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Title: Institutional Barriers to Employment: A Study in Mizoram
Authors: Chakma, Ritesh
Keywords: School of Social Work
Biswaranjan Tripura
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: The issue of distinctiveness of the Chakmas from that of the Mizos has been exploited by the stakeholders from within as well as outside the state to either assimilate or eliminate the ethnic minorities like the Chakmas. The Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) with its headquarters in Chawngte (ear lier known as Kamlanagar) continues to be the ―public irritant in the Zo/Mizo politics. The existence of Buddhist culture along with distinct cultural markers make the Chakma a permanent pariah in a state that openly declares itself as an Ideal Zo Christian State‖(Chakraborty, 2011). At present the Mizos dominate all the socio, political, economical and cultural spaces of the state. The sorry state of affairs of the Chakmas is often attributed to their lack of interest. However, a critical reading of the state‘s recruitment rules helps unravel the underlying discriminatory practices of the Government of Mizoram towards its ethnic minorities. One of the most substantial evidence of discrimination against its ethnic and linguistic minorities can be said to be evident in the various official Recruitment Rules (RRs), which have been notified by the government of Mizoram. The state government of Mizoram has passed several Recruitment Rules where "working knowledge of Mizo language at least up to Middle School standard" has been either made a compulsory requirement of educational or as a "desirable qualification". At the same time the Chakmas in Mizoram have tried to build their own spaces in order to counter the hegemony of the state government. Some of them have tried to build organisations with a specific focus on the rights of the Chakmas. Through these institutions they try to raise the major concerns plaguing the community. A few of the organistions who have been at the forefront are Mizoram Chakma Welfare Committee (MCWC), Chakma Mahila Samitti, Mizoram Chakma Development Forum (MCDF), Chakma Law Forum, Young Chakma Association (YCA), in the lines of Young Mizo Association (YMA), Mizoram Chakma Students Union (MCSU). Whenever there has been any instance of discrimination faced by the community these organizations have been quick in making their demands and their presence felt. The present study relies heavily on the participation of the people concerned. It tries to understand how the Recruitment Rules are affecting the community and the challenges faced by them in matters of employment. One of significant objectives of the study has been to study the politics behind these recruitment rules. The study gives us an understanding of how ethnic minorities like the Chakmas are systematically denied opportunities to participate in the state machinery. The purpose of the study was to understand the perspective of the people who are most likely to be affected by these Recruitment Rules and also the impact of such rules. In this research, qualitative research approach and methods were adopted as this study is based on the position that the people's knowledge, views, understandings, interpretations and experiences are important factors in the social reality being explored. The goal of this study however, was also to investigate the recruitment rules through people‘s perspective, knowledge and also with the quantitative data available from the various relevant sources.
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