Mizoram: An amazing masterpiece of nature
Think of Mizoram and what spontaneously comes to mind are extremely beautiful images of hills and peaks, dense bamboo groves, picturesque landscapes, fast-flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls, and a rich variety of flora and fauna that make the land an amazing masterpiece of nature. Mizoram, one of the seven states of the north-eastern region, is also blessed with different cultures, creeds, cuisine, dances and festivals making it one of the favourite tourist spots in India.
Also called the Land of Blue Mountains, Mizoram, situated at a height of 1132 metres above the sea level, with its capital Aizawl, derives its name from “Mizo”, the native inhabitants and “Ram” meaning ‘land’, literally making it the “the land of Mizos”. According to the India Happiness Report 2020, Mizoram is the happiest state in the country which reflects a strong configuration of socio-familial bonding, good physical and mental well-being, easy-going lifestyle and stoic attitude of the people.
Geographic and economic features
Mizoram shares its borders with the states of Tripura, Assam and Manipur in addition to a 722 km border with Bangladesh and Myanmar. It was once a part of Assam and was carved out as a Union Territory in 1972. With the passage of the 53rd Amendment of the Indian Constitution, 1986, Mizoram became the 23rd state of India on 20 February 1987.
Covering an area of approximately 21,087 sq kms, Mizoram is the fifth least populous state in the country. With a population of 1091,015, around 87 per cent of the land is forested. Rice is the largest crop grown and varied fruits become the second-largest products of the state. Gradually, people have adopted horticulture, floriculture, sericulture, fishery, and bamboo products for their livelihood.
Demographic and ethnic cultures
If the records of Mizo Chanchin, the first-ever published historical account of the Mizos by Rev. Liangkhaia, a Mizo historian, are to be believed, the Mizos migrated from China to erstwhile Burma around 750 A.D. From there they moved to the present state of Mizoram in the first half of the 16th century.
It is generally accepted that Mizos are a part of a great Mongoloid wave of migration from China and later moved out to India to their present habitat. They 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 Kukiis. The Lushais were the last of the Mizo tribes who reached India. The Mizo hills were officially declared as part of British-India by a proclamation in 1895. The north and south hills were merged together to form the Lushai Hills district in 1898 with Aizawl as its headquarters.
These clans speak a number of dialects, inter alia, Mizo tawng (the official language of Mizoram), the Hmar, the Paite, the Lai, and the Pang are prominent. The State has the highest concentration of tribals in the country. Around 87 per cent of them follow Christianity mostly adhering to Presbyterian and Baptist denominations.
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Shreeprakash Sharma is the Principal of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mamit, Mizoram. He writes articles in Hindi and English for a number of magazines and newspapers, and also contributes to All India Radio (AIR).