Friday, December 1, 2023

Staying the path

After Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the election schedule to five states including the counting date, the Mizoram Congress vice president and former chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuanungo raised strong objection against having the counting day on December 3 which is Sunday, the day all Christians observe as a day of worship. Not to be left behind, ruling Mizo National Front also joined the chorus against counting day on Sunday. Mizoram has been an example of devotion to the Christian religion. In Nagaland, Congress registered its opposition to counting being held on Sunday. Another regional party in Nagaland, the NPF, an ally of ruling NDPP party also raised strong objection against making December 3 as counting day. Counting for the bypoll to 43 Tapi assembly constituency will also be held on December 3, Sunday. Ruling Mizo National Front(MNF) also raised objection against Sunday as counting day. MNF chief minister Zoramthanga had urged upon the centre to alter the counting day to another date. So far it is apparent that the Centre is not willing to review the decision to alter counting day to any other day. Mizoram went to the polls on November 7 where the incumbent MNF under chief minister Zoramthanga is facing a challenge from the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) led by former MP Lalduhoma. The Congress is a distant third and expected to win anywhere from 4 to 6 seats. The Mizoram assembly has forty legislators and any party or alliance crossing 20-mark. MNF leader Zoramthanga kept his promise by not being at the same place with prime minister Narendra Modi when the latter visited the state for campaigning. Zoramthanga was expressing resentment against the unwillingness of the centre ruled by the BJP, to safeguard the lives and properties of Kuki-Zo community in Manipur under constant onslaught from the majority Meitei community and also the dubious role being played by the chief minister N.Biren Singh. Also Mizoram had openly backed the rights of Kuki-Zo community in Manipur who have been abandoned by the state and centre by announcing that it stood for the rights of Kuki-Zo and justice to victims. Mizoram is a unique state with a unique people who have created a paradise from the hell of the 60s during the Mizo national struggle. The election in Mizoram is mainly between the ruling MNF and the ZPM while the Congress is nowhere near obtaining double-digit figure. The culture of Mizoram is mainly influenced by Christianity. Hence, Christianity was given a special status on the state by the government while maintaining a minimum level of secular environment & approach. Mizos are devout followers of their Christian religion where the Presbyterian church is the dominant organisation and followed by the Baptists. The role and impact of the Mizoram Church is unquestioned and it mainly due to the reputation of being faithful adherents to the tenets of their faith. Be it transparency and accountability in public service or politics, even if they may not be perfect, yet Mizos remain united by their commitment and vision and serve as good example to other states in the region like Nagaland.


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