A Brief History of The Chin National Day

The Chin National Day did not come into being accidentally but it came into existence as a result of the long and steady struggle against many systems we passed like such as the hereditary feudal system, colonialism and imperialism. This chronological day was born through national unity. The value of the date 20th February could be seen several times in the national movements of the Chin people - Chin National Education Development Organization was formed in 1918, Chin Hills Union Organization in 1928, nine proposals by the Chin leaders were conventional for discussion and general meeting was attended in 1938, and a general meeting was held in 1948. These movements were a signal of strong loyal spirit of the Chins towards their own state. On 20th February 1948, a representative of Tiddim Thawng Za Khai submitted a proposal in the general meeting, exposing the untold long sufferings of the Chins under traditional feudal chiefs and headmen, imposing heavy taxes on common Chin people, ordering the Chins to contribute voluntary labour without paying and making no development for the Chin people for decades. Majority of the Chins were in favour of abolishing hereditary feudal system of administration and bringing about modern democratic system of administration in the Chin Hills. Thus, 20th February is a historic and meaningful day for the Chins because they were able to achieve national solidarity and unity on this very day. On 9th October 1950, the Chin Affairs Council decided officially to honour 20th February as Chin National Day. The first Chin National Day was held in Mindat town on a grand scale on 20th February 1951. Attempts and proposals made to change the date and ‘Chin National Day’ to ‘Chin Special Division Day’ was not successful and the Chin Affairs Council announced in 1967 that the Chin people would continue to observe their national day as usual and not as Chin Special Division Day. Similar attempts have been made especially by the Burma’s military regime to change the national day to ‘Chin State Day’. This move has been seen by Chin people as a distortion of history to facilitate the policy of eliminating the Chin’s distinct national identity. In Burma, celebrating the national day with a banner reading ‘Chin National Day’ is illegal and not allowed. Chin people living in other countries around the world are therefore able to commemorate Chin National Day without having to worry about repercussion from Burmese military authorities. It is therefore the national duty of all the Chin people around the world to safeguard our national day, to preserve and maintain our culture, tradition, language and literature if we would like to keep Chin identity among the family of nations.