Vol 37 (2017): Special issue: Generations and Memory: Continuity and Change

Fractured Inheritance: Negotiating Memories of the Mizo Insurgency in India’s North Eastern Borderlands

Renee Lulam
Independent Scholar
Published March 31, 2017


In 1966, following a severe food shortage of famine proportions, Mizoram in India's North East declared independence from the Indian State. The Indian Government’s response included carpet bombings, prolonged curfews, forced labour, and beatings. People were in constant fear of being labelled ‘rebels’ by the Indian Government, or ‘betrayers’ by the Insurgents. Censorship was rampant and oppressive. People fell back on oral practices to communicate their stories, news and expressions. This has also meant blank spaces in Mizo memory of this period. Recently, a generation of Mizo researchers and scholars who have grown up with new media technologies, or their development, has sought to illuminate these gaps. The internet, with its vast potential for expression has become a site for exploration, narration and recollection. This article reflects on how a post-insurgency, techno-savvy generation negotiates these splinters in their community’s narrative and the public memory they have inherited thirty years after the Peace Accord.