Why Nyishi’s want nomenclature change from Dafla to Nyishi?
It is believed that the term Dafla is derogatory, used for 'wild man' or 'barbaric' and the Nyishi's detested it. The Nyishi’s have never associated themselves with this term Dafla- a term given by the Ahom rulers whose origin and real meaning is not known; but always called themselves Nyishi- which is a generic term derived from two words Nyi or Nyia and Shing or Ashing meaning ‘Hunam Being’ or ‘People dwelling at highland regions’. However, this nomenclature has been passed down from Ahom rulers to the Britisher’s to the Indian's. Though lately, from the evidence garnered from various sources, the Nyishi intellectuals believes that the term Dafla may not be derogatory, after all. In fact, they seem to believe that it might have been derived from Nyishi term 'te-dofalak'- meaning 'to be an up there my residence' (loosely translated)
"It is said, during the time of meets, the plains people[stranger] asked the Nyishi, what is your name? So, the person responded, assuming asking his residential location and quickly replied; 'te-dofalak' meaning 'to be an up there my residence' [place]. Taking cue of onomatopoeic sound, the Nyishi was identified with the name dofalak which later on got corrupted into dafala, and during the British period further altered to an anglicized phonetic spelling form dafla."
Yet, the true meaning and origin of the term has to be ascertained but nevertheless, since the Nyishi's have never associated themselves with the term Dafla and has called themselves Nyishi from time immemorial, they have been demanding scrapping of term Dafla- which has an imperialistic tinge and replacing it with Nyishi.
Would the Nyishi's get their right nomenclature?
Going by the reactions of the visiting central team, it may very well be presumed that the Nyishi's may finally get their due and the term Dafla would be scrapped and Nyishi replaced instead. However, the Central team declined to comment anything on it yet, though.
But it is hoped that outcome would be positive.
"I'll not make any statement now, you will know later"-G.B. Mukherjee, Union Tribal Affairs Secretary.