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Regionalism gaining over nationalism: Zoramthanga

MNF observes Laldenga death anniversary

Aizawl: Regionalism is slowly winning over nationalism in Indian politics, according to Zoramthanga, president of Mizoram’s major regional party Mizo National Front (MNF).

The former chief minister, as he paid tribute to MNF founder Laldenga at his tomb this morning, said, “Regionalism is on the rise all over India, slowly obliterating Indian nationalism.”

“In Mizoram too, Mizo nationalism has grown stronger and stronger despite the Indian government’s attempts to suppress it during the last 50 years,” he added.

“Regionalism” Zoramthanga claimed, “was planted in Mizoram by Laldenga 50 years ago and spread to other NE states and all over India.”

As the 13th death of Laldenga falls on a Sunday this year, the MNF functionaries paid floral tribute to their legendary leader on Monday morning.

MNF senior vice-president and former “chief of army staff” under Laldenga, also said even though Laldenga is no more among us, Mizo nationalism the seed of which he had sown, would lives on.

“We will never forget the man who had made Mizos known to the world,” he said.

Laldenga’s widow Lalbiakdiki, who also delivered a short speech at the ceremony, said that even though 22 years have passed since his husband died he has never faded from the memory of her and the MNF fraternity.

“The memories of those difficult times my family and the MNF cadres have gone through under his leadership are still fresh in my mind,” she said.

Expressing joy that the MNF his husband had founded is now turning 51 years, Lalbiakdiki said she has trust in the MNF led by Zoramthanga.

Laldenga died on the way to a hospital from London’s Heathrow Airport on July 7, 1990.

He was on his way back from New York where he had undergone a treatment for lung cancer. His condition deteriorated on the flight and was rushed towards a hospital.

Laldenga, then a retired Armyman and bank clerk in Aizawl, advocated the view that the Mizos were not Indians.

This idea spread like wildfire as Mizos at that time were at political crossroads, having left by the British with an option to decide their own political future.

Laldenga’s demands for separation from India were fueled by the great famine of the late 1950s triggered by the cyclic bamboo flowering known as Mautam.

The Assam’s alleged failure to rush the needed supplies in time to its eastern most district added salt to the wounds.

Laldenga founded the Mizo National Famine Front on October 22, 1961, to address the famine and later transformed it into a political outfit rechristening it as Mizo National Front and waged war against India from March 1966. (UNI)

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