Post Mortem

Speech of Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu at sit-in protest

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/11/2020 12:07:50 PM IST

 Leaders of Naga People’s Front and citizens of Dimapur City. We have codenamed today’s agitation as ‘sit-in-protest against Citizen (Amendment) Act, 2019.’ The people of Nagaland are democratic by nature. Our forefathers lived with the purest form of democracy. Therefore, we are not that type of people throwing stones or burning houses in the name of agitation. But, we are demonstrating our strong protest and our strong opposition to CAA

In the most peaceful and democratic manner which the Indian Constitution guaranteed to all of us. We feel it obliged to take up this type of agitation in order to save the future of our generations to come. We are doing this in order to save India’s secularism and democracy.
This Act - CAA - is discriminatory and divisive. It is an Act just to support one religion to suppress others though few names of other religions are mentioned in the Act including Christianity for cover-up. India is taken by the whole World as the ‘greatest democratic nation’. In other words, it is called the largest democracy in the world. India is great and its greatness depends on “Unity in Diversity’. The purpose of this CAA is to do away with that ‘unity in diversity’ which means, this Act will destroy the greatness of India if the arrogant attitude of the present government continues to surpess others. We cannot accept the slogan ‘One nation, one religion.’ I am telling this not for the sake of opposing CAA but it is not practicable at all anywhere in the world if the present government of India wants to continue their rule. Afghanistan is a glaring example shown to us in the recent past where a particular religion was rather imposed on the people resulting in the loss of thousands and thousands of precious lives which is still going on with uncertainty. Therefore, it will be very wrong if any political party try to impose upon all the Indians to agree to such slogan, because such imposition, who knows, may do more harm than good to the country which may even ignite unwarranted situation in due course of time. We believe, the elite society, the intelligentsia group in the country will never like to see India going backward again. India was emerging as a global economic power and every Indian was proud of such progress. But today, all the reports about the Indian economy is negative. The economic growth of the country is lowest in 11 years during 2019-20. The growth in manufacturing sector dropped from 9.9% in 2018 to 2.5% last year. In agriculture sector, the growth dropped from 8% to 2.8% during the same period. This downward trend is same in all other sectors. The Union Budget presented to the House recently predicted some improvement during the current year; but with the continued agitations all over the country, we do not know how far the prediction can come true. Every day we come across the pessimistic views expressed by the country’s economists. They are deeply worried for the economic slowdown of the country.
Besides all these bad news, a new method of dealing with the ongoing agitation has been noticed again in the country where some people started firing upon the people who are standing for their democratic right; branding them as terrorists, anti-nationals etc., this means that the miscreants (they called it) are firing upon the Indian democracy; a direct method of murdering the Indian democracy. With all these problems around, whether the Government can bring the situation under control or what will be the solution if the situation goes out of hand. There are many questions. As of now, there seems to be madness all around.
When the country’s situation is unpredictable as such, we are particularly worry for the people of Nagaland for the very reason that if anything happens in the mainland, how far our towns are prepared for their survival; Presuming that any thing happens in the mainland, apart from our political stand, do we have sufficient provision of foodstuff for one month? or how long can you survive with your food provision let alone other facilities. We are in the dark about the status of our State economy. The Nagaland economy seems to be under strangulation at the moment. When the public becomes poor, money can serve their masters better and, perhaps, this is the policy adopted by those people in power today. Nagaland economy is not only negative but it may be below zero percentage as per the economic datas conveyed to us from time to time by our daily Newspapers. We are grateful to our news media agencies.
NPF stands for secularism and democracy as enshrined in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution. As such we stand to defend our faith to whichever religion we may belong. I am a Christian and I am here to defend my Christian faith so also each one of you will do the same without fear or favor. In as much as we never create problem for other faiths, we do not want any other religion to suppress our right.
Our CEC resolution dated the 31st January, 2019 says, “Reiterate the Party’s stand against the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 (CAB) and further resolved that the Party RS Member, Mr. K.G.Kenye will vote against the Bill in Tesoent the Bill is not withdrawn....” This Bill got lapsed in 2018 when it could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. But BJP put this Bill again in their election manifesto and accordingly, after they came back to power, in haste, passed the Bill, which is now Act (CAA). Mr. Tokheho, LS, MP voted in favor of the Bill, and according to his clarification, he said that he voted in favor of the Bill as directed by his Party- NDPP. Mr. K.G. Kenye, RS, MP voted in favor of the Bill against the stand of the party and, therefore, he was suspended from the primary membership of the party. In the said CEC meeting, “the house resolved that NDPP-led PDA Govt. will be held solely responsible for any fall out on the Nagas out of the CAB 2016.” NPF was against this Bill from the very beginning because this Act becomes very dangerous for the people of the whole North East. For example, starting from the next day of passing this Bill, we see that many people jump over the international fencing from Bangladesh to India every day in thousands. Why should we oppose if the Hindus from Bangladesh want to come to India. But we know that these people will not get land either in West Bengal or Bihar, their entry point States. In that case, where these people will go? The density of population in Bihar stands at 1102 per sq km., and in West Bengal it stands at 1029 per sq km. In Nagaland, the density of population stands at 119 per sq km. Now, you can work out the logic yourself in what manner population stabilization will be worked out by the Government of India in due course of time. Therefore, in my earlier statement, I have said that the affect of CAB will come only after 10, 15 years and not in a  matter of one or two years. The explanations of incorporating ILP in the CAA or exemption of Nagaland from CAA etc. have got nothing to do with population politics. We must understand the dangers of CAA and take precautionary measure before it is too late. The Act was passed by both Houses of Parliament but the rules are yet to be framed. Yet before the rules are framed, some States are in a hurry and registered so many even now according to report.
Dimapur city is the commercial hub of Nagaland. It is the miniature of India. Besides the Naga population from all different tribes, we have people from all different States in India living here together and practicing their own faith freely and openly. Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Budhists etc. have been living together in harmony. You practice freely and openly with full respect for one another. People from different places, practicing different faiths and living together in harmony is the real model of Indian secularism enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution. NPF stand to support it.
The NPF Legislature Party wanted the Nagaland Legislative Assembly to pass resolution against CAA. We may belong to different political parties but all of us have common future. If a storm comes, that storm cannot read or recognise who is NPF or who is NDPP, but it will destroy everything in its own way. I want to appeal to the leaders of Nagaland not to gamble with the future of our children for their own prestige sake or for their immediate gain. Political parties may come and go, government also may come and go but the people of Nagaland will continue to live together for all time to come. The ruling NDPP-BJP is now defending CAA with various points. They have directed their MP (LS) to vote in favour of the Bill, NPF was not so kind to their member in Rajya Sabha, because NPF is against CAA from the very beginning. To be more precise, NPF is against CAA but NDPP is supporting CAA; that is the difference.
Now, coming to the development program, for information only, we are happy to see many developmental activities particularly in road sector in Nagaland during the last two years. Recently, the present Government has published through news media that the Nagaland Government has been given some projects by the Centre. Let us take it as good news, but as far as the works going on now or done during the last two years, sanctions were obtained by the previous NPF Govt. Some important projects are like :
1. Const. of 2-lane road from Golaghat Gate to Purana Bazar.
2. Four-lane road from Purana Bazar to Patkai Bridge, the foundation was laid by the former Chief Minister, Mr. T.R.Zeliang in Sept. 2017.
3. The Capital Road from Kohima to Dimapur via Dzüdza river to Niuland.
4. Two-lane road through Kohima city from Police Check gate at Byepass to Police Check-gate at Lierie (Phesama). 
5. All Kohima Town roads in three groups etc. etc. In conclusion, I want to say that we are in the Opposition at the moment. We have to take this opportunity as a blessing in disguise. Let us try to learn lessons as opposition members so that we can do better next time when we take over the Government again in the near future. We stand on solid ground and there is nothing to fear. We stand for peace and harmony of the society. Long live NPF. Thank you and God Bless.
Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu, President, NPF

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