This post would be helpful even for foreigners or expats who want to explore the diversity of India. I would also want NE youth to read and understand the points I have put on the table and encourage them to think with a clear head; understanding the background of an issue (however small) is the first step in solving it, mostly by educating the offending and ignorant parties. I have a fangled term for describing the popular version of mainland Indian ‘misconceptions’- Post-Colonial growth pains, mixed with a strong air of Stockholm syndrome, Schadenfreude jealousy, paranoia and mostly ignorance, after centuries of slavery, mostly an excuse to save face.
I realized one thing very early on, many Indians have either warped sense of their own history, or quite possibly are very aware of the discrepancies and choose to believe a fabricated version or spread an air of confusion, which does work due to widespread ignorance and lack of quality education. Not to mention the biggest confidence trick of all time, and over mainland Hindu Indians (the so called majority)- Casteism (segregation of Hindu people and their social rank based on occupation mainly Brahmins, Khatris, Vaishnavs and Shudras or Varna which means ‘color‘, like an intellectual version of apartheid, because skin color is an obvious misnomer if you just look around in India.). Remember that fairness creams still sell in India so centuries of Varna related benefits are definitely not genetic. I will be discussing a few core points of the Indian society that our ancestors from NE tribes never had the displeasure to get acquainted with, which makes all this ruckus mostly a very recent affair that is exclusive to the NE youth only today, and depends on how they choose to deal with it, mostly because they don’t have any precedence (in case you still don’t know ALL core NE tribes are totally casteless, for millennia, having absolutely no influence of Hinduism), unlike mainland India. This also gives us significant leverage because there is no traditional influence that can be effective with regards to history of politics in our regions, unlike most of India that has been struggling with their own such problems for millennia.
This is like trying to explain what Jazz/Soul music is and how it works to someone who has been listening to kirtans and Bollywood item numbers all his/her life. Myopic mindsets are a national pastime. You will uncover a lot of farces very deeply ingrained in various aspects of this country. There are so many layers to this question that naturally one person or the other could get offended in more than ten ways if the entire data set of matters to talk about is brought to the table. However, brevity is important too, at least at the outset. These are primarily my own points of view, well researched enough to have a direction of investigation, so feel free to attack it at your own sweet will. I relish debates so expect retorts like no other. (I touch type very fast at 80 wpm, this post is about 9000 words). You also need to keep an open mind when reading from end to end, and please do not take offense without first doing due diligence and getting your facts correct.
Who am I? I am a history buff, and I am kind of an all rounder when it comes to tech and art so I look at things in a very investigative fashion. I love politics. Also I am very well traveled around the world and in India/Asia and many of my family members and relatives occupy high ranking government VIP positions, so I have lived my life and seen things with an overall strong air of privileges. I have successfully been able to pursue my goals without having to deal with a lot of regular issues that have plagued India as a whole. For those of you who watched World War Z starring Brad Pitt, I believe my life has been a lot like how he discovers that injecting yourself with a disease makes you invisible in the land of Zombies. Living among the undead. I also have no interest in Cricket, but I have outstanding skills in Hindi language that can put a native to shame. Being an asshole all these years certainly does help and I would like to chill with many people that I have messed up/messed with badly in the past years so far 🙂 Keep reading.
l. North East Tribes : A largely migrated demographic that have been in the Eastern and mountain areas of the Indian sub-continent for millennia aka thousands of years – WITHOUT the need for explicit permission for entry/exit from the sub-continent from the outset. We have been here so long that even we don’t know how long ago our ancestors came and settled here. Rest assured a verylong time is a good enough answer. Our roots most definitely are from the genetic stock of the larger body of Asia – Tibet, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Mongolia and Cambodia. If you look at it – the sheer number of countries that have a very similar culture and physical structure and resemblance – Japan, China, Tibet, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Mongolia, Central Asian tribes, parts of Siberia too; you should be able to see that most of them have a similar Mongoloid physical structure overall, with obvious minor but differentiating enough differences. If you look at White people or Caucasians – UK. North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Russia (kind of its own kind and so huge), Iceland, parts of South Africa; you will see that the sheer global coverage of these two specific kinds of races are really large, both in population density and surface area of land in control. Africa is the world’s largest continent so that is a distinction on its own. Gulf countries are largely Islamic and have their own culture that is also very global and very powerful.
2. So 4 separate races with huge global representation- Asians (not the regular Indian kind, hold on to see my point), Whites and Blacks, and Moslems. Now, let us focus on the demographics of Indians that claim to be so called Asians, mainly because of the location factor, because if you investigate barely on the surface – the physical structure of Indians as a whole, excluding North East tribals – don’t really fit in with any specific major races in the world. You will never mistake a regular mainland Indian for being a Caucasian, or a Black, or from any one of the proper and homogenous Asian countries like Japanese or Chinese or Thai etc. While some of the muslim demographic can pass off as from India, in reality their genetics are very different from the regular Indian genes. So this isolates Indians very easily. The general group of Dravidians from South India and the North Indian populace including the so called claiming to be ‘Aryans’ (the mythical word came from Iran and refers more to Middle East than Caucasia) are a global minority as you really have no direct brethren to even claim your roots. Which while being patriotic to have your own homeland/identity etc…all good; the fact is that Indians don’t really fit in anywhere else. Every other square inch of this planet apart from the receding borders of this country are claimed by someone else. Let this sink in. Indus Valley civilization was a long time ago, and in all this time the head start did not yield any perceivable benefit as of this century. How many lands have we claimed as ours? Why do we segregate our own folks (I mean within their own kind, pursuing caste system)? I mean if you take a population count of Mongoloid looking Asians globally, the count is far more than the total number of Indian looking Asians. I am sure the Singaporeans, Tibetians, Japanese and the Chinese, along with the Taiwanese and Koreans have no interest per se in our ethnic confusions I suppose. They are also far more adept at doing work in a more cultured and cohesive society, so I suppose a smaller number of migrants that have settled way-way back from any one of these erstwhile places from that bygone era, does not really register to anyone else as a problem – least of all us – the tribals from NE. The point is that its the “real” global minority (Indians as a separate non Mongoloid demographic if taken that way) that normally makes an issue over such frivolous discrepancies while the “cajoling or tolerance” of extremely similar (parent) ethnicities of neighbouring countries might just be a sense of political formality. If you analyse how a regular Indian would brag about the Indian population count, this population comparison is just a scare tactic on their part trying to find some positivity in their out of control numbers and you will see the benefits of this for NE later in this post . I suppose even these surrounding countries sense this kind of two timing hypocritical behaviour by now. Especially when they see that their performance in pretty much everything soars above the usual “Indian performance” levels of dismal failure in a lot of things from crime control, to cleanliness to sports and global politics(how are Indians treated abroad? Have a doubt(?), then travel some more please, it should open your eyes). So have you ever wondered as an Indian, what do these Mongoloid ethnic groups think of Indians as such, if they always get the better of us in most global scenarios? I mean everytime I buy a Roland, Yamaha, Korg or Akai gear, or sit in a Toyota or take snap from a Sony Camera, or go on vacation to Pattaya or enjoy the world class shopping of Singapore I don’t really have a counterpart in India that makes me feel I can express my pride better. South City Mall in Kolkata or Select City Walk in Malviya Nagar or a Maruti just don’t cut it.
3. NE tribes are largely independent all this time (ahem…millennia), excluding Assam proper which looks more Hindu influenced at the borders nearing mainland Indian states, pretty much ALL tribes exclusively never were Hindu or Muslim, ever. We sure had a lot of animistic religions like worshipping the sun and moon or the river gods etc, but no, we never ever had to ring a bell, pray in the direction of Mecca, give a tithe in a church or ingest prasad offered to a Hindu idol. That means the internal social stratification system in a Hindu dominant country where caste system is rife for centuries has NEVER EVER been our problem. So if we really take pride in being on our own for THIS LONG being side by side in the geographical region, what gives, that suddenly after the British invade and control mainland India for 250 years of slavery and then we suddenly start a dialog barely not even a 100 years running after our independence that we have an obligation of sharing each and every cultural kink from the national culture bank as a whole? We have never been the slaves of anyone or any invader since the beginning- the Britishers already acknowledged us as fierce head-hunters (especially Garos/Nagas) that are pure savages living in the midst of dense forests. So my kind question is that how does anyone in India for that matter outside the NE area expect any sort of religious control like that – the thing is they don’t, because they can’t and mostly because we wont let it too. Freedom is in our blood. Not after getting our asses kicked like most invaded races (including mainland India), but by actually keeping to our own and beheading people who try to enforce anything else. So yes, there is a cultural and ideological discrepancy. We do not share many of the political and religious burdens that have plagued “regular” India for all these millennia, so it’s not that we are asking to share the burden anytime soon. Please do not confuse successful integration with sharing of unneeded burden, because that will only cause problems of a very grave nature in the future. And in fact look at things logically – our tribal mother tongue is so different from the mainland languages (yes Nagamese does sound like Assamese and Bengali etc) but on the whole, Khasi and Garo and other languages have a completely different dialect for such a long time now, with our own distinct methods of dressing, farming, doing agriculture, forestry and ceremonies and dances and food and drink that by now it should be clear that this isolation has preserved our ancestral culture very well all these years – if we don’t write and speak in the Dev Nagri script then how do you expect to communicate with our ancestors in the olden days when the only language our ancestors knew regarding outsiders was taking the heads off. Unless the head was intact, the mouths have no chance of moving and injecting the mainland “ideas” into our supposed savage heads. Perfect, so now that part has cleared out any confusion, please understand that the NE tribes are extremely proud of their culture and physical makeup and lifestyle that we never had a need to convert to be fully “Indian” or are in any rush to forget our roots. Being Indian in ideology is fine, as in citizenship and comradery, not in rituals and language skills or likewise petty and discriminative thinking or xenophobic attitudes- and anyways people are free to choose what they want these days, but just so that they understand what they are getting into. My main point is that what your early “mainland Indian” ancestors could not do – that is spread casteism or political countrol over the NE region tribes, what is so promising about the endeavour now that as if one fine morning every thing can be white-washed (or rather brown-washed, if you get the joke) as if everything is as is and always was the same way. We ain’t stupid. Simple sure, stupid, no. And spreading more confusion means, more mayhem will ensue in various ways. Subjugation never worked so maybe a more “modern” approach is recommended, don’t you think?
4. Christianity was brought as a concept to NE tribals by the British and American missionaries when they realized that they stumbled upon a unique demographic that is starkly different from the rest of India. The military was certainly used and valiant warriors like Toghan Nengminja from the Garo hills will always be remembered for their great sacrifice (we even have a state memorial in Shillong). Eventually the Britishers understood that we had no beef with them beyond us defending our home – so what they did was, made friends with us and explained the concept of Christianity to our ancestors, all of this barely a century ago. So you see, how soon everything took place? It took friendship of one foreigner with another foreigner to even get to see us and talk to us and share their “language” and “religion”. I don’t see how they could have done this, when living just beside mainland India for such a looooong time, we never got to hear a word from your mainland “Indian” ancestors as such. Funny eh? And we never even got to call you people “outsiders” to our then home region and territory. EVERYBODY was an outsider at that point. I hope we are very clear on this. All my ancestors are from the NE area so I imagine it would be difficult for me to take things any different way.
5. So we borrowed the script from Latin and English to embellish our already well in use and developed vocal language. Much like how Indian Classical music does not have a highly developed and elaborate system of notation like the Western music notation (sheet music) we also have a kind of similar language that perhaps our ancestors lost the script on the way coming ”down” to India and made it more convenient to carry less paper along the way. Either way the culture is preserved. Think about it – ancient music is taught by teacher-disciple schools all verbally down the generations, same with us. If music can survive, so can the human language, and the best part, we did it exactly like that. Difficult to read when you are busy hunting most times or busy in the fields, sounds really work well though.
6. Lets delve into popular youth culture in the NE area – Rock and Hip Hop. No Jazz for now, but that is OK. Things are just kinda taking off. And if important things like scripts and religion can be borrowed from a technically or supposed “higher or superior culture” aka Britishers (after all that is what they think anyways, right?), I suppose we can’t go wrong with sharing music. But more than that its become a global Lingua Franca and it really does not matter whether one is from Cuba or Colombo, Kohima or Canada – music is music, none of your or anyone’s business what we pursue, and more importantly from where we pursue. NE tribes never really held any sort of obligation to mainland rituals, so why the heck would they ever need to ask permission to practice a specific kind of global art form – Music. The simple answer is because we can. The political situation in NE is a little complicated with years of insurgency and a shifting identity crisis at times, so its important to keep that in mind that the youth have a healthy outlet that lets them pursue dreams and develop a life long skillset, so kudos to them (or us) to develop this kind of affinity for high quality sonic art forms. Most schools in India are dismal anyways, so why bother what someone does to better himself or utilize his time better? Far better than squabbling over a sour deal with some Bihari truck driver, that is instead of wasting his time, he (NE youth) is beginning to understand the value of time. That will give rich dividends in future.
7. NE tribes respect their women, we are even what is called a matrilineal society. We don’t burn our brides, kill our female fetus, rape our women, force child marriage, perform acid attacks, sell our girls for land, subjugate them to years of misery and exploitation and consider them inferior citizens of society. That is the reason women like Mary Kom come out of this country region where obvious BS is not practiced. I certainly respect Agatha Sangma and her stance as the youngest MLA in India too. Many more like them as unsung heroes doing their day to day work. Women are safer and far happier in day to day life since the beginning of time. Now please tell me the definition of culture, because I tend to forget the meaning the “mainland Indian” definition of culture. Sure NE tribes excel at beheading their enemies, but we respect our women. I do not see that kind of solidarity in most parts, and anyways, matrilineal already makes us unique – like we ever need to know what happens in your bedrooms, lol, we got better things to do than read horror stories first thing in the morning. Like maybe kissing our wives good morning. We are most definitely proud of our exceptional women.
8. On the subject of food (we have a very diverse menu from every tribe) especially meat- we eat pork, chicken and beef – mainly – dogs etc as side dishes or during festivities kindof. The French eat frogs and horses, the Chinese eat like everything under the sun and the Thai eat fried scorpions.. big deal. Now if I say that entire USA and Europe eat pork – it seems that I fell for the trick of the classic “Indian” question about what kind of meat do you eat etc etc…. So here is my take. NE guys/girls take notice – just answer it like this – “Our religion does not prohibit us from eating a particular brand of meat because we are Christians. So beside the fact that the entire developed world, around the world eat Pork and Beef, especially the Christians – it seems that your problem is not the fact that we eat pork or beef- you are trying to make an issue out of our religion – in that case you will really create a problem, because we don’t take shit from people as such. Because your sentiments are directly and vocally Anti-Christian, which is basically the world majority. Hinduism comes after Islam in terms of world followers so its in the 3rd place, just facts. So don’t make yourself a global target for repercussion. Kapish?”
And then you should see how the faces of such inquiring people melt, or be prepared to start a fight. Either way – they get their message very well. You will encounter such kind of creeps in boys hostels or similar pack mentality areas (like hyenas) where they will try to create a situation to start a fight etc…..anyways I will share their tactics internals later in another post. Basically the technique they use is called “transference of leverage” – which is they will create an argument where you might be trapped to say something against someone else religion first or something like that – so that now they get to retaliate back and that gives a certain amount of leverage. What you do with this particular argument is that you transfer the leverage to yourself because now you have put the religion thing on the table so either they just walk away or they have to say something stupid and then you can easily get the leverage that they said it first. Its like chess. Mostly just waste of time. This is just regarding the troublemakers, not our motherland folks who have their heads screwed tight. Of course I know the roots of how this kind of dialogue comes from the very pedantic Hindu mindsets that is so prevalent in various sections of Indian society and the kind of indoctrination that goes on and on for such a long time in families. Take it slow and easy and try to solve the problem by being part of the solution, not the problem. So once the “problem” is identified, its very easy to be part of the solution (get the joke?).
It’s like a family problem – you see that you love your family members – but you have sibling rivalry, mutual jealousy, envy, petty competition etc. My problem is never with the country, it’s mostly the mindset of the misguided ones. I should know in all these years.
9. Petit History Lesson
My game plan for the premise of North East and its tribes are mostly for its youth and the politicians who are from the same region, who are doing or are supposed to do welfare for their supporters.
Firstly I strongly suggest NE youth to study the history of the world and about the various political history of other countries and study about your own country, and your own tribes too and its history and traditions as well. Think of it as an exercise in data mining. Personally, I love to study the history of Europe and I find many striking points about the ancient and medieval world down to current history. For instance, how the various Celtic Tribes started migrating down the river paths and settled all over Western Europe which became the genetic melting pot by dint of such excursions. When Caesar invaded France the gene pool was embellished even further also being responsible for much of the linguistic developments and the one of the key elements for the construction of the modern French language. Its a vast history and there are a lot of elements to cover, but one of particular interest to me is the current status quo of many ancient to medieval tribes that existed but are no longer (in any significant number of demographic so to speak) there in this century. We know that Rome existed in its prime as an unprecedented success of a city, its populace and its mythical traditions. Yet its downfall was caused by the Goths and the Vandals. They were migrating tribes of Germanic and Barbaric origins (‘Barbarians’ meant foreigners or outsiders in those times, often talked about in an enigmatic fashion). The Vandals are largely a mystery as no one really knows where they came from and who were they. Huns and Tartars were common suspects that have their origins in the Byzantine empire and Eurasia. But on the whole a lot is left to be known about them. In this century they are a footnote in history with passing mention, lacking any significant amount of history apart from their ravaging episode with Rome. We do not know about their language or their traditions and they do not exist as such in todays world. You can also study about the state of Native American tribes in U.S.A., corporation sham of a country, and their devastation and mass genocide on the influx of the early European settlers. They are largely an exploited group now and are severely marginalized in almost every way imaginable. They lost control of their homeland, driven away from their own homes, forced to evict and find shelter elsewhere and face extinction in the process. The same can be said about the Aboriginal tribes of Australia and their struggles in day to day life, and most importantly the severe exploitation faced by the White Race (Australia was primarily like a Kaala Pani where prisoners from English were shipped out, so the resulting power struggle is even more detrimental). Keep in mind that these tribal communities I have mentioned are some of the most well known ones discovered earlier and used to be the native populace at one point in time, but in all these years lost to invaders and internal strife.
Another thing you will get to deduce from history is that races like the Vikings, Greeks, Turks, Mongolians, Mughals, Romans, Arabs were all warrior clans or highly militarized folks, they excelled at fighting and strategy, being crude is forgiven, they got their jobs done brilliantly. On the other end, you have the royalty types – Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, French and English. If you see how many of them came to India from around the world, you might be surprised. Now I suppose being known to White invaders as “fierce head hunting savages” fits the old world bill perfectly for us. Even though they possibly missed the finer points of our NE tribal culture they surely got the point very well. Do you see a pattern here? India was never known to be a fighting nation as such apart from fighting each other and segregating within ones own clan, never conquered another land, never migrated en masse elsewhere and survived like many others. Prove me wrong. Indian religion prohibited overseas travel, especially to the more socially endowed Brahmins of that era (everyone travels nowadays!), and there were strict penalties to deter such endeavours. They could be disowned from their family or tagged Dharm Bhrasht meaning ‘religiously corrupted’ depending on their religious offense. So this is how old and ancient India was.
You might imagine why I am drawing conclusions from around the world. It’s because as a tribe(s), we NE tribes are likewise hugely successful in surviving and thriving safely all these millennia, pre-migration and post-migration to India, keeping our culture and traditions and language intact, which after all this time is certainly a significant achievement, and certainly compared to many other global tribes or collectives, that vanished in the mists of time either by invaded integration, marginalization or eradication. In fact we are thriving very satisfactorily while having kept outsiders and enemies and invaders at bay, all this time. Survival of the fittest means that we ‘fit’ the bill. Kudos to our ancestors. Now its our job as the current generation and pave way for the next to take things to the next level. Given our tribal experience with the White Race, I must say it has been a pleasure to have made acquaintance with them. Compared to the relentless domination done everywhere including India, the fact that they could see through things without another genocide in the making (we will die for our homes for sure), they shook hands. Brilliant! Now we are friends for life! What all this means to me personally, and what I would say to all NE brother and sisters, is that, do not take your freedom and culture and tradition for granted. We have had tremendous success thriving so far as a tribe collective that there is no chance we will be just another footnote in history. We as a unique demographic are right now taking part in it and will take the responsibility to make history as well. If you realize these essential points, and set some time aside to think about the responsibility you now have, and the blessings of your ancestors, you will too feel deeply alive and powerful, in your own lives. Take helm of your own ship, the 21st centrury are exciting times.
Regarding the issue of invasion and slavery, its not a surprise that England has been a boss over many cultures around the world. Again, if you study some amount of history of global migration patterns over the centuries and how it affects modern trade and economy, some very interesting things come out. Mexico, India, Bangladesh, Philippines and Africa are some of the most exploited countries from where Dutch invaders, Portuguese invaders and British invaders used to ‘employ’ people by offering them ‘contracts’ which were obviously sub-optimal to say the least and designed to keep the ‘employees’ as hard worked as ever to the point of death. The squalid working and living conditions exacerbated the progression of disease and the decline of the health and life spans of all such slaves. A huge number of them were from the West Indies and Jamaica, where the overall population dwindled from 12 million to 5 million to about 100,000 in just a decade after the influx of the European slave traders. Mostly because of relentless hardwork, and European diseases that was new to the predominantly black continents. The interesting part is that even India was a hub of such recruitment and large groups of local people were taken for slavery work especially from places like West Bengal (so much for their intellectualism, I suppose money always comes first, also it was the erstwhile capital so it kinda makes sense for being the centre of exploitation by the invaders). Slaves from India (more like blatant slavery and lack of human rights for a legitimate job due to exceedingly shady contracts) were routinely transferred to other countries to do plantation work and other maintenance and building work (basically menial labour) for centuries. This proves that India is very openly known and proven to be a country of slaves -both in the getting invaded part and the slave supplier part, at least the last time I checked various published and peer reviewed books and papers on international labour and world history. Its important to be proud about where we are as a country, so sure take pride, but do not under estimate that someone will be interested in your past matters and see things for how they really are (or were). Misrepresentation or occlusion of history is the primary crime that needs to be dealt with and investigation and study unearths many such things. School history syllabus is largely incomplete and is a lot like what happens in other countries like North Korea where a lot of Photoshopping and Post Production editing (if you know what I mean ) is done to portray things in a very different light. If you see the movie 12 years a Slave you can quite possibly get an idea about how mainland Indians and other people of color might have been treated as well. You can also start by reading many personal memoirs and travelogues of the American and British explorers who came and visited old India and their observations to check side by side which ones made more sense.
BTW NE tribes were not remotely a part of any of this ongoing fiasco and blatant abuse of human rights. No one can forcefully make us do anything you see? I find that very reassuring.
10. However, in all the enlightenment and positivity, there are a number of things that we need to keep in mind. Regarding future progress, both as a tribe and as part of the nation, we can only enjoy complacency to a degree. While mainland India has a large job to do in order to truely set things to momentum, we already have a huge headstart if you see things in a clear fashion. Firstly our rather manageable population is much like the situation in Scandinavia and Iceland or Japan, where people do not mindlessly ***k and create children and directly increase the population overall. There is also research that shows that smaller societies are inherently more happier and close bonded than densely populated demographics (I do not want to turn this post into a book bibliography so please do some research on these things on your end). The significance is huge. Better management of resources, happier people, less overcrowding of schools, better physical and mental health and better quality of social life. We also have the female issue very well taken care of, when compared to India, where the national policies will have work against centuries of conditioning and indoctrination for anything women related. Also the overall Indian population is mostly a result of ignorant family planning and poor medical hygiene. The dichotomy between the rich and poor classes are huge, so are their education levels. None of the census numbers reflect anything regarding growth or progress as a result of the inordinate amount of people screwing each other in their bedrooms. So, these parts of the game, we have it sorted out, in keeping with international goals. The trick in all this is to see though the smoke screens (for instance usual banters about comparison of population counts that you get to hear quite often in an Indian gossip session) and see the situations for what they really are.
Secondly, poverty and corruption is rampant in India and the caste system is a major player in all this, resulting in a lot of people covertly trying to work around the issue by changing their surnames via affidavit or certificate manipulation or looking for reservations as an escape route and other such methods (many people I personally know all over India who do this to escape their own culture and tradition(LOL!)). Reservations aka affirmative action is a very nice topic that I will delve in detail later. For now just to summarize the solution, you guys most definitely do not need it, I certainly don’t give two shits about it and have never implemented any of it (or condone it). Everything I have ever done is in the national to international standard of things and I have a certain air of complacency about this because of my rather effortless understanding and subversion of the system by carefully studying about it. And my goodness, you can play the system like a violin, if you really want to, way too many loopholes and vulnerabilities. Just like a college degree (which I do not have), or a driving license (which I do not have), every other thing that I get to hear about as ‘needed’ is largely a subjective farce. I certainly need a passport though (lol).I have done everything in the General Category since I was born and that gives me total disregard for any such affirmative action in this or any other country (such as USA). So I drive when I need to (without a license, mostly take a cab or fly) and be a niche computer professional (software reverse engineering) and digital nomad without some ‘essential documentation’ proves that the education system of India along with many of its constitutional policies are like a vestigial organ, it just hangs around for no apparent reason, mostly not doing its expected job. Now I am speaking for myself so I could be one of ‘*those exceptions*’, and while I successfully handled these playgrounds without a doubt, it can sound detached from the ground reality of other people who have their point of views about what is or is not required. Sure suit yourself, if you really need such manufactured and compromised things in life, then I am largely skeptical what is it that you are really accomplishing by being another rat in the race. To each his own certainly fits a chaotic place like India, but you must surely see it for yourself that victimizing yourself by blindly subscribing to the machinations of an already victimized society is in the long run a very stupid move, and you are opening yourself to sharing a good part of their diseases too.
In fact the reservation system for NE youth is mostly like a useless free gift, that no body wanted or understood in the first place, but mostly due to a national independence get-together-party invitation, that is post independence nation building policies of ‘fair representation’, since the Eastern region tribal communities must also be included in the constitution, ‘let us set aside a specific section for them too, and it can come with a membership badge’. We must remember that systems like the Indian Civil Services and a good number of cultural monuments are the handiwork of the Mughals and the Britishers, not native Indians. We cannot really blame any one else internally for the partition of India also I suppose. They are a smart and tough crowd. But we are just barely over half a century since independence, when what we are dealing with is actually the brainchild of Ambedkar and the needs of his peoples. And its the side effects of living in a broken system, that NE has to be rather ingeniously placed along side the very folks who we started speaking with just yesterday so to speak. So the party just started and someone started complaining that there is not enough beer to be distributed in his “class” so all newcomers to the independence party celebrations included, everyone else who already does not have an “Branded Indian Beer” must be given Pepsi-Cola ‘at least’. And it is we who stupidly walked right into the trap. But goodness gracious, just see the amount of confusion. They managed to push the slight scent of casteism, the regular Indian social disease, right to our doorways. Fantastic partyline for a newcomer, I must say, including awesome benefits to join the party (sarcasm in case you did not notice). So while the motivations for the reservations for the Hindu section of the Indian populace is truly needed in my opinion (expand the C in SC and OBC: Caste, its all based on Hindu politics for them, it is an excuse for the lower caste Hindu section to gain representation for a social evil created by upper caste Hindus section. A solution by Hindus for the problem created by Hindus. So where does NE tribes fit in by any chance? Beats me! ), facing and enduring centuries of social abuse being part of the Hindu society, how in the freaking hell does anyone in the right mind try to put us all in the same footing? The answer is they do not and they can’t because there is no historical or traditional basis for us regarding such things, obviously, but the motivation is purely a financial/economic comparison. So essentially, because of the income levels in NE at that point while building a nation, keeping included in the ‘fair representation scheme’ made sense. However, in todays era, just few decades fast forwards, if money is still a pressing need I say, major reform of such rules are needed. This set of distinctions has made things easier to deal with in future. Because intellectuals, delinquents and rule breakers, anarchists and non-conformists might rear an ugly head in future with devastating consequences. NE authentic tribal folks were never part of the “Hindu Society” team to begin with, so this sudden inclusion is a little unsettling, for me personally. With the amount of opportunities in sight and exposure to the wide world in the already Western oriented region of North East, any one of these days, a civil war can break up, IF such minor things are not handled with care. Why do you think so much of insurgency exists today? Have you ever thought about the fact that Chaos and Confusion go hand-in-hand and are the sisters of Violence? Also I notice how quickly many people say the words ST and SC/OBC/General in the same vein as if all are equalized in some sense. We share a common land mass, not traditions or culture or religion or ethnicity. So that is a lot ‘nots’. The word ‘scheduled’ has a very regular English meaning of something regarding time or being timed, or a list/roster basically – much like I get to see in Euopean train time tables for ‘Scheduled Timings’ or in a series of office breaks as ‘scheduled breaks’. The word ‘tribes’ means a plural form of the collective of people who band together in cohesive numbers having certain similarities that denote it as unique enough from the others in some fashion. So basically ‘ST’ means a government acknowledged list of tribes spread in India, including the ones in NE, and that is all it is. The largely uneducated and uninitated or unaware section of the total populace can sometimes confuse us with the indigenous tribes (Adivasis) of mainland Hindu India (some of which are incidentally given the status of criminal tribes because of their professions that include robbery, thugery, stealing and begging – all within the mainland Indian regions). So very different from each other, but with copy-pasted representation in the same document. Kind of like an umbrella term – Maruti and Mercedez are both cars. But of course not a hint of anything Hinduism related. So bascially NE tribes do not share that very burden of Hindu socio-politics and nothing to do with the caste system that plagues every Hindu citizen of this country, even in the political documents and policies. The confusion and automatic inclusion is mostly because of ignorance of a host of these factors that I have described so far in the common population. But this acknowledged difference in ethnic demographic via politics is actually a blessing in disguise, because now we can work on our own ‘image’, without getting drowned in someone else’s problems. Say someone from NE visits England and while talking to his English friends, the topic of Colonial India comes up, and they call India a subjugated country referencing mainland India as a whole, won’t you (and he) belonging from NE talk about things in a very different way about your own people, who share a very different experience?. On the other hand say you meet someone on your way to Frankfurt and the topic of constant news of women getting raped in India comes up, don’t you want to dispense the information that the NE tribes have nothing to do with it and that women are highly regarded in our very unique matrilineal society ? I give the right stories about India everytime I find someone abroad interested about it. Basically lack of education and awareness of the constitution of India and the historical significances of how things came about is the the major root cause of the ongoing myopic and narrow minded mindsets of Indians overall. Look at how they treat and fragment their own fellow men, within their own clan, so honestly speaking, can we really expect any better if the ones running the country come from a similar background? Well, education is the most important thing here. Knowledge really is power, and never ever forget that part. Also, this means that a huge number of people within mainland India are not at all happy with the farcial and exploitative scheme of things, especially when they have been going around for such a long time in their own families and societies for generations. Lot of time lost for them, and largely they feel cheated and regret ever being part of such a system and being born in it. Couple that with the overall perception of India and Indians around the world, which is not too bright at all. And that, my NE brothers and sisters give us a lot of leverage, because we do not have to deal with any of this nonsense. We can safely ignore all the hoolabaoo around us coming from their end and focus on our internal and collective growth and progress. This is an essential crux to make sure that we make the most of the time we have now, because time has been kind to us. Also remember that we as the NE youth have to deal with situations that never occured to our ancestors. And that should give you even more direction and strength to subvert the evil around us. Of course discretion is advised, going berserk will certainly add to the chaos and not remove it. But given the universal increase in entropy over time, I suppose going berserk will at some point make a lot of sense, to curb chaos with a bigger kind of chaos. Some times venom can be removed by a stronger poison.
I have another perspective of things here – its like this :
Say you have a race course and 5 runners are running, A/B/C/D/E. A starts first and has a major headstart, with B also starting close enough. C/D and E realise that they are dropping in a little later in the civilization building game, so they let the A/B pair run for some time. However, they soon begin to get the hang of things and they pick up speed. From there on C/D/E actually overtook A/B in many laps overall, inspite of A or B having the headstart. So the next time around, it becomes an inside joke that C/D/E will let A/B run for some time and yet always defeat them in the long run. So at this point who do you think have a better mileage when the average time taken for completing 10 laps (say 10 laps in 10 minutes) is far longer for A/B than C/D/E who started later but performed better (say 10 laps in 2 minute). Now you can juxtapose this analogy directly on India/China versus Europe/America/Russia. Do you see the point?
Another example is this : Company A took 10 long years to put his company somewhere. Company B took interest in the market company A was in and had a more promising run and overtook the success of the earlier starter in less than a year, but is resilient in the business market for quite some time in another section (not a flash in the pan). Who do you think performed better?
When you get to hear how regular India always touts this “I started early” argument, one gets to see similar tangents. Marketing tactics are all good, but if its brings detriment, confusion and lack of solidarity, I suppose we must think before we speak. Mostly as I get to see for myself in European countries, no one actually gives a shit about all this, considering their remarkable run in history itself, through thick and thin. So NE can take note of these phenomena and try to see what can be understood from the events that take or took place around the framework of time itself, and surprisingly how we always had time on our hands. I also rarely get to hear this kind of insecure arguments from the Egyptians or Chinese or Greeks or Mongolians with their world class cultural achievements. They largely keep mum, because they have nothing to prove as such, they know they have done a kick-ass job all this time. Cultivating an international mindset is key to breaking down the political smoke screens around you. In this case bigger is better.Certainly going in the myopic direction won’t resolve anything. So the direction is clear. Thus there is no need to be bothered about what he/she thinks from the mainland Indian perspective because no one else in the world cares about what mainland Indians think overall – including everything regarding NE (mostly just an internal thing). What this means is clear, drive your car straight and shut the windows, because it’s mostly lot of distractive noise pollution coming from polluted and polluting machines. Certainly play your car stereo though, lightens the mood, especially when you are driving. To summarise, just do not give a shit. Certainly educate them or deal with direct attacks but largely it can be a side maintenance job. Keeping your house clean is important too. Indian mindsets are like a toothless paper tiger when it comes to actually hurting anyone else except their own kind (take a look at history again), and like a bad horror movie, what you think about the monster is more effective than what the movie monster does to scare you. So thinking straight and clear is very effective. It is a fantastic mind game where you can display your prowess, and beat the adversary.
Many many more analogies and analytical discussions like this are pending to be discussed, maybe for later posts.
So where can we go from here.
Just to make a point, skullduggery exists pretty much everywhere these days, just a way of life really, even entertaining and educational if you have the affinity for such things. But I would love to provide some solutions. The rest of regular India needs to build solidarity among their ‘classes’ (good luck with that after 5000 years of social politics, lol), inject confidence into their largely subjugated and marginalized women and struggle with lack of education or exposure to many essentials, as well as the large below the poverty line section, building India as a whole will be no easy job, cos mainly a lot of time has been wasted. Not forgetting to mention the genetic damage after years of ancestral evil conditioning, which is proven in science and psychology. Also the stigma of being a highly invaded race. That is quite a heavy set of burdens NE simly does not have to bother with. Much like in minimalism and minimalist circles, you curate your things and carry less and travel lighter amd faster. The world sees India and other neighbouring countries as Third World countries. We like to call ourselves a developing country, good for positivity, but the terms have huge difference in significance. India is in no way seen as leading or advanced, which depending on the situation can be taken as good news. It means competing parties can outdo one another in this game, because the early start overhead is not impactful at all.
While regular India needs to build focus on a larger logistical level and mitigate a huge superset of their own internally generated issues, on the other hand NE can focus on the construction of a cohesive and motivated society that can in a short time set standards for the nation if done right and if done collectively.
A) Our NE population (a plus point) is manageable so distribution of resources is a far less logistical problem for us.
B) Our women are hugely independent and confident and along with the expected social support they can be even more enterprising and start a revolution of sorts. Being economically self sustaining and taking part in modern business, administration, politics, media, academia and sports is a really good move for the collective growth of NE.
C) The current level of exposure to international culture makes it far easier to get knowledge sharing sessions and introduction of progressive learning methods done, because English is widely spoken in NE areas, giving a really big boost in terms of the international markets, when compared to many struggling parts of India, like Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, in such skillsets.
D) The literacy rate of Mizoram is admirable and one of the leading states in India perhaps second to only Kerala. Rest of the states can perform activities to follow suit.
E) I strongly suggest world travel and backpacking for as many of NE guys/girls abroad so that you can learn from the rest of the world in a far more interactive manner and learn so much about the mutual appreciation of the various world cultures and also in parallel enjoy everything offered on the plate and develop life long friendships. It will widen your horizons and the networking will be useful in more ways than you can count. If you do not have a passport get one immediately. Do not wait for opportunities or a medical reason and then at the last minute to get one. Much like a piano, its your regular interaction and presence of the instrument that will teach you the skills, not when the need to play piano arises, and then you decide last minute to make the purchase. Having a passport itself will make your mind search for avenues to use it.
F) Please familiarise yourself with the overall bag of tricks when it comes understanding the mindset internals of the people around you, and the manners in which they are employed in general within and outside your place of stay to not fall for obvious situational traps that can be very well averted or legally dealt wtih. Develop a street smart and aware approach to travel and intermingling within the subcontinent. You will be surprised initially to the radically different mindsets in every other country that you visit. The regular Indian Hindu mindset is built upon a very different social agenda, traditions and a set of indoctrinations, so largely keep this in mind, as you move forward with your own goals.
G) For the new youth and some confused people I get to meet in NE often- please don’t delve in the indentity confusion thought process or get fooled into taking things on face value, because you have significant traction in the complex history of India (and the world too) and you are taking part in world history right now this very moment, and how you take your preserved cultural background and history in a country of contradictions like India, is a well played game so far, that if you make minor changes and play well will make your ancestors proud. Stop watching Youtube viral videos and study more about yourself, your domain of choice and your history and culture. Education is the ultimate weapon in your arsenal. Drugs and violence will never solve anything and will only invite more evil and chaos in your life, which makes our rivals perversely enjoy the situation- so discipline is required and a healthy set of goals will ensure sure shot success. Love the motherland, hate the evil.
So what are we waiting for brothers and sisters – you are proud people of a proud demographic, and with already a head start in many significant things with many admirable and inspiring individuals and accomplishments from our communities.It is high time that we collectively understand this and unite in truly revolutionary manner to make NE a great collective – one that has stood the test of time, and one that aspires to be a role model for others. Contemporary without amnesiac about its origins. Being proud and prudent citizens of one’s home country, while maintaining an international outlook and humanitarian goals.
If I have to focus on the problems that can plague this promising development – I suppose there are quite many. But the ones which we create for ourselves is the most dangerous. I believe in this matter perhaps we are no different from other political factions or self segregating communities – we do have inter-tribal rivalry every now and then and this is something that must be curbed if collective progress is aimed for. There will always someone better than you in something, so if that makes your day sour, you need to get a life. Crab like mentality will only collectively bring everyone down and not the other way around. My suggestion is that if any of your friends does well, support and appreciate him or her and do your gutsiest effort to improve your performance. When comparison turns to competition, when you aim to better yourself rather than beat your opponent in every little thing, you will see the quality of life and your relationships improve. I personally do find myself immune to all this, but I do have concerns for NE if these issues continue unaddressed.
Of course I have not figured everything out already, so more problems will require more brainstorming, so the greater the number of people who do it together the faster and better the solution will be. Everyone has their own mileage, some have it easy and some have it tougher, what matters is how you deal with it.
I hope this rather short post sheds some light for the uninitiated peoples looking for some answers from the perspective of someone who straddles both sides in and out very well 🙂
But honestly while it may seem I have put lot of thought into these things, its mostly a side project of mine, because when it comes down to to dealing with the various kinds of evils, I mostly don’t really give a shit about things and can go full frontal confrontation/dialogue when required, and have been exceedingly successful in that, so far. And that can become a problem in future. I am firstly a human being and a Christian, an elder son to a proud and successful family, a Garo (achik), a researcher, musician, writer and everything else that comes with being a guy with a lot of swag in the big wide world, so I consider myself a global citizen . Everything else comes after the facts, so it can never be an impediment to anything I do or change anything about who I am in this world. I really need to see so far (30 years +)what or who can change this reality of mine.
Now let me get back to the Jazz track I was producing yesterday.