Political Movement in Mizoram

The autonomy granted by the Lushai Hills Autonomous District Council, however met the aspirations of the Mizos only partially. Representatives of the District Council and the Mizo Union pleaded with the states Re-organization Commission (SRC) in 1954 for the integration of the Mizo-dominated areas of Tripura and Manipur with their District Council in Assam.

The Loshai Hill people feared the worst. The government, instead of removing their fear exacerbated it. Assamese was declared the official language of the state; its knowledge made mandatory for government jobs. The Mizos saw this as a direct threat to their proud identity. They saw this as a provocation, as a ploy to exclude them from the mainstream. There was widespread frustration and a revolution looked imminent. It arrived swiftly.

The non-political organization, Mizo National Front transformed into Mizo National Front, or MNF. More was to come. In 1964, the Assam Regiment disbanded its 2nd Battalion, composed predominantly of the Hill people. The soldiers who lost their jobs promptly joined the MNF to form its military wing: the Mizo National Army. As the years progressed, and Assam continued to turn a blind eye to the development and welfare activities needed so urgently, separatist feelings grew rapidly. Under the command of Pu Laldenga, MNF gained a strong backing of the Mizo people, united by the party doctrine aimed to create a separate Mizo nation. And yet, what had by now turned into a mass movement was regarded as a minor Law & order situation by the centre. To be sure, its mind and energies were doubtless occupied with winning the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

MNF took advantage, its resolve made amply clear from the memorandum that it submitted to Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in October of 1965: “whether the Mizo nation should shed her tears in joy, to establish firm and lasting relationship with India in war and in peace or in sorrow and in anger, is up to the government of India to decide.”

The same Mizoram that has seen so much of pain and suffering and bloodshed, is now well-integrated with the rest of India, so much so that, barely two decades since the signing of the Mizo Accord, it is now called an “Island of Peace” in a disturbed region.

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