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Root out tribalism: Imchen

Nagaland home minister Imkong L. Imchen.
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, FEB 15 (NPN):
Published on 16 Feb. 2010 1:08 AM IST
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Nagaland home minister, Imkong L. Imchen on Monday said that the prevalence of tribalism was destroying the social fabric of the Naga society and obstructing the Nagas to go ahead. “Whether it is in the government, civil society or in the church, this monster of tribalism overshadow us and curb all minds” Imchen said addressing a gathering at the Lui-Ngai-Ni festival of the southern Nagas at Tenyimi Complex ground, Dimapur. Lamenting that tribalism has even relegated the concept of justice, Imchen expressed apprehension that it was going from bad to worse and called for eradicating it at the earliest. Without eradicating this menace, he said unity among the Nagas would also not be possible. He expressed disappointment that even the church leaders were not emphasizing much on the evil of tribalism, Stating that the church was the best platform for addressing social evils of tribalism, Imchen called upon the NBCC to take the lead in eradicating it from the society. He said the views expressed by the political community on the same issue would always be viewed as ‘party coloured’ despite their truest intentions. Imchen pointed out that Nagas were scattered across the Northeast and the population in Nagaland was just a small portion of the Naga tribe. He said it was ‘unfortunate’ to be scattered under different political entities but asserted that the ‘boundary’ was apparently neither accepted nor recognized by the Nagas. Imchen called for an end to killings and hostility among the different factions which he said had taken a huge toll on the Naga society in the name of sovereignty. The home minister said politicians were condemning the killings but singing a different tune when in private thus creating infighting among the different political parties. Imchen, however, added that it was due to the efforts of the political leadership, NGOs and underground leaders that resemblance of peace and normalcy was fast returning to the state. Imchen promised to take up the issues highlighted in the memorandum which he received, with the chief minister. The memorandum pertained to extending opportunity to the wards of Southern Nagas to apply for facilities at par with members of other states in the country and declaration of Lui-Ngai-Ni festival on February 15 as a restricted holiday. Meanwhile, cultural troupes representing various tribes of the southern Nagas presented dances. It may be mentioned that the southern Naga tribes include Anal, Chothe, Lamkang, Mao, Maring, Maram, Moyon, Monsang, Poumai, Tangkhul, Thangal, Tarao, Komrem (Aimol, Chiru, Kharam, Koireng, Kom and Purum) and Zeliangrong (Zeme, Liengmei, Rongmei and Inpui). Liu-Ngai-Ni is the seed sowing festival of the southern Nagas. Celebrated under the aegis of SNUNS (South Nagas Union of Nagaland state) on the theme, “In Him, we are one”, the festival was the outcome of seminars and discourses attended by Naga elders, intellectuals, politicians, women and students to have a common festival for all Nagas in Manipur, 1986. The festival has been an annual affair since then. In 1997, the festival was even declared as one of the tourism festivals of India.

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