Mizoram’s apex and most influential student body, the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), administered pledges on Monday to hundreds of students across the Christian-majority state to not marry outside the Mizo tribe.
The oral pledges, administered in high schools and higher secondary schools came as part of the body’s campaign to “protect” the tribal community from getting “assimilated” with outsiders.
“Since 2015, every September we have been holding this campaign urging children not to marry a non-Mizo. We cannot get assimilated with outsiders, because we are a very small community. If we marry outsiders, that’s what will happen. We will be outnumbered. We have one MP in the Lok Sabha,” Ricky Lalbiakmawia, a senior leader of the MZP, told The Indian Express.
Lalbiakmawia, who is also the finance secretary of the umbrella body Northeast Students’ Organisation (NESO), said, “On Monday, MZP leaders visited different schools across the state. Even in state capital Aizawl, we visited many schools. We reminded children that they should avoid marrying non-Mizos, outsiders. It was, of course, an oral pledge and not a written one. We do not force anyone, but just advising them,”. He added that according to the Mizo customary law, a Mizo woman who marries a non-Mizo man loses her Mizo tribal rights.
Last year, the all-powerful NGO, Young Mizo Association (YMA), had demanded the enactment of a law to ensure that a Mizo woman who marries a non-tribal loses her ST status.