Must preserve, cherish India’s diversity: President Kovind
Aizawl: President Ram Nath Kovind has said that India’s strength lies in its “diversity” and that it was important to “preserve” and “cherish” it.
“We see a huge variety of ethnic and religious identities, and so many languages, cultures and customs, modes of dress, food habits and cuisine. This diversity is our strength; important to preserve and cherish it,” the president said while addressing a special session of Mizoram Legislative Assembly on November 30.
Kovind, who arrived in Mizoram on November 29 on his maiden visit to the state, described India as a nation of “astonishing diversity.”
Calling upon all political stakeholders – including the Church, women’s groups, and NGOs, Kovind said everyone has to get together to create an atmosphere for peace and development in the state.
“Signing, implementation and adherence to the Mizo Accord of 1986 is still held up as a shining example all over the world. It truly is a miracle in the way in which it ended an insurgency situation and a conflict that had divided our country and Mizo society itself.”
“The Accord and its legacy represent one of the greatest successes in India’s long history,” he added.
The Mizoram Accord was signed between the Mizo National Front, a secessionist movement until then, and the Government of India on June 30, 1986. The MNF used to protest the alleged negligence and indifference of Indian government to the people of Mizoram at the time of a severe famine, mautam, during the late 1950s.
After a major uprising followed by years of struggle in underground activities, the movement conceded to work within the Indian Constitution and to renounce violence and turmoil that had prevailed throughout Mizoram.
The official document entitled “Mizoram Accord, 1986, Memorandum of Settlement” was the landmark that restored peace and harmony in the state.
Under the agreement, MNF handed over all arms, ammunition, and equipment to the federal government, while the government prepared, settled and rehabilitation underground personnel.
Mizoram became a state from a federally-ruled territory. It was given the liberty to adopt one or more languages for official purposes. Other features were setting up a separate university and a high court for the state.