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Mizoram – Christian majority with Jewish minority

Mizoram – Christian majority with Jewish minority

Mizoram is one of the Seven Sister States in North Eastern India. It shares land borders with the states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur, Bangladesh and the Chin state of Burma. Its population at the 2001 census stood at 888,573. Mizoram ranks second in India with a literacy rate of 88.49%. Mizoram has the most variegated hilly terrain with the highest peak Phawngpui [Blue Mountain] of 2210 metres. Mizos are a close-knit society with no class distinction and no sexual discrimination. 90% of them are cultivators and the village functions as a large family. Birth, marriage, and death in the village are important occasions in which the whole village is involved.

Some 87% of the population (including most ethnic Mizos) is Christian. Other faiths include Hindus who form a small minority in the state, at 3.6% of the population following the religion. Muslims also form a small minority with 1.1% of the population following the faith. People who believe in this faith are from other state but living in Mizoram.

Mizoram has two seats in Parliament, one each in the Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha

The Mizo National Famine Front, which was created to fight famine in the sate, dropped the word ‘famine’ and a new political organization, the Mizo National Front (MNF) was born on 22 October 1961 under the leadership of Laldenga with the specified goal of achieving sovereign independence of Greater Mizoram. Simultaneous large scale disturbances broke out on 28 February 1966 government installations at Aizawl, Lunglei, Chawngte, Chhimluang and other places. The Government of India had to bomb the city of Aizawl with ‘Toofani’ and ‘Hunter’ Jet fighters to quell a separatist movement. In the afternoon of March 4 1966, a flock of jet fighters hovered over Aizawl and dropped bombs leaving a number of houses in flames. The next day, a more excessive bombing took place for several hours which left most houses in Dawrpui and Chhingaveng area in ashes. The search for a political solution to the problems facing the hill regions in Assam continued. The Mizo National Front was outlawed in 1967. The demand for statehood gained fresh momentum. A Mizo District Council delegation, which met prime minister Indira Gandhi in May 1971 demanded full fledged statehood for the Mizos. The union government on its own offered the proposal of turning Mizo Hills into a Union Territory (U.T.) in July 1971. The Mizo leaders were ready to accept the offer on the condition that the status of U.T. would be upgraded to statehood sooner rather than later. The Union Territory of Mizoram came into being on 21 January 1972.

With Pakistan having lost control of Bangladesh and no support from Pakistan, the Mizo National Front was convinced that disarming, to live as respectable Indian citizens, was the only way of achieving peace and development. Laldenga met the prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on 15 February 1985 and signed a peace accord. Mizoram became the 23rd state of India on 20 February 198

The major Christian denominations are the Presbyterian It is one of the constituted bodies of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of India, which has its headquarters at Shillong in Meghalaya (India). In recent decades, a number of people from Mizoram, Assam, and Manipur have claimed to be Jewish. This group is known collectively as the Bnei Menashe, and include Chin, Kuki, and Mizo. Several hundred have formally converted to Orthodox Judaism and many openly practise an Orthodox type of Judaism. The Bnei Menashe do not see themselves as converts, but believe themselves to be ethnically Jewish, descendants of one of the Lost Tribes of Israel The Jewish population of the Bnei Menashe currently is estimated at 9,000 people. The pre-Christian spirituality of the Mizos are Hindu tribes. Presently sometimes, they are being identified as animists. Chakmas and Khans are in this caegory.

The fabric of social life in the Mizo society has undergone tremendous change over the last few years. Before the British arrived in these hills, for all practical purposes, the village and the clan formed units of Mizo society. The Mizo code of ethics or dharma focused on “Tlawmngaihna”, meaning that it was the obligation of all members of society 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 service of others. The old belief, Pathian, is still used to mean God. Many Mizos have embraced their new-found faith of Christianity. Their sense of values have also undergone a drastic change for the worse and are largely being guided (directly and indirectly) by the Christian church organisations.

Sikkim North East State of India

Sikkim North East State of India

Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state of the Himalayas with many languages. The thumb-shaped state borders Nepal in the west, Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north and east, and Bhutan in the southeast. The Indian state of West Bengal borders Sikkim to its south. The official language of the state is English, but there is a sizable population that converses in Nepali and it is the link language of the stae. English and Hindi are also spoken and understood in most of Sikkim. Sikkim is Indias least populous state in India, and the second-smallest in area after Goa. It has only 5.5laksh inhabitants,with 2.8lakh males and 2.5lakh females.with density of 76 persons per square kilometre. It has an area of 2,745 sq mi (7,110 km²). the elevation ranging from 280 metres (920 ft) to 8,585 metres (28,000 ft).

Ethnic Nepalese are in majority. Bhutias and the Lepchas as well as Tibetans reside the state. Immigrant resident communities not native to the state include the Marwaris, who own most of the shops in South Sikkim and Gangtok; the Biharis, most of whom are employed in blue collar jobs; and the Bengalis. Hinduism is the majority religion in the state with 60.9% of the population, Buddhism forms a large minority with 28.1% of the population, Christians form 6.7% of the population and Muslims 1.4% of the population. Christians consisting mostly of people of Lepcha origin are converted to the faith after British missionaries started preaching in the region in the late 19th century. The state has never had inter-religious strife. The sex ratio is 875 females per 1000 males. With 50,000 inhabitants. The urban population in Sikkim is 11.06%. The per capita income stands at Rs. 11,356, which is one of the highest in the country.

Sikkim is allocated one seat in each of both chambers of India’s national bicameral legislature, the Lok Sabha, and the Rajya Sabha. There are a total of 32 state assembly seats including one reserved for the Sangha.

In 1947, a popular vote rejected Sikkim’s joining the Indian Union. Sikkim was given special protectorate with union government controlling its external affairs, defence, diplomacy and communications. A state council was established in 1955 to allow for constitutional government . Meanwhile Sikkim National Congress demanded fresh elections and greater representation for the Nepalese. In 1973, riots in front of the palace led to a formal request for protection from India. The Chogyal was proving to be extremely unpopular with the people. In 1975, the Kazi (Prime Minister) appealed to the Indian Parliament for a change in Sikkim’s status so that it could become a state of India. In April, the Indian Army moved into Sikkim, seizing the city of Gangtok and disarming the Palace Guards. A referendum was held in which 97.5% of the voting people (59% of the people entitled to vote) voted to join the Indian Union. A few weeks later, on May 16, 1975, Sikkim officially became the 22nd state of the Indian Union and the monarchy was abolished.

Chinese disputed Sikkim as part of India and maintained it as an independent state occupied by India. China eventually recognized Sikkim as an Indian state in 2003, on the condition that India accepted Tibet Autonomous Region as a part of China.

A Budget of missed reform opportunities

It is good to see performance in the economy, and the Economic Survey, as well as the finance minister’s speech, amply make it clear that the macroeconomic fundamentals are excellent and there is expectation of even a higher growth (more than 8.5%) for the next year.

Fiscal consolidation has come to the forefront. We have not heard of SPVs, of borrowings against reserves, and other such ambitious schemes this year, and the results are there for everyone to see.

Budgeted fiscal deficit for the next year is 3.8%, there are no new taxes, and revenue deficit is to be brought down to 2.1%. A cautious Budget, that seeks to consolidate rather than take chances, and expenditure being matched with expected buoyancy in revenues.

There are some concerns. First, plan expenditure at Rs 17,2728 crore, is in fact lower than the arithmetic of the last Budget, where the FM had provided for Rs 14,3791 crore in the Budget and another Rs 29,000 crore to states. Capital expenditure for Plan schemes is targeted at a low Rs 28,966 crore as against Rs 29,638 crore this year and expenditure on revenue account in the Plan is increasing by leaps and bounds. Even allocations for the employment guarantee programme are quite modest.

Next, there is inadequate focus on infrastructure, and, apart from the mega power plants and the back door privatisation of coal mines, ver

via A Budget of missed reform opportunities.