ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Problems and Politics of Memorialisation

Memories and Memorials of the Mizo National Front Movement

The narrative of peace in Mizoram has become a part of national memory, but it is also embedded in larger politics of erasing a violent past. This is, in part, associated with the state agenda of presenting a “successful” case of conflict management, along with its refusal to acknowledge its violent actions. Tension over the issue of memorialisation continues to resurface at the local level, across political spectrums and local organisations—a consequence of the purported exclusion of violent memories in the official narratives and the neglect of “other” voices within the narrative of the movement. In this regard, the construction and contestation of the narrative of “peace” in Mizoram and the politics associated with its commemoration, merit further examination.

On 30 June 1986, the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) or the Mizoram Accord, was signed between the Mizo National Front (MNF) and the Government of India (GoI), which resulted in the conclusion of the MNF’s armed struggle, as well as the cessation of the demand for separation from the Indian Union. It is against this backdrop that today, across Mizoram, 30 June is observed as remna ni or day of peace.

There is a general consensus that the resolution of the MNF movement is an exception in the North East, or in the words of Lawrence E Cline (2006: 138), “one of the few apparent
success stories for the Indian government in the North East.” The MoS is considered a historic agreement, at least in the context of North East India, as it successfully brought an end to the armed struggle. The case of the MNF movement, therefore, is interesting for it is the only movement that has successfully ended with the signing of the MoS in 1986. It is, therefore, often hailed as a “success” in India’s counter-insurgency efforts in the North East.

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Updated On : 22nd Jun, 2018

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