TODAY -

A case study of MNF movement for independence in Mizoram
Counter-Insurgency Operation and Human Right Violation
- Part 1 -

Dr Th Siamkhum *

Mizo National Front Emblem
Mizo National Front Emblem:: Pix - Wikipedia/



1. Introduction.

Mizoram, a tiny trans-Indo-Mayanmar border state of India, located in the extreme north-east corner of India, bordering Myanmar in the East, state of Tripura in the west, Cachar District of Assam and Churachandpur District of Manipur in the North and Syhlet District of Bangladesh in the South, witnessed one of the most devastating underground movements in India for 20 years from 1966 to 1986. The movement was launched by the Mizo National Front under the charismatic leadership of Laldenga, demanding sovereign state of Mizoram with a strong sense of will and determination to its goal of political independence from India.

The MNA (Mizo National Army) the armed wing of MNF, composed of those young Mizos with high degree of morale for the cause they were for. The initial success of the movement in over-powering almost all security outposts in the District, except Assam Rifles Brigade Headquarters, Aizawl, could be attributed to the fighting zeal and high degree of morale of the MNA fighters to the cause of the Mizos and their independence.

The MNF, after realizing the futility of armed struggle for achieving political sovereignty, decided to have negotiation with the Government of India in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which ultimately culminated into the signing of Peace Accord with Government of India in 1986 known as "The Mizo Peace Accord, 1986". The Mizo Peace Accord 1986, eventually becomes the most successful peace accord ever been signed by the Government of India with any insurgent groups in the north-east, and elsewhere.

While the 'Mautam' (famine) of the late 1950s and early 1960s and the apathy of government to the call of the people for relief supply was the immediate cause of the conflict, there are also a number of historical, political, economic, cultural, social and religious factors which are collectively responsible for the outbreak of violent uprising in Mizoram in 1966.

2. Historical and Political Factors:

Historically, the Mizos lived an independent political life, independent of any foreign power. Each village was ruled over by a sovereign village chief who exercised absolute and indivisible power. He was the final authority within the village in all aspects of village life, and was the chief administrator as well as the chief justice of the village, having the power to give the severest form of punishment, including death penalty to those who violate the unwritten customary laws and traditional practices. However, the British invaded the Mizo/Lushai country and took control of the entire hills on the 6th September, 1895.

Though the British took over the administration of the whole Lushai/Mizo Hills, the chiefs were left with much power regarding customary and traditional practices were concerned. The Lushai Hills District was, then put under a superintendent who, in consultation with the village chief, administered the District. The entire District was put under the Chin Hills Regulation act of 1892 and Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873, and was included in the Excluded Areas along with Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

Sooner than expected, the time came for the British to hand over power to India.At this critical juncture, a critical question inevitably came up i.e. what should be the future status of the District (Mizo/Lushai Hills District), whether it should join Indian Union, Pakistan or Burma; choose to be a Crown Colony under the British or become an independent state.LL. Peter, the then Superintendent of the District called a joint meeting of representatives of different groups and organizations including political party (Mizo Union) Chiefs' Union, Freedom party (those against the chiefs), Ex-Servicemen, MizoHmeichheTangrual Pawl (United Women Organization), Govt. employees etc. to decide the future of Mizo/Lushai Hills District on 14.8.1947. The meeting under the influence of Mizo Union unanimously passed the following three points of resolutions:-

In case, the Mizo Hills was merged with Indian Union,
1. "Mizos would have the right to decide their own future i.e. right to secede from India after ten years".
2. The traditional customary laws and practices should be preserved and protected.
3. Chin Hill Regulations Act, 1892 and Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873 should continue to be enforced in the District.

The Mizos interpreted these pre-conditions, though not a contractual agreement between the two parties (Mizos and India), as their rights. They asserted and re-asserted that they have the right to secede from Indian Union which finally culminated into armed rebellious movement for independent in 1966. The other factors responsible for the uprising was Assam Government's language policy. Under a strong pressure from dominant Assamese, Assamese language was made the official language of the state which was much resented to by non-Assamese speaking Districts. Khasis, Jaintias, Garos and the Mizos refused to accept the imposition of Assamese in their respective District and decided to demand a separate Hill State.

A new political party, APHLC (All Party Hill Leaders Conference) was formed to spearhead the demand for separate Hill State. In Mizoram, the Mizo Union, instead of joining hand with APHLC for separate Hill State, was in favour of a separate State for the Mizos. The MNF (Mizo National Front), on the other hand, was not interested in demanding either the separate Hills for the Khasis, Garos and Mizos nor was it interested in a separate state for Mizos. It was in favour of demanding a separate independence sovereign state for the Mizos, not only outside Assam, but also outside India.

The imposition of Assamese on the Mizos could, therefore, be seen as one of the contributing factors for the movement. The Mizos were not satisfied with the provision of Sixth Schedule of the constitution of India. They felt that the provision of Sixth schedule has not sufficiently protected their language, customs, traditions, religions etc. The imposition of Assamese language on the Mizos was much resented and there was growing apprehension that there would be cultural invasion by the dominant Assamese speaking Hindus. The Mizos were also frustrated with the Assam Government's lack of interest over various issues.

The Mizo Hills District was, then merged with the state of Assam and was given a special protection under the provision of Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. The nomenclature of the District was also changed to from Lushai Hills District to Mizo Hills District on 19th April, 1954.Soon after Mizoram was merged with Indian Union, discontentment and dissatisfaction, both on the policies of Assam Government and Central government, grew on various issues.

The conduct of public examination on Sunday and the visit of Central dignitaries on Sunday were interpreted as a deliberate attempt to restrict the freedom of worship for those who were involved in such examinations. To testify this, the MNF cited the visit of JL Nehru on Sunday, 3rd April, 1953. The restriction of the entry of foreign missionaries into the District was also seen as an infringement on the religious right of the Mizos. The Mizos, in order to assert their ethnic and cultural identity under the dominant Assamese political set up, strived to have a separate statesof their own.

However, it was realized by a section of Mizo leadership that the assertion of Mizo identity would not be possible within the state of Assam or even under the Indian Union, insurgency was adopted as a better means for Mizo nation building. Another worth mentioning factor responsible for the Mizo uprising of 1966 was racial and ethnic distinctiveness of the Mizos.

The Mizos belong to Mongolian ethnic and racial group with Mongolian physical feature whereas people of mainland India are having Aryan and Dravidian racial background, with quite a distinct physical feature from the Mizos. Majority of Mizos, therefore, feel that their Mongolian background could not support them to be Indians. They maintained, it is the will of nature that they are not Indians, but Mizos. Nature destined them to be Mizos of Mongolian racial stock. This feeling of natural alienation from mainland India is also partly responsible for the demand for independence by the Mizos (MNF).

Historical factors, language policy of the government of Assam, their apprehension of religious interference by dominant Hindu Indians, fear of cultural invasion, lack of development, neglect of Mizo District by government of Assam, assertion of the people that they have the right to decide their own future etc. have their own role in influencing the Mizos to fight for separate independent state. However, Mautam (Famine) which struck Mizo Hills and lack of government's response to the call of the people for assistance is the most immediate cause of insurgency in Mizoram.

To be continued ....


* Dr Th Siamkhum wrote this articlee for The Sangai Express
The writer is Associate Professor, Deptt. Pol. Sc., Churachandpur College, Manipur.
This article was posted on January 01, 2015.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Zhaoshomai, indigenous religion of Liiyai
  • Fashion by Kumarjit Laishram #2 : Gallery
  • Dams as a death trap in Manipur
  • Raju Bista (Kangpoki) is MP of Darjeeling
  • Sufferings from trust deficit
  • Bamboo charcoal.. for bamboo flowering
  • The NAMO, Amit Shah magic
  • A take on India's Act East Policy
  • Pakhangba Cheng-hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Better Selfie with Smarter Technology
  • Repeal AFSPA enacted on 22 May 1958
  • Cry of a Dying River - 77 :: Poem
  • Biodiversity : Why humanity should care ?
  • Research Officer at Amethyst Research
  • The Terrace Open Mic - II : Report
  • NPF exposed in public domain : NDPP
  • End of the largest democratic exercise
  • Stop faking and face the facts
  • Future Hindu Culture of Meitei is magificient
  • International Day of Biodiversity 2019
  • The Trunk that life of a Soldier moves on
  • MCS/MPS through lottery ? :: WJ
  • Job Vacancies at Leima Traders
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • 'Double standard' politics of NPF :: NDPP
  • Exit polls : Not the final verdict
  • Poll result prediction
  • Mary storms into semis
  • Glory Days of Manipur in the 18th Century
  • Alternate Rationality: Its Possibility : Book
  • Does burning of school reflect larger malady
  • RIST Talk 39 : Year of Periodic Table
  • Manipur : A woman's world
  • Paramedical courses as career options
  • Revoke suspension for NPF Office Bearers
  • Class X results : Best in 10 years
  • The wrath of Mother Nature
  • Poumai Purul Paoki Fest : Gallery
  • AEgi KoHcY :: Seireng
  • The Tamna Tamna Video: Critical Analysis
  • 'NDPP's child like attitude for meddling'
  • Rejoinder to NDPP by NPF President
  • Amazing beauty benefits of coconut oil
  • Urge Nagaland govt to review security
  • Pull out threat from the NPF
  • Myanmar launches ops on NE militants
  • Myanmar jails 24 from Assam, Manipur
  • 2019 HSLC Exam Toppers :: Gallery
  • HSLC Toppers share thoughts, aspirations
  • CFP on 'Photoacoustics' at IEEE TENCON
  • Arrival of Fall Armyworm in Manipur
  • Youth and Contemporary Issues #4
  • No Escape from Real World :: Poem
  • Civil & Structural Engineer at R-Square
  • Architectural Designer at R-Square DCS
  • 'NPF Manipur is directionless leadership'
  • HSLC :: Top 25 Rank Holders
  • HSLC :: Subject Topper
  • HSLC :: Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC :: Full Roll No Listing
  • HSLC :: Compartmental
  • Dairies of 2 Tours in Naga Hills : Book
  • Kohima Press Club (KPC) elects new team
  • Manipur : The unsung fashion capital
  • Brain Stimulation for Parkinson disease
  • 2nd Foundation Day of NDPP
  • Changing face of the North East
  • 129th Birth Anniversary of Ho Chi Minh
  • Understanding performance of Govt school
  • Amazing Folk-tales of Koireng Tribe
  • Fashion by Kumarjit Laishram #1 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 76 :: Poem
  • Plastic Pollution & its effect
  • Significance of Nurses Week celebration
  • Legal Assistance to Prisoners' Family
  • Talk on 'Alliance - Biblical Perspective'
  • Shorthand/Stenography Typing Course
  • Fissures with a coalition partner
  • 4 plus 4 is always equal to 8
  • Mukna Kangjei Tournament : Gallery
  • Socio-cultural significance of Gudui-Ngai
  • Diesel auto vs Traffic control :: Artwork
  • Future of Moreh: Development partnership..
  • An alarming stay in a hotel
  • Naga Students Delhi Admission help Desk
  • Need to focus on the average students too
  • The politics of rumours
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #4 : Gallery
  • Chinsuanlam, Apakpi :: eMing
  • ELVEEGO : Top 10 Promising Companies
  • Myanmar Refugee Problem : Report
  • Mother :: Poem
  • Minerva Punjab FC to conduct trials
  • Represent the people, not only party
  • When vegetables slowly poison us?
  • Hr Sec Exam 2019 Toppers #2: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #2: Gallery
  • Dear Mother :: Poem
  • Youth and Contemporary Issues #3
  • Why are Govt schools lagging behind ?
  • Career option in Veterinary Science
  • Saluting Mothers of the world
  • Will Sharmila have a Third Life ?
  • NE for efforts to address illegal influx
  • Rs 10 coins not acceptable in Manipur!
  • Agri Fair @ CAU #2 : Gallery
  • Khomlen Manglanda - A Play #2 : Gallery
  • AMWJU new terms 2019-2021
  • Run for Raisina Hill
  • Happy Mother's Day
  • Mother's Day
  • Aspiration in Medical Career
  • MPSC : Wallowing in dirt
  • Why the 1st Bird Sanctuary in Thinungei
  • Purnima Moirangthem : 5th in Commerce
  • Respect for a mother
  • Academic excellence is not everything
  • Indo-Naga & other peace talks #6
  • A Dwarfish Whole :: Poem
  • Takayasu Arteritis treated at SKY Hospital
  • Mercury rise: Is it common men fault
  • Ajit Ningthouja :: eRang Photos
  • Had not there been ILPS agitation ? : Story
  • Dance & folk songs of natives of NE #2
  • BJP for NE Community Campaign in Delhi
  • Serou dam-Atypical structure in Chakpi river
  • Benefits of automation in medical laboratory
  • Civil Servant from Matupi hospitalized...
  • Madness on the roads of Imphal
  • Root of peoples' anger to doctors
  • Jiribam Bazaar :: 360 Panorama View
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Cry of a Dying River - 75 :: Poem
  • What Yoga is & is not ?
  • Rio at General Conference of NSF
  • Make right choice in selecting your campus
  • Suspension Order for 19 NPF Members
  • Festival of marks and more marks
  • ..no worry on condition of Govt Schools
  • Thailand Princess @Kangla #2 :: Gallery
  • Kadigampou, Akeng :: eMing
  • Ningombam Tampha :: 3rd in ISC Exam
  • Our Grammy goes to Thangmeiso Shinglai
  • Call for application from youths
  • Life is not about how far you hang on
  • NERIST admission notice : PG & PhD
  • Seminar at MU : Material Engineering
  • Class XII : Looking beyond Imphal
  • Understanding Consumers' rights
  • HSE : Candidates securing Highest Marks
  • HSE 2019 : Science Stream Result
  • HSE 2019 : Arts Stream Result
  • HSE 2019 : Commerce Stream Result
  • HSE 2019 Toppers : Science
  • HSE 2019 Toppers : Arts
  • HSE 2019 Toppers : Commerce
  • HSE 2019 : Result Abstract
  • HSE 2019 : District Wise
  • Solid waste management in Imphal
  • Naga Ancestral Freedom Movement
  • My franchise for Mom's Primary
  • Bamboo based industries in Manipur
  • Is sugar ageing you
  • Competition among schools
  • Will modification help in solving traffic chaos
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 :: Gallery
  • MANFETE 2019 at MU :: Gallery
  • What is Change ?
  • The integrity of Manipur
  • Dance & folk songs of natives of NE #1
  • Indo-Naga & other peace talks #5
  • Understand kids with developmental delay
  • Meet with Fortis Hospital, Delhi
  • Understanding idea of NE
  • Mr. Edn Min, please act like Manish of Delhi
  • Ibudhou Oknarel & Khudithibi
  • May Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • Facts & fakes of poll prediction
  • Sketches & Notes of Summertime :: Poem
  • The other Face of 'May -Day'
  • Check-up for new born- Split Spine Defect
  • Retaining Walls & Flooding in Moirang
  • Gearing up for counting day
  • Religion profile of Manipur: Impact study #2
  • Andro Girls won Doon Cup :: Gallery
  • Rajbans Huidrom : Topper CBSE XII
  • Nongdol Leima- Dance Drama #1:: Gallery
  • Human Trafficking to SE Asia via NE
  • Tributes on Khongjom Day #2 :: Gallery
  • M Diana: National Women Social Award
  • Handloom show : Robert Naorem & Soma
  • Urmila Shagolsem: Miss India 2019 Finalist
  • Thang Ta @Sangai Fest #5 :: Gallery
  • Indo-Naga & other peace talks #4
  • Yaoshang Halankar #2 :: Gallery
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • Anglo-Manipur war from military point of view
  • Yubi Lakpi :: Gallery
  • Peeshumlei : Book Release :: Gallery
  • Significance of festival: Nanu-Ngai
  • Onetwo Okram - Singer #1 :: eRang
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Tributes on Khongjom Day #1 :: Gallery
  • Shajibu Cheiraoba @ Pune : Gallery
  • Romita Yumnam : Mrs India Queen
  • Meekap Thokpa Numit #2 : Gallery
  • Shivaratri Shopping List #2 : Gallery
  • Tributes to PLA killed #2 : Gallery
  • A talk with Ajit Ningthouja :: eRang
  • LS : Voting for Inner : Gallery
  • Ibendhou Kounu Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba at Mysore #2: Gallery
  • Voting (PC) @ Kangpokpi #3: Gallery
  • Mittong Khunou: The Battle Honour of INA
  • Thabal Chongba @Khurai : Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • SPONSORED ADS