2012 exodus birthed fear and a shelter

What started as a group of 30 people is now a full time operating association of about 3,000 members

Published: 18th November 2016 10:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th November 2016 03:30 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Back in 2012, when the otherwise peaceful city of Bengaluru witnessed a rampant exodus of the Northeast people, following a viral video of an alleged attack in Assam, the insecurities surfaced as 6,000 Northeasties left the city.

After the dust settled, majority of them returned to the city but the fear still lurked. One of the affected communities was Thadou. There are about 4,000 Thadous in Bengaluru as of now. They are one of the Mizo, Kukis, Chin ethnic tribes inhabiting the Northeast and Burma. Majority of the Thadous reside in Manipur. As the infamous exodus took place, and many were beaten up and chased, there were a section of Thadou students who decided to ensure their own safety.

“The exodus reminded us that anything can happen any time. We needed a body that represented our people. With no high goals but just for security, protection and promotion of our community, we formed Thadou Student Association in 2013 ,” says Michael Lamthangang Haokip, founder and president of the association. It is the fi rst association to represent this community in Karnataka. What started as a group of 30 people is now a full time operating association of about 3,000 members.

They do not have a proper offi ce, so they operate it from their house, mostly from Shanti Nagar. Two major Thadou events are celebrated by the association in a year. The fi rst one being Chavang Kut. The Autumn festival is a post harvest celebration celebrated enthusiastically by the Kuki, Mizo and Chin tribes especially of Manipur. Celebrating the harvest of rice, folk dances are performed. It has been three years since Chavang Kut has been celebrated in the city.

The event is annually organised on November 1 but this time it was celebrated on November 15 because of the unavailability of the venue. This year’s Chavang Kut also celebrated 60 years of recognition of the Thadou tribe by the Government of India. A cake cutting ceremony followed by an exhibition of Thadou culture was organised at State Youth Centre, Nrupathunga Road. A Thadou pop singer Kakai Kipgen, was one of the performers of the the event. The other function is the freshers welcome event.

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