Shillong: The Mizoram government on Saturday
dubbed as "non-citizens" the section of the state`s Christian
population staying away from the Census process due to a
superstition and said they might not be able get the benefits
of government schemes.
"They will be deprived of the benefits of citizenship.
We will not be able to look after them, because they are not
our citizens," Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said here after
inaugurating the Mizoram House and a Mizoram Boys Hostel here.
He described the section, who has refused to enrol
themselves in the Census as "non-citizens", but said the state
government was making every effort to include every genuine
citizen in the Census.
"We have heard many times that people are reluctant to
register their names in the Census. They believe we are not
the people of this world. We are the people of God. So strong
is their belief that they do not want to register themselves.
Not only in the Census, some have even withdrawn their
children from schools," the chief minister said.
North East Church Council secretary R Lalnunzira said,
"They rejected all the worldly things. They have differences
with other Christian denominations."
The fear of the `Beast` or the Devil in the
Christian-dominated state of Mizoram has caused hundreds of
families to refuse to enrol their names in the National
Population Register (NPR) taken up along with the Census 2011.
The dread stems from Chapter 13 Verse 17 of the Book
of Revelations in the Bible which says "... and that no man
might buy or sell, save he that had the mark or the name of
the Beast or the number of his name."
The problem has stemmed from the Unique Identification
Authority of India stipulating that no one could buy or sell
property without the Unique ID card.
According to adherents of the belief, since buying or
selling of property made one a follower of the Beast, one
having the UID card, which authorised property transactions,
automatically made one a follower of the Devil.