Editorial

High on expectations

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/11/2019 12:54:54 PM IST

 While the common refrain among Naga political leaders and various NGOs and tribe organisations has been on early solution to the Naga political issue; the desire for solution appears to be seen differently by different sections. With the Modi government bifurcating erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state into J&K and Ladakh as two new union territories; there has been some apprehension that Article 371(A) for Nagaland could also face the same face as the abrogation of Article 370 for J&K.As commented earlier in this column, due to the inability of the elected leaders, both in the past and recent past, Nagaland has been caught in a bind over Article 371(A). As per Article 371(A) - Nagaland state is provided with a “special provision” with respect to the State of Nagaland. As per clause (1) and sub clause(a) no act of parliament is applicable with respect to (i)religious or social practices of Nagas(ii) Naga customary law and procedure(iii) administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law and (iv) ownership and transfer of land and its resources. All these stand protected from any act of parliament unless the state assembly by a resolution accepts any act of parliament. Again as per Clause XI of the 16 Point agreement signed between the government of India and Nagas represented by the Naga People’s Convention on July 26,1960 and which formed the basis for creation of Nagaland and incorporation of Article 371(A), the government of India is to pay out of the Consolidated Fund of Nagaland, and a grant-in-aid towards meeting the cost of administration.Also as per 16 Point Agreement, Nagaland was placed under the ministry of external affairs but was arbitrarily transferred to the home ministry in 1972. Crucial clauses in the 16 Point Agreement have either not been fulfilled or have been diluted but the state legislators failed to make the Centre revert to the points in the agreement.Funding for the state in the form of grant was altered later to be at par with other special category states and then again changed in 1989. Also, even on the issue of ownership of land and resources, the people have no say over oil and other resources that are governed by under List-1 of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution of India, including Energy 53 by which the state has no power to enact laws over them. The solution as believed may not necessarily run along the path of expectations since there are several hurdles to it. For one, there are two negotiating groups from among the Naga national groups and having differing expectations with one group having issues over constitution and flag which the government of India is not willing to concede. This has been hardened after abrogation of Article 370. The other is the intensified and consistent demand by ENPO for a separate Frontier Nagaland comprising of Tuensang, Mon, Longleng and Kiphire districts under erstwhile Tuensang division. The bifurcation of J&K has inspired hopes that the Centre would not be totally unwilling to concede to the demand. Be that as it may, solution as expected could well be eventually something that would even take the wind out of the sails of expectations and that would have to be seen in the coming weeks.

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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