The Northeast region of India is a complex and remained one of the most marginalized regions from the mainstream India in the last half century. The entire region faced a range of conflicts due to different causes and has various objectives be it with inter-ethnic or political groups and Government of India. The conflict surrounding the state of Mizoram dates back to turmoil era of famine in 1959. Mizoram is geographically located on the international border of Myanmar and Bangladesh and by the Indian states of Assam and Tripura to the North and West and Manipur to the Northeast.
There is little information or indeed knowledge about Mizo culture, writing, people and their traditions and history in the Indian ‘mainland’ and this needs to change if there is to be better understanding and connection between the centre and its borderlands. Heinrich Böll Foundation, India office in collaboration with Centre for Northeast Studies and Policy Research (C-NES) initiated a research to study about the years of conflict-- ‘insurgency’ in the eyes of the State-- in the Mizo Hills District of Assam and during its existence as a Union Territory in the 1960s and 70s and 80s, and review the events and both medium and long term effects of the struggle on the people of Mizoram.
The study aimed to build up a corpus of documentation through oral narratives and photographs as well as a review of the writing and published literature over the last fifty odd years in order to focus attention on a period in the nation’s history that has rarely figured in contemporary discourse or even scholarly debates. By talking about what happened in the ‘rambuai’ years--the trouble years—the book titled “After Decades of Silence: Voices from Mizoram” emphasized on the effects of violence on the Mizo people, the Mizo approach to peace and peace-making and why the violence of the1960s remains unaddressed, almost silenced.
The book is brilliantly categorized into five major themes accordingly; Background, A Brief Review of Mizo Literature, Rambuai Literature, Conclusion and Literary Activities under Mizo Literature. This study was followed by a documentary film called “Rambuai Mizoram’s ‘Trouble’ Years” produced by Sanjoy Hazarika and Preeti Gill which was screened in different cities in the country.