When the people learnt about the upcoming freedom of India from the British dominance, they organized the Maras Chiefs Conference in January 1945 at Saikao. In the conference the demand for a separate administration was unanimously supported and memorandums were submitted to the Superintendent of South Lushai Hills, Aijal.
Mara is a district tribe situated in the southern edge of the state of Mizoram. Maras were also believed to be an off-shoot of the group Kuki-Chin, belonging to Tibeto-Burman family. Their origin is still shrouded in mystery but their ancestral homeland is believed to be located in South China. Their migration from South China took them to the hills of north Burma through Tibet. For a brief period of time, they settled in Chin Hills. During late 17th century, they moved to the present Mara land. It is said that the Maras are dwelling in this land since three centuries. The region is surrounded by the blue Kolodyne (Beino) river, making it appear like a semi-island. Mara land spans over an area of 1445 square kilometres. In the east and south it is bordered by Burma and in the north and west by Lai Autonomous District Council. Mara land was previously ruled by their chiefs and the region enjoyed complete independence before the advent of British rule.
With the approach of British Empire towards the borders of Mara land, the Maras started attacking the British. Such actions became intolerable to the British rulers and the region was finally captured by them in 1924. Any self Government or political autonomy was not organized for managing the local affairs of Mara land. For some time, the Mara chiefs and the British Superintendent ruled over the region.
Later, when the British India brought the land under their rule, the homeland of Maras was divided for administrative convenience. One of the parts was included in the East Bengal province and the other major part was granted to the Government of Burma (Myanmar). The part added to East Bengal province later, after 20 years, was merged with the South Lushai (Mizo) Hills under the Assam province. Consequently, a small portion of the region with Maras remained in India. Maras emerged as brave and powerful warriors owing to their frequent and successful raids on neighbouring tribal communities.
(Last Updated on : 05-09-2013)
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