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Unsolved Naga issue an ailment: Rio
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, MAR 5 (NPN):
Published on 6 Mar. 2011 12:54 AM IST
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Chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Saturday said the long unsolved Naga political issue was like an ailment and emphasized on Naga unity to “stay healthy.”
He was addressing the Tenyimi Elders’ Meet organized by Tenyimi Women Union Dimapur (TWUD) at Kuda village ‘A’ khel community hall, Dimapur. The chief minister also lamented that though Nagas were very few in population, they were divided extensively.
Rio said when the Eastern Regulation Act 1873 and Article 371 (A) of the Constitution of India signified that the British people and Indians recognized the Naga society, the Nagas failed to recognize themselves. Maintaining that unity was the major goal that the people needed to achieve at present, Rio said promoting real unity and peace should begin from the home and family. On the Tenyimi front, the chief minister asserted that the people of the community have always been forerunners in the Naga national issue and stressed on the need for Tenyimi people to take more responsibility in the Naga political issue. He said the unity and strength of the Tenyimi people would be a key factor for attaining unity of Naga people.
Recalling efforts made by Naga leaders (former chief ministers of the state) from Tenyimi community towards peace in the state, Rio said such would not have been possible without the trust people had towards the community. He called upon the Tenyimi community to follow the principles of their late pioneering leaders, unite and be responsible citizens in working for the upliftment of the Naga society. Lauding the TWUD for organizing the programme, Rio also emphasized on the need for joint efforts of both men and women in promoting unity.
“Women are not our competitors. We have to complement one another,” he said and added that women as “better halves” of men should not be suppressed to voice their assessment on issues of the society. The chief minister was accompanied by his wife Kaisa Rio at the programme.
Exhorting the gathering, minister for health and family welfare, Küzholüzo (Azo) Nienu called upon the people to introspect on the existence of the Tenyimi union. He said the purpose of such union was to protect the interests of the people as a whole and underscored unity as the means for Tenyimi community to survive.
Asserting the need to strengthen all units of Tenyimi union across the state, Azo expressed dismay that Kohima unit was weak and urged the Angamis as “big brothers” of the community, to consider the matter. He encouraged them that they would have the support of smaller tribes/units. Also lauding TWUD for convening the elders’ meet, the minister said women should be given more platforms on such occasions.
Meanwhile, MLA K.V. Pusa pointed out that the Tenyimi group was a unique “federal institution” of tribal affiliates. Stating it would be unfortunate if tribalism penetrated the group, Pusa urged the community to set “higher goals” together and not lean on politics alone, maintaining that the strength of Tenyimi people as a whole should boost the strength of the Naga people.
“Our purpose should not be to counter other Naga groups, rather, it should be to support fellow Nagas,” the MLA said. Nagaland Legislative Assembly speaker, Kiyanilie Peseyie, who also delivered a short speech, said Tenyimi community belonged to one family and affirmed that there should not be differentiation of minority tribes under the family.
Others who spoke at the programme included presidents of Poumai community Dimapur and Chakhroma public organization and elders and leaders of various tribal units of Tenyimi Union Dimapur.
Tenyimi elders highlighted the history of the community and called upon its people not to forget inherent values passed down by their ancestors.
Several other proposals were put up by both men and women elders during the programme which included establishing of an institute to impart education in the Tenyimi vernacular- Tenyidie; reconstruction of a new mortuary at Dimapur district hospital in view of the bad condition of the existing one, as a mark of respect for the departed.
MLA and advisor NKVIB Dr. Nicky Kire, DMC chief advisor Er. K. Keditsu, SP Dimapur Zekotso Mero and NCD president Savi Liegise were among various Tenyimi leaders, elders and dignitaries who were present at the meet. The programme was drawn up by the TWUD to acquire views, guidance and encouragement from elders of the community.

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