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Mizoram Statehood Day is celebrated on 20 February along with Arunachal Pradesh Statehood Day. The 53rd amendment of the Indian Constitution created the State of Mizoram on 20 February 1987, as India’s 23rd state.
Mizoram Statehood Day is a state holiday this regional holiday commemorates the day in 1987 when Mizoram gained its statehood. All educational institutions and government offices will be closed on State Day.
Mizo tribe were accepted as part of a great Mongoloid wave of migration from China and later moved out to India to their present habitat. Mizos came from Shinlung or Chhinlungsan located on the banks of the river Yalung in China. They were first settled in the Shan State and moved on to Kabaw Valley to Khampat and then to the Chin Hills in the middle of the 16th century.
The earliest Mizos who migrated to India were known as Kukis and the second batch of immigrants were called New Kukis. The Lushais were the last of the Mizo tribes who migrated to India. The Mizo history in the 18th and 19th Century is marked by many instances of tribal raids and retaliatory expeditions of security. Mizo Hills were formally declared as part of the British-India by a proclamation in 1895. North and south hills were united into Lushai Hills district in 1898 with Aizawl as its headquarters.
It was during the British regime that a political awakening among the Mizos in Lushai Hills started taking shape the first political party. The Mizo Common People’s Union was formed on 9th April 1946. The Party was later renamed as Mizo Union. As the day of Independence drew nearer, the Constituent Assembly of India set up an Advisory Committee to deal with matters relating to the minorities and the tribals. A sub-Committee, under the chairmanship of Gopinath Bordoloi was formed to advise the Constituent Assembly on the tribal affairs in the North East. The Mizo Union submitted a resolution of this Sub-committee demanding inclusion of all Mizo inhabited areas adjacent to Lushai Hills. However, a new party called the United Mizo Freedom (UMFO) came up to demand that Lushai Hills join Burma after Independence.
The autonomy however met the aspirations of the Mizos only partially. Representatives of the District Council and the Mizo Union pleaded with the States Reorganization Commission (SRC) in 1954 for integrated the Mizo-dominated areas of Tripura and Manipur with their District Council in Assam.
The tribal leaders in the North East were laboriously unhappy with the SRC Recommendations. They met in Aizawl in 1955 and formed a new political party, Eastern India Union (EITU) and raised demand for a separate state comprising of all the hill districts of Assam. The Mizo Union split and the breakaway faction joined the EITU. By this time, the UMFO also joined the EITU and then understanding of the Hill problems by the Chuliha Ministry, the demand for a separate Hill state by EITU was kept in abeyance.
The Mizoram Peace Accord was signed between the Mizo National Front and the Union Government on June 30, 1986 and eight months after signing of the Mizo Peace Accord, Mizoram attained statehood on February 20, 1987. It became the 23rd state of India, a step above Union Territory, on 20 February 1987.
Mizoram is one of the states of Northeast India, with Aizawl as its capital. The name is derived from Mi (people), Zo (hill), and Ram (land), and thus Mizoram implies “land of the hill people“. This state is bounded by Myanmar to the east and south, Bangladesh to the west. It also shares the border with three states among the Seven Sister States of old Assam that is Tripura to the northwest, Assam to the north, and Manipur to the northeast.
Birth of State Mizoram
Rajiv Gandhi’s assumption of power following his mother’s death signaled the beginning of a new era in Indian politics. Laldenga met the Prime Minister on 15th February 1985. Some contentious issues, which could not be resolved, during previous talks referred to him for his advice.
New Delhi felt that Mizo problem had been dragging on for the long a time, while the MNF was convinced that bidding farewell to arms to live as respectable Indian Citizens was the only ways of achieving peace and development.
Statehood was a prerequisite to the implementing of the accord singed between the MNF and and the Union Government on 30 June 1986. The document was signed by Laldenga, on the behalf of MNF, and the Union Home Secretary RD Pradhan on behalf of the Government.
While the MNF kept its part of the bargain, the Centre initiated efforts to raise the status of Mizoram to a full fledged State. A constitution Amendment Bill and another to confer statehood on Mizoram was passed in the Lok Sabha on 5 August 1986.
The formalization of Mizoram State took place on 20th February, 1987.Chief Secretary Lalkhama read out the proclamation of statehood at a public meeting organised at Aizawl’s Parade Ground. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi flew to Aizawl to inaugurate the new state. Hiteshwar Saikia was appointed as Governor of Mizoram.
Facts about Mizoram
- After India got independence from the colonial rule, the region was granted autonomous status in 1952.
- Mizo people formulated their own laws and delivered judicial decisions.
- In the year 1960s saw an increasing call for Mizoram to end its status as a part of Assam and seek its own statehood.
- Mizoram was part of Assam until year 1972. In 1972 the state was made a Union Territory.
- The 1972 bifurcation of Assam in which its hill districts were separated became partly a result of rivalry between Assamese and Bengali speakers.
- The inhabitants of Mizoram are known by their generic name of Mizo, which literally means people (mi) of the hills (zo). They were the tribal groups of Tibeto-Burmese race.
- It attained statehood on February 20, 1987 following the 53rd Amendment of the Indian Constitution in 1986.
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