MIZOS: A CULTURAL TROVE
The North East part of India is a cultural trove.
Various tribes, sub-tribes and communities from various locations have settled in this verdant fertile tropical region of the present-day north-eastern part of India at different times of the year.
Yet another remarkable aspect of the hundreds of tribes and sub-tribes living in the north-eastern part of India is that the tribes somehow identify among themselves.
This is despite the fact that each of the tribes has its own typical dress and customs.
MIGRATION INTO NE
There is another fascinating fact about the people of the north-eastern part of India.
The fact that people belonging to various tribes of different backgrounds settle within a geographical location is a subject of research.
The political compulsions besides, the fact remains that indivijduals and groups belonging to diverse beliefs and cultures settled down in the north-eastern part of the present-day India at a different places at various times.
The point to note is that such migration has been over a period of time. Obviously, the exodus was in search of a better pasture and livelihood.
Similar is the case with Mizoram.
MIZORAM: HOME OF MANY TRIBES
Mizoram is inhabited by many tribes.
Each of these tribes settled down in the modern-day Mizoram at separate times. Obviously, some ‘unknown’ affinity among them made them united.
Interestingly enough, each of the Mizo tribes have each typical culture, language and cultural heritage.
MIZOS: THE COMMON FACTOR
The common factor is that their roots are generally traced to the present-day China across the Himalayan ranges.
These tribes are now identified as the ‘Mizos’ in India.
Members of this tribe migrated from the Shan kingdom of China at different points of history, settled at different places in East Asia and finally migrated to the present-day North East part of India from the Chin hills of Myanmar more than 300 years ago.
First, the Mizos settled for some time in the Kabaw valley now in Myanmar in the early part of the 16th century.
After a couple of years, a few of these warring agrarian tribes shifted to the Khampat valley while some others moved on to the Chin Hills – all in the present-day Myanmar.
It was in the fag end of that century that the Mizos migrated towards the north-eastern part of present-day India.
The people of the first wave of the Mizo influx into NE India were known as the Kukis. The Mizos who followed them in the subsequent years are identified as the New Kukis.
THE JEW CONNECTION
An interesting aspect of the Mizos is that a significant number of the Mizo population claim to be of the Jew root.
In fact, many of these people have also approached the Government of India and also the Government of Israel to give them permission to settle in Israel – the ‘promised’ land of the Jews from across the globe.
Following the claim, DNA tests have been conducted of the claimants. The medical examinations have also borne out the fact.
Some of the Mizos have now settled in Israel.
MIZORAM: DOWN THE ANNALS
Mizoram went through a very turbulent period in the 18th and the 19th centuries. Intermittent internecine clashes and counter-expeditions in the area vaguely identified as the Mizo Hills.
The disturbances drew the attention of the British rulers. Finally, by the 1895 proclamation, the Mizo Hills became a part of the British empire. The Lushai Hills district was formed by uniting the northern and southern hills with its headquarters in Aizawl three years later, i.e., in 1898.
Notably, the British rulers wanted to further their motives especially in the tribal dominated areas of undivided Assam till 1919. All these areas including the Lushai hills were declared as an ‘Excluded Area’ in 1935.
The British tenure marks a watershed in the political history of the region. The first political party of the Lushai Hills was formed on April 9, 1946. Christened Mizo Common People’s Union, this political party played a pivotal role in mobilizing public opinion and in educating the masses about their rights and duties especially in the political arena. In the later years, the Mizo Common People’s Union was renamed as the Mizo Union.
Following Independence and the constitution of the Constituent Assembly to draft the Constitution for the country, the next major step was taken for the tribal people of the country, and that includes the North East part of India.
The Constituent Assembly formed a sub-committee to give suggestions about the tribals and minorities of the north-eastern region. It was chaired by Gopinath Bardoloi, the first Prime Minister of undivided Assam in the post-Independence phase.
Acting on the suggestions, the Constituent Assembly and the political leadership of the country granted a certain amount of autonomy to the Lushai Hills. This was done under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
A direct consequence of this step was the formation of the Lushai Hills Autonomous District Council in 1952. A natural and significant corollary of this major political measure was the total abolition of the institution of chieftainship in the Mizo society and the Lushai Hills.
The Mizos were not satisfied with the limited autonomy as it partially fulfilled their political and economic aspirations. The leaders of the Mizo Unuion and Lushai Hills District Council approached the States Reorganization Commission (SRC) in 1954.
The move was for integration of the Mizo-inhabited areas of Manipur and Tripura with the District Council (within Assam).
The SRC had consultations with the leaders, and offered its recommendations. However, the Mizo political parties were not satisfied with the suggestions, and demanded a separate state.
This time the demand was for the integration of all the hill districts of Assam. To further their demand, they formed a political entity, the Eastern India Union. The rebellion went on for over 30 years.
Finally, the Parliament brought about an amendment to the Constitution of India paving the path for the creation of a new state. Mizoram became a full-fledged state of the Indian union on February 20, 1987.
MIZORAM: BIRD’S EYE VIEW
Area : 21,087 sq. km
Altitude : 1018 Meters
Latitude : 210 58'& 240 35'N
Longitude : 920 15' & 930 29'E
Average Rainfall : 250 cm per annum
Temperature : 20-300C in summer; 11-210C in winter
Population (2001) : 8, 91,058
Population Density : 42 per sq. km
Sex Ratio : 938 female per 1000 male
Female population : 4, 31,275
Male population : 4, 59,783
Literacy rate : 88.49%.
NOTE: It is the second highest after the south Indian state of Kerela.
Postal Code (Aizawl HO) : 796001
STD Code : 389
TOURIST DESTINATION SPOTS
Aizawl, Tamadil, Bung, Dampa, Beraw, Murlen among others.
DECENTRALISATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE POWER
The Indian union functions through decentralization of power. This division of administrative power ensures accountability and percolation of the benefits of the government schemes to the individual at the grassroots level.
Here is an account of the administrative setup of the Indian union.
The smallest and basic unit of the Indian society is the individual. The family is the next unit of administration. Several families of different localities within a geographical location form a village. A predetermined number of villages form a block. A number of blocks form a tehsil, and a number of tehsils constitute a subdivision.
A collection of several subdivisions form a district. Therefore, a state of the Indian union is divided for administrative purposes into several districts having many smaller units for decentralization of power.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE HEAD OF A DISTRICT
The administrative head of each of the eight districts is the deputy Commissioner (DC). The DC carries on two other important functions, viz., that of the district magistrate and also that of the district collector.
The DC has to carry out various functions. The purview of the district magistrate is the overall law-and-order situation of the area under his jurisdiction. Therefore, the superintendent of police (SP) of the district has to report directly to the DC.
The DC is also reposed the onerous responsibility of overlooking the collection and recovery of revenue.
Total districts : 8
Total towns : 22
Total villages : 817
Total sub-divisions :23
Total blocks : 22
Rajya Sabha seats : 1
Lok Sabha seats : 1
Assembly seats : 40