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Pragmatism of Mizos: Zoramthanga ‘cautious’ on Greater Mizoram demand


MNF chief says unification of Kuki-Chin-Mizo tribes can’t be imposed

Nirendra Dev
NEW DELHI, MAY 20: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga is a former militant leader and was a close aide and lieutenant of the region’s one of the most pragmatic rebel leader, Late Laldenga.
Addressing the ruling MNF workers at the party office in Aizawl on Friday, the Mizoram Chief Minister said that initiatives on Greater Mizoram or unification of Kuki-Chin-Mizo tribes should come from ‘our kindred brothers’ in Manipur.
He was emphatic that the issue of unification of these tribes should not be imposed.
“The issue of unification of all inhabited areas of our kindred brothers in neighboring States highly featured in the peace talks held with the Indian Government and the erstwhile underground MNF leadership”, he recalled.
Zoramthanga also maintained that the Centre had then said that the subject fell under Article 3 of the Constitution of India.
The question of Unification of Mizo inhabited areas of other States to form “one administrative unit” was raised by the MNF delegation during peace parleys in 1985-86. It was pointed out to them, on behalf of the Government of India, that Article 3 of the Constitution of India describes the procedure in this regard but that “the Government cannot make any commitment in this respect”, a source said.
The unification of Naga areas had figured the 16-Point Agreement too.
Zoramthanga is only being pragmatic when he understands the limitations of his power. Thus, he says he cannot directly interfere in the internal affairs of the neighboring State.
The scale of communal and ethnic violence was really shocking. Things went so bad that 10 Kuki MLAs even pointed at police failure.
State DGP P Doungel denies the allegation and said, “All the Kuki/Meitei policemen, right from DGP to the lowest rank, whether in Khaki or in Green are all performing their duties to their best wherever they are assigned.”
Kuki MLAs, in a letter addressed to the Union Home Minister, had said “all Meitei police were let loose upon Kuki residents of the city as well as the foothill villages on May 3 and thereafter”.
These speak of the intensity of problems.
The Mizoram Chief Minister said he had spoken to Amit Shah and his Manipur counterpart N Biren Singh on the pressing issues.
“We have tried our best to bring peace and tranquillity in Manipur as well as look after internally displaced people in Manipur taking shelter in the State and evacuation of stranded people from the neighboring State”, said MNF president.
He also said that unification of all contiguous areas inhabited by Zo tribes have been one of the main objectives of the founding leaders of the party. While unification of ‘Zo’ tribe inhabited areas in foreign countries – Myanmar and Bangladesh – would be difficult at this time, unification of ethnic Mizos areas living in Indian States of Manipur, Assam and Tripura had been propounded by the MNF all the time, he said.
The elected ‘Zo’ legislators of Manipur and the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) have decided to work for a Separate Administration of the hill areas in Manipur.
Now to wrap up, there is a need to learn pragmatism from Mizos by all concerned groups and militants.
At the same time, we must talk about intellectuals and the media in every conflict zones.
Pakistani intellectuals have now started breaking silence on the 1971 debacle. In 1971, they now say that political leaders of the time failed to respect a democratic election while military ruler Yahya Khan had engaged in a “reckless military operation”.
The result was the inglorious bloody separation of Pakistan’s eastern wing, says a piece in Dawn newspaper.
We may be little more pragmatic as there are enough inherent contradictions and complex situations. North East India should not flirt with idea of proving the supremacy of each tribal or ethnic community. This could lead us to civil war.
As it is, there are forces that are tearing the region apart.