i called mark a few days ago, and asked what was happening about the mautam (famine caused by an increase of rat population, linked to the 48-50 year life cycle of the bamboo) in mizoram. he said it was the best thing that happened to politicians in 48 years. the corruption in mizoram being what it is, one worries how this year is going to be. while i cannot find statistics to support that accusation, there is a very strong perception in mizoram that officials are corrupt. this is a small society, and people tend to know each other quite well, and lifestyles are easily visible to others. there is an article on the govt of mizoram’s information and public relations department’s website that seems to take this corruption for granted!
an action aid report says that the mamit and lawngtlai districts are the worst affected so far. sinlung has a rather grim report on the sutuation, dated april 1st. mizosoft talks of a rs. 7.37 crore loss to farmers. in mizoram, that is a lot. and the situation can only get worse with the rains. while there are reports of the government releasing funds for aid, i wonder how much will reach the people who need it the most.
shantanu has written a rather good piece called ‘silent tragedies we ignore’ on mutiny. the last mautam that happened, btw, was the one that led to mizoram’s declaring independence from india. and the indian government, who could not be bothered to send food, found it quite necessary to send the airforce and the army, giving mizoram the dubious distinction of being the only state in india to have been bombed by its own government.
this time round, however, it does not look like mainland india is the one screwing the people over, it is our own people. fathers, mothers, uncles, aunties, cousins. all ready to make a quick buck out of other’s suffering. maybe there will be another revolution, another attempt at freedom. but this time round, who do we fight against? who do we declare freedom from?