Post Mortem

Language, culture and Naga integration: A possible solution

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/6/2020 12:23:08 PM IST

 (From previous issue)

Language plays a very important role of uniting people. Language has scripts or not it is immaterial. People of a particular group make use of a language for uniting and bringing people together that is how language and culture go together. In other words, it is language that integrates people. In due course of time language gives rise to culture. It is culture which integrates people. If Nagas are a community and they speak similar languages and different dialects which have family resemblance then it is this affinity and similarity which unites Nagas together. Therefore, it is difficult to imagine a state without a common language. Let us imagine a state where each family speaks a language of its own. Perhaps it will be difficult for such a state to survive. We cannot think of a diverse country like India to have only one language where all citizens speak. Perhaps this is unworkable hypothesis. Therefore, language and culture cannot be separated from each other. To think of a culture without language is incomplete. In this sense language and culture are internally connected. The concept of a state is a later day invention. People speaking different languages come together and form what is known as state. But in due course of time the concept of state had undergone change and transformation for various reasons. In the modern sense of the term state is a group of people living together having its own territory, government and sovereignty? Interestingly enough India is state but includes many states. Seeing in this light, Indian Constitution distributes power between centre and states.

  Let us come to the problem faced by Nagas since the time of Simon Commission visit to the Naga Hills in 1929. Indian sub-continent was divided into India and Pakistan. It took very ugly turn. It can be noted in this connection that the word Pakistan was coined by Jinnah. Even after India’s independence the Naga political problem persisted. After independence, Indian leaders decided to have a Constitution. Accordingly states and union territories were created for all round development of the country. For the first time, in the country, all round development is included in the Constitution. For some reasons or other Nagas refuse to join the Indian Union even after many years of fight and development. The North-East people are even exempted from payment of income tax if they employees are posted in the North-East. Now the question is why such persistent Naga political struggle even after many years of Indian security operation along with annual budgetary allocation to Nagaland? Do the Indian political leaders care and attempt to understand and appreciate the Naga political question? If I am giving impression for pleading the cause of the Nagas I am sorry. My attempt is an objective and impartial analysis of the Naga problem. India is a democracy. Every citizen has right to demand grievances to be addressed.  There are methods, ways and means to redress one’s genuine aspiration. Therefore, in my small opinion in independent India Nagas have every right to demand at least integration of their contiguous areas with Nagaland state that is within the Constitution of India. To concede this demand is to do justice to them to live together as one people bound together by their common culture for further development of their language and culture. It is also the bounden duty of the conscious Indian leaders to correct the arbitrary boundaries drawn by the British colonial masters as boundary lines are drawn and redrawn around the world. To resolve the Naga political question it is necessary that at least Naga majority in bordering states be amalgamated with Nagaland state. By doing so, Nagas are not taking even an inch of other neighbouring states. On the contrary, the ancestral land of the Naga minority areas will be lost with the neighbouring states as part of boundary adjustment. As I suggested earlier, language and culture bring people together. In past there were many problems in many parts of the country as a result state re-organization commission was set up to address them. Creation of states along with similar languages and culture was a noble idea. Ideally speaking each state contains people of more or less similar languages. This is the reason why the idea of linguistic and cultural state was created in India. In this sense language and culture get intermixed. Nagas belong to a particular broad cultural group therefore wherever possible excluding Myanmar country, Naga majority areas should be integrated into one entity for the simple reason that language and culture get integrated. However, since the neighbouring states have been opposed to integrating ancestral Naga areas with their fellow Nagaland state for good or for bad reason some compensation may be given to them by the central Government.  But perhaps separate constitution and separate flag for Nagas, the present BJP ruled India controlled by RSS is next to impossible to recognize since the separate constitution and separate flag for Jammu and Kashmir have been also abolished.

(Concluded)

Dr. X. P. Mao, Professor of Philosophy, NEHU Shillong

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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