Editorial

A complex vortex

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/3/2019 11:50:40 AM IST

 Protests in Manipur against Naga solution that would lead to creation of Naga territory within Manipur has been held under the aegis of Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), the conglomerate of the United Committee, Manipur (UCM), All Manipur United Clubs Organisation (AMUCO), Committee of Civil Societies of Kangleipak (CCSK), HERICOUN and LIPUL formed recently. If reports serve as any indication a regional council for Nagas in Manipur would be in the mould of a separate and independent district council with a special status on the lines of Article 371-A will. The proposed Regional Council for Nagas in Manipur would have independent administrative and financial powers that would function under the governor of Manipur. The COCOMI has raised hackles against ceding of even an inch of present Manipur state boundary. That could be interpreted in different ways. A regional council would not necessarily mean changing of the state boundary, if it is in the mould of an autonomous council. However, the modalities would still have to be worked out between the government of India, the Naga group ( NSCN-IM) and the government of Manipur. On the other hand, if the proposed regional council is to be totally separate in the sense of territorial autonomy, then it could affect the present state boundary. These are still conjectures and it will not be wise to dwell on them. However, COCOMI appears to have decided that a solution that would result in package for the Nagas of Manipur is going to be a de facto state under whatever nomenclature. For Manipur, any pace package for Nagas would continue to rock the state. Even on the issue of territory, there are apprehensions that it would lead to conflicts between tribal communities themselves. The creation of seven new districts on December 9, 2016, by carving out and bifurcating the state’s existing nine districts increased the number of districts from nine to 16. The seven new districts are: Kangpokpi (a long standing demand by the Kukis for a separate Sadar Hills district carved out from parts of the predominantly Naga populated district of Senapati); Tengnoupal (carved out from the predominantly Naga district of Chandel); Pherzawl (earlier a part of Kuki-dominated Churachandpur); Noney (earlier a part of Naga-dominated Tamenglong), Jiribam (carved out from Imphal East), Kamjong (carved out from Ukhrul) and Kakching (in the Imphal Valley, to which some areas of Chandel have been added). Nagas under the aegis of United Naga Council (UNC) had opposed creation of two districts, Sadar and Jiribam on the ground that they were Naga dominated. Naga leaders feel that the bifurcation was an attempt to divide the Naga people by merging them with non-Naga areas to form the new districts. Further, Nagas have also taken exception to the Manipur government not consulting the Hill Area Committees before taking the decision. The main objection to creation of the Sadar Hill District has been the claim of Nagas, under the aegis of the UNC, that most parts of the Sadar Hills belong to the Naga people and that any new district would eventually have its headquarters at Kangpokpi, a Kuki-majority urban town. The conflict between tribals and Meiteis has been compounded by the divide between Nagas and Kukis. This two against one policy has dominated the state politics for long and could flare up and that is the most worrisome aspect.

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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