Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s catchphrase during his maiden visit to Mizoram seemed to have struck the chord among the Mizos.
Syllables and words that BJP often uses like Hindutva, RSS, banning slaughtering of cow and news of Christian missionaries being abused are sending shivers across the Christian dominated state of Mizoram, the reason why saffron wave has failed to make an impact in this North eastern state. But the recent Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greetings to the people of Mizoram have calmed things down.
It is evident that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the figure of BJP revival which is deeply rooted with Hindutwa, while his magic has worked wonders in the entire country it is yet to kick start in Mizoram. There is a strong belief among the Christian population that BJP’s agendas are a threat to Christianity, a trump card BJP’s opponents have been using in the state.
The recent visit of the prime minister had created a sense of easiness among the people of Mizoram, after repeated Christmas wishes he made in his speech at a public rally in Aizawl.
“I believe he is taking on the challenges BJP has in the state in a softer tone. Unless Narendra Modi garners the affection of the Mizos, BJP will not make a mark in this Christian dominated state,” Alfred Vanchhong, a local journalist from Aizawl said.
The prime minister started his speech with greeting to the people of Mizoram in Mizo language, “Chibai vek ule, in dam em?” which was instantly followed by a merry Christmas and a happy New Year wishes, the PM closed the speech with Mizo language again.
The prime minister’s speech also received applause from critics in the social media. Mizo language is a tonal language and first time users usually pronounced wrongly, most of the Mizo names and places the PM pronounced were not a perfect pitch but easily audible.
“We know the oratory power of the prime minister and expected a good speech, he made several mentions in Mizo languages without looking up from scripts, it was his first time here and first time he made mentions of Mizo names and places in a rather fluent way,” Dr VR Ralte, a local academician who translated the Hindi parts of the prime minister’s speech in Mizo language, said.
The Prime Minister also elaborated upon his vision of a New India – an India free of corruption, poverty, terrorism, caste and communalism. On the rhetoric of caste, religion and gender the prime minister said, “No one in my government will be denied anything on grounds of religion.” A catchphrase Mizo Christians applauded.