Young Mizo Association
|Formation||15 June 1935|
|Legal status||Active Indian society|
Conservation of nature
|Any Mizo above 14 years|
The Young Mizo Association (YMA) is the largest and most comprehensive non-profit, secular and nongovernmental organisation of the Mizo people. It was established on 15 June 1935, originally as the Young Lushai Association (YLA), which was later replaced with the "Young Mizo Association" in 1947. It was initiated by the Welsh Christian missionaries who understood the need of cultural conservation of the Mizo tribe, who were under pressure of political and social modernisations. It was registered as SR No. 4 of 1977 under Indian Societies Registration Act (XXI of 1860) on 14 May 1977 to the Government of Mizoram.
The association is administered by a central committee (Central YMA), headquartered at Aizawl, and under which there are 5 sub-headquarters, 47 groups and 772 branches, which covers all of Mizoram and some parts of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura.
By 1935 Christianity had taken over most of the traditional Mizo lifestyle, formal education system had been introduced, British rule was about to be revoked and local administration was to be subjected to Indian politics. The basic tribal administrative system Zawlbuk was dissolving. The traditional social security, custom and training ground for young men was coming to an end, thereby necessitating a substitute of the tribal institution urgently. As serendipity would have it, a thunderstorm on the Monday evening of 3 June 1935, right after worship service, drove the Welsh missionaries and the Mizo church leaders to the nearby residence of Miss Kattie Hughes (known to Mizos as Pi Zaii), at Aijal (now Aizawl), wherein they made an impromptu proposal over a cup of tea for establishing an association that would unite all the Mizo people. As a Christian gathering, the initial proposed name was Young Mizo Christian Association, to rhyme with Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), which on scrutiny they noticed had a restrictive and religious fundamentalist connotation. Then Rev David Edward (Zorema Pa) came up with "Young Lushai Association" akin to their familiar Young Wales Association in Wales. The name was unanimously accepted. It was also agreed that the association would be formally inaugurated on the coming 15 June.
Though how many people and who were present on that night could not be ascertained, the following people were present:
- Rev David Edward
- Upa D. Ṭhianga
- Rev L. Evans
- Upa Chawngzika
- Miss Kattie Hughes
- Pu Muka
- Rev Chhuahkhama
- Pu Vankhuma
- Pu L. Kailuia
- Pu L.H. Liana
- Upa Ch. Pasena
YLA was unveiled on 5 June 1935 at the grand public meeting at Nepali School, Sikulpuikawn, with a candle lighting ceremony and election of the officials. Branches were soon created in every village, and all Mizo of age were soon registered members. The advent of Indian Independence incited new political and ethnic identity revivals in Mizoram (Lushai Hills, as it was called). For democratic administrative system, a political party was need. As the only and most endorsed organisation, YLA itself was suggested in 1945 to be the first political party. But the central committee objected to it, and this prompted the creation of an entirely political party, the Mizo Union. Then the terminology "Mizo" began to have new revolutionary meaning, it had much more inclusive and panoramic implications than "Lushai", which in any case was the Welshs' misnomer for "Lusei", a major clan of the Mizo tribe. Consequently, the central YLA committee resolved to change YLA to "Young Mizo Association" (YMA) on 7 October 1947.
Aims and objectives
- Good use of leisure (Hun âwl hman ṭhat)
- Development of the Mizo society (Zofate hmasawnna ngaihtuah)
- Revere Christian ethics (Kristian nun dan ṭha ngaihsân)
The Ten Commitments
Young Mizo Association imposes its members of
- Self-discipline and righteousness
- Good management of family
- Just and truthfulness
- Chivalry and usefulness
- Social commitment
- Respect for religion
- Preservation of culture
- Abstinence from liquor and drugs
Emblem and colour
The emblem, as described in the constitution of Young Mizo Association, is a flamed torch with which the abbreviation YMA is written, which is in turn held by a hand inside a circle. The three stems of the torch signify the three objectives of the association. The ten sparks of the torch signifies the ten commitments. In the ribbon where the name is written, there will be "ESTD"' written on the left side and 1935 on the right.
The official colour is a tricoloured horizontal stripe of equal sizes. The three colours represent the earliest man-made colours of the Mizo ancestors. First, red on top, denotes the brightness of the association. Second, white in the middle, shows sanctity. And the black bottom symbolizes a concern for the poor, the despair and the hapless.
Young Mizo Association publishes a monthly magazine YMA CHANCHINBU in Mizo since October 1973. It has a circulation of 10,000 copies. It also has a quarterly YMA News published in English.
Awards and recognition
- Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Awards of 1986 from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India
- Excellence Service Award from the Government of Mizoram for the three consecutive years, in 1988, 1989 and 1990.
- Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar of 1993 from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
- National Award for Outstanding Service in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse as the "Best Non-Profit Institution" from the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India. The award carries a medal, a citation and cash of INR 400,000. The award was presented by Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, on 26 June 2013.
- YMA. "Profile of YMA". centralyma.org.in. Central Young Mizo Association. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
- "Central YMA president thar - Lalbiakzuala" [New president of the Central YMA - Lalbiakzuala]. Vanglaini (in Mizo). 18 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "YMA General Conference vawi 68-na" [The 68th YMA General Conference]. Zonet (in Mizo). 18 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- Zorema J (2007). Indirect Rule In Mizoram 1890-1954. New Delhi: Mittal Publications. pp. 109–110. ISBN 9788183242295.
- Walzer M (16 February 2010). "Civil Society, State and the Tribal Society: A case study on Young Mizo Association, Mizoram". dalitandtribe.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
- Chhana (15 June 2011). "YMA Day chibai" [A YMA Day greetings]. mi(sual).com (in Mizo). Retrieved 2013-06-02.
- Thanhnuna RL (5 June 2013). "YMA NIHPHUNG LEH HRUAITUTE MAWHPHURHNA" [Nature of YMA and duties of the leaders]. ymaaw.weebly.com (in Mizo). Chandmari West Branch YMA. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
- Vanglaini (14 June 2013). "YMA-in national award dawng dawn" [YMA to receive national award]. vanglaini.org (in Mizo). Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- Zothlifim (15 June 2013). "YMA-in chawimawina dawng" [YMA receive award]. zothlifim.com (in Mizo). Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- India Noon (24 June 2013). "List of National Awards for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse 2013". indianoon.com. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
- isikkim (27 June 2013). "Young Mizo Association gets national award from President". isikkim.com. Retrieved 2013-07-03.