GUWAHATI: Reverend Zaichhawna Hlawndo is all set to become a missionary of clean politics, all of it with religious zeal and in the name of god. He has found at least 19 political apostles to contest 20 seats in the November 28 Mizoram elections.
Rev Hlawndo said it was the call of God that he returned to Mizoram from England and was now set to take part in the battle of ballots.
"I was in the UK. God called me to go back to my native land. God is going to transform the nation," Rev Hlawndo told The New Indian Express.
Explaining God's calling, his daughter Julie Lalruatfeli Hlawndo said, "He received a calling in his heart in February 2012. It said 'go back to your native land as a missionary'. He was sleepless one night in March 2012 and felt another urge to read the book of Nehemiah. Like Nehemiah, he then felt the confirmation to return to his native land to rebuild the broken walls - the corrupt party political system that Mizoram currently has".
Rev Hlawndo was a pastor at the Global Community Church, Birmingham and he spent around ten years in the country. In Mizoram, he belongs to the Presbyterian Church. He has formed a group called Zoram Thar. Julie said Zoram Thar is a collection of people but not a registered organisation.
People come to Zoram Thar from different church nominations. Zoram Thar, basically, wants to change the political system in Mizoram, she said.
"Mizoram has a deeply corrupt political system. There is buying and selling of people. We envisage a brand of politics that is based on justice, righteousness and people. Zoram Thar is not party-based. Anyone interested in our new system of politics can contest the election as an independent candidate. Around 20 of us, including my father and I, will contest the polls using the same symbol. We haven't set up any unit or block," Julie said.
She said candidates contesting under the banner of Zoram Thar had been told to not use money to buy votes because that's the kind of politics that the organisation was challenging. Zoram Thar has already hit the campaign trail. It prints out leaflets containing its vision and distributes them to people. It is also relying on street preaching to warm up to voters. Julie said the Mizos were deeply concerned with the present political system and they wanted to get out of it.
"If we are voted to power, we will ensure that everyone is treated equally. Our MLAs will not be biased and everyone in the society will have the same share. We will develop a council where members of the society will have their say. We are trying to introduce a way to unite the churches in Mizoram because there is a lot of division among the denominations. We want to form a council where different churches can come together and find a way to unite," she added.