Mizoram’s poll sentiment: provide cheaper coffins | india | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
May 24, 2017-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Mizoram’s poll sentiment: provide cheaper coffins

Elections are for the living. In predominantly Christian Mizoram, they are for the dead as well. Congress' 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.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2013 23:00 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Assembly elections

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.