The rise and fall of glorious Cachari kingdom
This writer is first fascinated by the striking activities of the newly floated Manipur Peoples against Citizenship (MANPAC) when its strong delegation toured all the Seven Sisters States of the North-East Region of India with the exception of Sikkim in the recent past in connection with Citizenship Amendment Bill, (CAB), 2016/19.
The team visited all the state capitals and other places of the region which will be affected by the bill when it becomes an act. It is encouraging that the team was well-received everywhere. It won’t be too much to say that such discourse to have taken place and initiated by MANPAC is the first of its kind in the region. It is taken as the coming together of the north east people in pursuit of a common goal—to restrict the influx of outsiders in the region. It is all the more interesting to know that the team met leaders of ZORO of Mizoram Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, the leader of the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra etc.
B.K.Hrangkhawl is a great humanist, also a dreamer who cares much for the security, unity and well-being of the ethnic minorities of the North-East Region when there are as many as twenty-one recognised Scheduled Tribes in Tripura alone. After absorbing the ruling Manikya Dynasty of Tripura along with their custom, culture and polity into their fold, the outsiders had captured everything there—land and government. Then, as late as 1967, Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti (TUJS) was born. The situation soon started worsening when the Left Front Govt was installed in 1977. The Tripuri Sena, militant wing of TUJS was formed in the same year to spearhead a movement to protest outsiders’ domination in Tripura. After serving as the Organising Secretary of TUJS, B.K. Hrangkhawl became the leader of the Tripuri Sena.
It soon evolved into the Tripura National Volunteers (TNV). For ten years from 1977 to 1988, B.K.Hrangkhawl led a violent struggle as the supremo of the TNV which sought to expel the dreaded more than two million Bengali majority from Tripura. How had he thought it to be realistic? It is really enigmatic.
TNV soon got infamous for their ethnic cleansing in the rural areas of Tripura though it was converted into a political party after signing a Peace Treaty with the Indian Govt in 1988. Truly, B.K. Hrangkhawl is the bravest ethnic tribal hero that the NE has ever produced. The MANPAC team conferred with him in a meeting attended by many on the CAB. Now that Tripuris are marginalised and many more will follow suit is what the youngsters in the present generation of the North-East Region fear most. This great fear is fit for revisiting how the glorious Cachari Kingdom rose to fame, how it fell in the hands of aliens. However, how Cachari Kingdom fell differs from how Tripuri Kingdom of Manikya Dynasty lost to the outsiders.
But the two kingdoms are gone forever. To begin with, this writer refers to S.S.Tunga, Author of Bengali and Other Related Dialects of South Assam. It is highly alluring that there was a glorious Cachari Kingdom at Dimapur in the 12th Century as it is only some kilometres away from the border of Manipur—so near. It is said that the early history of the Cacharis is shrouded in mystery. Robert Gait thought that the Cacharis were probably the earliest of known inhabitants in the Brahmaputra Valley.
But before them, Koches and Tipperahs were already there in the Cachar Plains. There is a tradition among the Cacharis of North Cachar Hills, now Dima Hasao that they once ruled in Kamarupa somewhere in the 7th Century. Cachari establishment in Western Assam was as old as the 12th Century, if not earlier.
To be contd