The word “Chakma” and “Hajong” evokes emotion amongst people of India especially from those belonging to the North-eastern states. Who are these people? Where are they located and what is their origin, history, culture and ethnicity? What is their constitutional status? Are they citizens, foreigners or refugees? How are they different from or similar to the rest of the Chakma and Hajong tribals in India? How do they compare with refugees like the Tibetans and others? Are they recognized as scheduled tribes and what is the movement for restoration of rights of Chakma and Hajong peoples all about?
It is questions like these and many other such questions that are often asked both within and outside the state that has prompted CRDO, a civil society NGO working for the restoration of rights and development of these marginalized tribes to come up with this FAQ sheet as an attempt to answer some of the basic questions relating to the Chakma and Hajong peoples of Arunachal Pradesh.
The list of questions selected has been classified under 5 broad knowledge areas – history, demography, political, socio-economic and constitutional. These are by no means exhaustive list of questions or categories, but some beginning must be made to place the facts as-is and make the information readily available. For there are still many misconceptions and misgivings even about what little is supposedly known not to speak of the yet vastly unknown areas of knowledge.
Some of the questions are subjective and answering these may involve interpretation of facts or expression of opinions which may be at variance with the official stand of the government or affected stakeholders. To those we urge you to provide us your views and counter us with facts.
It is through a mutual appreciation of views and data-driven approach that a resolution to even the most intractable problems can be achieved in a dialogical process. The Chakma and Hajong issue in the state has been lingering on for many decades now and a solution must be found without any further delay. It will be our endeavour to answer any question not included in this FAQ. If you have any question that is bothering you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall try to respond as early as possible. The answers may not be to your liking or satisfaction, but we would try to reply to all questions and keep the dialogical process on with anyone keenly interested on the subject for finding alternative paths towards a better world.