The Chakma Autonomous District Council came into being with the re-organisation of the Pawi―Lakher Regional Council on 2nd April 1972 and subsequent elevation to the status of Autonomous District Council on this day 29th April 1972 under Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India. The re-organisation of the Pawi-Lakher Regional Council happened following amendment of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution in the North Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971 and in the Government of Union Territory (Amendment) Act, 1971. It has come to be under the district of Lawngtlai besides Lai Autonomous District Council. Chakmas constitute about 96% of the population while the rest belong to ethnic like Bawm, Pang and Reang.
Geography and Climate:
It is situated in the south western part of the State Mizoram and shares International Boundaries with Myanmar in the South and Bangladesh in the Waet. It roughly falls between latitude 21°58′ N and 22 °47′ and between longitude 92 °41′. It has an area of 686.25 sq.Km.
The terrain of the area is hilly and is covered by green forests. The Rajmandal hill range running from North to South encompasses the CADC. Rajmandal is the highest peak in Chakma Autonomous District Council. The climate is moderate. The area receives heavy rainfall during the rainy season. The whole area is characterized with sandy and loamy soil. Two major rivers Tuichawng and Theva fed by numerous tributaries run from South and North on either side of the Rajmandal hill range. For a great length these two rivers form the natural boundaries of CADC on the east and west.
Racially Chakmas are of Tibeto-Burman stock. They live in the Arakan state of Myanmar, CHT of Bangladesh and in the North-East India. We have our own distinct culture, language, script and religion. The learning of the Chakma language in their own script has been introduced within the schools managed by CADC. Before its introduction for learning in formal schools, it was mainly used by the traditional village physician to records their medicinal formula.
We practice Buddhism but also follow animism involving deities and spirits. Bizu is the main festival of the Chakmas. It is a New Year festival that coincides with the Bihu festival of the Assamese. Buddha Purnima, Maghi Purnima and Kathin Chibar Dhan are religious festivals observed by the Chakmas. Alpaloni is a festival observed to celebrate the first harvest of their Jhum.
The women wear colourful traditional attire which is woven in traditional loom at home. The traditional ornaments worn by the women are also unique.
Bamboo has a special place in the life of a Chakma. The traditional dwelling, furniture, cup, musical instruments, fire wood, mats, storage, cradle, fencing materials, fishing tools, etc. are all made of bamboos. It is also used as cookware to cook delicacies like rice, fish, meat, etc. Even the last rites of a dead man are performed by use of bamboo.
The CADC is very often referred to as a miniature state. The organisational setup of CADC is akin to that of the Central and the State Government with three administrative organs, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary comprising it.
The District Council is elected by adult franchise every five years unless dissolved earlier. There are 20 MDCs (Member of District Council) constituencies which elect their representatives to the District Council. In addition four members are nominated by the governor on recommendation of the Chief Executive Member out of which two seats are reserved for women and one for minorities. The election to the District Council and the Village Councils are conducted by the State Election Commission.
There are 83 Village Councils with 12, 929 families constituting a total of 56, 289 populations (CADC) village council population, 2017). The Village Councils elected by adult franchise have a term of five years unless dissolved earlier. A Village Council is responsible for administration of the village. They also serve as Village Court.