~ Hausienmuan Munluo
It has always been a hard task trying to explain our tribe “ZOU” socio-politic and economic dynamics to outsiders. Given it small size in terms of area of Zou habitated and population and its insignificance in terms of economic and political impact in our state etc., it is natural for our neighbor tribe to imagine that Zou tribe constitutes a backward class and an un-unified unit.
Someof these “imagination” about us and our perceived decline of our local political fortunes and our relative socio-economic retardation are not a false picture. I do suspect that our community is below the level of othertribe in our area/state. In terms of literacy rate, income and other human development indexes. I always say that our community has a long way to catch up with other tribe in terms of community development. To make it matter worsed, the “Silence” like type policy followed by our cultural organization like ZSP, ZYO on any political and social issues, the chaotic disorganized clan based type Church and the recent political chaos inside UZO GHQ, increase our cultural organization loose hold on the people’s imagination, there is not a single institution left to shoulder many of these heavy responsibilities.
Thought there are a number of educated person in our society they do not have a high sense of responsibility and socialconcern for community development. Some of the present generation Zou intellect blame the past educated Zou for their intentionally isolation from the common people and their aspired to live in a lofty tower of western model. Yet still nothing has change in our present generation, the educated Zou youth still isolated themselves from the common people. This might be partly due to a faulty education system or our cultural education system which does not teach us to understand the roots of our culture, tradition and mental concept. They collaborated with our politicians in exploiting “ clan conciousness” among ourselves for their individual gain. This is our present political, social and economic situation. This is where we are in the world of Info technology and in spaces ages.
The Zou dilemma! Now, in order to answer the question, “Where do we go from here?”. We must first honestl recognize and accept where we are(the Zou dilemma). First, we must massively assert our dignity and worth. We must stand u amidst a system that still oress us. We must no longer be ashamed of Zou naptol, instead, we should start exchange of skills, ideas, knowledge and experience between the urban zou educated and the rural Zou students. This may speed up both our educational standard and social values. It would be great to think ZSP GHQ or ZSP Delhi Branch conducting a summer literacy camp or “Career guidance” in rural Zodawn like Singngat ……etc.
This will heps impart a sense of shared responsibility and shared interest among us. The reason I say this is because, for rural students who wish to take up higher education, classroom studies are not good enough and there is not enough source like Books, magazine to guide them in their career building. To awaken our community we must care the rural poor Zodawn. We have to care because despite Indian liberalization, the benefits are not reaching most of our rural zodawn people. Yes, they reach a few town or urban elite Zou people. However they did not reach the majority Zou people, the rural Zou people never see the benefit of India economic liberalization, which is mostly corrupted by our politician, contractor, social-worker and government servants, which always retarded our economy.
Another basic challenge is to discover how to organize our strength in terms of economic and political power. No one can denied that we need this kind of legitimate power. And we must create a force that can freed us from poverty in corruption. We are being held hostage by corruption, isolation and illiteracy. Let us challenge ourselves to be innovative throught education to find solution of our economic, social and political problem for the benefit of thw whole Zou population which means “Inclusive growth”.