The Department of Political Science , Govt. Serchhip College organised a week long international webinar on Politics and Religion in Mizoram: Negotiating Church-Secular Dichotomy with the kind support of the Principal and the Organising Committee from 21st-27th September, 2020.
The idea behind organising this webinar was to give thought to and discuss about the relation between Politics and Religion in Mizoram and deliberating the traditional belief that Church and state should be separated. It also tried to create an atmosphere where there could be an intellectual interaction in this much debated topic between interested persons, academicians and well-learned persons in these respected fields.
The Acting Principal, Associate Professor, Mr.C Laldintluanga delivered an introductory speech as head of the institution. He welcomed all the participants and the Resource Persons and even highlighted the motive behind the webinar.
The first session (21.9.2020) of the webinar was on Evolution of Religion and Politics Relationship among the Zo-ethnic group: Conceptual and Constitutional Dimensions with Special reference to Mizoram Prof. Jangkhongam Doungel, Dept of Political Science, Mizoram University, expounded the development of the relationship between religion and politics among the Zo-ethnic tribes from the pre-colonial to post independent period with specific reference to Mizoram.
On the second night of the session (22.9.2020), the resource person, Rev. Dr.K Thanzauva, Director, Greenhill Public School Aizawl, delivered a speech on Political theology for Mizoram. In this speech, the speaker meticulousy questioned and probed between the two dichotomised phenomena.
The third session was resumed on 23rd September, 2020. One of the esteemed Resource Person, Rev. RC Jongte presented a paper on The Church of The Poor: political but Non-Partisan. In his presentation, Rev RC Jongte underscored the importance of the church to give primacy or centrally to the poor and the responsibility of the church in the liberation of the poor from all sorts of bondage, be it spiritual, economics or political. So, the speaker here denounced the complete separation of Church from the state and shed light on the Church’s obligation in redressing the problems of poverty, injustices and any nefarious activities and its role in bringing social justice.
In the fourth session (24.9.2020), Dr Ayangbam Shyamkishor, Associate Professor, Dept,of Political Science, Mizoram University spoke on the topic of Monitoring Elections: Initiatives and Participation of Churches in Mizoram.In this session. Dr. Ayangbam Shyamkisor presented the constructive role of the different churches in Mizoram in monitoring the elections and its initiatives in maintaining free and fair elections.
The last session of the webinar was held on 25th September, 2020 at 7:30 pm. The Resource Person, Prof. Jangkhongam Doungel orated on the topic of Negotiating Church-State Dichotomy: Uniqueness of the Role of Church in Mizoram. The Resource person highligted the distinctive of the role Churches in Mizoram and also brought out the frictions that happened between the State and the Church in the past as well as in the recent years.He also emphasised the necessity of solving the differences between the two in order to prevail peace and tranquillity in the society and political system.
After the session , Dr. Zarzosanga ended the webinar with warm thanks. In his speech, he thanked the respected Principal for his constant support and keen interest in the webinar. Similarly he also thanked all the Resource Persons for their cooperation and sharing their intellectual and academic expertise to the participants. He also expressed his gratitude all his colleagues in the college and webinar thanked the participants for their active participation and involvement in the entire session without which the session could not have been successful.
There was an average of 295 participants all through the session.In each session after the Resource Person presented in speech , there was a time allotted for the participants to post their doubts and qeuries relating to the topic. This question and answer session was much appreciated and a lot of questions were raised from the participants. Tremendous positive feedbacks were received from the participants and the Department is also looking forward to organize such kind of events in the near future.