Dima Hasao district

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Dima Hasao District
ডিমা হাছাও জিলা
district
Dima Hasao District is located in Assam
Dima Hasao District
Dima Hasao District
Coordinates: 25°11′N 93°02′E / 25.18°N 93.03°E / 25.18; 93.03Coordinates: 25°11′N 93°02′E / 25.18°N 93.03°E / 25.18; 93.03
Country India
State Assam
District Dima Hasao District
Headquarters Haflong
District created 02-02-1970
Government
 • Type Autonomous
 • Body Dima Hasao Autonomous Council(DHAC)
 • Chief Executive Member ( CEM ) Debojeet Thaosen
Area
 • Total 4,890 km2 (1,890 sq mi)
Elevation 513 m (1,683 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 213,529
 • Density 43.667/km2 (113.10/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Assamese
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 788XXX
Telephone code 91 - (0) 03673
Vehicle registration AS-08
Website nchills.gov.in

Dima Hasao (Assamese: ডিমা হাছাও জিলা) (Pron: ˈdɪmə həˈsaʊ) district — earlier called North Cachar Hills district (Assamese: উত্তৰ কাছাৰ পাৰ্বত্য জিলা) — is an administrative district in the state of Assam in north-eastern India. As of 2011 it is the least populous district of Assam (out of 27).[1] "Dima Hasao" means "Dimasa Hills" in the Dimasa language.

History[edit]

In the absence of written records it is difficult to predict the first settler tribes of Dima Hasao but the Dimasa Kacharis are usually considered as the first settlers. After their expulsion from the plains of Brahmaputra Valley and later on from their capital Dimapur, the Kacharis Chief probably arrived at the present Dima Hasao areas in search of land and security around 1536 AD and set up their capital at Maibang ( মাইবং ). According to the oral accounts of the Zeme Nagas, they were the first settlers of the areas. As such Verrier Elwin in his book ‘The Nagas in the Nineteenth century’ also mentioned that the Nagas were the earliest inhabitants of the soil and probably the first settlers of Haflong areas, the district headquarters. According to the oral tradition maintains by the Zeme Nagas, the first wave of the Zeme migrators must have arrived in the area during the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century. According to Bower, the Baite and Hrangkhal Kuki arrived from the South East in the first year of the 19th century and in the mid 19th century a large body of Thadao Kuki again entered Dima Hasao from the same direction.By about 1536 Dima Hasao district became a part of the Dimasa Kachari kingdom till 1832. The kingdom was extended from Jamuna in the North to the foot-hills of Lushai Hills in the south & from the Kopili in the west to the Angami & Katcha Naga hills beyond the Dhansiri in the east. The Dimasa Kachari kings had their Capitals successively at Kachomari, Dimapur, Maibang, Kashpur and lastly at haridikhor>Horitikor ( Karimganj district near Badarpur). In 1830, the Dimasa king Gobinda Chandra Hasnusa was assassinated by his own general Gambhir Singh, after that the British annexed the southern part of the kingdom on 14 August 1832 under the doctrine of Laps. The rest was ruled by last Dimasa General Tularam Hasnusa. In 1837 a portion of Tularam’s kingdom was further annexed to the British Empire & constituted into a sub-division of Nagaon district in 1837 with headquarters at Asalu. In 1854, on the death of Senapati Tularam Hasnusa, the remaining portion of his kingdom was finally annexed to the British Empire & added to the Asalu sub-division.

In 1867 this sub-division was abolished and apportioned into three parts among the districts Cachar, Khasi & Jaintia Hills & Nagaon.

The present Dima Hasao district was included in the old Cachar district with Asalu being only police outpost. In 1880, this portion was constituted into a sub-division with Headquarters at Gunjung under Cachar district.

Tin Kilo (three kilometer), a neighbouring village of Umrangso

This headquarters was shifted to Haflong in 1895. Since then Haflong continues to be the headquarters. In 1951, after commencement of the constitution of India, Dima Hasao as specified under paragraph 20 of the sixth schedule to the constitution,ceased to be a part of Cachar district. This part along with Mikir Hills constituted a new civil district namely “ United district of North Cachar & Mikir Hills” with effect from 17 November 1951. According to the provision of sixth schedule, two different councils were constituted later on, viz., Dima Hasao District Council & Karbi Anglong District Council within the geographical boundary of that district. Dima Hasao District Council was inaugurated on 19 April 1952. In 2 February 1970, Government declared an independent administrative district, viz., Dima Hasao District with the geographical boundary of autonomous Dima Hasao district council. It may be mentioned here that at present this autonomous council possesses administrative control over almost all departments of the district except Law & order, Administration & Treasury Deptt.

Geography[edit]

The district headquarters are located at Haflong. Dima Hasao district occupies an area of 4,888 square kilometres (1,887 sq mi).,[2] comparatively equivalent to Brazil's Ilha Grande do Gurupá.[3] It is the third largest district of Assam with 4888 km2 after Karbi Anglong and Sonitpur district. Dima Hasao District is surrounded by Karbi Anglong district (E) and Nagaland on North east, Manipur on East, Nagaon Dist. on North, Karbi Anglong Dist(W) on North-west, Meghalaya on West and Cachar district on South.

Politics[edit]

Dima Hasao district is an Autonomous District (Lok Sabha constituency) enjoying the Sixth Schedule status granted by the Constitution of India. The Dima Hasao District. is administered by Dima Hasao Autonomous Council (DHAC). Members of the Autonomous Council (MAC)are elected by people of Dima Hasao. The Political party who has majority MACs form the ruling party. The Autonomous Council is a powerful body and almost all the department of government are under its control except the police and Law & Order is under Assam Government.

Festival[edit]

Bushu/Bishu Dima

The Dimasa of Dima Hasao District, being agrarian people, celebrate various agricultural festivals in different ways and at different times. Mostly Dimasa inhabiting North Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong districts are successful in preserving their age old traditional religious beliefs and practices in and through the celebration of several festivals, with some exceptions, due to being Hinduised.

The Dimasa festival can be categorized into community festivals and local festivals. The local festivals are performed by each village separately, and participation is restricted to the people of the village concerned. The community festivals are Misengba and Bishu, while local festivals are Khorongfang Gerba, Maisalai Gerba, Rajini Gerba, Hor-ni Gerba etc.

Economy[edit]

In 2006 the Indian government named Dima Hasao one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[4] It is one of the eleven districts in Assam currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).[4]

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2011 census Dima Hasao district has a population of 213,529,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Samoa.[5] This gives it a ranking of 588th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 44 inhabitants per square kilometre (110 /sq mi) .[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 13.53%.[1] Dima Hasao has a sex ratio of 931 females for every 1000 males,[1] and a literacy rate of 78.99%.[1]

The major tribes inhabiting the district are Dimasas, Kukis, Zeme Nagas etc. Other significant ethnic groups include the Biates, Hrangkhawls, Vaipheis who are also Kuki, Karbis, Khasi-pnars and Khelmas. Dimasa are the most highly Populated and Major Tribe of Dima Hasao, The Dimasas Constitute more than half (Around 62% in 2011) of total population, where as Non-Dimasa tribes and Non Tribals like- Bengali, Jeme naga,Nepalese, Hmar, Kuki all together constitute 38% of total population.

Languages[edit]

Major languages spoken in the district are the Dimasa, Assamese, Zeme, Hrangkhol, Kuki, Biate, Khelma, and few languages of Indo-Aryan like Haflong Hindi (a speech form of Hindi) and Bengali. Dimasa and Haflong Hindi are the lingua franca in the Dima Hasao.[6]

Religion[edit]

From the 2001 Census data,[7] it can be seen that 62.18% of all the tribals and 86.57% of the non-tribals living in DHD are Hindus. Of all the Hindus, 48.71% are Dimasa, 39.27% are non-tribals, 5.68% are Rongmei Naga, and 3.83% are Karbi. 98.73% of the Dimasa, 86.57% of the non-tribals, 85.71% of the Hajong, 47.39% of the minor tribes, 46.65% of the Garo and 43.72% of the Naga are Hindu.

Tribe Pop Hindu Hindu% Animist
All Tribes 128,428 79,853 62.18% 630
Dimasa 64,881 64,055 98.73% 13
Naga 17,078 7,467 43.72% 586
Kuki 16,757 1,266 7.56% 22
Hmar 13,863 114 0.82% 0
Mikir 7,973 5,037 63.18% 0
Khasi 3,157 115 3.64% 3
Minor Tribes 2,391 1,133 47.39% 0
Non-Tribals 59,651 51,639 86.57% 3
All Pop 188,079 131,492 69.91% 633

Culture[edit]

The district is globally known for a place named Jatinga, a village, which is famous for the phenomenon of birds “committing suicide”. Although the birds do not commit suicide and are actually killed, the phenomenon of suicide has spread far and wide among common people[8] The village is inhabited by about 2,500 [Khasi-pnar] tribal people.

At the end of monsoon months especially on moonless and foggy dark nights between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., birds are disturbed by the locals and they are attracted to lights. These dazed birds are captured using bamboo poles by the locals. Famous naturalist late E.P. Gee brought this phenomenon at a global level 1960s. He drove to Jatinga with famed ornithologist late Salim Ali.[9] The cause of it is likely to be disorientation at high altitudes and high-speed winds due to the widespread fog characteristic at the time. The zoological survey of India sent Dr Sudhir Sengupta to unravel this mystery. Dr Sengupta is of the opinion that weather conditions make changes in the magnetic qualities of the underground water in this area.[citation needed] However, Dr Sengupta could not justify his opinions. The most recent description of the phenomenon and its comparison with similar incidents elsewhere in Malaysia, Philippines and Mizoram is found in the book The Birds of Assam by Assam's best-known ornithologist Dr Anwaruddin Choudhury. He concluded that the birds, mostly juveniles and local migrants, are disturbed by high-velocity winds at their roost. When the disturbed birds fly towards lights as refuge, they are hit with bamboo poles and killed or injured.[10]

Education[edit]

Average literacy rate of Dima Hasao in 2011 were 77.54 compared to 67.62 of 2001. All schools of Dima Hasao are run either by the state government or by private organisations. Mostly English is the primary languages of instruction in most of the schools. The schools are recognized to "Board of Secondary Education, Assam" ( SEBA ) and "Assam Higher Secondary Education Council" ( AHSEC ). All Colleges of Dima Hasao are affiliated to Assam University, a central university, which imparts education in both the general as well as professional streams. The university, which came into existence in 1994, has 16 schools and 35 post-graduate departments under them. The university has 51 affiliated colleges under it.[11]

Colleges in Dima Hasao;
  • B. Bodo College,
  • Maibang Degree College,
  • Haflong Government College,
  • Sengya Sambudhan College,
  • J.B Hagjer College
Reputed English Medium Schools of Dima Hasao
In Haflong
  • St. Agnes High School,
  • Don Bosco Higher Secondary School
  • Synod Higher Secondary School
In Maibang
  • Pranabananda Vidya Mandir High School
  • Ever Green High School
  • Sainja Valley High School
  • Don Bosco High School
  • Maibang High School
  • Maibangkro High School

Media[edit]

Radio[edit]

All India Radio, Akashvani Haflong broadcasts from Haflong at 100.02 Megahartz on FM band.

Local newspapers[edit]

  • Haflong Khurang (Dimasa weekly)
  • Haflong Times (English weekly)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  2. ^ Srivastava, Dayawanti et al. (ed.) (2010). "States and Union Territories: Assam: Government". India 2010: A Reference Annual (54th ed.). New Delhi, India: Additional Director General, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India), Government of India. p. 1116. ISBN 978-81-230-1617-7. 
  3. ^ "Island Directory Tables: Islands by Land Area". United Nations Environment Program. 1998-02-18. Retrieved 2011-10-11. "Ilha Grande do Gurupá 4,864km2" 
  4. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (September 8, 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme". National Institute of Rural Development. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  5. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Samoa 193,161" 
  6. ^ Col Ved Prakash, "Encyclopaedia of North-east India, Vol# 2", Atlantic Publishers & Distributors;Pg 575, ISBN 978-81-269-0704-5
  7. ^ Table ST-14, Census of India 2001
  8. ^ Choudhury, A.U. (1986). Bird killing at Jatinga. The Sentinel 7 September.
  9. ^ Gee, E.P. (1964). The Wild Life of India. Collins, London.
  10. ^ Choudhury, A.U. (2000). The Birds of Assam. Gibbon Books & WWF-India, Guwahati.240pp.
  11. ^ Assam University Homepage

External links[edit]