AIZAWL, April 25 - The people of the State had earlier welcomed the Zoramthanga-led MNF Government’s decision that all government facilities named after living persons should be renamed. There were two or more such facilities named after former Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla.
However, the public perception has changed following the MNF Government’s move to rename the State’s first medical college – Mizoram Institute of Medical Education and Research (MIMER) – as the Zoram Medical College (ZMC).
No sooner was the Cabinet decision to rechristen MIMER became public, the social media was flooded with adverse comments.
Unofficial sources said the MNF Government has decided to discard the name, MIMER, “because it is difficult to pronounce”. But going by Chief Minister Zoramthanga’s penchant for acronyms and his mastery over coining them, this seems to be a superfluous statement. For instance, BAFFACOS (Bamboo Flowering and Famine Combat Scheme), CHANEM (Champhai New Market), PAHOSS (Parking House Support Scheme), RIPANS (Regional Institute of Paramedical and Nursing Sciences) – to name a few – are all credited to Zoramthanga. He is also said to have christened his daughter, ‘MILARI’, which is an acronym for ‘Mizoram Tana Lalpa Remruatna Leh Kei’.
Against this backdrop, it is being questioned why Zoramthanga suddenly preferred ZMC to MIMER. Except that MIMER was coined by the erstwhile Congress Government, it does not bear any living person’s name.
Moreover, the new name – Zoram Medical College – suggests that it will no longer be a research institution which, many feel, will inhibit medical research in the State.
“As the name indicates, the Mizoram Government has decided to transform a medical research institute into a mere college. That will hamper the growth of medical education in the State. It is a short-sighted decision,” said noted lawyer Aldrin Lallawmzuala.
On the alleged excuse that MIMER is difficult to pronounce, Aldrin said, “This is ridiculous. We as well as the Khasis have no difficulty in pronouncing NEIGRIHMS. Why would we find it difficult to say a two-syllabled acronym like MIMER?”
Many other people view that there was no strong case for the Government to change the name of the medical institution.
“Making the State’s first and lone medical institution one of the best in the North East is far more important than changing its name. That is where the Government should focus on,” said another critic on the social media.
Meanwhile, the Congress that claimed credit for the establishment of the first medical institute in Mizoram, has not criticised the move as yet. However, a senior Congressman, who did not want to be named, derided the Cabinet decision.
“The people of Mizoram are living witness to the fact that the Congress Government built the medical college out of ruins. It is a state-of-the-art institution at the initial stage which any successive government could develop further. As there is no point in demolishing it, the MNF Government has opted for a name change,” he alleged.
The MIMER was established at the formerly State Referral Hospital at Falkawn, about 16 km from here. It was inaugurated by former Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on August 7 last year. The medical college began classes with an intake of 100 students for three courses – Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry – from August 8 last year.
The Congress Government had alleged that the previous MNF Government had abandoned the State Referral Hospital and the facility was in ruins when the Congress came back to power in 2008.