Monday, September 26, 2011

Famine II.

This is coolbert:

Famine - - Mizoram.


Here with an instance of a famine that resulted in a war.

The Mizo Rebellion. A guerrilla insurgency in part a reaction to a famine the origins of which were not man-made but naturally occurring.

The Mizo people of that most eastern part of India, suffering starvation and famine, the year is 1958, Mizoram that portion bordering Burma, rising up in rebellion in response to what they perceived as a lackadaisical and indifferent response to the famine on the part of the local state and central government in Delhi. War!

Thanks for the idea for this blog entry from a recent PBS television broadcast on the topic.

Mautam - - a forty-eight year cyclical die off of the bamboo forest. The entire forest within a short span of time flowering, fruiting, dying. Again, a naturally occurring phenomenon happening once every forty-eight years, 1958 [again in 2006] - - that die off resulting in a catastrophic and overwhelming situation for the local people [Mizo]. That flowering, fruiting and die off allowing the local black rat population to reproduce in prodigious numbers, spawning a plague of rat infestation of biblical proportions, the Mizo people having their subsistence rice crop utterly and totally destroyed. For one year the Mizo having to endure famine. This again historically occurring every forty-eight years!!

"Every 48 years, a cyclic ecological phenomenon called Mautam leads to widespread famine in this region. When such a famine started in 1959, the Mizos were left disappointed by the Assam Government's handling of the situation"

[the Mizo are subsistence farmers, their needs for food crops satisfied only on a year to year basis.]

"Mautam . . .  is a cyclic ecological phenomenon that occurs every 48 years in the northeastern Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur . . . creating a widespread famine in those areas."

"This event is followed invariably by a plague of Black Rats in what is called a rat flood. This occurs as the rats multiply in response to the temporary windfall of seeds and leave the forests to forage on stored grain when the bamboo seeds are exhausted, which in turn causes devastating famine"

The Mizo are almost literally eaten out of house and home by the black rats, so great and terrible is the infestation!

The Mizo rebellion in large measure due to the "a lackadaisical and indifferent response" on the part of various governmental authorities, the Mizo initiating a guerrilla insurgency that lasted to some degree for TWENTY YEARS, THE INSURRECTION ONLY RESOLVED BY NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT!

[the Mizo people by geographic location, language, race, ethnicity and religion very much different from the rest of the Indian population, to a degree desirous for autonomy or even independence - - as absurd as that idea might sound!! Mautam only exacerbating an already tense situation!]

"The March 1966 Mizo National Front uprising was a revolt against the Government of India, aimed at establishing a sovereign state for the Mizos . . . The Government suppressed the uprising and recaptured all the places seized by the MNF by 25 March 1966. Counter-insurgency operations continued over the next few years, although the intensity of the rebellion diminished over time progressively till its complete resolution in the 1986 peace talks"

Armed guerrilla insurgency is endemic to that area of India! That very northeast portion of the country bordered by Bangladesh on the west and Burma on the east? The South Asia Terrorism Portal [SATP] continues to show rebellion as occurring in Mizoram, but NOT the same insurgency that began in 1966.

That response to the mautam in 2006 by the local state and central government in Delhi was far better this time than it was forty-eight year prior? So it would seem. That negotiated settlement seems to have worked and for the better. Quite often that is how insurgencies are brought to an end, a conclusion satisfactory for all concerned parties and for the betterment hopefully of all!


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