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MZP to intensify protest against Meriam’s candidacy

Meriam L Hrangchal

Aizawl: The Mizo Zirlai Pawl, Mizoram’s apex students’ body, is planning a massive protest rally in Aizawl on Friday to intensify its opposition to the candidacy of Mizo women married to non-Mizo for the upcoming elections to the Mizoram state assembly.

“The procession aims to protect the rights of the Mizo tribals and protest the candidature of Mizo women married non-Mizo to sit in the state legislature,” a statement of MZP said today.

Defying the MZP’s diktat, the Indian National Congress fielded Meriem L Hrangchal, who has a non-Mizo spouse, to contest from Lunglei South assembly seat.

Hrangchal is the daughter of a late former Deputy CM Lalhmingthanga, a prominent politician.

Her husband, though a Gorkha, has a Mizo name – D. Zoliana and is not only a Christian but also a church elder of the Baptist Church of Mizoram.  

The Congress party has maintained that Hrangchal’s husband and his relatives have been descendants of the Gorkhas who have been residing in the state before 1950 and are not only Indian citizens, but bona fide residents of Mizoram and it “accepted him as a Mizo.”

In response to this argument, the MZP strongly maintains that the Mizo identity is inherent in one’s blood and cannot be earned simply by residing in Mizoram for a certain period of time. The MZP contends that Meriam’s husband, Dipen Zoliana, is a Gorkha by blood.

To bolster its stance, the MZP references the Mizo Customary Law published by the government of Mizoram. According to this law, if a Mizo woman marries a non-Mizo, she is considered to embrace her husband’s culture and traditions, resulting in the forfeiture of her tribal rights.

Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President Lalsawta, after filing his nominations on Thursday, told journalists that the party decided to field Meriam Hrangchal as she is a great asset for Mizoram and the Congress party.

“We knew all along that there will be some people opposing her candidature. A number of people will be happy if the Congress does not field nominees in all of the assembly seats. The state PCC has made decision on Hrangchal’s candidacy and it was done after due consideration. We consider her as an asset, not only for our party, but for the entire Mizoram,” Lalsawta said.

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