Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tunge Pu Epis-a hi le?

Kum 2000 April thla laihawl vel kha ni ta in ka hria, Hyderabad Central University a thiamna sang zawk bei ve tura luh tumin entrance exam pe turin Capital Travels Bus station ka pan a. Kan college a ka hmelhriat mi pathum Bus station ah ka chhar chawp a. An ni pathum nen hian inthurual tlang zelin gawahati Mizoram House bula hotel ah kan thleng ve rawih a. Kan exam ni a lo thlen chuan history subject a exam p e ve tur mizo tlangval pahnih an lo awm ve reng a. Ka la hriat ngai an ni lova, mahse mizo awmchhun kan nih avang chuan hming inhre lemlo chuan kan inbe ve nawk nawk mai a. Pakhat zawk chu ka bul hnaiah a thu a,ka inbe ve luam a, a hming Awma a nih thu min hrilh a. Pakhat zawk erawh chu kan inbe hranlo..a hawi deuh vut vut a,a vei kual zut a,University Campus vel chu zirchian a duh ni ber hian ka hria. Ka thiante exam zo nghak a ka thut lai chuan Awma chuan “ Khawnge Taia kha?” a rawn tih tak ah chuan a hming Taia a ni tih ka hre ve ta chiah mai a, Lunglei Serkawn lam mi an ni tih ka hre leh a, Chu bak chu kan inhmu leh lem lo,an chanchin ka hre zui ta lo. Exam kan zo a, Mizoram lamah kan haw chho leh ta a.

July thla a lo ni a,entrance result a chhuak a,ka tling ve tih ka hriat rualin kalpui tur ka hre lo,engtinnge nita ang le?Chhungkua kan inrawn a,mahse vanneihthlak takin Gawahati a ka zuk hmuhte kha an lo tling ve tih ka hre ta a. An lo fel phian a, an rual a kal ve a rem thu min rawn hrilh ve a, ka nel zawng an ni lo bawk nen, phur lemlo takin ka zui thla ve rawih a,an lo fel phian. An pahnih bakah hian tlangval fai pir per political Science a MA zir tur a tling ve tho Hriatpuia a tel ve bawk a,an ni pathum nen chuan Sumo in Gawahati kan pan ta. An tawng tamlo hlawm hle mai a,Awma leh hriatpuia chuan sawi tur tlem a zawng an nei,mahse Taitea ve zawng,kan din a piangin a vei kual zung2 tih mailoh chu thupui hlapui a neilo khawp mai. Vawikhat kawnglaka kan chawlh laiin ‘tling rah’min rawn pe..chumi tum chuan kan in be ve zeuh a..a inthlahrun hmel si a,ka thiannu Pune a kal tum,kan ruala kal ve nen chuan kan khawngaih tops. Ka thleng hla tulh2 a,kan in nel ve ta phian...Kol kan tlheng a,Serkawn tlangval tho Immanuel-an min rawn zawm ve leh ta ...Hyderabad kan thlen hnu phei chuan Awma leh Hriata nen phei chuan kan ti2 a tui chho thei thin toh khop mai.Mahse Taitea chu a cool raih reng.

Admission kan han tifel class te kan han zawm ve a, Taitea chu ka hrechiang chho ve tan ta,mahse ka la nel vaklo,a tawng tlem em a ni!!!!Mahse kan zirlai kan la manloh em avang chuan har kan tih thu kan sawi ve thin a,a bikin paper pakhat historical theory phei chu kan thiamlo em2 a,bei a dawng rum2 thin. Vawikhat kan class bang chu Taitea chuan ‘Haw mai ka duh,ka thiamlo em mai’ a rawn tichhuak ve hlawl mai a. A tawng tlem tehreng nen,khatiang a rawn sawichhuak khan a beidawng ve hle a ni tih a tilang hian ka hria a.Mahse kan bei tlang nasa a,1st semester kha chu kan pass ve hram a. Heng harsatna kan han tawh atang hian a lawm Tunge Pu Epis-a chu tih hi ka hriatchhoh tak zel ni!!! Kha kan paper thiamloh em em mai ah khan a chang chuan mark hmuh loh chang top te pawh kha nei ve thin a ni a, mahse MA final kan han zir chhoh chuan Pu Epis-a tih hming chawi turin ke a pen chho tak2 tawh a lo ni. MA kan zir chhung zawng hian a tawng tlem thei hle.

MA kan pass ve ta a,MPhil zir leh tur chuan Taia-a nen chuan kan chambang a,a tawng tlem ber mai chu ka kawm chho ta a ni. Kan harsatna a intan leh ta,kan paper thiamloh ber mai kha a poimawh ber a nita tlat mai. Ka tuilo tulh2 dawnin ka hria a,mahse chutih lai tak chuan Taia taihmak zia leh mihring tena tih theihloh kan lo neihloh zia ka hrechhuak ve ta tulh2 mai. Zirlai lo chu amahah engdang a leng tlat lo...Epistemology, Marxism,keima topic Feminism thlengin a tui em2 mai a.PhD kan han tih ve tak hnu phei chuan post modernism, Popular Culture tih vel te phei hi chu a ta emaw tih mai tur hi ni ringawt...zirlai piah ah hian tuizawng lah a lo ngah phian...MA kan zirlai te khan hetiang hi a ni ang tih reng ka ring pha ngailo.Mak ka tih em em thin chu thil hriatthiam hma chu a rilru ah thildang a lang ngailo te kha a ni. Tawng tlem tak emaw ka tih thin kha....zirna lamah an tui chho tak2 chu ti2 vawrh bertu a ni chho ta zel mai a. Campus Mizo te zingah chuan awmkhawm na ah Tai-a a awm tawh chuan heng thupui lo hi chu ti2 dang a leng lo a ni ber mai. A danglam ve reng2 na pakhat leh chu zirlai piah lamah thildang a tuikual zut thei hi a ni...thil thar a hmuh tawh reng2 article tha takah a chhuah thei zel mai te hi!! History atangin Photography lamah,chutiang zelin rul atangin Zawng family ah...

Kum 7 ngawt kan inzui ta!!!! Mi tawngtlem ber thin nen khan tunah chuan tawng kan inchuh chho tareng mai zu nia...Slip of tongue karah!!! Father Pu Epis-a ‘Dam Reng Rawh se’.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


It is difficult to pinpoint with certainty when ‘modernization’ took place in Mizoram. But it may be surmised that ‘modern ideas’ and ‘modernization’ began to enter Mizoram during the first half of the 20th century due to the penetration of western ideas. Since then, some of the traditional beliefs and practices of the Mizos have been reconstructed according to the modern ideas. This paved the way for many progressive changes and gave a new multidimensional lease of life to the Mizo society. Of all these, the position of women is no doubt one of the most significant changes brought about by the influence of modernization in the Mizo society.

The Mizo society in pre-modern times was strictly based on what is known as an extreme patriarchal society. This created ‘private’ and ‘public’ domain, where women were stigmatized to the private sphere that relegated their status in the social and religious life. Being regarded inferior, women practically had nothing to say in both ‘private’ and ‘public’ administration. Women therefore, had no opportunities to go beyond the scope of the ‘domestic sphere’ and it was only men who controlled and dominated the entire ‘public sphere’. They were not supposed to have any independent religious loyalty, but were required to follow the religion of their husbands. This attitude can be attributed to the old Mizo proverb, which says, ‘Women and Crabs do not have a religion’. Besides this, there were numerous proverbs, which expressed men’s attitudes towards women. The cases of sexual abuses like nula zen, hnute deh, mihur zawn etc. were also very common while the society expected them to maintain their chastity. However, as most of these social evil practices had been abolished after the gradual acceptance of modern ideas, Mizo women have been enjoying a much better position when compared to the pre-modern Mizo society.

Christianity of course is the harbinger of ‘modernity’ vis-à-vis women’s liberation in Mizoram. The Christian missionaries therefore are regarded as a symbol of ‘modernization’ which led to the gradual changes in the conservative attitudes of men towards women. As such, women have made their way to the path of public sphere through Christianity for they can equally participate with men in some of the church affairs. Besides, Christian missionaries also brought education, which served as the main conduit for the inclusion of modern ideas to such an extent that it opened new doors for women to move outside the domestic sphere. Since 1950, women’s literacy rate has been on the rise and a number of women began to excel men in some professions. If we look at the present situation, with women making significant mark in many aspects of life, one of the Mizo proverbs has been reversed dramatically as ‘the wisdom of women has reached beyond the other side of the river’. The original saying ridicules women as it goes, ‘The wisdom of women does not even reach the other side of the river’

In spite of the above indications of progressive changes, the new social structure is yet far short from driving home a status of equality for women. Christianity and education indeed opened new doors for women to enter the public domain, but only in a limited way. Despite the increasing number of educated women, only few women hold important positions/portfolios in government jobs. All the political and village administrations are still controlled by men. In religious matters, in spite of the contributions they have made to the church, women are being excluded and are denied from ordination as pastors and elders. One of the Mizo women theologians once said, “Though we have zealously studied theology with a purpose of preaching the Gospels, I am sometimes hurt because men who got less marks than us in our degrees can go through ordination, while we cannot”. If men can be ordained as pastors and church elders, why can’t women? Instead of encouraging women many people however, still opine that those women, who have entered the public sphere are making bold and aggressive claims. This is mainly because, the mindset of current society confines women’s duties to the realms of the home and ‘regards household activities as the most important duties for them; whatever knowledge a woman may acquire from her education, she hardly claims any rewards unless she is proficient in the management of household duties first’. Women, therefore, themselves have largely accepted this attitude without question. Then for many women, ‘education meant only the acquisition of material skills in order to compete with men in the outside world and hence a loss of feminine virtues’. Thus, really not proving beneficial to their well being as opposition to established practices has led to a destabilization of their social security within their very own society.

There is no doubt about the positive impact of ‘Christianity’ and ‘modernity’; however the new social change is both complex and controversial. As modernization promotes new social outlooks and material cultures, the Mizo tradition has lost its hold in many areas of modern life. In recent times concerned members of the society therefore, have begun to defend some of the old practices and intend to revive traditional values and customs. In the context of new social discourses, the Mizo women therefore are often compelled to act as both the victims and guardians of the Mizo tradition. As one of most striking impacts of ‘modernity’ is on the attires of both the sexes; the Mizo traditional dresses have been gradually discarded. Here it can be asserted that Mizo women preserve the culture of the traditional dresses by wearing the Mizo Puan, though most of them have been designed to keep up with new modern trends. Especially where some important functions and ceremonies are concerned, women are still expected to wear only the Mizo Puan. Despite this, the society has often accused only women of setting aside traditional dresses, demanding them to maintain their chastity as well as traditional dresses by wearing Mizo Puan while men are not compelled to uphold the Mizo tradition through the very same act (as Puan is also the traditional men’s dress).

Besides this, the society also attempts to endorse the Mizo traditions through the observation of Customary Laws. With regard to marriage customs, the traditional practice of bride price is still prevalent and the price involved is nominal (a woman is worth only Rs 420). It is generally believed that the prestige of women can be upheld and protected by the way in which the practice of bride price is modified in accordance to the standards of present day life. This point of view has a greater stronghold among the women rather than men as many women’s activists have made demands to increase the price. Some might argue that the position of a Mizo woman is better off than women from other Indian societies where a woman has to pay a dowry as opposed to the bride price. However, it can be assumed that the practice of bride price has devalued a woman’s position and status in the society as it presupposes that she can be sold like an economic asset. In matters relating to the new reconstructed law of inheritance, only men are recognized as legitimate heirs and women do not legally have any rights in the family. This is due to the fact that modernity itself is a patriarchal construct and the changes it brought about are also deeply concerned with the affairs of men. As long as the male-biased customary law of inheritance exists, gender discrimination will exist in the society.

From the light of the above description it can be concluded by saying that ‘modernity reconstructed the structure of Mizo Society from male perspectives and the concept of women’s liberation is also considerably modified by the patriarchal norms of traditional society’. In short it can also be observed that in Mizoram, modernity brings development in material culture, but not complete changes in the conservative ideologies of men towards women. If we look at the present situation, the Mizo society appears to be seen as a ‘man-made society’ where women are subjected into it and live according to the will of men. Today as a result of a consciousness among educated women, questions and debates on women issues has gradually gained significance and has become an important subject. However, almost every issue has ended in mere discussions and the voices of women have been ignored. This might be because the society has not yet realized that his mother, wife, sisters, and daughters can become the victims of the prevailing social systems. Lastly to have a better and a more progressive society, it is significant to rethink the society’s attitudes on women and accept women’s voices as both the sexes have been sharing the work of building the society and its culture.

Bannerji, Himani; Inventing subjects, Studies in Hegemony, Patriarchy and Colonialism, Tulika Books, New Delhi, 2001.

Bonita, Aleaz; Emergent Women (A Mizo Women’s Perspective), Mittal Publications, 2005.

Macionis John, J: Society: The Basics, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 2000

Mizo Women Today; Tribal Research Institute, Aizawl, Mizoram, 1991

Sangari, Kumkum (ed); ‘Recasting Women’ (Essays in Colonial History), Kali for Women, New Delhi, 1989.

Bul tanna

A khaih a..hei ka han chhin ve ngawt mai a ni ee...!