Mizoram – Brief Profile
Mizoram is a mountainous region which became the 23rd State of the Indian Union in February, 1987. It was one of the districts of Assam till 1973 when it became a Union Territory. Sandwitched between Myanmar in the east and south and Bangladesh in the west, Mizoram occupies an area of great stategic importace in the north-eastern corner of India. It has a total of 722 Km. boundary with Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Mizoram has the most variegated hilly terrain in the eastern part of India. The hills are steep and are seperated by rivers which flow whether to the north or south creating deep gorges between the hill ranges. The average height of the hill is about 1000 metres. The highest paek in Mizoram is the Blue Mountain (Phawngpui) with a height of 2210 metres.
Mizoram ha a pleasant climate. it is generally cool in summer and not very cold in winter. During winter, the temperature varies from 11ºC to 21ºC and in summer it varies between 20ºC to 29ºC. The entire are is under the direct influence of the monsoon. It rains heavily from May to September and the average rainfall is 254 cm, per annum. The average rainfall inAizawl is 208 cm, and Lunglei has 350 cm. Winter in Mizoram is rain0-free and is very pleasant; the skies are wonderfully blue, and in the morning the mist formed between the hills gives an enchanting view of wide stretches of a vast lake of cloud. Mizoram has great natural beauty and endless variety of landscape and is also very rich in flora and fauna. Almost all kinds of tropical tres and plants thrive in Mizoram. The hills are marvellously green
Historian believe that the Mizos are a part of the green wave of the Mongolian race spilling over into the eastern and southern India centuries ago. Their sojourn in western Myanmar, into which they eventually drifted around the seventh century, is estimated to last about ten centuries. They came under the influence of the British Missionaries in the 19th century, and now most of the Mizos are Christiana. One of the beneficial result of Missionary activities was the spread of
education. The Missionaries introduced the Roman script for the Mizo language and formal education. The cumulative result is the Present high percentage of literacy of 88.49% which is considered to be the second highest in India.
The Mizos are a distinct community and the social unit was the village. Around it revolved the life of a Mizo. Mizo village was usually set on top ao a hill with the chief’s house at the centre and the bachelor’s dormitory called Zawlbuk prominently located in the central place. In a way of the focal point in the village was the Zawlbuk where all young bachelors of the village slept. Zawlbuk was the training ground, and indeed, the cradle wherein the Mizo youth was shaped into a responsible adult member of the society.
The fabric of soial life in the Mizo society has undergone tremendous change over the year. Before the British moved into the hills, for al practical purposes,the village and the clan formed units of Mizo society. The Mizo code of ethics or Dharma moved round “Tlawmngaihna”, an untrasnlatable term meaning on the part of everyone to be hospitable, kind, unselfish and helpful to others. “Tlawmngaihna” to a Mizo stands for that compelling moral force which finds expression in self-sacrifice for the services of others. The old belief, Pathian is still in use to term God till today. The Mizos have been enchanted to their new-found faith of Christianity with so much dedication and submission that their entire social life and thought process have been altogether transformed and guided by the Christian Church organisations directly or indirectly and their sense of values has also undergone drastic change.
Mizos are close-knit society with no class distinction and no discrimination on grounds of sex. Ninety percent of them are cultivators and the village exists like a big family. Birth of a child, marriage in the village and death of a person in the village are important occasions in which the whole village is involved.
Mizos practise what is known as Jhum cultivation. They slash down the jungle, burn the trunks and leaves and cultivate land. All their other activites revolve around the Jhum operation and their festivals are all connected with such agricultural operation.
Mim Kut or Maize Festivals is usually celebrated during the month of August and September, after the harvest of Maize. Mim kut is celebrated with great fanfare by drinking rice-beer, singing ,
dancing and feasting. Samples of the year’s havests are consecrated to the departed souls of the community.
Chaphar Kut is another festival celebrated during March after completion of theri most arduous task of Jhum operation i.e., Jungle-clearing. This is a spring festival celebrated with great fervour and gaiety.
Pawl Kut is harvest Festival-celebrated during December the harvest are over. It is perhaps the greatest festival. With plenty of grains in the barn and all the labours of the year over, what better time is there than this is to have a grand festival?
Mizos are fast giving up their old customs and adopting the new mode of life which is greatly influenced by the western pattern of life. Music is a passion for the Mizos and the young boys and girls to take the western musics avidly and with commendable skill. The fascinsting
hills and lakes of Mizoland literally pulsate and resound with the rythm of the sonorous songs of the youths and the twang of guitars everywhere.
Cheraw: The most colourful and distinctive dance of the Mizo is called Cheraw. Long bamboo staves are used for this dance, therefore, many people call it Bamboo Dance. Originally, the dance was performed to wish a safe passege and victorious entry into the adobe of the dead called Pialral for the soul aof a mother, who died at childbirth. Cheraw is a dance of skill and alert minds.
This is a dance performed by a group of dancers, the more the merrier, in colourful profiles to the tune of gongs and drums. Originally it was a dance performed by honoured invitees while entering into the arena where community feast was held. To attain a position of distinction, a Mizo had to go through a series of ceremonies are always accompanied by a feast where friends from nearby villages are invited-hence, Khuallam is the dance for the visitors or guests.
It is the dance over a round of rice-beer in the cool of the evening. The lyrics in triplets are normally fresh and spontaneous on-the-spot compositons, recounting their heroic deeds and scapades and also praising the honoured guests present in their midst.
As a sequel of the singing of the Historic Memorandum of Settlement between the Government of India and the Mizo National Front in 1986, Mizoram was granted Statehood on February 20,1987 as per Statehood Act of 1986 and Mizoram became the 23rd State of the Indian Union.
The Capital of Mizoram is Aizawl. The Mizoram State Legislative Assembly has 40 seats. Mizoram is now represented at the Parliamentary by two Members, one in the Lok Sabha and the other in the Rajya Sabha.
Mizoram has witnessed vast constitutional, political and administrative changes during the past years. The traditional chieftainship was abolished and the District and Regional Councils created under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India, give a substantial measure of local control. Today, the Lais, Maras and the Chakmas have seperate Autonomous District Councils. The Village Councils are the grassroots of Democracy in Mizoram.
Mizoram is divided into 11 Districts:-
Area of Population Area: 21,087 sq. kms., Literacy: 88.49%
Population: 8,91,058, Males: 4,59,783, Females: 4,31,275
How to reach the Mizoram
Lengpui airport near the capital city, Aizawl is connected by Alliance Airlines’s tri-weekly flight services from Kolkata, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Indian Airliance operates daily flight services from Kolkata to Silchar (except on Sunday) The Bus/Taxi journey from Silchar to Aizawl along National Highway 54 takes usually 5-6 hours.
Day and night service of Private and Government buses are available from Guwahati to Aizawl via Shillong. For further information,please contact Mizoram House at Silchar, Shillong, Guwahati, Kolkata and New Delhi. Their addresses are given below. Innerline permit for entry into Miozoram
for persons other than Government employees has to be taken from the Liaison Officer, Government of Mizoram, Silchar or from Liaison Officer, Kolkata.