investigation into women's roles were largely confined.
The reconstruction of the history of women, most remarkably in politics, was largely overlooked. Consequently, women and theirrole in the freedom struggle against colonialism were neglected until the pre-insurgencyperiod (1947-1966), when the reconstruction of ethno-national identity was taking place.During the course of such ethnic identity reconstruction, the call for an ‘ethno-hero’from the past went hand in hand with the revival of ethnic consciousness. Eventually, theMizo National Front (MNF) drew their inspiration from the Mizo warriors (
whohad fought against British colonialism in the Lushai Hills.
In due course, the Pasaltha, suchas
Chawngbawla, Taitesena, Vanapa, Saizahawla, Khuangchera
etc., wereincorporated by MNF standing troops as symbols of ‘ethnic patriotism’. Surprisingly, noteven a single woman’s name was included. This is evident also in the historiography of popular struggle in other parts of India, where women were “subsumed...women under thecategory of man thereby ensuring their invisibility, and created [creating] [sic] the myth of women’s passivity, on the other. It gave rise to the belief that men alone were capable of militant action, of leadership, of changing the course of event- in short of making history”.
In fact, the Mizo Insurgency broke out after the first women’s movement (i.e MizoHmeichhe Tangtual) was initiated in the post-colonial period. Ethnic nationalism can at timesbe emancipating; at other times it is a reactionary force of the subjugation of women. Since itsinception, the insurgency organisation (Mizo National Front) was entirely dominated by men.Despite this, many women embraced ethnic nationalism and participated in the insurgencymovement, though the actual practice of ethno-nationalism was reserved for men. Somewomen internalize patriarchal thinking within the politics of over-determined ethnicnationalism.
Recent histories of insurgency movements have largely dismissed theircontributions. Insurgency in Mizo hill thus, appears as a patriarchal war against the largerNational State for the restoration of ethnic, patriarchal order in the society. Women aresubsumed under the category of ‘Mizo Nationalism’; this had ambiguous effects, not only on
.For example, please see L. Malsawmi, Mizoram Kohhran Hmeichhe Chanchin, Synod PublicationBoard, Aizawl, Mizoram, 1973, Set On A Hill Light on The Lushai Hills After Forty Years Report of Women’s Work, Baptist Church of Mizoram, 1993 and others.
For further reading, please see Nirmal Nibedon; The Dagger Brigade, p.
.Indra Munshi Saldanha; Tribal Women in the Warli Revolt: 1945-47 ‘Class’ and ‘Gender’ in the LeftPerspective, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol XXI, No.17, 1986.p.
For further reading please see Denise Adele Segor;Tracing the persistent impulse of a bedrock nationto survive within the state of India: Mizo women's response to war and forced migration, FieldingGraduate University, 2006.