Union Minister’s Meet With Chutiya Tribe Piques Twitter’s Interest

They amaze us. They baffle us. They even blow our minds!

Whether it’s their run-of-the-mill policies (that make us queue up for hours) or just some tweet about a particular tribal group, our politicians hardly fail to come up with something that make us not say “What the...” to “Enough internet for today”.

And while the whole nation debates the security and privacy concerns related to Aadhaar and its ultimate fate, one of our ministers have managed to get people’s attention to something completely different.

Jual Oram, the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs had tweeted about a tribal group of Assam called the “Aboriginal Chutiyas of Assam”, mentioning how a delegation of “All Chutiya Jati Sanmilan” wanted them to be included in the list of tribes residing in the plains.

But as soon as the blue bird arrived with the tweet, people started flipping out over the usage of the word “Chutiya”.

Initially, the response became all about “how could one of our ministers use such a derogatory word on a public platform?”

But soon, the baap of all debates began – whether it is “Chutiya” or Sutiya”.

And the Twitterati took it upon themselves to clarify if “Chutiyas” do exist? And if they do, are they really pronounced and spelled so? (Since people were confusing the name of the tribe with the Hindi slang)

Well, an incident like this is proof of how little we know about our tribal communities. What should have been a discussion on the inclusion of this Assamese tribe in the list (which pretty much took a backseat), soon turned into a Twitter war over the right spelling and pronunciation.

However, we’ve put together some interesting facts about them to help ease the ignorance.

1. Chutiya people have existed as early as the 7th century A.D. since their first king, Assambhina, dwelt on the banks of the Brahmaputra.

2. The early language spoken by them, also called Chutiya, has now become extinct.

3. While we are almost unaware of their existence, around 2.5 million of them reside in our country.

4. In 2012, Facebook started blocking accounts of thousands of people from this community as it thought that the accounts were fake and fabricated. This resulted in protests by “ The All Assam Chutia Students' Union” and burning of effigies of Facebook in five Assamese districts.

5. Even a sit-in in Guwahati was intended in the same year, to draw the government's attention to demands for tribal status and reservation for the community in educational institutions and preservation of historic monuments of the Chutiya dynasty.

Better informed yet?

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