Accommodative politics and a remarkably high voter turnout: A model that can be emulated in other States – Mizoram

Vasundhara Sirnate Rahul Verma, The Hindu, November 30, 2013

[…] Mizoram has just finished polling in its latest round of Assembly elections with a very high voter turnout of 81.19 per cent. How did a decidedly secessionist State turn from the insurgent path towards accepting a place in the Indian Union, and what form of politics developed after the end of the insurgency? Accommodative politics, knitted with political incentives for the insurgents, helped pave the way for the MNF to turn into an electoral force. After that turning point, the tussle between the regional force and the Centre has taken the form of an electoral competition between the Congress and the MNF. We argue that this successful channelling of insurgency into manageable electoral competition is a model that can be emulated in other States of the northeast. […]

Today, Mizoram is a State that cradles several oddities. It is a Christian majority state where the Presbyterian Church has immense sway over everyday life and politics. It is one of the few States with Prohibition [i.e. banning the sale of liquor*] due to an intervention by the Presbyterian Church. It is also one of the few States with a remarkably high voter turnout. Further, electoral politics took a healthy competitive turn after two decades of violence, as we describe below. […]

The normalisation of electoral politics in Mizoram is important as an instance of accommodative politics in India. The reduction in violence brought about by the end of the insurgency and the crippling counterinsurgency campaigns can perhaps be replicated in other States of the northeast.

(Vasundhara Sirnate is the Chief Coordinator of Research at The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy. She and Rahul Verma are Ph.D candidates at the Travers Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley.)

Source: From insurgency to electoral democracy – The Hindu
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Date Visited: Wed Dec 04 2013 15:45:26 GMT+0100 (CET)

* The Indian Express, Thu Aug 29 2013

Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla has said the government will review the state’s prohibition law […] Read more >>

Source: Mizo prohibition law to be reviewed: CM – Indian Express
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Date Visited: Wed Dec 04 2013 15:51:57 GMT+0100 (CET)

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