The state of Nagaland was created in the year 1963 and now the time is approaching for the golden jubilee celebration in the year 2013. If the question, whether welfare government is doing justice to all its citizens in this span of 46 years, the respond of the disadvantage group will be negative.
Since the inception of statehood a policy of artificial segregation has been adopted by the state authority in the form of advance and backward tribes. The lawmakers of that yesteryear thinking it appropriate or in the guise of uplifting the disadvantage tribes might have adopted this policy. The outcome of the policy brought forth reservation system of 66.5% for the general categories which literally means 5 (five) Naga tribes of Nagaland enjoying the facilities and at present 9 (nine) tribes were pegged at 33.5% means for backward tribes which is quite controversial in nature and dubious while implementing it.
Let us examine the merit and demerit in continuing the operation
1. General status of Nagas under the constitution of India: Historically, Nagas were born free, independent from one village to another. They were never known live together under one principle ruler or any other authority other than the British rule. When political authority and power was transferred to the Indian government, all Nagas were coined as scheduled tribes under the constitution of India. And under provisions of Article 335, Nagas of Nagaland state as scheduled tribes of less than 20 lakhs population in the country of over 1 billion population are enjoying reservation quotas in matters of appointment to services and posts in the affairs of the union or of a state, also relaxing qualifying marks in any examination or lowering the standards of evaluation if this provisions are to be made in favour of ST nothing shall prevent.
2. Population ratio and reservation policy: The B/T population will not be less than 46% of total state population. The state also may have not less than 10% population of non-local or non-indigenous citizen of the country. Than the rest 44% population may consists of advance tribes and indigenous population which enjoys 66.5% under the purview of reservation policy.
The reservation policy may not outwardly bar the backward candidates who get selected under the merit list or general category list to any category of post or class of services. But when any recruitment board is constituted without any member from the B/T and the candidates get selected where is the veracity to proof that the selection was done purely on merit basis which is free of favouritism and being biasness.
Does the reservation mean to give special protection to minorities and disadvantage group of people from other dominant group of people, as what the Article 335 is intended for. Whereas the reservation policy in the state negates the statement; also it has no relevancy in the state because under the constitution of India there is no mention of advanced or backward tribes being referred to Nagas. We are referred to as S/T.
3. Non implementation of the policy: In the present functioning of the state machineries, except for the recruiting commission, very few departments advertise post for recruitment. This neither implies that appointments are held up nor under the disposal of the appointing authority, posts are vacant. Even if the state authority had banned creation of post, the source of fresh recruitment is always available in every calendar year on account of retirement, death, disciplinary action, desertion etc.
The state has 80 (eighty) different departments headed by 80 (eighty) appointing authorities. Among the odd 80 (eighty) appointing authorities, couple of gentlemen from backward tribes exercise such authority. The rules may be framed or set with good intention and justification, but if the rules are not properly implemented as per guided procedures they become redundant or obsolete. Hence, under this policy justice cannot be either delivered or expected.
4. Racial abuse: However savage we may be, we were all born free. Likewise no one likes to be tagged as backward tribe. If scolding a fellow citizen by calling him/her ‘you black fellow’ amounts to apartheid, a serious crime especially in a place where there has been a history, then what about calling or referring to fellow Naga tribes as ‘you backward fellow you backward people?’ Any person holding public authority says (Ah! aji morning te backward manukhan ghar te a hi sele amar time pura waste kori se ho, backward manutu backward aseho).
We often see the so called fellow advance tribesmen in the public places openly teasing the BT fellow in an abusive manner. Therefore, this references amounts to racial abuse, attack and assault thereby the ugliness of social discrimination make in roads today in the society. Who should be held responsible for this social discrimination?
5. Employment opportunity and higher studies: A relevant example of how the reservation policy is not working well for the elevation of the so called backward tribes may be seen as follows. Much has been talked about on the retirement bill which is to be implemented very soon and it is very likely that some 3000 odd posts would be vacant. Under the present reservation system, the 66.5% of 3000 posts will be 1995 posts and this posts are meant for advanced tribes which may roughly constitute 44% of state’s total population; 33.5% of 3000 posts will be 1005 posts which literally meant for 9 (nine) backward tribes whereas the backward tribes population constitute roughly 46% of state total population.
Like wise quotas allocated on the basis of 66.5% and 33.5% in both higher studies and grant of financial aids under state sponsored scheme to the unemployed youth are quite discriminatory. Because in all this opportunities the majority of the state population receives only one-third of the share, on the other hand the 5 (five) tribes enjoy two-third of the state’s share. If this trend continues, when and how will the backward tribes see the light of day?
The state authority must be aware of its responsibility for the social stigma, social discrimination and racial abuses suffered by the backward tribes today. Had the state authority brought any other policy instead of branding fellow tribesmen as backward tribes, this embarrassing situation would have been avoidable for both sides of the parties.
The state authority must re-examine the present reservation policy and immediately scrap the bill. The state should erase vocabulary of referring to fellow tribesmen as ‘backward tribe’ and pass an appropriate bill which will be beneficial to all the citizens on the following grounds and reasons:
1. The artificial division of Naga society and branding fellow tribesmen as backward tribes is the state’s creation.
2. By this creation social complex has already crept into Naga society.
3. This artificial division for a particular purpose will create social class in the immediate future.
4. By this creation the backward are becoming more backward.
5. By this creation racial abuse has been suffered by the backward tribes.
6. The state authority has no machinery to address racial abuse injuries or bring to book the guilty person in the present system.
7. The backward tribes constitute larger proportion of state’s total population, by this policy the backward tribes are discriminated and veiled from getting their due share in the matter of appointment to services and posts, higher technical education, grant of financial aids to unemployed youth etc. sponsored by the state.
Presentation: The state authority being welfare government has passed Nagaland retirement bill 2009 in the interest of 45,000 (forty five thousand) odd educated unemployed youth within a very short span of time. The lawmakers and state authority have displayed their promptness which deserve accolade from the citizens. The reservation policy has been affecting over 9 lakh backward population in the state for some decades. The matter deserves immediate attention of state lawmakers if they meant to be in the service of the common man.
Let there be no more remorse on the part of every citizen, tribe or community. Scrap the present reservation system and put an end to all discriminations, social maladies, racial burps, flare etc. arising out of the said bill; passed a bill which could be commonly applied to all Naga tribes. Let every tribe share an equal opportunity proportionate to its population size under the public authority in the matters of appointments to services and posts, higher technical studies, financial aids grant to the youth etc. for faster and over all development of Naga tribes in the state.
The well being of fellow neighbour is the concern of his/her immediate neighbor, so also the well being of fellow citizen must be a concern to all of us. The prosperous life of every citizen in the state will one day be appreciated by fellow countrymen. The grace and honour will be bestowed upon the state and its citizen.