Post Mortem

Political fairness and the indigenous of Nagaland

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/8/2019 12:58:50 PM IST

 In the early sixties, one day, I was coming up to Kohima from Dimapur on a beautifully new Nagaland Bus. In the Bus I met the tall great Baptist Church leader of Nagaland, Reverent Longri Ao. He was much older to me but being very close to Parents; we took upon him even as the eldest brother of the family. We sat next to each other and began talking many things. 

In those days, being full of effervescent young blood in the head, I was reading a small book about the great Teachings of ancient China, and I thought I could even become a Sage by reading the sayings of ancient Chinese Teachers!*? And just to see how the hearty Church Leader would take it, I said to him that I liked the teaching of one of the great ancient teachers of China more than the teachings of Jesus on the idea of Retaliation. “What did the Chinese Teacher said? he asked. Jesus taught: “if any man slaps your right Cheek, turn the other to him”, but the Chinese Teacher taught: ‘if any hit you on one side of your Cheek’, ‘Give him Justice’, and ‘I liked that more than what Jesus said’, I said.

There are things what the Government of Nagaland can give and what it can not or it should not, to every Non-Indigenous from outside the State. The Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873 was not made by the Government Naga Hills, it was made by the Government of India of those days for the future good of the Indigenous of the Naga Hills.

The Constitution of India’s Article 371 A was scripted not by the legal Experts of Nagaland, it was by the legal luminaries of the Government of India. They did it because from time immemorial that was the process of Traditional Customary Practices of the Indigenous People of Naga Hills and Prime Minister of India Mr. Jowaharlal Nehru accepted it because unlike most other States of India, in Nagaland, it is not the Government but the people who owns the land.

The IM authorities claimed ‘all Nagas are indigenous to all the geographical Naga area inhabited by them’: Literally, this is true but practically it is empty, hollow and fake. The Angamis are not the indigenous of Mokokchung District, the Changs are not the indigenous of Rengma Area and the Tikhirs are not the indigenous of the Zünheboto Distrist. It is so everywhere in Nagaland.

And the people own land in Nagaland Family by Family within the Clan, Clan by Clan within the Thinuo, Mepu, Kiong etc; Khel by Khel within the Village; Village by Village within the Tribe and Tribe by Tribe, in that order. 

The Nagas of Naga Hills and Nagas of NEFA [North Eastern Frontier Agency, now Arunachal Pradesh] lived in their own sovereign Village Republics of purest form of Democracy unimaginable to the white people, from time immemorial, not under any King. This was accepted by even the Colonial Power in the 18th and 19thCenturies and presently -in the case of Nagaland- by the Government of India in a special provision in the Constitution of India.

Some people in Nagaland may have the apprehension that the BJP Government in Delhi may abrogate Article 371A just like they did to Article 370 the other day in the Parliament.

No one need have any such a worry. If India does that, it will loose its face in the UN and in front of the whole World. India is an emerging World Power today and no self-respecting Power in the World seeking a Permanent Seat in the Security Council and who has sent its satellite to the Moon the previous week, would do such a thing as to abrogate any part of their own Constitution they have themselves solemnly made.

And some appear to take Citizenship and Indigenousness of a State as one and the same thing. It is not so. Citizenship is legally obtained whereas Indigenousness is naturally acquired of a country. A white person in the USA may be a Citizen of America legally, but he is not an Indigenous of America whereas a native Red Indian of North America only is an Indigenous of USA whether legally or not.

Nagaland Government has granted Indigenous Status to Non-Naga who had acquired Land Patta in Nagaland from the Government before 1st December 1963. 

The question of giving INDIGENOUS status to those Kacharis, living in Dimapur area centuries before and to those Kukis having Villages in Naga Hills, prior to the occupation of Kohima as District HQ in 1878, does not arise. They [those Kacharis and those Kukis qualified above] were already INDIGENOUS in the Area before Naga Hills District was formed in1860 with Head Quarter at Chümukedima.

The contention of one Advocate from Samziuram, Peren District [quoted] is “People settled in Nagaland post 1963 has to be seen as an asset not a liability” [unquote].

This proposal sounds like a nice Present of an earthen Jar but with a narrow neck and a hole hidden at the bottom; it would not bewitch even an illiterate in Nagaland. The writing of the Advocate appears more of self-interest than of self-respect or Honor; the work is dripping with Irony on others. 

It is like the saying in II Samuel 3: 39 when young King David prayed to God saying: “These three sons of Zeruiah are too much for me, though I am the King”.

The Learned Advocate writes on Nagaland Government, its crude politicians, on its lack of magnanimity and on Lords of crowd etc. In my view, the writings are of the Advocate is simply the Grapes are sour. Let us talk openly and directly and straightforward, not in irony or sarcasm. 

The IM dominated by the Tangkhuls from Manipur with Education, Trickery, often with lies and the Barrel of the Gun popularized the name ‘Naga’ everywhere, but they brought nothing good to Nagaland: they brought Killings, Violence, Threats, Extortions, Terrorism, monopoly Trade and fear.

The IM subscribe Socialism in which the Society is Supreme over the people and everything is owned by the Society and not by the people.

It is true Nagaland Governement would do well to categorize the people into INDIGENOUS, DOMICILED and simply CITIZEN within appropriate existing Rules and Regulation. The members of these three categories can vote in the Assembly Elections in the Urban Areas but a Non-Indigenous Citizens of Nagaland would not become the Chief Minister or the Minister or the MLA for three generations of Nagaland, nor can they hold the Offices of the Village Council in Villages of Pre-Independent India Villages.

But perhaps what the Advocate Samziuram wants from Nagaland is not available in USA, UK, France, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Russia and China. In India, even the exiled Bangladeshi woman Writer Mrs. Taslima is not given Stay Permit for more than 3 [Three] Months at a time in Kolkata.

Thepfulhouvi Solo

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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