At my childhood, I heard about a Chinese family with a surname Baruah. That time I could not understand the meaning of a Chinese family. I could not even get the logic behind a Chinese family’s stay at nearby our place. So far my knowledge was concerned; they even did not know when they came to Assam. From the day of his remembrance, he simply knew the Assamese culture. His mother was Assamese, so they used the surname of his mother. That time it was quite amazing and surprising for us to know one Chinese person at our locality. After all he was a foreigner….for the foreigners’ people are still crazy.
Any way I recalled this Chinese person, because now I came to know about him, about his back ground, about the meaning of their migration…..I have completed reading the book MAKAM (meaning Golden Horse in Chinese) by Rita Choudhury. It is indeed a Historical novel which carries the actual picture of the then Chinese society. It carries the actual reason of their migration and the exact scenario of the then China and India. They were not migrated; they were brought to India by the British for the Tea plantation years back. Almost 4 generations passed their life in India and Assam. But still they had to leave India only because of their Chinese originality at that time when China attacked India in 1962. Makam shows the struggles, sufferings and multiple tragedies of the then Chinese origin people. That period is considered as the Black period for the Chinese people.
I became speech less after completing this 602 pages book. I got emotional when the people of China patty of Makum got arrested due to political reasons….got a bit embarrassed about the activities of the then Students’ union….got depressed about the motivational actions and decisions taken by the then Prime Minister Nehru. Along with those people, we the common people also did not understand the political tricks for which they tried to maintain their so called political images in the society. After reading the book, a simple sympathy raised on my way to those Chinese people who were victimized un necessarily by the local people and the running Indian Government. I simply felt sorry for those people whose full fledged home was broken instantly within a night…who spent the rest of their life struggling severely in an unknown place under some political and social pressure.
There are still some Chinese people in the upper Assam…especially in Makum, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Doomdooma etc. They were still maintaining a dominated life by the system. They were still not recognized boldly in the society. Makam gave them their lost recognition, their lost prestige,their lost back ground and family. Now they are recognized at the world’s platform for which they can find their origin.
To complete this grand book, I am quite surprised to analyze the work plans of Rita Choudhury. I really overwhelmed to know her 5 year plan in collecting the datas, in studying the different materials on that time, in analyzing the historical back ground.
My grand salute to Rita Choudhury for her historical contribution in the Assamese literature.