Mizora: Hundreds of high school students in predominetly Christain state of Mizoram’s capital Aizawl took a pledge on Monday not to marry non-Mizos or ‘outsiders’ as an effort to protect their culture and identity.
The pledge was administered by office bearers of Mizo Zirlai Pawl, the biggest student body in the northeastern state, who claim Mizos are under threat from outsiders and the measure is needed to protect them.
“We are afraid that our identity might be lost and this campaign was launched so that we will not be outnumbered,” said Ricky Lalbiakmawia, senior office bearer of MZP. He claimed that they have been organizing this campaign for some years now and students of higher classes, both boys and girls, are administered the oath in September annually.
“Our campaign is for both men and women, but our main attention is given to women as most cases of marriages with outsiders happen between Mizo women and non-Mizo men,” Lalbiakmawia added, though he was unable to give any figure or study to back up the claim.
As per 2011 census over 87% of the population in Mizoram comprise of Christians. The state is a tribal-dominated one with 39 of the 40 assembly seats reserved for scheduled tribes.
Mizoram enjoys special status under provision of Article 371 (G) of the Constitution which states that Parliament can’t decide on matters of Mizo religious and social practices, land ownership, customary laws without the consent of the state assembly.
“We don’t force anyone to take a pledge, it is voluntary. MZP is not against non-Mizos, but we propose that Mizos should marry Mizos,” said Lalbiakmawia.
Last year, Young Mizo Association (YMA), a powerful youth association, had proposed that the state assembly should enact a legislation which ensures that a Mizo woman who marries a non-Mizo would lose her scheduled tribe status.
People from outside Mizoram are not allowed to buy land in the state and those visiting the state have to take an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter Mizoram.