Written byGogona Saikia ·
A tweet by Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram has reignited an old debate, and also exposed the ignorance of "mainstream" Indians about the northeast.
Oram tweeted about his meet with a delegation of the "All Chutiya Jati Sanmilan" regarding inclusion of the "Aboriginal Chutiyas of Assam" in the list of plains tribes.
Unsurprisingly, many social media users were surprised by his "language."
A delegation of All Chutiya Jati Sanmilan, Assam led by Shri R.P.Singh, MP (LS) called on me at my residence office, New Delhi and submitted a memorandum for inclusion of the Aboriginal Chutiyas of Assam in the list of plains tribes under 6th schedule of the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/jj6KYYT2RB— Jual Oram (@jualoram) March 12, 2018
"Sir Aap Unionminister hi! Aur aap aisa bhasha use kar rahe hi? Thoda respect dijiye (Sir you are a union minister and you are using such language? Please show respect)," said @vishuluk_s.
@RottenOnly went for sarcasm: "Impressive and very expressive language. Ur educational n political cureer must be impressive."
Even MP Baijayant Jay Panda was confused: "Am I reading this right?" he wondered.
When you're way to honest.. 😂— Dexter (@MunnaKaTunna) March 12, 2018
For our non-Hindi speaking readers, "chutiya" is a popular slang word in Hindi, commonly heard in the streets of North India.
For non-Assamese readers, "chutiya" is a tribe indigenous to the state. Wikipedia describes them as "the descendants of the Sino-Tibetan family of Mongoloid stock."
Most of the OBC community today resides in Upper Assam districts, though some have settled in Lower Assam too.
But then another debate erupted, this time about its spelling. Since it's pronounced "sutiya" in Assamese (the language doesn't have the "ch" sound), should it be spelt "Sutiya"?
In practice, both spellings are commonly used and accepted.
Oram stuck to his version: "If you spell it Sutia the pronunciation in Assamese becomes Hootia. Chutiya is the spelling and pronunciation is Sutia," he explained.
Here're some interesting facts about Assam's Chutiyas. According to historians, the word came from "chut," or "mountain top," where they used to reside as far back as 700 AD.
Their original language, also called 'Chutiya,' has become extinct.
There are reportedly around 2.5mn Chutiyas in India.
In 2012, a controversy erupted when Facebook started banning accounts of people with the surname, considering them fake.
Do you know there's a police station named 'Chutia' in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand? User @swachhbharat13 shed some light on it: "The policemen there greets by saying 'aapka chutia police station me swagat hai' (You are welcome to Chutia police station)."
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