Ist prize winner in Zomi Nam Ni 2008 Essay writing competition
The term Zomi refers to a group of people of the same stock and the same origin and whose legends say came out from a cave, Khul. They form the various tribes or ethnic groups like Hmar, Thadou, Vaiphei, Gangte, Paite, Mizo(lushai), Simte, Tedim-chin and Zou. Many of the above have decided to unite under one nomenclature, called Zomi.
It is the hope of many that all the others too willingly accept the name Zomi which word/term is found in all our dialects/languages. As so begins the process of nation building.. My dream will be fulfuilled in the near future specially as the Zomi are no more lacking in any field. Many leaders and movements have done their part to lead the Zomi to the stature of political resurgence and the making of a nation.
My dreams of Zomi as a nation are:
The first step for the Zomi to become a nation is the unification of all the zomi who are under differen’ countries. When Zomi becomes a nation, the whole Zo occupied area will be merged into one administrative unit. My Zogam will streatch from the Chittagong Hill Tract in the west, Kanpelet in the south. Halflong the North, Lusai Hills (the present Mizoram), the entire Churachandpur District, Tengnoupal and Sadar Hills in Manipur and the whole of Chin State in Myanmar, an area of about 90,000 sq. km.
The various movements for the unification will come together under one accepted leadership and free Zogam from foreign yoke. This will herald the formation of Zomi as a nation.
A group or people cannot be called a nation, it is under the control of another group. The Zomi must have been sovereign in the hoary past. It was the British imperialist forces which crushed their freedom, divided and made them subjects to foreigners. With the unification of the whole Zo inhabited areas the Freedom of Zogam will be proclaimed. It will be recognised by the United Nations and all other non-UN countries. The Government of the People Republic of Zogam will be established!
I dream of a time when I will be no more Bangladeshi, Myanmarese or Indian, but Zomi! A time when I will proudly and with dignity write ZOMI in the nationality column when responding to advertisement for jobs by the Government of People’s Republic of Zogam.
Zomi becomes a nation the different tribes and sub-tribes under its fold will eagerly embrace Zomi as their nomenclature. The terms Chin and Kuki which are coined by foreigners will voluntarily discarded and, in their place, our very own words – Zo and Mi – found and cherished in all our languages and dialects will be accepted.
PEACE AND PROGRESS
The Zomis are a peace-loving people. It is the fact of their being; under alien rulers which made them frustrated and violence. But when unity and equality comes in Zogam, there will be no more bandhs, strike and demonstrations to show our dissatisfaction to the Government, because ‘ our Zomi Government’ will manage the affairs of the nation and its people efficiently and lovingly. There will be no more raping of women, kidnapping, murders, laying of landmines, hurling of bombs at government offices etc. All underground organizations presently fighting for the freedom of Zogam will then be disbanded and re-constituted to form the police and security forces of the Government of Zogam. They will maintain law and order for peace in Zogam. Communalism, regionalism etc, which disrupted peace and harmony will be unheard of Peace which is the key to progress and prosperity of a nation will reign in Zogam, and Zogam will be a `Paradise on Earth!’
When there is peace in Zogam, the Government will extend its hand to maintain peace in different parts of our troubled world. It will co-operate with the Security Council of the United Nations and send its peace-keeping forces wherever necessary, Zogam will do its bit for world peace!
When there is peace in Zogam, there will be progress in every field. Science, arts, and culture, literature, medicine, sports etc. will flourish, etc. The Government will take every initiative for the development of the land and the people. All parts of Zogam will be connected all weather by motorable roads, every villages connected and will electrified. Education will be made compulsory and free right upto graduation. The ultimate aim of free education up to graduation will be to aim for a knowledge based society. This would make it possible for all our leaders to be philosophers, a model of Plato’s “Philosopher-kings”. This would surely lead to an enlightened Zogam.
Peace, progress and prosperity are inseparable, like the three angles of a triangle. Without peace there can be no progress or development, and without development a nation cannot prosper.
When Zomi belongs a nation, it will stop depending on other countries for all its necessities. It will, instead, produce all the required goods in sufficient numbers to meet the demands of its subject, as well as, have enough for export.
Adding to Zogam’s prosperity many foreign agencies will be eager to take up projects. When Zogam becomes self-sufficient, many young talented, Zomis will surface and they will explore every nook and corner of the Globe. Hidden natural resources will be discovered and used for all-round development. In short Zogam will be more than self-sufficient in every respect.
Today the Zorni speak different language. Yet they are quite understandable to all, because there is more similarity than differences among them. But when Zomi becomes a nation a completely common but richer language understandable and acceptable to all will evolve to become the official language of Zogam. The Indigenous Zomi script will be revived and lead to much research and literature.
Zomi society like all others is male dominated. Women are looked down uponn and as such women deprived of many of their rights in society. Zogam will herald the emancipation of women from the social evils which made them inferior. When the Zomi becomes a nation women will be empowered and enjoy equal rights and duties as Zomi men. They will have the right of inheritance, the right to lead, the right to express their opinion etc.
In my dream of Zo society there will be no more male domination. Women will be given equal opportunities to bring out their hidden talents.
PRESERVATION OF OUR CULTURE HERITAGE
The Zomi by origin are endowed with a rich culture, tradition and practices. Under the foreign rule many alien practices were adopted. This made young Zomis forget their forefather’s ways of life. To revive our rich heritage many national Zogam Academy of Cultural Studies will be set up in our important cities. The Academy will impart and train the coming generations. This will preserve our culture as well as help in spreading it all over the world.
So, I dream that one day various communities, known by different names will wake up from their slumber of ignorance and communalism, and come together under one administration. That time would be when Zomi will no longer be defined in terms of a tribe, but in terms of a nation. To make this dream come true it is the duty of every Zomi to sink all difference and unite. For this to happen we need dynamic committed and selfless who can lead us for the great cause of Zogam.
If our forefathers could stride the length and breadth of their Zogam with full freedom, like a young Lion fearing none, why cannot we?
COME SOON, ZOMI UNIFICATION !
COME SOON, ZOGAM!
Source: The 60th Zomi Nam ni, 2008 Diamond Jubilee Souvenir