The historical record of Rengmas who have been living in the Rengma Hills of Assam (now changed to KarbiAnglong) have been distinctly documented even before the advent of the Britishers in the area. Further, the chronicles of several British writers recounts that there were no other group of people living in Assam except the Ahoms and Rengmas when they first came to Assam. The Rengmas fought alongside the Ahom King against the Burmese invasion on two occasions; 1816 and 1819, for which the Ahom King conferred Phukan title to KeyhangRengma and named him KeyhangPhukan. Had it not been for the Rengmas living in the Hills or if the Rengma warriors had yielded to the Burmese soldiers, the reality today would be different and this part of the country (North-East) now so proudly held by India, would have been Burmese territory.
Rengmas have been protecting the Rengma Hills in Assam for centuries, even before the British invasion. Ultimately, these hills became a part of India when India got Independence in 1947. It is shocking to witness how a particular ethnic group – the Rengmas have been repressed even though they have defended and preserved the Rengma hill territories of Assam in times of wars and confrontations. In contrast, people who were not original inhabitants of the hill territories but latter-day migrants to the land during peaceful times have been given precedence, this can be construed as democratic insanity in the present political scenario. Should human iniquity be allowed to burgeon to the point where a group of people consciously and systematically devises to erase the historical record of the indigenous people from their land? Is this not human rights violation, how can the country ardently advocate human rights while at same time tolerate violation of human rights within her own territory.
Even after 74 years of Independence, Rengma Hills of KarbiAnglong have been deprived of basic human needs – Electricity, Road, communication and water supply. Why the outrageous hype on social schemes; (1) Right to Good Road Act, (PMGSY). (2) PradhanMantriSahajBijliHarGharYojana. (3) HarGharNal Se Jalprogramme, when in reality they do not deliver. Is it not shameful to claim the land but deprive it’s people their basic needs, or is there a hidden agenda to slowly and systematically decimate small ethnic groups like the Rengmas, inhabiting the Rengma Hill territories of Assam.
If anyone wants to know the reality of life in the Rengma Hills of Assam, one can pay a visit which will undoubtedly be a once in a lifetime experience. The region has not witnessed any substantial development and continues to be trapped in a poverty stricken pre-independence time capsule. If the Government cannot provide basic human needs to the Rengma inhabitants of the Rengma Hill territories in Assam why impose a psuedo administration only to aggravate their sufferings. They have survived on their own for centuries but now their existence is threatened and endangered partly due to the apathy of the government.
Commiserating with them on their hardships, the RengmaHoho strongly stand behind the Rengmas of Assam and furthermore the RengmaHoho denounce any peace deal without the consent, consultation and consideration of the legitimate historical facts and rightsof the indigenous inhabitants of the land and appeal the government of India to show human compassion towards the plights of the Rengmas of Assam and consider their demand for Autonomous District as submitted several times to the government for permanent settlement.
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