Mizoram - A state formed for Bamboo Trees and Rats
Many states in India were formed because of unique language, landscapes etc.
But do you know the story of how a behind when a state was formed due to bamboo trees and rats ?
A Fascinating History story for you
‘Mautam’ is a natural ecological phenomena which happens once every 50 years or so where a wild bamboo species suddenly flowers in great volumes. Mautam had happened in 1863 & 1911 and was expected to come again in 1958 in NE India
By itself, Bamboo Trees growing crazy isn’t a problem. But with all the flowers and seeds it brings the real trouble. Rats. Mautam brings a massive rodent infestation as a follow up and rats multiply by the thousands and you know that’s big trouble
Rats eat everything else also. Destroy crops. Cause diseases in humans. And lead to a big famine. The Mizo elders in NE India knew this from the previous famines & warned the Govt of Assam (Assam was one big state then) of the impending danger in 1958
As one would expect in such stories, The Govt of Assam had no respect for history and shooed away the warnings of the Mizo elders as tribal superstition. ????????♂️
Rats came. And started destroying everything. Famine struck killing many people and destroying even more property.
The locals took up the mantle themselves & estimated 2 million rats were killed. A bounty of 40paise per rat was placed & everyone scrambled to save their livelihoods The negligence of the govt led to creation of a Mizo National Famine Front by an accounting clerk, Laldenga
The famine front slowly took shape into a political organization and the Mizo National Front came in and later the Mizo National army to demand independence from India and Laldenga staged a big struggle in 1966. A bitter separatist struggle ensued for the next 2 decades
Laldenga took help from Pakistan first & Bangladesh & then later escaped as a refugee in London all the while fighting with the Indian army Finally, it seemed like a peace accord was going to come in Oct 1984. On the day Laldenga was to meet Indira Gandhi, she was assassinated!