Messages of the Mizos to the Nagas

By: Dr E. Renphamo Lotha*

It may be recalled that I heard a challenging message of the Mizos from a responsible Mizo for the first time in 1986. Such similar success stories were narrated to me by few intellectuals who have visited the state of Mizoram.
But I could not believe them to be true stories like Thomas until I could see myself personally as the maxim goes, ‘Seeing is believing”. To get in touch with the Mizo people of the land, I visited the state capital of Mizoram, Aizawl from the 12th to 19th November 2012, to personally observe the success stories of the state in all fronts.
The state of Mizoram was inaugurated on the 20th February, 1987. Christianity in Mizoram is 118 years old. Whereas, the state of Nagaland was inaugurated on the 1st December, 1963. Christianity in Nagaland is already 140 years old. Ethnically, the Mizos and the Nagas are both of Mongoloid stock. Mizos are highlanders like the hill tribes of Nagas who build their villages on top of the hills. The Mizos and the Nagas have similar socio cultural affinities to a grate extend.
Life is full of education as education is a life long process. We continue to learn not only from books but from life of the people as well. It is therefore considered necessary to learn the living messages of the Mizos by the Nagas as their younger brothers and sisters.

Peace and development
Peace is a universal quest. Even a tiny baby just born is in search of peace. Mizoram was insurgent infested state like Nagaland spearheaded by the Mizo National Front led by Laldenga for Twenty years. They were however fed up with such secessionist movement. They came to realize the fact that such independent movement was a great loss to the people of the land for generations to come in all levels. Hence, they entered into peace negotiation with the Government of India culminating into the famous: “Mizo Peace Accord” they give up arms conflict and joined the mainstream of India. The agreement between the Indian National Congress (1) and the Mizo National Front on the 25th June 1986 is reproduced as follows:
“The Government of India under the leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi has brought about a solution wherein the long years of disturbed condition in Mizoram are brought to see the end. The Memorandum of settlement is being signed between the Government of India and Shri. Laldenga, President of Mizo National Front to give shape to the effort to usher peace and prosperity in Mizoram within the framework of the Indian constitution, Shri, Laldenga has pledged to bring the MNF into the mainstream of the Indian polity and irrevocably commit it to strive for a strong and united India”.

Mizo National Front
(Arjun Singh)
Vice President
Indian National Congress

Owing to the visionary statesmanship of their quality leadership, today Mizoram has become a real island of peace followed by holistic development in all fronts. Let the Nagas, the older brothers and sisters of the Mizos with a history of 60 years of insurgent movement learn the great moral lesson from them to usher genuine peace followed by all round development in all fronts instead of lingering on endlessly in a confused pursuits.

Mizoram State Government and Developments

Mizoram as a special category state like Nagaland continues to get 90 percent central financial assistances. The state continues to utilize the fund honestly and judiciously keeping in mind the core Christian principle of honesty as the state is composed of 98 percent Christians against 95 percent Christians in Nagaland who are yet to catch up with her counterpart in Mizoram in all fronts. From the top to the bottom of political leadership down to the lowest bureaucratic set up including village administration, they maintains strict sense of responsibility, accountability and transparency both in human resources management and financial management. Hence, the state is actually delivering goods to the people in need by realizing the right vision, mission and programmes of a welfare state. Nagaland older than Mizoram by 24 years has to emulate the moral examples of her younger brothers in all fronts by conducting case studies of effective governance with quality leadership with a real Christian principle of honesty.

Vision, Mission and programmes of the Mizoram Church

The Bible clearly pointed out that where there is no vision people perish. To avoid such tragedy, the Mizoram Church meticulously planned their vision, mission and programmes with the wisdom of God under the aegis of the Mizoram Presbyterians synod with a holistic outlook as follows:
(1) Mission and Evangelism;
(2) Medical services;
(3) Theological education;
(4) Training programmes;
(5) Three self church;
(6) Prayer meetings;
(7) Revival crusades;
(8) Socio Political Concern;
(9) Literature and publication;

The Church continues to exert their utmost influence as the salt and light chiefly owing to their three self church which is the sign of the existence of a successful modern church in North East India in particular and India in general.
The Mizoram Presbyterian church synod can be generally as a three self church as she is self-supporting. Self administrating and self-propagating as the maxim goes “Self help is the best help” in all ventures of life. She dose not depend on any external funding. The church has a centralized organization set up in terms of ministry and finance. Whereas, the church in Nagaland is mostly a parasite church chiefly depending on external funding. The church in Nagaland goes against the Baptist principle of the separation between the church and state as existing in American Baptist church. Hence, the church in Nagaland is a political driven church as already demonstrated clearly during the last April, 2012 Platinum Jubilee of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council. Such dependency syndrome continues to invite failure in the vision, mission and programmes of the church unlike the successful counterpart Mizoram Church.

Holistic concerns of the Mizoram church

Unlike the apathetic Nagaland church towards the holistic mission of Jesus Christ, Mizoram church is sincerely concerned towards the socio, economic, political development of the people and the land besides religious concern as envisioned, “abundant life” by Jesus Christ. She runs self help programmes which are a multipurpose training centre for the less privileged people. The training centre offers courses on knitting, shoe making, tailoring for young boys and girls. A counseling centre was established in 1977. She has the research and Evaluation wing which is a part of research and development activities.
The aforesaid activities are lacking in Nagaland church. She needs to wake up from her long slumber of holistic concern of the church although late as the maxim goes, “it is better late then never”.

Socio-Political concern

The Mizoram church through its social front wing has been actively involved in organizing campaigns and seminars on political education for the mass. It issues pamphlets and booklets to all churches outlining what to do as good citizens during elections processes at all levels. So that the State Government as a whole may function effectively, smoothly, honestly and transparently in the interest of public services. This programme has covered two third of rural urban areas of Mizoram in 2009.

Mizoram People Forum

The Mizoram Presbyterian church synod along with all other major churches and prominent non-governmental organization formed a common platform known as “the Mizoram People’s Forum in 2006. This particular forum framed election guidelines for all contesting parties, outlining the Dos and Don’ts at the time of elections. It was found quite successful. Commenting on the success story, the times of India remarked.

“A day after Mizoram salutes the ‘Real Winner’. Parties and people hail Mizoram People Forum, a social group”. Another political observer commented,” this should be a role model to be emulated in the rest of the country”.

A real challenge to Naga Church
Such aforesaid powerful influence of the church in the socio, political field demonstrated by the Mizoram church need to throw an open challenge to the Naga church as both are Christian dominated society propagating honesty as the best policy in all walks of life.

Social gospel/Healing ministry

The Mizoram Presbyterian church synod runs two care centre called Rescue Home and Grace Home in which patients of alcohol and drug addicts and HIV/AIDS are treated. The programme includes detoxification, rehabilitation and after care. About 3000 patients have been treated so far through these programmes.

Relief works and sex education also have been the preview of the social front. In the event of natural calamities, the church extended it’s financial assistances to the tune of millions of rupees during the last decade. It also imparts sex education to the people from time to time.
The church in Nagaland must emulate the model examples of social gospel and healing ministry of Jesus Christ both in spirit and in letter.

Literature and publication

As a continuing processes of information, education, communication and publicity, the church ever since its inception had been the forerunner in the field of literature and publication in Mizoram. The oldest monthly called, Kristian Tlaugau (Christian Herald) continues to visit every corner of Mizoram till today. Newsletters totaling more then 2,00,000 copies very month are circulated to educate, nourished, nurture the children/Youth fellowship, Women Fellowships and theological journals and newsletters.

There are more then 30 books distribution centres in Mizoram. Even the remotest villages have access to these centres for the secular and Sunday school textbooks. The church undertakes the policy of no loss no gain through these literature evangelism, publishing houses by selling books and journals till today. Thus, the Mizo church believes,” knowledge is power, ideas rules the world” in action.
The church in Nagaland as old as 140 years need to copy such scientific idea of education from the Mizo church though late.

Socio-Cultural values of the Mizos

Despite advancement in education modernization and civilization, the Mizos continues to preserves their fine socio, cultural anthropological values of honesty, unity, peace, reconciliation, friendliness, hospitality, cleanliness, special concern to tribals etc. even if you go to Mizoram as a stranger; you will find a place to stay like your own home away from home.
In case you loose your wallet, you may recover it through loss and found counters and local cables operators like the honesty of the Japanese.
The Nagas who are like the Mizos socially, culturally and anthropologically, must imitate the model living examples of the Mizos. So that mainland India in particular and the world in general will look upon the tribals highly as a whole.
Entrepreneurship developments of the Mizos
The Mizos truly put into practice the popular maxim “Self help is the best help”. All kinds of trades and professions from the highest to the lowest are undertaken by the Mizos themselves independently. The women and the youths are the busiest section of the people making money as apart of self employment. Income generation and economic independence. Money circulation is only within the state of Mizoram unlike money circulation outside of Nagaland and all kinds of trades and professions and businesses are undertaken by foreigners. Mizos have no problem of illegal migration, foreigners issue like Nagaland as everything is done by the Mizos themselves. Thus, the Mizos are socially and economically independent people unlike the dependent Nagas on others.
If the Mizos who are tribals like the Nagas can do everything, there is no reason why Nagas cannot do everything by themselves. The Mizos have attained independence in the real sense of the term unlike the dependent Nagas who talks about independences in theory without action worth the name.


The Mizos today have become the most shining star among the eight sister States in the North East India. They are marching towards the journey of a global village by putting the philosophy, “Think globally, and act locally. “ The tribals in India have reasons to be proud of by observing their creative, dynamic and quality leadership in all fronts led by the church as the salt and the light of the world. Since the Nagas are the nearest to the Mizos both in education, Christianity, socio culturally. It is sincerely hoped that they will wake up from their long slumber and try to catch up with their brethren even if late.
It is sincerely recommended that the Nagaland State, church, Non-governmental organizations, Municipal and Town Council etc. urgently undertake study tours, conduct case studies of the success stories of the Mizos to be emulated by the Nagas in all fronts in spirit and in letter. So that Nagaland will not remain stagnant as of now but will be able to rise up and run towards all round development of the people and the land realizing the vision of Jesus Christ on “ Abundant life” . May the Almighty God help us to march from Egypt to Canaan – The land flowing with milk and honey.

* Research and Development
Good Shepherd Ministry
Kohima, Nagaland

The Need of the Nagalim to Strengthen

Nagalim‘s strengthening as a nation involves many things that includes its cultural, economic and political institutions in line with 21st century governance, a few are as follows through greater Autonomy/self rule :

The beautiful Naga Flag

The beautiful Naga Flag

1) A strong sense of awareness of Naga history and Naga present

2) Nagalim must be seen as a continuing society of inter-related sub tribes, not a created entity.

3) The right of Nagas to establish freedom of total movement throughout the entire Naga region and their right to strengthen bonds with all the Naga sub-tribes.

4) Recognition that “Naga” is a name given to make what was once “invisible” and existing as “visible” and defined in the context with the larger world. Naga therefore is not a “invented” concept, but a visible ethos of a continuing South East Asian Indigenous civilization sharing a common origin, shared ancestry and inter-related cultural systems.

5) Institutions that are elected, designed and developed by the Nagas in full freedom without any restriction from any outside entity.

6) Development of transportation infrastructure that connects to all aspects of Nagalim, ensuring national integration within Nagalim from a physical sense, and no barriers to that should exist. Establishment of atleast one international airport (minimum) and cheaper air transport via helicopter systems to helipads constructed in all the major Naga towns throughout the region to carry goods, services easily.

7) One Naga administration, elected by the Naga people to legally have the rights to represent the Naga people on the international stage, administer the region and govern the region as per national and international laws.

8) Strong internationally recognized educational institutions, universities, schools and collages within Nagalim.

10) One unified national ID system, Passports, Flag to govern the entire Naga region being visible governing symbols of a nation.

11) Strong telecommunication networks

12) Centralized Database systems that hold historical archives, can record births, deaths and marriages of Naga people .

13) Investment body that can interact with the greater world for investments in Industrial development and production, manufacturing of goods and services.

14) Rule of lawIndependent judiciary, fair police systems, territorial defense force, immigration enforcement, customs and excise.

15) Trade offices established in developed nations to promote tourism, import-export.

16) Protection for ethnic minorities within Nagalim (non-Nagas)

These are some of the things to strengthen and develop, some of it from existing ones .

BY: Global-Naga Initiative

Outgoing chairman CFMG/CFSB on Naga problems

If sitting here and not being able to prevent or take action, then I have a moral responsibility not to remain in the chair: George
Outgoing chairman of the Cease Fire Monitoring Group (with the NSCN-IM) and the Cease Fire Supervisory Board( with NSCN-K and GPRN/NSCN) and former Chief of Staff of the Dimapur-based 3 Corps Maj.Gen(Retd) N.George leaves Nagaland on March 28 after one year and four months in office.

Maj.Gen(Retd) N.George

Maj.Gen(Retd) N.George

On the eve of his departure from Nagaland, the outgoing chairman also held separate meetings with the CFMC of the NSCN(I-M) and CFSB with NSCN(K) and also GPRN/NSCN(Khole-Kitovi).

In an exclusive interview to Nagaland Post at the Police Complex Chumukedima Wednesday, the outgoing chairman disclosed that he decided that it was time for him to move on after election in Nagaland was announced in December 2012.

George indicated that with elections and another government and without any agreement to the political issue, he felt the same situation of clashes and other offences would continue which as chairman, he did not have any power to deal with.

“If sitting here and not being able to prevent or take action, then I have a moral responsibility not to remain in the chair”, he said. He expressed deep pain over factional firing incidents in Zunheboto where a young boy and another old man were killed in November last year.

On his role as chairman, George said the present role of the chairman was only to mediate between underground groups and security forces so as to maintain cease fire. He opined that there was also a need to have an Interlocutor in Nagaland to liaise with the society at large along similar lines with the Interlocutor in Delhi holding talks with the NSCN(I-M).

The outgoing chairman felt that such an Interlocutor in Nagaland could also help fill the communication gap between the Centre and the state government.

He said there were many areas that require action in Nagaland and that Delhi has to give the extra push and hardcore action to address the pressing issues. George felt that if such an Interlocutor in Nagaland was to be appointed, he should be given a hand to do a good job.

Asked about his view on the Naga political issue, George asserted that the biggest problem was that all were only talking from their own selfish interests. He said this itself was the biggest tragedy that has befallen the people’s yearning for peace.

George also shared the view that the elected government in the state has to be kept in the loop over the Naga political issue. He said Delhi cannot realistically arrive at any widely acceptable agreement without taking the state government on board.

He also reiterated that the Centre needed to get more involved with Nagaland and the people rather than with only the NSCN(I-M). George however clarified that he was not referring to the ongoing talks but about problems of extortion and other offences by various groups that continue to plague Naga society.

He cited the case of the Rs.1200 crore SARDP in Nagaland which has ground to a halt due to extortion demands by one underground group. He said reviving the project would also be very costly.
George asked “why are the people silent” (about abandonment of the road project) and “where is the money going to?”.

He opined that Nagaland was being held under a mafia-like vice grip and that this had to change. He lamented that people were naïve to think that “one signature in Delhi” would suddenly transformation into peace.

George described as irrelevant, the much-used phrase “solution” which political leaders and sections of society use as the politically correct lexicon.

He said talks were held only with one faction and that too in secrecy for a solution for all. He asked, can it ever become a solution?

He said it was far from true that Delhi can bring the “solution” as demanded. George pointed out that the change that people want has to come through a common responsibility of playing an active role instead of “taking a backseat”.

George said people in Nagaland need to realise, that unless they speak out, loud and clear against acts inimical to social peace and harmony, change will not happen.

He said in contrast, in Manipur, where the situation is graver, people have resorted to organising seminars to voice their anger openly against such acts.

The outgoing chairman also said the oft-used common concept of “conflict resolution” was sometimes misplaced as in reality, it was an engagement with only a miniscule section of society.

He said nobody knows what the demands are and whether the perceived solution was applicable only to one area or to Nagaland or beyond. He said this went beyond the basics of resolving conflict.

George opined that keeping people in the dark has the consequence of the void being filled by suspicion. In such a situation, he said acceptance of such agreement by a wide majority could become a problem.

According to the outgoing chairman, it would have been different if there was communication with the public on what the demands were in order not to create wide suspicions.

He said even if an agreement was the best available, in the end, making people accept it would be a challenge.

He also maintained that there was no such thing as perfect document or agreement. George said only when it was acceptable to all sections of people, it would be an ideal document.