Understanding the BRU settlement
Centre, Mizoram and Tripura have signed an agreement with Bru/Reang community that promises to end 23 year old internal displacement crisis.
- The agreement among the Bru leaders and the governments of India, Tripura, and Mizoram, signed in New Delhi on January 16, gives the Bru the choice of living in either state.
What is in the Bru agreement?
- All Bru currently living in temporary relief camps in Tripura will be settled in the state, if they want to stay on.
- Each resettled Bru family will get land for building a home, One time cash benefit for sustenance, housing assistance, monthly allowance and free ration for 2 years.
- All cash assistance will be through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), and the state government will expedite the opening of bank accounts and the issuance of Aadhaar, permanent residence certificates, ST certificates, and voter identity cards to the beneficiaries.
Who are the Brus and how did they become internally displaced?
The Brus, aka Reangs, are spread across Tripura, Mizoram and southern Assam. In Mizoram, they are scattered in Kolasib, Lunglei and Mamit districts. While many Brus of Assam and Tripura are Hindu, the Brus of Mizoram converted to Christianity over the years.
Clashes in 1995 with the majority Mizos led to the demand for the removal of the Brus, perceived to be non-indigenous, from Mizoram’s electoral rolls. This led to an armed movement by a Bru outfit, which killed a Mizo forest official in October 1997. The retaliatory ethnic violence saw more than 40,000 Brus fleeing to adjoining Tripura where they took shelter in six relief camps.
Something about Bru (Reang) Community
- Reang or Riangare are one of the 21 scheduled tribes of the Indian state of Tripura.
- The correct nomenclature for this ethnic group is actually Bru although the name Reang was accidentally incorporated by the Indian government during a census count.
- The Bru can be found mainly in the North Tripura, Dhalai and the South Tripura districts of Tripura state in India. (there is one more district called West tripura - Agartala is part of that)
- However, they may also be found in Mizoram, Assam, Manipur and Bangladesh.
- They speak the Reang dialect which is of Tibeto-Burmese origin and is locally referred to as Kau Bru.
- Like many of the tribes in the north east of India, the appearance of the Bru is mongoloid.
- Primarily an agrarian tribe.
- In the past, they mostly practiced the Huk or Jhum cultivation
Dance and music:
- Dance is an integral part of Reang life.
- The Hojagiri folk dance of Riang sub tribe is rather well known all over the world.