Sinlung /
10 October 2013

Mizoram’s Poll Sentiment: Provide Cheaper Coffins, More Women Voters

Aizawl, Oct 10
: Elections are for the living. In predominantly Christian Mizoram, they are for the dead as well. Coffins aren’t a priority for the Mizo Congress or its opponents but bamboo development is a major component of the New Land Use Policy, the Congress’ flagship programme in Mizoram.

Its poll manifesto also promises a thrust on optimisation of the state’s rich bamboo resource through value-additions such as bamboo mats and bamboo ply.

According to the state’s Bamboo Development Agency, the annual bamboo yield is 3,237,689 metric tonnes.

The Young Mizo Association (YMA), a traditional NGO that coordinates social functions, sources and provides the bamboo coffins. “Mass production can lower the cost of a bamboo coffin to less than Rs1,000. Political parties would do well to focus on the bamboo coffin industry,” YMA office-bearer Vanlalruata said.

The popular push for bamboo productivity is understandable. In the sixties, the flowering of unutilised bamboos — a rare phenomenon —had yielded a fruit that rats fed on to multiply and cause famine.

The crisis had given birth to Mizo National Front (MNF) militancy in 1966. The MNF, which evolved into a political party in 1986, introduced Baffacos (Bamboo Flowering Famine and Combat Scheme) when famine struck again during its 1998-2008 rule.

“We have major plans on bamboo,” party president and former chief minister Zoramthanga said.

More women voters than men in Mizoram

Mizoram will be the only state going to polls this year that will have more women voters than men, according to data released by the Election Commission of India. The Northeastern state's women to men voters ratio is 1,038 to every 1,000 men.

In other words, of the total 6,86,305 voters in the state, women outnumber men by 12,707.

Of the five states going to polls, Delhi has the lowest female to male voters' ratio at 804. While Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are almost even at 897 and 897.46 respectively, Chhattisgarh's stands at 964.
source: Hindustan Times & Indiabn


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