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Why We Must Accept Mizo Nomenclature Immediately

If we accept that the Chin Kuki Zomi people all over the world are one people, there should not be any hassle in accepting any of these Chin/Kuki/Zomi identity which will strengthened our position, give us dignity and future to our future generations in a particular geographical area.
We are Kuki or Chin or Mizo in a particular geographical context and our identity keeps on changing as per the geographical location. There are perfectly no contradictions in me being a Kuki or Zomi or Mizo at the same time. In fact, many of us have been a Kuki within Mizo nomenclature in Mizoram or a Mizo within Kuki umbrella group in Manipur. Our unity is based on blood and as ordained by God. It’s not an artificial construct or a political project. We are one by nature and by blood. All our antique words are the same and more importantly, same clans existed in all the three communities. These are irrefutable proofs of our oneness in blood. If the Nagas, despite speaking totally different languages, more than 77 years ago have been able to unite under one name across state and international boundaries, we can do at least now!

2) We have been blaming the leaders of our previous generations for falling to unite us and for splitting up our people on every possible lines including recognition as tribes (from one Kuki tribe to how many tribes now, have lost counts! Some of our tribes numbering less than 5000 population got recognize as recent as in the last 10 years).

Why can’t our present generations with scholars in top universities of the Nation be different?
Why must we be divided and be rendered a minority to be look down by our neighbours? Why must we keep one subjecting our people to periodic massacres – Naga genocide and now, Meitei genocide- and force to abandon our ancestral from time to time. Why must we keep on fighting amongst ourselves due to lack of a unifying name and ideology? Our living space is shrinking and we no longer have any space to retreat! Any further pressure, we will push into the Bay of Bengal and forced to live the life of unwanted refugees to be look down upon with hatred!

Why must we be rendered a minority to be look down upon when we can be a big and dignified people! I have been proudly telling all my friends in the uniform services and otherwise as well that we are a large community, may be next to the Assamese in NE India, inhabiting Mizoram where we are in absolute majority, Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Tripura in India. We are also in absolute majority in Chin state of Burma and are also significant in Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.

3) The greatest resistance to any change in all society will come from the people with vested interests, the people who would stand to lost their power and resources? Must the fate of our people be held hostage by the vested interest of a few individuals?

Is the whole meaning of being one people all about electing a few MLAs and awarding a few Government jobs and contracts to a few of their followers? Is this what our nam meaning reduced to? Is nam khat hina not meant to have a larger goal of providing collective security and prosperity to our people? Our present perspective of nam khat or ittna is not even able to provide the most basic function of ensuring security to our people, forget about providing prosperity to the people at large!

Those in powers, we have to be cautious of them! If they are not willing to make the personal sacrifices to secure the future of our people, they must step aside and let young people who are willing to make ultimate sacrifices assume leadership position. The old guards may have aged, and may have been too well settled in comforts to undertake any hardships and sacrifices! These old guards may assume the role of mentors and guide the next generation of young and vibrant leaders!

4) If we are to be united, it is impractical to expect the Mizo who are about 10 lakhs, underwent decades of hard struggle to get statehood and are already in established position to concede to us and adopt our identity. We are hardly 06 lakhs in Manipur and split up into hardcore proponents of Kuki and Zomi identities. Both Kuki and Zomi hardcore fanatics will not be willing to give up their identities and a compromise other than both these two identities have to be found. Separately as Kuki or Zomi, or even united, we don’t stand a chance against the meiteis.

5) The meiteis are also brave people and they will never agree to concede to the demand of separate administration unless forced by circumstances.They have adopt extreme position of calling us illegal immigrants and not indigenous to the land of Manipur. They will keep on attacking us in one form or another in the name of ST recognition, illegal immigrants, forest encroachers, opium cultivators, narco terrorists, NRC etc. In the absence of proper documentations and records as a nomadic tribe (till recent times) which keeps on shifting their settlements in the pattern of jhum cultivation and also Meitei bureaucracy, there is real danger that some of our people will be declared as illegal immigrants with the real aim of grabbing our land and disenfranchising our people.

It is to the credit of our brave martyrs, our people and the enormous support we received from our Mizo brethren that we have been able to safeguard the buffer zones. The neutrality of the central forces has also been a significant factor.

But how long can we sustain the fight?

6) If we really want separate administration, then we have to be prepared for a contingency where we are able to sustain ourselves, even if all forces have turned against us! Forces works under the directions of political leadership and it will not take more than a minute for any unfavorable orders to come about. Have we taken into account this contingency?

7) If we have been able to live within Manipur and speak Meitei language despite their inherent hatred and ill will against us, Why can’t we live under Mizoram and perhaps even use Duhlian language as we are presently using Meitei. If introduced in all our schools, our children can learn within a few years. If we are really and truly hurt by the Meitei cruelties against our people, we must stop using Meitei language and take real steps to inflict them pain.

8) Former PM PV Narasimha Rao was known for not taking decision on crucial matters and when confronted, he was reported to have said not taking decision is also a decision in itself. The GOI has been having talks with NSCN(IM) for more than 25 years and more than 07 years have gone by after the signing of framework agreement with Modi. However, there is still no sign of any resolution of the Naga issue. We will keep on having talks with the interlocutors, GOI and GOM and we will not get anything, I am certain.

9) The Meitei have up the ante by indirectly threatening a war of secession from India if separate administration is granted to us. Some of their MLAs have openly declared that if separate administration is granted to us, they will resign and join the movement of their people.

To lend credence to their threats, the Meitei have given away more than 4000 weapons and 06 lakhs ammunitions to their public. Their police have also adopted a confrontationist attitude with the Assam Rifle and have even cocked their weapons against the AR!

Even former MPS officer, T Brinda talk of the need to review the treaty of accession of Manipur to India and HM is reported to have told the Meitei that Manipur’s integrity is assured so long as they remain within the Union of India. The Meitei are playing politics at the highest level!

What is our level and what have we done to counter this narrative of the Meitei for the GOI to take us seriously and not undertake operations against our village volunteers! Nothing, till now. Adopting the Mizo identity, will be the best guarantor of our security.

Let’s adopt Mizo identity first and then, our problem will become Mizoram’s problem and they will definitely interfere if our security is at threat from the meitei police. There will be a ground for the Mizo police to interfere if our physical security is threatened by the Meitei after a particular threshold.

10) As we all know, there is a time for everything and we must grasp this golden opportunity to be politically free from the Meitei rule. Now, we are able to largely hold our ground and situations can change anytime as stated above. Now is the time to identify ourselves as Mizo and merge with them. Later on, if Moreh or Kangpokpi etc have fallen and if we are considerably weakened, we will already be a lost case and even the Mizo will not come to our rescue for it would have been a lost cause.


(- Vanlaldit Khawzawl)

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