Breaking News
Nagaland Post Logo
You are here:  Skip Navigation LinksHome » Show story
GBs, protectors of the land: Kijung

2nd from left newly elected president K C Zhenito Yepthomi, Nagaland GB federation along with the office bearers. copy
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, OCT 14 (NPN):
Published on 15 Oct. 2010 1:04 AM IST
Print  Text Size

Advisor for GBs, DBs & VGs and MLA, Kijung Chang on Thursday asserted that while the village council provided foundation for the state, GBs held the responsibility to protect the land under the state.
Speaking at the 2010 Nagaland GB Federation (NGBF) general session-cum-election at Town Hall Dimapur, Kijung Chang said GBs and DBs, as protectors and custodians of Naga customary law, were also advisors and representatives of the state government in the administration of the community.
He said as DCs were the guardians of GBs and DBs, their cooperation with DCs was very important.
He also called upon the GBs not to abuse their positions, as they were endowed with the authority as village magistrates, law and order personnel and above all, custodians of Naga society.
Further, he urged them not to be agents of political groups as they were solely the agents of state government.
On selection of GBs in the villages, he advocated that people above 45 years of age, possessing in-depth knowledge and understanding of Naga customary laws, should be appointed as GBs.
The MLA also advised GBs to uphold their rights and duties, be firm in their decisions, and not fall in with unions, organizations and various groups existing in Naga society.
He also called upon GBs of all tribes to draft their customary laws so that state government can compile and translate the laws, not just into English but in different tribal dialects, in view of usage for the welfare of the people.
Addressing the session, the guest of honour, additional commissioner Nagaland K. Nzimongo Ngullie commended the institution of GBs, describing it as a traditional decision making body and justice system in the society.
He said GBs were the trusted representatives of the government in the villages, who had been shouldering important responsibilities in the hierarchy of the village administration ever since ‘Gaonborahship’ was introduced to the Naga society.
He called upon all to preserve and promote the institution and maintain peace and unity in the state along the process.
K.N. Ngullie also gave a brief account on the modalities for operation of GBs corpus fund constituted by the state government in 2007 in recognition of services rendered by GBs.
The GB corpus fund, made up of the amount of money from provision of purchasing ‘red blankets’ once in two years, provides gratuity to retiring or deceased GBs.
“The commissioner Nagaland is exploring ways to make provisions in order to provide a lump sum amount to the next of kin of those GBs who die in harness,” Ngullie added.
Reminding GBs that the position they held was of traditional honorary post, with significant responsibilities, Ngullie said status and honour of their position would be tarnished if monetary remunerations were associated with GBs institution. Meanwhile, Ngullie further mused that GBs were perhaps the only agency authorized by the government to collect direct (house) tax from citizens of villages/towns, out of which, 25% of the amount were given to GBs. He said the amount might be small but it bestows honour and respect for GBs.
In the second session of the day, a new team of office bearers for Nagaland GB Federation was elected. The new team would be led by Zhenito Yepthomi as president and A. Taku Longkumer as general secretary.
Besides various dignitaries of Dimapur, GB delegates from all 11 districts of the state totaling above 600 attended the session.
DC Dmu on Naga customary law
Speaking on the sidelines of Nagaland GB Federation general session held at Town Hall Dimapur, DC Dimapur Moangwati Aier affirmed that Naga customary law does not, in any way, deny the legal rights of women or women’s representation in the local governance.
He opined that even in the village set up, the Naga customary law does not forbid women to participate in the local government, instead, women are included in the village development boards (VDB) and village education committees (VEC). He maintained that in today’s society, Naga women were given equal opportunities in every spheres of life, measuring up to their male counterparts.
On the domination of male in the village council set up, Aier maintained that though Naga customary law does not prohibit women to participate in the village council set up, ignorance and lack of courage among women to counter their male counterparts could be the reason women have not been able to break through in the local governance.
Another reason, he pointed out, why women were not able to take part in the village set up could be the lack of experience in maintaining law and order duty as this role had been confined to GBs and DBs.
While stating that women could step forward to have their rightful place in Naga society, Aier however opined that considering Naga society’s patriarchal nature, women felt suppressed and disregarded especially in the local governance.
Meanwhile, NGBF general secretary A. Taku Longkumer, when asked whether Naga customary laws had any clear cut provisions for women, replied that provisions did exist, and fines were imposed on perpetrators according to the weight of the crime.
On women representation at village level governance, he stated that women representation in the GBs level was out of question, as the name itself was ‘Gaonbura’ (male) and not ‘Gaonburi’ (female).

Comments:(0) Login or Register to post your Comment
(Available for registered users only)
More News
  • 1
  • 2