Aizawal: A 63-old woman is making history in Mizoram by contesting as the first woman candidate for the Lok Sabha election in the State.
Lalthlamuani who is from the minority Jewish community in Mizoram will be fighting against 5 other male candidates in the constituency reserved for Scheduled Tribes. Mizoram has only one Parliamentary seat.
While speaking about her decision to contest the election, she said, “Nine days back, I heard a voice from God and I couldn’t turn my back on Him.”
Lalthlamuani says that she wants the voice of the Jewish people heard in Parliament. She is leading an NGO called Chhinlung Israel People Convention (CIPC), which works for the Mizo Jews who number around 20,000.
The Jewish community in Mizoram believes that they are the descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel who got split from the rest after King Solomon’s reign in 920 BC.
According to the Bible all the 12 tribes of Israel were taken as prisoners after the Jewish kingdom was invaded by the Assyrian empire. However, barring the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the Bible do not give any clue about the whereabouts of the other ten tribes after they were driven into exile.
Mizo Jews believe that one of the ten tribes escaped to Mongolia and finally settled in the Northeastern parts of India. The community now has 3 synagogues in Mizoram. The CIPC works for the welfare of this community.
The grandmother of five said, “We are fighting for our identity and I want to make sure that the voice of the Lost Tribe of Israel is heard in the Centre. As a woman I would like to show that even a simple woman can take on male candidates.”
Lalthlamuani also says that her work is also for her fellow Mizo women who have barely any political representation. Though the number of female voters are more than their male counterparts in the constituency, women representation in the legislative bodies are bare minimum.
Most of the Northeastern states have very little woman representation. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election the region could send only 2 women to the Parliament.
The Mizo National Front is fielding former director general of Doordarshan C. Lalrosanga as its candidate while the Congress and Zoram People’s Movement is backing famous journalist Lalnghinglova Hmar,.
While T. B. C. Lalvenchhunga is the candidate of anti-corruption watchdog-turned-political party PRISM the Mizo mining engineer Lalhriatrenga Chhangte will contest the election as an independent.
The BJP candidate is former legislator Nirupam Chakma. Mizoram will go to the polls on April 11.