For the first time ever in the Indian history, Mizoram will see a woman candidate contesting in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Lalthlamuani (63) has filed her name as an independent candidate from the Aizwal-West seat reserved for Scheduled Tribe. This also makes her the first Jewish woman ever to contest in the election. In the North-Eastern states, the state legislative assemblies are highly male-dominated and so Lalthlamuani’s nomination as an independent candidate is a major step towards empowerment and leadership.
Journey into politics
Lalthlamuani spoke to SheThePeople.TV and talked about her journey into politics, her NGO and what would be her expectations from the parliamentary constituency dominated by female voters. Talking about her reasons for filling candidacy, she said, “Women have played a pivotal role in the Bible. The stories of women like Esther, Deborah and Judith played a vital role for the sake of their nation so from these stories I believe that women have a more vital role to play to save and uplift their country. I believe contesting in this MP election is just a stepping stone for women all over this nation to stand up, rise up for their country.” She added that she does feel nervous and scared.
“Politics is a different ball game, people from the same religion, denomination or even neighbours have different views regarding politics. As an independent candidate and a woman, I do not know how people would react, however, I will be happy with whatever God provides me, I believe God will provide me exactly what I need not more not less.”
As an independent candidate and a woman, I do not know how people would react.
Other than her, Mizo National Front (MNF), Congress and Zoram People’s Movement’s (ZPM) are also in the fray and come across as stronger opponents. While MNF is fielding Lalrosanga, Congress and ZPM have jointly fielded Lalnghingolva Hmar and BJP chose Nirupam Chakma a former Congress minister who joined the BJP, a few years back.
Another regional party with a focus on anti-corruption, People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (Prism) has T.B.C. Lalvenchhunga.
Gender divide in Mizoram politics
On the apparent gender divide in Mizoram politics and women’s space in politics, she pointed, “Traditionally men have always been the provider and head of the household. So, I believe that this system is still imbibed in us and we thought that the men should take the role and responsibility of guiding the nation. However, times have changed and a lot of educated women capable of running the nation are in abundance. I hope my candidacy will encourage young and educated youth to step up.
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Women are Better Politicians
I believe that women should enter politics and would be better politicians because women are born with the skills and dedication to become a mother. A mother takes care of the husband and nurtures the children so in the same manner a woman politician would be able to take care of the state while nurturing the people of the state.”
Lalthlamuani runs an NGO called Chhinlung Israel People Convention (CIPC) which she started along with her husband in 1994.
I am willing to use all the funds available at my disposal and not only that I will also look into schemes which would benefit this cause.
“I will strive to be a model MP and fight corruption without fear. My priorities would be announcing our true identity, upliftment of the farmers and entrepreneurs and help the unemployed youths to sustain themselves. For this, I am willing to use all the funds available at my disposal and not only that I will also look into schemes which would benefit this cause,” she added.
She is going to use the facility of the local cable network (LPS, Zonet), Doordarshan and Mizoram Peoples Forum—a common platform where she will speak about her policies and agenda. “Unlike other candidates I do not have the funding to campaign and travel the length and breadth of the state.
I am hoping that the people would vote for the best person in the state, regardless of their political tie-ups.”
The voting for the parliamentary constituency in Mizoram will be held on April 11.
Picture Credit- Lalthlamuani