30 July, 2021

Mizoram Elections: The Ten Commandments

Every church sings its own soft part. In Mizoram, the faithful looks up to it for guidance and for free and fair polls.

Lead Kindly Light
A Presbyterian Church set against the backdrop of Aizawl’s cityscape
Photograph by Sandipan Chatterjee
Mizoram Elections: The Ten Commandments

It’s hard to find visible signs of an impending election in Mizoram. A rare poster pops up on a moss-covered cliff-face around a corner. A chair stands at the entrance of an empty campaign office, set amid cheek-by-jowl shops. At the headquarters of the Mizo National Front (MNF), a young party worker watches highlights of a Premier League football match on his smartphone. Mizoram will vote on November 28 to elect a new government, but its picture-postcard hilltop capital Aizawl seems disinterested in the democratic process. This is a laidback city basking under the mellow November sun, watching the world go by. In front of a big graffiti of the state election department urging people to vote, young men and women sit on a row of parked motorbikes and discuss football, cinema and everything else but elections.

The real “action” was happening on the street in front of the state assembly, where thousands of people—men and women, young and...

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