Into the modern mist of no return

By: Th Paulathuom Gangte  

Gangtes are the people (a tribal), progenitating from a land called Ganggam situating somewhere in the present day Myanmar, formerly called Burma. The word Gangte is derived from the land ‘Ganggam’ which meant the people or the dwellers or the inhabitants of the rich land. Ganggam on the other hand meant the land of the people or tribe called Gang. Hence, the term Gangte evolved.

Two thousand years before, their progenitors dwelt in that prosperous land of Ganggam. It is said that the Gangtes are the worshippers of a giant serpent. The history of the Gangtes began in Ganggam when they deified the giant serpent. Being pleased and contended, the powerful serpent blessed them and multiplied them manifold.

In due course of time, they dominated the whole of Ganggam and they even amplified their influences to other kingdoms. The benevolent serpent bestowed them with numerous strong and healthy youngmen and beautiful healthy young women (ladies). It is also said that their young women (ladies) were the cynosure of the land lords (devils). They were known for such mantles, qualities and talents as long as they propitiated the powerful Serpent (their God) and their prosperity surged leaps and bounds.

In the worship of the serpent the Gangtes used to organise annual post harvest festivities during which the giant Serpent would emerge out of its den to grace the auspicious occasion. Being, maddened by the prosperities showered by the Serpent, they began ignoring the traditions of the God they defied. This vexed the Serpent.

The exasperated Serpent then fraught them with dire consequences if they doggedly fail to contrail and warned them to follow wherever they are. Thereafter they shunned the worshipping of the Serpent and turned their hearts and souls towards the sun which they thought and believed would procure better fortunes and prosperities among them. But the Sun became a disastrous deity for them.

To acquire and elicit better relationship with the Sun, they now moved Eastward as they could descry the emanating Sun from the East. But instead of discovering the Sun and establishing better fellowship, they discovered a vast sea spanning before them which obstructed them from further movement.

As they failed to proceed, they (the Gangtes) traced back their paths and headed towards the west for the same purpose of futile. But in contrary to their hopes of drawing closer and fellowship with the sun, they failed and incurred a heavy loss for themselves that ruptured many lives as of pestilence. The Sun rises in the East and sets in the West but the crazed Gangtes moved at random in between the two directions.

Bewraying of the Serpent seemed destructive for them. Now, adhering to its fraughts, the exacerbated Serpent chased them in their journeys toward the sun in both the directions and wreaked destruction to them almost to the point of extinction. The Serpent disturbed their conscience or mentalities and being befooled, they went blank about the world.

The most disastrous event as their intelligences were distorted, which becomes the jokes of the Gangtes in the present days was their mesmerisation in large numbers of diving into a thick mist from a mountain top in an attempt to dive off a high cliff hovering between two mountains. This incident is reminisced as Meizap in Gangte which means swimming in mist (cloud) by treating it as water.

Thousands of lives were lost while swimming in the mist (cloud) and dead bodies quilted the deep, gorge. This incident of mesmerisation due to distorted intelligences took place during their war with the Sukte and Poi tribes. We couldn’t erase this gruesome event though it occurred two thousand years before at Ganggam and do still mourn for the same.

This macabre episode almost absterged and expunged the Gangtes from the surface of the globe. Only few survived from the various self contrived catastrophes and the few extractors today continue the genealogy of the divers clans of the Gangte. The Gangte’s population (heads) hardly touched the census graph of some fifteen thousands and more only in the modern times (according to 2001 census).

But while we are still simmering and mourning due to the gravest incidents that menaced our existence which occurred two thousand years ago in Ganggam, the Gangtes are once again mesmerised by the forlorned Serpent, fruiting its warning to be followed, in the 20th century to commemorate the forgone mesmerisation of mist into a new mesmerisation of Mizo in the modern times.

Mist and Mizo are two sharpest tools implemented by the despised Serpent to exterminate the Gangtes from the surface of the earth. It seems the Gangtes are visited by the Serpent once in every 2000 years. ‘Zehbang Kazumpuoi Gangte Ka hih‘ which literally means ‘I am not ashamed of being a Gangte’ that was sung pompously by our progenitors now dissolved and baptized into the sea of ‘Mizo kannih kan lawm‘ meaning ‘I am pleased being a Mizo’, on the 9th February 1999 at Chiengkawnpang, Churachandpur.

The 9th Feb ’99 is thus known as Merger’s Day. On this inauspicious day, the newly mesmerised Gangtes waltzed and cuddled with chanting the chorus, ‘Mizo kannih kan lawm‘, as they were ruptured or ecstasied by the hypnotizing act of the forlorned Serpent that avowed to follow us. The Gangtes are once again drowned into the deep sea of doom.

This merger’s act can rightly be called the second act of diving into mist; the mist emanating from the Lushai Hills. Being maddened by the mist that hovers between Chiengkawnpang and Aizawl and fuelled by the ethnic crisis that seethed the entire Churachandpur district, the apex body of the Gangte better known as The Gangte People’s Council (GPC) along with two of its organs, named the Gangte Youth Association and The Gangte Student’s Organisation merged into the Mizo People Convention (MPC), Young Mizo Association (YMA) and the Mizo Zirlal Pawl (MZP) respectively on the said merger’s day.

The blind leaders who were mesmerised by the mist of the Lushai from Lushai Hills disowned their identities (inborn) by pulling down the Gangte’s traditional Shawl in an accordance with the merger pact. The unfurling of the mizo shawl on this day (the merger’s day) as an ingredient part of the pact overwhelmingly despised and circumvented the very existence of the Gangte with its mores.

Mr T Dongjakai Gangte and Prof LS Gangte, the President and General Secretary of the then Gangte people’s council, as the main signatories, appended their signatures in the relevant spaces without any reluctancy and hesitation to erase and mark the end of the 2000 (two thousand) years old Gangte’s history. Is Aizawl a city of deliverance and honey for the Gangtes? No, never the Mizo Hill formerly known as Lushai Hills doomed the Gangte’s fate.

Gangte and any Mizo (Lushai) tribe are two tribes placed under Scheduled Tribe (ST) recognised by the Government of Manipur, both having berths in Sl. no. 6 and Sl. No. 17 of the Government’s tribe Schedule list. Gangte and Any Mizo (Lushai) tribe enjoyed equal constitutional status.

The baptizing/merging of the Gangte tribe into Mizo is nothing but the relegation of the tribe that occupies. Sl no. 06 (Gangte) to Any Mizo (Lushai) tribe which is Sl. No. 17. It truly meant that the Gangtes are now snarled by the Lushai with all its mores. It also means that the Gangtes wittingly fabricated a new clan for the Lushai and occupied it at once. Into the deep sea of Mizo (Lushai), willy-nilly, there is no elbow room of the Gangtes to keep their identities at preserved. The Sl. no. 17 of the said Tribe Schedule list is snugly designed for the Lushais

It is now crystal clear that the Gangtes with their blind leaders eliminate themselves by the brazen strikes of pen on the fateful day of the 9th Feb ’99. Can we all acquiesce this ignorant act of extermination? Let it be brought to the notice of all concerned that no room is provided for us to exit simultaneously as Gangte-Mizo.

A man cannot serve two masters at a time. So, Gangte cannot be Gangte and Lushai. Either of the two has to disown his/her identity and embrace the other. Gangte can never be called Mizo unless she baptizes into Lushai as far as the pattern of tribe recognition is concerned.

Yes, she did it. The merger further meant that Mr Tawnluoia, a Mizo Cabinet Minister had gobbled up the Gangte with all her mores. For better understanding of the tribes and how their identities were kept preserved, the complete Tribe Schedules of five states, viz, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura are given below:

Assam: In the autonomous district:
1. Chakma,
2. Dimasa, Kachari,
3. Garo,
4. Hajong,
5 Hmar
6. Khasi, Jaintia, Synteng, Phar, War Bhoi, Lyngngam.
7. Any Kuki tribe including:
i) Biate, Biete,
ii) Changsan,
iii) Chongloi,
iv) Doungel,
v) Gamalhou,
vi) Gangte,
vii) Guite,
viii) Hanneng,
ix) Haokip, Haopit,
x) Haolai,
xi) Hengna,
xii) Hangsing,
xiii) Hrangkhwal, Rangkhol,
xiv) Jongbe,
xv) Khawchung,
xvi) Khawathlang, Khothalong,
xvii) Khelma,
xviii) Kholhou,
xix) Kipgen,
xx) Kuki,
xxi) Lenthang,
xxii) Lhangum,
xxiii) Lhouvum
xxiv) Lhoujem
xxv) Lupheng
xxvi) Mangjel
xxvii) Misao
xxviii) Riang,
xxix) Sairhem,
xxx) Selnam,
xxxi) Singson,
xxxii) Sitlhou,
xxxiii) Sukte,
xxxiv) Thadou,
xxxv) Thangngeu,
xxxvi) Uibuh,
xxxvii) Vaiphei.

8. Lakher,
9. Man (Tai speaking),
10. Any Mizo (Lushai) tribes,
11. Mikir,
12. Any Naga tribes,
13. Pawai,
14. Synthemg.

Manipur (Not the latest):

1. Aimol,
2. Anal,
3. Angami,
4. Chiru,
5. Chothe,
6. Gangte,
7. Hmar,
8. Kabui,
9. Kacha Naga,
10. Koirao,
11. Koireng,
12. Kom,
13. Lamgang,
14. Mao,
15. Maram,
16. Maring,
17. Any Mizo (Lushai) tribes.
18. Monsang,
19. Moyon,
20. Paite,
21. Purum,
22. Ralte,
23. Sema,
24. Simite,
25. Suhte,
26. Tangkhul,
27. Thabou,
28. Vaiphei,
29. Zou.

Meghalaya:

1. Chakma,
2. Dimasa,
3. Garo,
4. Hajong,
5. Hmar,
6. Khasi, Jaintia, Synteng, Pnar War; Bhoi, Lyngngam.
7. Any Kuki tribe including
i) Biate, Biete
ii) Changsan,
iii) Chongloi,
iv) Doungel,
v) Gamalhou,
vi) Gangte,
vii) Guite,
viii) Hanneng,
ix) Haokip, Haupit,
x) Haolai,
xi) Hengna,
xii) Hangsing,
xiii) Hrangkhwal, Rangkhol,
xiv) Jongbe,
xv) Khawchung,
xvi) Khawathlang, Khothanlong,
xvii) Khelma,
xviii) Kholhou,
xix) Kipgen,
xx) Kuki,
xxi) Lenthang,
xxii) Lhangum,
xxiii) Lhoujem,
xxiv) Lhouvum,
xxv) Lupheng,
xxvi) Mangjel,
xxvii) Misao,
xxviii) Riang,
xxix) Sairhem,
xxx) Selnam,
xxxi) Singson,
xxxii) Sitlhou,
xxxiii) Sukte,
xxxiv) Thadou,
xxxv) Thangngeu,
xxxvi) Uibuh,
xxxvii) Vaiphei.

8. Lakher,
9. Man (Tai speaking),
10. Any Mizo (Lushai) tribes.
11. Mikir,
12. Any Naga tribes,
13. Pawi,
14. Synteng Khotha,
15. Boro-Kacharies,
16. Koch,
17. Raba, Rava.

Mizoram:

1. Chakma,
2. Dimasa (Kachari),
3. Garo,
4. Hajong,
5. Hmar,
6. Khasi and Jaintia (Including Khasi Synten or Phar, War Bhoi or Lyngngam.
7. Any Kuki tribes including tribes including:-
i) Baite, Biete,
ii) Changsan,
iii) Chongloi,
iv) Doungel,
v) Gamalhou,
vi) Gangte,
vii) Guite,
viii) Hanneng,
ix) Haokip, Haupit,
x) Haolai,
xi) Hengna,
xii) Hangsing,
xxxii) Sitlhou,
xxxv) Thangngeu,
xiii) Hrangkhwal, Rangkhol,
xiv) Jongbe,
xv) Khawchung,
xvi) Khawangthlang, Khothalong,
xvii) Khelma,
xviii) Kholhou,
xix) Kipgen,
xx) Kuki,
xxi) Lenthang,
xxii) Lhangum,
xxiii) Lhoujem,
xxiv) Lhouvum,
xxxiii) Sukte,
xxxvi) Uibuh,
xxv) Lupheng,
xxvi) Mangjel,
xxvi) Misao,
xxviii) Riang,
xxix) Sairhem,
xxx) Selnam,
xxxi) Singson,
xxxiv) Thadou,
xxxvii) Vaiphei

8. Lakher,
9. Man (Tai speaking)
10. Any Mizo (Lushai) tribes,
11. Mikir,
12. Any Naga tribes,
13. Pawi,
14. Synteng.

Tripura:

1. Bhil,
2. Bhutia,
3. Chaimal,
4. Chakma,
5. Garoo,
6. Halem,
7. Jamatia,
8. Khasia,
9. Kuk including the following sub-tribes:
i) Balte,
ii) Belahut,
iii) Chhalaya,
iv) Fun,
v) Hajango,
vi) Jangtei,
vii) Khareng,
viii) Khephong,
ix) Kuntei,
x) Laifang,
xi) Lentei,
xii) Mizel,
xiii) Namte,
xiv) Paitu, Paite,
xv) Rangchan,
xvi) Rangkhole,
xvii) Thangluya.

The complete tribe schedule list of the five states of the purvachal vividly declares and clarifies the true hue of the Gangtes and how their identities are preserved. It also clarifies to which community and tribe do they officially or truly belong. This article is not penned to chastise or chide the Gangtes leaders who championed the merger movement: the leaders who led the tribe towards Aizawl.

My sole anent and motive of inditing this article is nothing but the very existence of the tribe or the people called Gangte with all their mores and identities at preserved. Indeed, the Gangte’s leaders who hysterically lead the people towards Aizawl are great patriots seeking for the weals of their followers; the founts of far sighted mettles and who wanted to bring their flocks in the green pastures away from insecurities. It is now the ripe time for all the Gangtes to adjudge themselves/ ourselves if/ whether they wish to be Gangte first and last.

It is absurd to quote, ‘I am Gangte. Why do we vehemently detest and disown our identities? Unless we retrace, God, the creator and designer of all, may curse us for the ultimate extinction.

Lastly I would like to ask all the leaders of the then Gangte People’s Council, Gangte Youth Association and Gangte Student’s Organisation and to all the Gangtes to reconsider their modus operandi of merging and accepting Mizo as their tribe withal nomenclature and the former in particular to quest a room for the possible existence of Gangte as Mizo without despising Gangte.

Let us be flanked by any nomenclature or be in the heart of any nation if our unique history is to be esteemed. I am neither pro to any community nor, anti to some sects or national. I believed the enconcing of Gangte’s identities and her unique history of more than 2000 years old be the corner stone and priority for a trible and a nation to exist.

Let’s now perceive the hollowness of mist, be it hundred thousands metres thick. May God shower His heavenly courage to all the Gangtes to withstand the adversaries of life.

source:www e-pao.net

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