Minister’s marriage remarks provoke debate in Mizoram
Biate: Mizoram’s lone woman minister has provoked a debate with her advice to students to marry within the community.
Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu, a spinster, on May 9 told students at Biate that they should be careful while looking for spouses and advised them to marry only their fellow Mizos.
Biate, some 170 km southeast of the state capital of Aizawl, is known as the cleanest town in Mizoram.
The Congress minister also urged the students not to dilute the Mizo tribe by marrying outside the community.
The minister’s comments have provoked discussion whether Mizo people should abide by their rule of not marrying outsiders or follow their choice.
While one group insists on upholding the rule to preserve their community’s uniqueness, others say a community can overcome its shortcomings only if it is open to accept positive points from other castes and communities.
Like people elsewhere, Mizos also opposed dilution of their culture through mixed marriages. Most people still continue to uphold this rule. However, some others are open to marrying outside the community.
Mizoram used to be a land of dense forests where sunlight could not penetrate. People began to dwell there from time immemorial and formed different tribes (Hmar, Paite, Lusei, Ralte, Mara, Pawi) in the oval-shaped blue hilled valley.
Chawngthu is the second woman minister in Mizoram after Lalhlimpuii Hmar, who was made a minister in 1987.
Chawngthu was inducted to Lal Thanhawla’s cabinet in September. She was sworn in as a minister by Mizoram Governor Lt. Gen. Nirbhay Sharma.
Chawngthu is the daughter of senior Congress leader and former minister C Chawngkunga. She presently holds the position of chairperson of Mizoram state commission for women. She is the fourth woman legislator in Mizoram history.