimasa inhabited areas of Howraghat and Langsomepi Development Blocks
iii. Dimasa inhabited areas of Rongkhang Development Block of Hamren Sub-Division
4. AREAS TO BE CARVED OUT FROM NORTH CACHAR HILLS DISTRICT
i. The entire district is to be carved out.
5. AREAS TO BE CARVED OUT FROM DIMAPUR DISTRICT OF NAGALAND.
i. Dimapur Town and Dimasa inhabited areas of Dimapur District
CACHAR UNDER BRITISH RULE IN NORTH EAST INDIA HILLS WAS FORMALLY HANDED OVER TO HIM
APPENDIX - 1
Treaty of Bodorpur:-
Treaty concluded between David Scott, Esquire, Agent of the Governor General on the part of the Honourable east India Company and Raja Govind Chunder Narayana of Herumba.
Article-1 Rajah Govind Chandra, for himself and his successor acknowledges allegiance to the Honorable Company and places his territory of Cachar or Heramba, under protection.
The internal government of the Country shall be conducted by the Rajah and the jurisdictions of the British court of justice shall not extend there; but the Rajah agrees to attend at all times to the advice offered for the welfare of his subjects by the Governor General in council, and agreeably their to rectify any abuses that may arise in the administration of affairs.
Article – III
The Hon'ble Company engages to protect the territories of Cachar from external enemies, and to arbitrate any differences that may arise between the Rajah and other states. The Rajah agrees to abide by such arbitration and hold no correspondence or communication with foreign power except through the channel of British Government.
In consideration of the aid promised by the above articles and other circumstances, the Rajah agrees to pay to the honourable Company, from the beginning of the year 1232 B.S., an annual tribute of ten thousand sicca of rupees, and the Honourable Company engages to provide for the maintenance of the Munnipoorean chiefs lately occupying Cachar.
Article - V
If the Rajah shall fail in the performance of the above article, the Hon'ble Company will be at liberty to occupy and attach in perpetuity, to their possessions sufficient tract of the Cachar Country to provide for the future realisation of the tribute.
Article - VI
The Rajah agrees, in concert with the British local authorities, to adopt all measures that may be necessary for the maintenance, in the district of Sylhet of the arrangements in force in the police, opium, and salt departments.
Executed at Budderpore, this 6th day of March' 1824, corresponding with the 24th of Fagoon 1230 B.S.
Rajah Govind Chundra's Seal D. Scott
Agent to the Governor-General
APPENDIX - 2
Agreement with Tularam Senapati
Terms of Agreement concluded with Tularam Senapati
On the 3rd November under the Orders of Government,
Dated 16th October 1834 A.D
First: - Tularam forgoes all claims to the country between the Morihur and Diyung and the Diyung Kopili rivers from which he was dispossessed by Govind Ram and Durga Ram.
Second :- Tularam is to hold the remainder of the country formerly in his possession or the tract of the country bounded on the west by the Diyung River, and a line to be determine here after, drawn from brace ford or the Diyung to a point on the Jamuna river, between the cultivation of Seil Dhurmpur and of Duboka and the Hojai (excluding the two latter); by the Jamuna and Diyung Rivers North, by the Dhansiri River to the East and to the South-West the Naga Hills and Mowheir river and he agrees to hold the above tract in dependence on the British Government and to pay a yearly tribute for their protection, of four pairs of elephant task, each pair to weigh 35 (Thirty Five) seers .
Third: - Tularam, during his life, shall receive from the British Government a stipend of 50/- (Fifty) Rupees a month in consideration of the foregoing sessions and the Agreements.
Fourth: - The British Government shall have the right of placing Military posts in any part of Tularam's country and should there be occasion to march troops through it, Tularam engages to furnish them with all the requisites of carriages and provisions in his power, he being for the same.
Fifth: - All petty offences committed, within Tularam's country, he shall take cognizance of and do justice according to the custom of the country, but all heinous crimes shall be transferred to the nearest British court, and Tularam engages to bring such to notice and endeavour to apprehend the offenders.
Sixth: - Tularam shall not establish any custom chowkies on the rivers forming the boundaries of his country.
Seventh: - Tularam will not commence any military operation against neighbouring chiefs without permission of the British Government and in case of being attacked, he shall report the same and be protected by British troops provided the British Authorities are satisfied that the aggression has been unprovoked on his part.
Eighth: - Riots shall not be prevented from emigrating to, and settling on either side of the boundary they may prefer.
Ninth: - In case of failing to abide by these conditions, the British Government shall be at liberty to take possession of my country.
Sd/- TULARRAM SENAPATI F. Jenins
PROPOSED PLAN FOR THE DIMARAJI STATE
1. Name: - The Name of the proposed state shall be “The Dimaraji State”
2. Territory of the proposed state: - The territorial boundary of the proposed state shall comprised of the following areas:-
a) The existing territorial boundaries of North Cachar Hills District (N.C. Hills).
b) All the Dimasa Villages and areas predominantly inhabited by Dimasa in the Dimapur district and the district of Assam.
3. Legislature: - As provided under article 168(i) (b) of the constitution shall be a legislature of the state which shall consist of a Governor and one House which shall be called “Legislative Assembly”
4. Composition of the Legislative:-
a) The Legislative Assembly shall be consist of not less than 40 members to be chosen by election from the territorial constituency.
b) In order to enable the minority communities to have a representation in the Legislative Assembly, the Governor may nominate such number of members as he considers appropriate.
5. Representation in the parliament:-
a) Notwithstanding anything contain in article 330(2) of the constitution, the state shall be entitle to have 2 (two) representatives.
6. District Administration:-
a) Subject to the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, the administration of District Council shall continue to exist.
7. Constitutional safeguards:-
a) Various constitutional safeguards as laid down in the constitution of Indian be followed.
8. Council of Ministers:-
a) As provided under Article 163 of the Indian Constitution, the state shall have a Council of Ministers to be headed by the Chief Minister.
9. High Court :-
a) Notwithstanding anything contained in Article 214 of the Indian Constitution, the High Court of Assam shall be the High Court of this proposed state.
10. Accountant General: -
a) The state shall have its own Accountant General whose head quarters shall be located at its headquarters.
11. Capital of the state:-
a) The headquarters of the state shall be located at a place to be decided later on.
a) The state shall have its own University to be known as the Dimaraji University which shall be located at its headquarters.
13. Financial Assistance from the Union :- a) In addition of the financial assistance from the Union government under Article 275 of the constitution, there shall be further paid out of the consolidated fund of India in each year as grant in aid such capital and recurring sums as may be necessary to enable the state to meet the cost of:-
i) Normal administration of the state.
ii) Such schemes under normal as well as the schemes under plan development as may be undertaken by the state with the approval of the government of India.
iii) The capital expenditure in establishing the institutions: -
(a) University (b) Engineering College (c) Agriculture College (d) Veterinary College and other technical and non technical institutions.
14. Official Language:-
a) English shall be the official language of the newly created state.
15. Public Service Commission:-
a) There shall be public service commission in the state, as per the provision of the constitution under article 315.
16. Power of the Legislature:-
a) The subject given in the State List under the constitution: Seventh Schedule of the India.
17. Taxes and Revenue:-
a) As per the provisions given under Article and 275 and 276.
b) All taxes as specified in List II and III of the Seventh Schedule and other taxes which may be provided by law.
c) 90% share of all the central Govt. revenues levied from within the jurisdiction of the state.
18. Service Cadre:-
The State shall have its own Department of personal and administration with its own cadres.
19. Membership in N.E.C.:-
The proposed State shall be the member of North Eastern Council (N.E.C.).
LIST OF PROSPECTIVE INDUSTRIES IN DIMARAJI:
A: AGRO BASED-
1. Rice Mill 10. Spices processing
2. Scented Supari 11. Sago / Starch from Tapioca
3. Production of Papaya and Pectin from papaya 12.Khandsari Sugar Mill
4. Fruit processing 13. Jute bailing
5. Cattle feed, seeds/citronella 14. Oil extraction from mustard
6. Ginger drying / ginger oil 15. Cotton ginning
7. Aberration from chilly 16. Cotton blanket making
8. Maize processing 17. Cashew nut processing
9. Silk production (Rearing)
B. ANIMAL HUSBANDARY:-
1. Dairy 2. Feed mixing plant 3. Piggery 4. Tannery 5. Bone Mill 6. Foot wear 7. Slaughter House 8. Poultry
C. FISHERY BASED:-
1. Fish processing 2. Fish breeding
D. FOREST BASED:-
1. Saw mill 7. Black Pepper
2. Mechanized Carpentry 8. Rope making
3. Broom Stick 9. Bamboo Crusher
4. Cane and Bamboo products 10. Match factory / Veneer
5. Tezpata oil extraction 11. Paper Mill
6. Cinnamon oil extraction
E. MINERAL RESOURCES BASED:-
1. Lime Manufacturing from Stone 4. Stone Crushing.
2. Cement Factory. 5. Coal.
3. Hydel project 6.Iron & Ore
F. DEMAND BASED
1. Bakery. 12. Tiles.
2. Rubber goods. 13. Paper Bags
3. Sports goods. 14. Decorative Textile products.
4. Brick field. 15. Steel Fabrication.
5. Automobile servicing. 16. Cycle Repairing:
6. Book binding. 17. Radio Repairing.
7. Ice plant / Cold storage I Ice candy. 18 Watch Repairing.
8. Steel Trunk. Factory. 19. Dry Cleaning
9. Fishing Net. 20 Ready Made Garments.
10. Wire Nail. 21 Knitting and Embroidery.
11. Barbed Wire. 22 Cart Wheel Making
MINERAL RESOURCES OF DIMARAJI:
The total estimated reserve of Coal in Dimaraji is of the order of certain million tones spread over two Coal fields viz. Garampani (Umrangso), Arda and aspect at Dibarai, Haflong. Annual production from the Garampani alone was of the order of certain tones.
2. LIME STONE:-
The total estimate reserves of Lime Stone in Dimaraji is of the order of certain million tones, of this more than certain million tones is in single deposit at Garampani(Umrangso).
3. LITHOMARGIC CLAY AND FIRECLAY:-
These clays associated with the coal deposit of the Garampani (Umrangso) Coal fields. The estimated reserves of the lithomargic clay fire clay reserves are certain million tones. Tests conducted on those clay shows that they can be utilized for production of high class refractory bricks and insulators.
The other minerals are KAOLIN or CHINA CLAY, QUATRIZITE, FELDSPAR, BANDED HAEMATITE, SILLIMANlTE, GRANITES, and DORLORITES a deposit of good quality Kaolin or China clay of economic importance has been located in the Garampani (Umrangso) area in North Cachar Hills district. The deposit has an estimated reserve of certain million tones of good clay.
Memo: - No-01-DPSC/DBH/DHD/2004 Dated 23/09/2004
Copy forwarded for favour of information and necessary action please to:-
Hon’ble President of India, New Delhi.
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, New Delhi.
I/c. Scheduled Tribe/Scheduled Caste and other Minorities of India, New Delhi.
Hon’ble Minister, I/c, Public Grievances of India, New Delhi.
Hon’ble President, All India Congress, New Delhi.
Hon’ble President Opposition Leader, Lokh Shabha, New Delhi.
Hon’ble Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi.
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, Guwahati.
Hon’ble Home Minister of Assam, Guwahati.
Hon’ble Governor of ……………………………
Hon’ble Home Commissioner of Assam, Guwahati.
All Minister/MLAs concerned…………………………
Hon’ble Secy. Home affairs North East.
Hon’ble Joint Director of S.I.B. North East.
All Dimasa Intellectuals and NGOs………….
Commander –in- Chief (C-in-C) Chairman
Dimasa National Army (DNA) Dima Halam Daogah
Dima Halam Daogah Sengy Bojhom
Sengy Bojhom H.Q: Dimabong Halali
H.Q. Dimabong Halali
An over view on the Dimaraji
The Dimasa, 'Dimasa' a corruption of Dima fisa or son of the great river people are one of the components of once a great Bodo race of Assam who are of the Sino-Tibetan origin among the Mongoloid group. They bear the common features of a Mongolian. Generally they are of medium height and well-built stature. They have flat nose, small eyes, black-spiky hair and high cheekbones. Their skin colour is yellowish brown. By nature their behaviour is very amiable ever ready to befriend even a stranger.
As quoted in the above memorandum, “The Kacharis may perhaps be described as the aborigin or earliest known inhabitants of the Brahmaputra valley. They are identical with people called Mech in Goalpara and North Bengal. These were the names given to them by outsiders. In the Brahmaputra valley ‘Bodo or Bodo-fisa’ (Son of the Bodo). In the North Cachar Hills they call themselves ‘Dimasa’ a corruption of Dima fisa or son of the great river. They were known to Ahoms as Timasa, clearly a corruption of Dimasa so this name must have been in use when they were still in Dhansiri valley”.
Since Dimasa people are one of the components of the Bodo race and therefore are believed to be migrants of ancient Chinese origin and their language belonging to the Tibeto-Burman language family. G.A. Grierson in his “The Linguistic Survey of India -“1903” has given a table of tribes that shows inclusion of a large number of tribes of this language group of which the Bodo and the Dimasa of Assam and the Boroks of Tripura are the major components. The date of migration from their original abode, namely, Northwestern China, to this part of present India is debated and needs further research. However scholars agree that the Bodo race settled in this region much before the Aryans. The first mentioned king of Pragjyotishpur (ancient name of Assam) was Mairong Raja (Sanskritised as Mahiranga) of Asura Dynasty. Several kings of the Asura Dynasty ruled Pragjyotishpur. The Asura kings and their subjects were none but the Bodo. Then came the Kirata Dynasty. Narkhw (Narakasura) and Fogdongza (Bhagadatta) were two famous kings of this dynasty. Scholars have identified the ‘Kiratas’ of ancient Assam, who took part in the Mahabharata war, with the Bodo. Sanskrit literatures of the ‘Epic Era’ have immensely mentioned about the ‘Eastern Kiratas.’ Particularly the Kingdom of Tripura has been mentioned as the ‘Kiratadesha’ of the North East in ancient times. The Epics i. e., the Ramanaya and the Mahabharata are dated to have been written between 2500 to 3000 B.C. This proves that the Bodo race had powerful kings and kingdoms even before 3000B.C. in the eastern part of present India at the time while the Aryans were confined to beyond the present Indus valley.
As stated clearly in the memorandum, the Dimasa also known as Kacharis believe that they descended from Ghatatkacha, son of the second Pandava-Bhima and Hidimba the demon princess mentioned in the 'Agyatbas Parva' of the Mahabharata. Thus being the descendents of Hidimba the Dimasa called themselves as 'Hidimbasa' - their kingdom as Hidimba or Heremba kingdom or Heremba Emperor or Lord of Hidimba or Heramba'. The use of this terms are abundantly found in the Coins, Rock-Cut Inscriptions, Endowment Deeds and Seals, etc
Society and faiths (Religion)
The Dimasa society is a patriarchal one, father being the fountainhead, sole authority and the complete owner of the family property. However, the mother and the other female members of the family are not neglected. In fact, the patriarchal Dimasa society is intrinsically inter-woven with matriarchal traits in it. In the household concern, the mother has less control than the father or the husband has. Sometimes this lineage may further be testified by a kind of marriage practice in which, the man comes to live with the woman in her establishment and is called ‘Min-habba’ in Dimasa language. In other words, the Dimasa society is egalitarian in character so far as sharing of properties; access to education and other developmental opportunities are concerned.
The Dimasas believe in the existence of a supreme being Madai – Under whom there are several Madais including family deities and evil spirits. The religious practices of the Dimasas are reflected in their Daikho system. A Daikho has a presiding deity with a definite territorial jurisdiction and a distinct group of followers known as Khel. Every Dimasa family worships its ancestral deity once a year before sowing the next paddy. It is known as Madai Khelimba. This is done for the general welfare of the family. And Misengba is for the good of the whole community. They cremate their dead. The dead body is washed and dressed in new clothes, the corpse is placed inside the house on a mat. A fowl is thrashed to death and placed at the foot of the deceased so that it might show the deceased the right path to heaven. The widow does not tie their hair till cremation. The dead body is cremated by the side of a river or stream.
The Dimasa have a tendency to build their houses on hill slopes with a river or streamlet flowing nearby. The dwelling houses are built on plinth of earth – in two rows facing each other with a sufficiently wide gap in between.
The Dimasa society is divided into 40 number of ‘Sengphong’ (Male clans) on the basis of male line and 42 ‘Zilik’ on the basis of female line (Female clans) based on totemism and profession. According to traditions, originally, there had been as many as forty ‘Sengphongs’ or clans in the Dimasa society. These clans still exist. These are Sengphong:
1. Saikudi Sagodia
2. Banglaima Gedeba
3. Phaaidi Gedeba
4. Mairang Phasaidi Khaseba
5. Mairangsa Depsgao
6. Saidia Gedeba Sgao Chang
7. Mairong Gedaba Hamlai Gumndi
8. Banglaima Gedeba
9. Mairong Gedeba
10. Miljung Gedeba
11. Mairong Phraisog
12. Saidima Gedeba
13. Banglaima Khaseba
14. Maireng Gedeba
15. Miljung Daoga
16. Mairong Gedeba
17. Saidima Daoga
18. Mairong Daoga
19. Mairongma Gedeba
20. Mairong Gedeba
21. Mairong Khaseba
22. Mairongma Gedeba
23. Mairong Gedeba
28. Miljung Khaseba
29. Mairong Khaseba
31. Banglaima Khaseba
32. Mairong Khaseba
33. Saidema Khaseba
34. Maireng Khaseba
36. Maireng Khaseba
38. Saidima Khaseba
40. Maireng Khaseba
The Dimasa clan system appears to have emerged out of the profession they were attached to. These clannish titles in the present day Dimasa society only signify the surname of a group of people. The members of the clans no longer engage themselves in those professions of ancient times but have strict implication on the matters of inter-marriage. For instance, a member belonging to the same Sengphong or Zilik can never engage in wed lock since they belong to the same family line.
The opinion of the European writers that the religion of the Dimasa people was animistic is too generalized a concept. At the dawn of civilization, religion of every ethnic group was animistic. Religious philosophy developed corresponding with the progress of civilization. influence of other religion on Dimasa people actually took place after shifting of royal seat to Khaspur.The conversion to Hinduism followed after the last Heramba Kings become worshippers of Ranachandi, the Hindu goddess of war under the Brahminical influence. However, there is evidence of some of the Royal families having come under Hindu influence even in the earlier days as seen from a silver coin issued by the King Jaso Narayan Deb, a worshipper of Hara-Gauri, i.e., Siva and Durga which bears a date equivalent to 1628 AD. Generally the Dimasa consider themselves to be Hindu though they have their traditional Gods and Goddesses and even to this day are given to liberal practices of Animism. The Dimasa Society is known for its conservatism and loyalty to its own faith and in their unique way it has so far stubbornly resisted the attempts for conversion to Christianity ever since the days of the British rule. Dimasa are generally God-fearing, peace loving, tolerant and amiable by nature, they have been living in perfect harmony with the neighbouring tribes and communities for centuries whether in the North Cachar Hills or other areas inhabited by them.
Music and Dance
Music and dance play an important role in the day-to-day life of the Dimasa Society. They sing and dance expressing their joy at the youth common houses ‘Nadrang’ or at the courtyard of the ‘Gajaibaou’s house in popular common festival like Bushu or Hangsao – manauba. The female owner of the house, where the Bushu festival is held, is called ‘Gajaibaou’.
By using their traditional musical instruments like Muri, Muri-wathisa, Supin Khram, Khramdubung, they present their traditional dances named – Baidima, Jaubani, Jaupinbani, Rennginbani, Baichargi, Kunlubani, Daislelaibani, Kamauthaikim Kaubani, Nanabairibani, Baururnjla, Kailaibani, Homaudaobani, Rongjaobani, Dausipamaikabani, Daudngjang, Nowaijang, Dailaibani, Narimbani, Rogidaw bihimaiyadaw, Maijaobani, Maisubanai, Richibbani, Michai bonthai jibnai, Homojing ladaibani, Berma charao paibani, Mangusha bondaibani, Madaikalimbani etc.
The Dimasa males put on the traditional dresses like richa, rikaosa, paguri rimchau and rimchaoramai to perform the folk dances. The females put on Rigu, rijamfini, rijamfinaberen, rikaucha, rikhra, jingsudu etc. and wear ornaments like Kaudima, Khadu, Kamautai, Longbar, Panlaubar. Chandraral, Rongbarcha, Enggrasa, Jongsama, Ligjao, Jingbri, Yausidam etc.
The dance forms of the Dimasa people are complex in character. They are strictly dependent on instrumental music. No songs are used. Khram (drum) follows the rhythm of the Muri (fife) and so also the dancers. Though one may find the music trilling from Muri to be monotonous, but there are variations with noticeable microtones for different dance forms. That is why young men practice dancing at Nadrang during leisure hours and the village kids follow the rhythm and stepping at a distance from an early age.
The Dimasa people celebrate a national festival called Bishu Dima (Bushu Dima). Bishu Dima is celebrated as New Year festival. Of late the Dimasa community has regularized the Bishu Dima in every 27th day of January which they with the change of season and nature express joy and ecstasy with music and dance. In Bishu Dima they offer prayer and materials gifts to Sibrai, their supreme god as token to protect them from all kinds of misfortune. Under the influence of the mainstream Indian society, the Dimasa people have now a days taken to observe Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Kali Puja, Ganesh Puja etc. which were quite unknown to them till very recent times. Some of the Dimasa converts have also taken to observe Christian festivals.
The Dimasa people have their own unique dresses. Dimasa women are expert weavers. The Dimasa women wear Rigu, Rajampain and Rikaosa woven by themselves in their traditional loom called Daopang. Rajampain beren is a dress of bright and attractive colours woven in multi colour strips specially meant for traditional dances. Dimasa males wear Risa. The traditional Dimasa dresses are woven by women folks. They also weave shawls, bed-sheets, scarves and so on. Dimasa males have taken to wear western attires these days.
The Dimasa people have their own language which is similar to Boro but could not be developed due to lack of patronage from the government of Assam. Though Boro language was introduced in primary schools as a medium of instruction in 1968 and was gradually upgraded to secondary education as well to college level, but Dimasa language was left behind un attended. Interestingly though the founding President of the Boro Sahitya Sobha, a pioneering literary forum for all round development of Boro Language was Late Joy Bhadra Hagjer from Dimasa community, the Dimasa language itself has failed to be introduced in primary schools as medium of instruction, On the other hand the Boro language was recognized as a course of study for Master degree in Guwahati University in the year 1996. It was also recognized an associate official language in Kokhrajhar district and Odalguri subdivision in 1984 by the Assam government. In 2003 it has been recognized in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution.
The Dimasa like that of the Boro society is a patriarchal system. A male child inherits his parents’ properties. An arranged marriage is generally accepted marriage in the Dimasa society. Brides are married to live in the grooms’ house. Nowadays under the influence of other societies – love marriage, elopement, forced marriage (threatening the girl if she is not willing) etc are not uncommon anymore.
Rice is their staple food. Dimasa people are generally non-vegetarians. Judima (rice beer) is their commonly used drink. They drink Judima in festivals. Use of judima in social functions and farming activities is also common in the Dimasa society. Excessive use of Judima has been one of the evils the Dimasa people have been struggling against
The census reports of the Government of India, which ought to be the most authentic documents, have suffered from anomalies, and as such, they fail to give the exact population of the Dimasa people. Under such circumstances, the population figures furnished by the Dimasa social-political organizations appear more convincing. The present Dimasa population is estimated to be over 400000 (Four lakhs). According to the 2001 census Report, the total population of North Cachar Hills is 1, 86,189, where Dimasa are the majority. Apart from NC Hills, presently Dimasa People are scattered in Lumding Reserve Forest, Lumding Town, Bordolong-Lanka Bheta Tribal Belt, Hojai Tribal Sub-plain (TSP), Jamunamukh, Kalain Block, Katigorah Block , Borkhola ,Dolu , Udharbond , Lakhipur Sub-Division , Barak Reserve Forest , Dholai, Lumbajong (Lamayung) Development Block, Dimasa inhabited areas of Howraghat and Langsomepi Development Blocks, Dimasa inhabited areas of Rongkhang Development Block of Hamren Sub-Division in Assam, Dimapur Town and Dimasa inhabited areas of Dimapur District of Nagaland.
North Cachar Hills has as many as 12 tribes. They are Dimasa, Jeme-Naga, Hmar, Kuki, Biate, Hrangkhol, Khelma, Jaintia, Karbi, Vaiphei, Rongmei Naga and Mizos and therefore proposed Dimaraji would have even more than these tribes since the local inhabitants of Dimapur, as claimed in the above memorandum to be curved out from Nagaland and to be included in the Dimaraji. Thus the total estimated population on the proposed Dimaraji would be over 6 lakhs.
Economic scenario of the Dimasa people inhabited areas in North Cachar Hills, Cachar, Karbi Anglong district and other areas in Assam is not very encouraging. Geographical remoteness coupled with poor communication, as well as infra-structural facilities are the main factors behind the low level of development. However, in spite of the gloomy scenario, prospects of Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry are bright.
Agriculture: Ninety-nine per cent of the Dimasa population lives in the villages and therefore are dependent on agriculture. A distinctive feature as regards to agricultural practices of the Dimasa people is jhumming which is the traditional way of their life. This is in fact a shifting process of cultivation in cycles. About 70% of the total cultivated area is jhumming area. This cultivation is done in Autumn season either as a single crop or sometimes as mixed crop along with Maize, Ginger, Turmeric, Chillies and Vegetables etc. The plot of land they hold is indispensable for them for their livelihood. Though capitalism has been flourishing in India since the time of the British rule the Dimasa people could not detach themselves from the agrarian mode of production, nor could they adapt themselves to the new system of economy. As a result, they remained dependent on the plain, hills and mountain slopes that they possesses. The landmass inhabited by the Dimasa people particularly in the valley and plain areas is fertile and capable of producing all kinds of crops. The productivity can be increased manifold with application of scientific methodology.
Some horticultural crops cultivation, viz. pieapple, orange, papaya and banana occupies a vital role in agricultural economy of the Dimasa inhabited areas.
Winter paddy cultivation in flat lands mostly in river valleys is done only in Rabi season. Efforts have been made by the departments of Agriculture, Soil conservation and Irrigation to boost up the agricultural economy by some modern methods. Though economic impact of Jumming can not be ruled out at present, it has many drawbacks. It turns the hill slopes barren by soil erosion and it is less productive and does not commensurate with time, labour and investment. Keeping this in view some private sector and some public sector undertaking has taken up Coffee and Rubber cultivation in different localities of the district. Some Agro-based industries are being established so that cultivators become interested to new types of cultivation that feed industries.
Livestock and Poultry occupy an important place in the rural Dimasa economy. Buffalo, pig etc are the most common livestock animals while hen and duck comprise the poultry birds.
Forestry : The major forest products consists of timber, cane, bamboo etc. Other minor forest products include Agar, Chalmugra etc. Boulders and gravels in the river beds along with stones are also available.
Industry : Cement factories, saw-mills etc. are the private organized sector industries in the Dimasa inhabitant areas. There are four Cement Plants in the North Cachar Hills. Also, NEEPCO has established “Kopili Hydel Project” at Umrangso which produces sizable quantity of electricity. Unfortunately these industries instead of benefiting the Dimasa people have impacted adversely not only damaging their ecosystem but threatening their lives and cultural heritages. Apart from these, weaving is also considered to be a household industry in Dimasa areas. The Dimaraji has high potential for large areas Eri & Mulbarry farm. Assam Hill Small Industrial Development corporation has established a fruit preservation unit at Jatinga but it has failed to function properly due to negligence on the part of their officials.
Minerals : Limestone and coal in small quantity are found in the neighbourhood of Garampani i.e. from Khorangma to Gorampani. Carbonaceous shale is available in Baga area. Good quality of limestone, low in magnesia and suitable for cement manufacturing is also available.
Ecotourism: Dimaraji has several places of high potential of ecotourism having natural beauties like valleys, mountains, forests and rivers, which is aptly compared as SWITZERLAND OF EAST and it could generate a huge economic benefit for the local Dimasa communities. The important places like Haflong, Jatinga, Maibong, Umrangso, Panimoor, Laisong, Semkhor, Gunjung, Khorongma, Harangajao, Pathar Nalla waterfalls in the Khrungming Reserve Forest etc.
Since the last part of the 19th century the Dimasa people living in the plains have, however, been facing the problem of land alienation in alarming magnitude. Large-scale migration from East Bengal (Erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh), Nepal as well as from the mainland India and their settlement in Dimasa areas has adversely affected the economy of the Dimasa people. The migration of the outsiders has changed not only the demography of the region but also has dislocated socio-economic and political scenario. In addition the non-tribal traders, businessmen and moneylenders grabbed large areas of land of the Dimasa people exploiting their honesty and simplicity.
The problem of land alienation assumed an alarming proportion during the last few years. Protection of tribal land from the outsider became the most important matter for the Dimasa and other plain tribals.
The idea of protecting the tribal lands by creating Tribal Belts and Blocks was noble but the state government did not enforce the act in its letter and spirit. On the contrary they encouraged immigration and thereby created their vote banks. As a result, large-scale land alienation continued unabated under the successive state governments. Most of the tribal lands have gone into the hands of the non-tribals, particularly into the hands of illegal migrants from Bangladesh. The government itself from time to time de-constituted many of the Tribal Belts and Blocks with an interest to weaken the tribal solidarity and socio-economic condition. According to records available as much as 80 sq. km areas of Tribal Belts and Blocks have been de-constituted by the Assam Government.
Besides allowing the illegal immigrants the government has also given large areas of tribal land for the purposes of industrial establishment, military installations, and government offices and to the non-tribal bona fide citizens for settlement. De-constitution of tribal Belts and Blocks, encroached by the illegal immigrants and non-tribal Indians deprived the tribals of their land, which was their only means of subsistence. The settlement of the outsiders within the Belts and Blocks has been a fatal blow to the economy of the Dimasa people. Many have fallen prey into the hands of the non-tribal businessmen and moneylenders to whom they lost their land compelling them to lead a life of landless daily wage earners.
The encroachment not only had devastating affect on the socio-political life of the Dimasa people but it also brought a drastic change in the demography, particularly in the plains of Dimasa inhabited areas of Cachar, Nowgaon and other districts of Assam. In Cachar illegal immigrants have become the predominant population and thus the Dimasa people have turned into ineffective minority exploited, discriminated, dominated and despised by the outsiders.
Education, whether formal or informal, plays a great role in building of a society. In Dimasa society, though formal school education started after the arrival of Britishers in the hills in the region, but they have traditional informal way of teaching their young generations about the values of life. They are being thought about good and bad habits in their childhood by their parents and elders in the village.
The actual survey & assessment of the actual situation of the education of Dimasa people is not available. The source of Inspector of School, N.C. Hills, Haflong reveals that as per 2001 Census the literacy rate in the district of N. C. Hills is 69% as against the state average of 64%. The female literacy is 59.40% as against the state average of 56%. The male literacy is 76.59% as against the state average of 71.73%.
Details of educational indicators are as follows:
a) Child population of 0-14 years : 55,000 Nos.
b) Enrolment in school:
1. Primary : 30400 Nos.
2. Secondary : 17183 Nos.
c) No. of primary schools : LP - 676, ME -175
d) Dropout rate primary (%) : 10
e) Teacher-pupil ratio (Primary) : 1:21
f) Teacher-pupil ratio (Secondary) : 1:26
a) No. of Arts and Science Colleges : 4
b) No. of Engineering Colleges : NIL
c) No. of High Schools : 76
d) No. of B.Ed. Colleges : NIL
e) No. of Teachers Training Institute : 1
f) Medical Colleges (allopathic) : NIL
g) Industrial Training Institute : 1
h) Polytechnics : NIL
i) Govt.Training Tool Centre : NIL
Educational Institutions :
Sl. No. Type of Institution No. Category
Govt. Aided 31
Adhoc/Govt. Aided 64
6. L.P.School 619 Under the N.C.Hills Autonomous Council
Health & Health Service
Generally Dimasa People are physically average built. As per the source of Joint Director of Health, Haflong and statistical Hand Book of Assam 2003, N.C.Hills district is lagging behind in health and health services. The health indicators of the district are shown below.
Sl. No. Indicator N.C.Hills
1. Birth rate 2.36%
2. Death rate 0.39%
3. Infant mortality rate 4
4. Doctors per 10000 population 2
5. Population served by a medical institution 11181
6. No. of beds per lakh population 115
Health institutions (Nos.)
Hospitals : 1
Primary Health Centre : 5
Community Health Centre : 2
State Dispensary : 5
FW Sub Centres : 72
Medical Sub Centres : 5
Medical facilities :
Sl. No. Type Total Nos.
1. Civil Hospital 1
2. T.B.Hospital 1
3. Community Health Centre 2
4. Block Primary Health Centre 3
5. Mini Primary Health Centre 2
6. Subsidiary Health Centre 2
7. State Dispensary 2
8. Post Mortem Centre 2
9. Maternity & Child Health Centre 4
10. F.W. Sub-Centre 60
11. Medical Sub-Centre 4
Civil Aggression and Cultural Invasion
The annexation of the Dimasa kingdoms by the British and later on by the Indian dominion caused unabated immigration of Indian nationals with their institutions. Politicians, industrialist, businessmen, administrators, brokers, smugglers, usurers and the hoi-polloi of sundry nature in multitudes intruded into Dimaraji with the sole intention of making their fortune. They are exploring and extracting wealth and money everywhere and in everything with their huge capitals that followed them. The virginity of nature of Dimaraji and the sanctity and serenity of the native society have been pulverized by these intruders. They have ravaged the forests for the flora and fauna and polluted the water of the lakes and the rivers in searching for valuables underneath and destroyed the soil in order to appropriate mineral resources.
With extraction of huge money and wealth, the dominating Indians elevated themselves to the stature of the affluent society but at the cost of ecological balance of Dimaraji. Amidst queer habits and strange customs of the dominating Indians, the native people felt awkward and annoyed. On pretext of establishing industries, government officers, military installations and tea gardens, the newcomers occupied vast areas of land subsequently uprooting the indigenous Dimasa people from their century old paternal acres, which were their only means for subsistence
To add more agonies the native people’s chagrin is that myriads of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh swarmed into Dimasa peoples’ southern territories in search of greener pastures and have occupied and encroached vast areas of land in defiance to the law of the land at the very instance of the rulers who show more commitment in pushing our population structure to jeopardy in order to make the illegal immigrants their vote bank. This naked violation of the law of the land on the part of the rulers has exacerbated the socio-economic life of the Dimasa people. Outwitted and outnumbered the Dimasa people were perplexed and they retreated to the remote and interior jungles in utter hopelessness to keep themselves away from the aggressors. The Indian troops, the Indian civilians and the illegal immigrants with their arbitrary acts of exploitation, suppression, oppression and domination have taken a toll of the identity of the Dimaraji.
The imperialist India knew well that usurpation of political power by the military invasion and capturing the economic power alone would not be enough to perpetuate their rule unless the very identity of the Dimasa people was razed to the ground. Thus a conspiratorial agenda to assimilate the Dimasa people was placed in a pivotal attention of the colonialist government. The Indian rulers were aware of the fact that forcible imposition of Indian culture on the Dimasa people in order to assimilate them would be counter productive. So a policy of cultural imposition was hatched so smoothly to cover up the real motive with counterfeit entertainment program in order that the Dimasa people would not feel the brunt even when it was heavily hammered on them. All the mass media have been used as the agents for propagating the dominant culture, customs and traditions which have been accentuated massively with a view to imposing them on the Dimasa people. Its impact on the Dimasa society is unexpectedly so tremendous that they have almost become crazy for the so-called mainstream culture, religion and customs and traditions. The culture and religion of Dimasa people have so overwhelmed that they lost their identity of being a distinct nation. To their much credit the dominant society have succeeded in imposing their culture on the native people who are made to feel that they are an inseparable component of the dominant community. This is a serious matter to reckon with which may stand as a stumbling block on the way to Dimasa struggle for self-rule. Dimasa have their own culture, own philosophy and own identity but they fell victim to the crooked policy of assimilation and have been made to negate their self in order to exalt Indianness.
Politics and Political Movements
The political movement for self rule and self identity of the Dimasa people is not a new thing or a new development. Since they were once the ruler of their dominated territories, the love for self rule and political assertion is in the blood of every Dimasa people. The sporadic political movements starting from Tularam Senapati and the ongoing political demand of Dimaraji clearly reveals that their patriotic mind and spirit cannot be suppressed at any circumstances. The following Dimasa organizations were borne at different times and their aspirations were articulated in different levels which can be considered to be the genesis of the present day demand of Dimaraji of the Dimasa people.
Nikil Cachar Hiramba Barman Samity
A socio-cultural and socio-political organisation of Dimasa people christened as “Nikil Cachar Hiramba Barman Samity” was borne in 1945 to monitor the over all situation of the Dimasa people in Cachar. The organisation was headed by its president Horendra Barman and General Secretary Joharlal Barman.
Dimasa National Organisation (DNO)
A nationalist organization of the Dimasa people by name and style of the Dimasa National organization was borne in 1948 headed by late N Barman as the president of the organisation. The DNO was actually a nationalist by-product of the fearless movement group of 58 strong Dimasa freedom fighters who joined the INA on the 7th April, 1944 led by late Sengyajik Jaya Thaosen. The DNO registered their demand for political self rule for Dimasa people in the line of language affinity.
Dimasa Students’ Union (DSU)
With a view to safeguard the greater interest of the Dimasa people, some of the educated Dimasa youths organized themselves to form a students’ union in the name and style of Dimasa Students’ Union (DSU) in 1952. The DSU was instrumental in overseeing the over all interest of the Dimasa people since its inception, particularly the welfare and safeguard of education, socio-culture and socio-economic situations of the Dimasa people.
6th Schedule Merger Committee
A committee commonly called as the 6th Schedule Merger Committee was formed in 1962 headed by its president J Barman. The main objective of the said committee was to launch a movement for the merger of the Dimasa people’s territories along with Karbi Anglong for 6th Schedule under the constitution of India.
Dimasa Sanskriti Parishad
The Dimasa Sanskriti Parishad (DSP) was borne in the year 1975 in Cachar with a view to reawaken the cultural identity and social and political consciousness of Dimasa people headed by its president Nirod Boron Barman and General Secretary Digamber Barman.
All Dimasa Students’ Union (ADSU)
All Dimasa Students’ Union (ADSU) is a democratic, non-political and social umbrella organisation of all students’ community belonging to Dimasa, Kachari, Barman and Hojai Kachari Indigenous People of North East India. Earlier it was known as All Dimasa Students’ Federation which followed a federal pattern but since 8th of January 1991, it was rechristened as All Dimasa Students’ Union (ADSU) unifying all the federal bodies belonging to them in different places like in Nagaland, Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, N C Hills and Cachar.
The aim and objectives:
Struggle for existence, safeguard and welfare of the Dimasa community;
Serve the students and the community for all round developments in education, literacy, various culture, language and socio-economy etc.;
Eradicate social evils –illiteracy, untouchables and other superstitions which are detrimental to the society;
Preserve rich ancient heritages –traditional cultures, historical relics, identity etc.;
Claim legitimate constitutional rights and privileges for better growth, safeguard and co-existence among others;
Motto : “Glorify Dimasa”.
Principle : “Live and let live to grow together”
Movement: The All Dimasa Students’ Union (ADSU) apart from safeguarding the common interest of the Dimasa community as a whole has launched a democratic political movement on 30th of April 2003 staging a demonstration at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi demanding “Dimaraji”.
The major grievances of the All Dimasa Students’ Union (ADSU):
Today, the very existence of the Dimasa People, nay, the aboriginal tribe of the North Eastern States is at stake irrespective of places of their original traditional habitats since the time immemorial in the region. Even after 60 years of Indian Independence, there is no trace of least development or change of Dimasa people in any aspect, and on the other hand, numerous problems are cropped up and added to one after another everyday.
Till today, our people are almost backward, neglected, deprived of all legitimate constitutional benefits, and compelled to remain in despair and resentment. The rapid development of other higher and more intellectual sections of the society causes our people ‘surprised’.
After careful observations of these grievous situations of our people the ADSU held the Government and its administrative policies RESPONSIBLE. According to the ADSU, the following are the main causes which retarded our unity and progress all around.
1) The re-organisation of Cachar, N.C. Hills, Nagaon and Karbi Anglong District of Assam, made since independence without keeping in view of our Dimasa peoples’ predominance and legitimacy as a last ruling dynasty over the land have badly affected us in our existence, safeguard and progress.
The whole Dimasa populated areas of Cachar, Nagaon and Karbi Anglong districts adjacent to the border of North Cachar Hill ought to have been included in N.C. Hills so as to serve the interest of the Dimasa people, but it did not.
2) The boundaries between Assam and Nagaland States have not been rightly demarcated and settled in consideration of all ancient traditional rights, claims and inhabitation of the people. As a result, a sizeable population of the Dimasa people are left out in Nagaland. Their existence and development, being minority, are insecure, obstructed and ignored.
The boundaries between Assam and Nagaland ought to have been so made that the entire Dimasa Kachari tribes or the other Non-Naga people in and around Dimapur area who have been there since the Kachari rule might leave with Assam. But it did not. The Dimapur area has not returned to Assam even after the expiry of the agreement, it is learnt.
3) The Dimasa people inhabited the Reserved Tribal Belts and Blocks of Cachar and Nagaon Districts of Assam, have never been protected and developed during the long 60 years of independence. The areas still lack roads, good drinking water, health centres, educational institutions, irrigation and electricity facilities. The lands of the belts are now filled with foreign nationals and other non-tribal encroachers.
4) The only two Autonomous Hills Districts of Assam- Karbi Anglong and N.C. Hills have been kept neglected without any development. No higher educational institute, like, Central University, Indian Institute of technology, Medical, Agriculture, Polytechnic, Commerce & Business Management etc. are provided here to facilitate our young learners, in spite of knowing the backwardness of our tribal localities. The roads, transports, health and agriculture etc. benefits of the people are also on the same grievous position. The influx of foreign nationals is never checked.
5) In Nagaland, though Naga people can enjoy an M.L.A. seat with 500 to 800 voters, our minority Dimasa Kachari tribes of Nagaland have not been provided till the last Assembly election held in 1993.
There is no such consideration in Assam. The Dimasa people of Cachar, Nagaon, and Karbi Anglong districts could have been provided with such facilities considering them as sons of the soil, as well as the last surviving royal clans. But the outsider non-tribal people who later surpassed in numbers our people by immigration have been provided with Reserved MLA seats. In this way the entire Dimasa people, as well as all aboriginal tribes are ignored and ill-treated throughout the North-East since the dawn of India’s independence.
6) Deprivation of all legitimate constitutional rights and privileges on all socio-economical developments of our minority people by the ruling majorities and intellectually advanced societies.
As a result of all these deprivations, demands for separate Homelands by Tiwas, Koches, Rabhas and Misings are on the process. Moreover the Assamese community of Bokajan and Howraghat areas are also crying to secede their areas from the Karbi Anglong so as to merge with Sibsagar and Nagaon where from they came earlier. These areas were carved out and included in Karbi Anglong during its creation in 1952 under the Bordoloi Commission without considering all pros and cons-sentiments, justification and security of the people by the then intellectual experts.
Now, all minority communities either tribal or Non tribal are struggling for their security and development everywhere in the North-East. The costs of life and blood are regardless before them.
After careful consideration on all causes of the grievances and backwardness of Dimasa people, and the prevailing situations throughout the North-Eastern States, the ADSU committed themselves to struggle for achieving the following demands for our survival and welfare.
The Dimaraji state must be created by carving out the whole of North Kachar Hills and all Dimasa populated areas of Cachar, Nagaon and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam and Dimapur sub-Division of Nagaland State, demarcating the territories as per our last Kachari Kingdom ruled by Tularam Senapati till it’s annexation by the British in 1854, for our self –rule.
2. New nomenclature of NC Hills District to Dimaraji District:
The name of ‘North-Cachar Hills’ must be changed by the word ‘Dimaraji District with immediate effect. The words ‘N.C.. Hills’ do neither bear the real meaning of the land and it’s people, nor the memory of it’s ancient Dimasa Dynasty who ruled the Country by building their Capitals at Maiban, Khaspur and Moudonga till British annexation.
3. Removal of Non-Tribal outsiders:
All Non Tribal outsiders must be removed from the Tribal Belts and Blocks in which our Dimasa people are populated. The removal of Non Tribals must be made in respect of those who came and settled after the constitution of the areas as Belts and Blocks so as to protect the interest of the Tribal inhabitants.
4. Reservation of MP seat for NC Hills District:
Provision of one separate Reserved Seat of Member of Parliament for N.C. Hills District from the next Parliamentary Election must be made.
5. Reservation of MLA seat in Cachar:
Provision of one separate Reserved Seat in the Legislative Assemblies with minimum 2000 (Two Thousand) Voters in the case of all aboriginal Minority Tribes. Moreover, one Reserved MLA Seat for ST (Dimasa Tribe) of Cachar is a must.
endments be made.
6. Recognition of Dimasa people in Nagaland, Kachar and Nagaon:Recognition of All Barmans of Cachar, Hojai Kacharies of Nagaon Districts of Assam and Kacharis of Nagaland as ‘Dimasa Kachari’ through constitutional Am
7. Detection and Deportation of Foreign nationals from the North Eastern Region:
All Foreign nationals must be detected and deported from the North Eastern states in accordance with the Norms of the Assam Accord.
8. Establishments of higher specialized educational institutions in the NC Hills:
Set up Higher Educational Institute like-Medical, Engineering, Science and Technology, Commerce and Business Management and Handloom and Textiles etc. within the Autonomous Hills Districts of Assam to facilitate the educationally and economically backward Tribal people.
9. Preservation and development of the historical relics of ancient Dimasa dynasty:
Preserve and develop the historical relics of ancient Dimasa Kachari Kingdom of Dimapur in Nagaland and Khaspur, Maibang and Mahamaya etc. of Assam.
10. Restoration of Historic Dimasa National Monuments:
Vacation of Sericulture Farm and other public occupants from Khaspur- the last capital and Royal Complex of the Dimasa Kachari Kingdom must be done so as to preserve the remains of the important National Monuments.
11. Setting up of Tourism in Historical important places:
Set up Tourism Facilities at the historically important places of the Autonomous Hills Districts of Assam, and Khaspur in the district of Cachar, Assam.
12. Installations of TV and Radio Stations:
Set up T.V and All India Radio Stations with all facilities and of greater capacities in NC Hills District.
13. Setting up of Industries:
Set up Industrial Centers like Paper Mills, Wooden and Bamboo Crafts, Handloom and Textiles in N.C. Hills for Proper utilization of locally available raw materials.
14. Declaration of 12th February as State Holiday in honour of Veer Sambudhan Phonglo:
Declare State Holiday on 12th February in memory of late Veer Sambudhan Phonglo, the last great Social Reformer and Freedom Fighter from the Dimasa Community.
15. Special Socio-economic and Land provision for Dimasa people:
Provision of Employment, Land Settlement, Socio-economic development grant, and all other facilities to our people through out the state whatever admissible under the Constitution be made.
16. Re-organisation of districts of Karbi Anglong and NC Hills on community basis:
Re-organisation of various districts of Assam on community basis and specification of Constitutional guarantees to the Minorities of both Karbi Anglong and N.C. Hills District prior to the grant of Autonomous Statehood one each to the Dimasa and the Karbis be made separately.
Oath of the ADSU:
To fulfill, the commitment in order to save our succeeding generations of present downtrodden and oppressed Dimasa people, the All Dimasas Students’ Union, is today stepping forward with all determination, courage, and skill, even at the cost of life and blood.
Apart from the above brief mentioned organizations, the democratic socio-political, socio-cultural, literary organisations including religious organizations like Dimaraji Revival Demand Committee (1994), Dimaraji Khunang Hosom, Dimaraji Mahila Samaj, Sibrai Bosong, Dimasa Lagridim Mel, Jadike Naiso Hosom and Dimasa People’s Council of the Dimasa people have expressed the Dimasa peoples’ political aspiration in different times.
Armed struggle for Dimaraji
Dimasa National Security Force (DNSF)
The Dimasa National Security Force was formed in 1994 with a view to fight for the political self determination of Dimasa people but it had surrendered en masse in 1995, except its C-in-C Jewel Garlosa.
Dima Halam Daogah:
Dima Halim Daogah (DHD) is an offshoot of the erstwhile Dimasa National Security Force (DNSF), which had surrendered en masse in 1995, except for its self-styled Commander-in-Chief Jewel Garlossa, who subsequently launched the DHD.
Objective: It's declared objective is to create a separate State of 'Dimaraji' for the Dimasa (‘sons of the great river’) Indigenous People, comprising North Cachar Hills , Dimasa dominated areas of Cachar and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam and parts of Dimapur district in Nagaland.
Leadership: DHD is led by its Chairman Dilip Nunisa and C-in-C Pranab Nunisa. Kanta Langthasa functions as the home secretary of the outfit whereas, Yathong Dimasa is the additional commander-in-chief. Rongsling Dimasa is its organising secretary.
On June 24, 2004, Pranab Nunisa, commander-in-chief of the organization and the head of the outfit’s armed wing, the Dima National Army, took over the command of DHD by ousting its President Jewel Garlossa on charges of anti-DHD activity. Nunisa, in a press statement, said that Garlossa has already formed a separate outfit on March 31, 2003, named ‘The Black Widows’, which also has a private army.
Peace Negotiations: A ceasefire agreement was signed between the DHD leadership and the Union Government on January 1, 2003 and the agreement has been periodically extended. On January 1, 2004, the ceasefire was extended for a period of one year, till December 31, 2004. On September 23, 2004 a six-member DHD delegation led by ‘Chairman’ Dilip Nunisa met Union home minister Shivraj Patil in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum demanding a separate homeland for the Dimasa People. However, the tardy progress of the negotiation process has disappointed the DHD leadership, whose Chief Dilip Nunisa on December 4 termed the delay as "intentional procrastination".
Brief History of N.C.Hills
N.C.Hills district was a part of Kachari Kingdom before 1832. The kingdom was extended from Jamuna in the North to the foot-hills of Lushai Hills in the south & from the Kopili in the west to the Angami & Katcha Naga hills beyond the Dhansiri in the east. The Dimasa Kachari kings had their Capitals successively at Dimapur, Maibang, Kashpur & lastly at Horitikor ( Karimganj district near Badarpur ). In 1830, the Dimasa king Gobinda Chandra was assassinated by his own general Gambhir Singh, after that the British annexed the southern part of the kingdom on 14th August 1832 under the doctrine of Lapsi. The rest was ruled by last Dimasa General Tularam. In 1837 a portion of Tularam’s kingdom was further annexed to the British Empire & constituted into a sub-division of Nagaon district in 1837 with Head quarter at Asalu. In 1854, on the death of Tularam, the remaining portion of his kingdom was finally annexed to the British Empire & added to the Asalu sub-division.
In 1867 this sub-division was abolished & apportioned into three parts among the districts Cachar, Khasi & Jaintia Hills & Nagaon.
The present North Cachar Hills district was included in the old Cachar district with Asalu being only police outpost. In 1880, this portion was constituted into a sub-division with Head quarters at Gunjung under Cachar district.
This head quarter was shifted to Haflong in 1895. Since then Haflong continues to be the Head quarter. In 1951, after commencement of the constitution of India, North Cachar Hills as specified under paragraph 20 of the sixth schedule to the constitution, ceased to be a part of Cachar district. This part along with Mikir Hills constituted a new civil district namely “ United district of North Cachar & Mikir Hills” with effect from 17th November, 1951. According to the provision of sixth schedule, two different councils were constituted later on, viz., North Cachar Hills District Council & Mikir Hills District Council within the geographical boundary of that district. N.C.Hills District Council was inaugurated on 19th April, 1952.
In 2nd February, 1970, Government declared an independent administrative district, viz., North Cachar Hills District with the geographical boundary of autonomous North Cachar Hills district council. It may be mentioned here that at present this autonomous council possesses administrative control over almost all departments of the district except Law & order, Administration & Treasury Deptt.
Geographical feature of the N.C Hills
Physical: The North Cachar Hills district is situated at southern part of Assam & is bounded by Nagaland & Manipur state in the east, Cachar district of Assam in the south, Meghalaya state & the part of Karbi-Anglong district in the west & another part of karbi-Anglong & Nagaon district in the north.
Latitude : Between 25o 3/ N and 25o 47/ N.
Longitude : Between 92o 37/ E and 93o 17/ E.
Altitude : (a) Eastern Region : - 600-900 metres
(b) Northern Region : - 1000-1866 metres.
Geographical Area : 4890 Sq. k.m..
Railway Area : 133.25 k.m.
Hills: The major portion of the district is covered by hills. The main range is Borail of which " Thumjang" is the highest peak at 1866 metres & Hempeupet is the 2nd highest peak at 1748 metre. The other main range is Khartheng range from Dittokcherra to Garampani .
Rivers: The main rivers are Kapili, Dehangi, Diyung, Jatinga, Jenam, Mahur, Langting etc, of these Diyung river is the longest river having the length of 240 k.m. Almost all rivers originate from Borail.
Climate: Rainfall is heavy during the months from May to September, but it is not evenly distributed throughout the district. Climate condition is also not uniform. rainfall in Borail range is heaviest. Annual average in this range varies from 2200 mm to 2700 mm while in the Langting- Manderdisa- Diyungmukh area it receives much less rain( i.e., from 1200 mm. to 1800 mm.).
The average mean maximum temperature varies from 24o C to 30o C. The average mean minimum temperature varies from 10o C to 14o C .
The average relative humidity varies from 73% to 84%.
Types of Forest & its area: The areas covered by forest in the District is as shown below :
1. Langting Mupa Reserve Forest : 497.55 Sq. k.m.
2. Krungming Reserve Forest : 124.42 Sq. k.m.
3. Barail Reserve Forest : 89.93 Sq. k.m.
4.Unclassed State Forest : 3854.00 Sq. k.m.
5. Hatikhali Proposed Reserve Forest : 18.06 Sq. k.m.
6. Panimur Proposed Reserve Forest : 28.70 Sq. k.m.
7. Barail Proposed Reserve Forest : 17.60 Sq. k.m.
Important Forest Species & Forest Produces:
Important tree plants naturally available are Haldu, Gamari, Titachopa, Nahar, Bonsum, Bogipoma, Bola, Koroi, Bhelu, Makri, Sal etc.
Minor Forest Produces available are Bamboo, Cane, Broom sticks, Tezpat, Dalchini, Tannins, Medicinal plants & herbs, Honey, Sand, Gravels etc.
Wild life: Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Barking Deer, Screw Hollock, Gibbons, Black Bear, Wild dog, Wild Buffalo, Mithun etc are the main inhabitants of the hill ecosystem. The varieties of birds, snakes, tortoise & other reptiles, etc too, enrich the hills biodiversities.
Minerals: Lime stone & coal in small quantity are found in the neighbourhood of garampani . Carbonaceous shale is available in Baga area. Good quality of lime stone low in magnesea & suitable for cement manufacturing is also available.
1. Haflong- Dehangi- Diyungmukh- Lanka-Nagaon-Guwahati
2. Haflong- Dehangi- Umrangso- Jowai- Shilong- Guwahati
3. Haflong- Jatinga- Harangajao- Silchar
4. Haflong- Jatinga- Mahur- Maibang- Lumding- Diphu
1. Haflong- Lumding - Guwahati
2. Haflong - Badarpur - Silchar
Road distance from Haflong (in Kilometer):-
Place Distance Place Distance
Dehangi 52 Jatinga 6
Diyungbra 108 Langting 90
Diyungmukh 118 Lumding 140
Diphu 172 Mahur 30
Gunjung 34 Maibang 53
Guwahati 368 Shilong 240
Garampani 121 Silchar 110
Harangajao 39 Umrangso 93
Sl. No. Type of Institution No. Category
Govt. Aided 31
Adhoc/Govt. Aided 64
6. L.P.School 619 Under the N.C.Hills Autonomous Council
MALE FEMALE AVERAGE
1991 2001 1991 2001 1991 2001
66.39 76.59 47.34 59.4 57.76 68.59
POPULATION 2001 PERCENTAGE DECADAL GROWTH SEX-RATIO (NO. OF FEMALES PER 1000 MALES ) POPULATION DENSITY PER Sq. k.m.
PERSONS MALES FEMALES 1971-91 1991-01 1991 2001 1991 2001
186189 98899 87290 +98.30 +23.47 857 883 31 38
Dimaraji: a struggle for Legitimate Rights
After submission of the memorandum of the D.H.D. on 23.09.2004 to the Hon’ble Home Minister of India, many things happened to the Dimasa people which need to be mentioned. The D.H.D. had entered into a Ceasefire agreement with the Govt. of India on 1.1.2003 and by the time the said memorandum was submitted we had our hands full with an ethnic clash with the Hmars which spread over the N.C. Hills and Cachar district continuing for several months and causing extensive destruction of life and property on both sides. Close to its heels, came the infamous split in the D.H.D. leadership. Joel Gorlosa, the founder president/chairman of the organization was replaced by Dilip Nunisa as the chairman of the organization. Gorlosa was lying low for some time but since one year or so, he has remerged with a new outfit and has made his presence felt. About the same we had another ethnic clash with the Karbi in the Karbi Anglong district. The clash continued for several months and many precious lives and huge amount of properties on both sides were lost. By the grace of God, peace with both the tribes viz. the Hmars and the Karbi has since been restored. In the district of Karbi Anglong, however, many of the riot victims are yet to be fully rehabilitated. What is more painful is the fratricidal feud between the two factions of the D.H.D. which has been going on since many months past. Gory incidents of killing and counter killing among the cadres of both factions are reported almost every day. We regret that all our endeavours to resolve this intense hostility have ended in failure. This divided house on the other hand, has opened the door wide to a number of other militant outfits of local and outside origin to operate in the Dimasa areas. These militant outfits are vying with one another in extortion, arson, kidnapping, killing and what not. In this district, which was once known as an island of peace, the sense of security has become a thing of the past and along with it the development works have come to a standstill. Suffice it to say, we have lost out twenty years in the matter of development in economic, education and other important areas.
It is, however, heartening to note that the Administration is doing its best to rise to the occasion. At the moment, the Army has mounted operation together with the Police and other security forces and some of the activists, small or big are reportedly caught in their net.
In the mean time, the demand of the Nagas for inclusion of N.C. Hills or at least a large part of it in the proposed greater Nagaland is still on and keeps the Dimasa mind uneasy. The claim, it is said, is based on historical grounds. This appears to be a problem. The relevant facts of the history are that after the fall of Dimapur in 1536 A.D, the Dimasa King shifted his capital to Maibang in 1540 A.D. and later to Khaspur in Cachar and ruled over the area extending from Dimapur to Khaspur, which included the North Cachar Hills. In 1832 A.D. the British annexed the Cachar portion of Dimasa Kingdom, but the North Cachar portion still continued to be ruled by the Dimasa under the General Tularam Senapati. Two years later (1834 A.D) the British snatched away half of the Tularam’s territory in the western side and constituted the same as subdivision in 1839 with Asaloo as its headquarters and tagged the same with Nowgong district. After Tularam’s death in 1851 A.D, the British finally took over his remaining territory in 1854 A.D. and included the same in existing North Cachar subdivision loosely called Asaloo Subdivision. Thereafter, the British Government pursuing its ‘Forward Policy’ created the Naga Hills District for the first time in the year 1866 A.D. with Samaguting and few other villages and in the same year abolished the North Cachar subdivision and parceled out its territory to the neighbouring districts, viz. Nowgong the newly Naga Hills district and Cachar. Diyung River, extending from Kopili River on the west to the Borail Hills ranges on east went to the newly created Naga Hills district and the southern hilly portion including Asaloo area to the Cachar district. The subdivision was, however, re-established 14 years later i.e. 1880 A.D. and the areas earlier transferred to Naga Hills and Cachar districts were restored to the re-established subdivision. Thus it was a case of restoration of the lands in question to its original and not to be held as transferring the lands of the Naga Hills district to North Cachar. The fact that the whole of the North Cachar had been under the Dimasa rule for more than 300 years should not be forgotten. The claim of the Nagas on these lands can therefore to be examined on historical or moral grounds. We wish the misconception be removed. Incidentally, the areas of the North Cachar transferred to Nowgong district, which contained a vast expanse of fertile plain lands were not returned to North Cachar. A substantial part thereof has later been included in the Karbi Anglong District at the time of its creation in the year 1951 A.D. The Dimasa living in both these two districts have been rendered insignificant minorities and swamped by the non Dimasa population losing out their lands and properties to the latter. Being the indigenous people of the area they certainly deserve a better deal.
All said and done, the ultimate solution of the Dimasa problem seems to be still far ahead. To bring a change in the grim scenario, the D.H.D. issue must be solved favourably. But no tangible result in the peace process is seen as yet though it is more than 3 (three) years now since the ceasefire agreement was signed. The Govt. of India seems to remain content by extending the agreement from time to time and holding, “peace talks” once in a while in between. We wish both the Governments in the State and the Centre was more sincere towards solving the long drawn Dimasa issue. They are not asking for the moon and in the given circumstances, it seems, no other alternative can adequately recompense the more than century old deprivation forced on them by the successive rulers in different times.
Further, following the recent announcement/warning of the Prime Minister (Guwahati January 16, 2007 that the government would engage in dialogue only with the groups that give up violence), we as the national democratic umbrella organisation of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the country wish the promised dialogue to unconditionally begin without any further delay to avoid any unintended wrong message transmitted and find a political solution to Dimasa issue.
SOME OF THE HISTORICAL FACTS & EVENTS OF DIMASA PEOPLE AT A GLANCE
DIMASA IN ASSAM
(5000 BC- TILL DATE) : 7000+ YEARS
AHOMS’ ARRIVAL TO ASSAM : 1228 AD
FALL OF DIMAPUR : 1536 AD
SHIFT OF DIMASA CAPITAL TO MAIBONG : 1540 AD
SHIFT OF DIMASA CAPITAL TO KHASPUR : 1761 AD
BRITISH ANNEXED SOUTH CACHAR : 1832 AD
TOTAL LOSS OF DIMASA KINGDOM
(LOSS OF NORTH CACHAR DIMASA KINGDOM) : 1854 AD
SLICING AWAY OF DIMASA KINDOM
(CREATION OF NAGA HILLS DISTRICT) : 1866 AD
RENAISANCE OF DIMASA PEOPLE : 1920 AD
INDIA GOT HER INDEPENDENCE (15th August) : 1947 AD
CREATION OF N C HILLS AUTONOMOUS DISTRICT
COUNCIL : 1951 AD
BIRTH OF DIMASA STU DENTS’ UNION (DSU) : 1952 AD
CREATION OF N C HILLS DISTRICT (2nd Feb) : 1970 AD
BIRTH OF ALL DIMASA STUDENTS’ UNION (ADSU) : 1991 AD
FORMATION OF DHD & DEMAND OF DIMARAJI : 1995 AD
CEASE FIRE BETWEEN DHD & GOI (1st January) : 2003 AD