The Gosem Lawm is a conglomeration of individuals concerned about, and pledged to act to redeem, the deteriorating social, economic and religious firmaments of society in general, and of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo Society in particular. A lot of analysis has been done on the factors responsible for the lagging economic condition, educational backwardness, societal degeneration and religious confusion. One definite finding that emerged is that there are no short-cuts to overcome the challenges we face, except to start afresh from the basics.
The Lawm believes that the common man needs to be given opportunities to develop and grow in every sphere of life. For this to happen, he needs to be made aware of his rights, both individual and collective, under the changed environs of a democratic polity. Unless the poorest person in the remotest village is given equal rights, enabled to fearlessly stand up for his rights and equally dutifully come forward to perform his duties, firm in the knowledge that he too is a stakeholder in society as much as the village chief is, any attempt to reform society will only be a patchwork. It is in view of these beliefs, in brief, that the Lawm decided to contribute our mite to effect, or try to effect, changes and identified the priority areas for intervention.
The need for an informed and informative media as a means to awaken the common man to his rights and duties assumes top priority, especially in view of the absence of any credible mass communication medium in the target society. The Lawm therefore conceived and set into motion a project to launch a daily newspaper, The Gosem Daily.
The dismal penetration of the existing education system and the worrisome quality of education it provides emerge as another area of priority for intervention. The Lawm perceives the promotion of literacy, not education, by the existing system and feel the need to intervene. A well educated person is an invaluable asset to society, while a literate and half-educated person can be a social nuisance. The Lawm believes that while learning is important, more crucial to a person’s education is the comprehension of his learning and its applications in daily life. This and the realization that Education systems should not bind the mind to books but unchain the human mind and set it free, led the Lawm to conceive a second project. In pursuit of that freedom of the mind of every child and thereby of society, the Gosem Lawm has visions to set up a chain of centers of learning and application of knowledge, or Gosem Schools, in the second phase.
True charity must aim at setting the bonded free, not make them complacent or even dependent parasites. It is characteristic of charity to be free of cost, but it is more characteristic of true charity to be able to implant the spirit of giving on the targets of charity. Therefore, Gosem Lawm believes that to make sustainable efforts in helping society to overcome its challenges, society must pay for it. People value goods and services better when they pay for it, and the rewards of sweat give better and lasting satisfaction. All interventions are therefore structured on business models of generating profit, to expand the activities and reward the efforts of the actors.
These are but illustrative projects of the Lawm. Challenges before us are many. In a scenario where the government has failed to deliver development and still struggle with the most basic task of securing law and order, where the political class have completely forgotten the nature of their position and its bounden responsibilities, it is important that well meaning individuals put heads together and make efforts to redeem the situation.
Protection of environment is a challenge, and so is providing basic medical facilities to the common man at accessible places with affordable cost and reliable quality of service. Offering alternatives to environmentally destructive means of livelihoods and re-orienting skills of the working class to such new job requirements are huge challenges.
Ethical degeneration needs to be checked for any meaningful change to come about and bear fruit. The basics of the Gospel need to be introduced afresh by helping the people unlearn the Gospel. The challenge is a daunting one, but promises rich dividends in every sphere of life if successfully accomplished. That godliness is beneficial not only for the afterlife, but for this life as well needs to be emphasized. ‘Love one another as you love yourselves’ need to be made the theme of life. God is love and any action inspired by love of the subject and object of your action can only be Godly and anything inspired by hatred or indifference is uncharacteristic of Godliness needs to be made the basis of religious life, replacing the fear of hell and the reluctant performance of rituals spurred by that fear.
The Gosem Lawm is not exclusivist in membership. It is open to all those who share the convictions enough to make the bold move of investing their mind and money into the cause of social uplift. It is not inclusive either, for the cause is urgent and leaves us no time to persuade the uninitiated and the disinclined.
People invest in the stock markets, mutual funds, gold, securities and bonds. Their happiness depends on the return on investment of their wealth. We invest on change and social uplift. Our happiness is premised on the outcome of our projects and the social benefit it engenders, irrespective of the monetary return on investment. Monetary dividends will only be incentives to invest more to get the real return of a better society.