Post Mortem

The incorrigible jhum cultivation of the NE

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/14/2019 11:22:24 AM IST

 (From previous issue)

This refers to Rice production from the stony Hills and the Mountainsides of Nagaland with ancient Daoh, archaic hoe as the main implements of Agriculture with human backbone as the source of power the Indo-gangetic civilization had abandoned five thousands years ago and replaced it with stronger animal backbone. The bureaucrat Experts in India assumes all Jhumland Jungles are Forests under Indian Forest Act. Sometime in the late Nineties, the Supreme Court gave an Injunction banning ‘felling of Trees in all the Northeast’ and required the States to issue Order to that effect.

Nagaland did not issue Order banning ‘Felling of Trees’ as the State cultivation cannot be do without felling of tree in the jhum cultivation; and banning of Tree felling, if done would result in extensive famines in the State. The State claimed that Felling of Tree and Selling the Wood is an important economic income of the poor Villagers, and if felling of trees is banned, it would be not only an Economic Blockade of the State but cause extensive famine.  

The State appealed to the Court and considering the devastatingly serious collateral consequences to the State, the Supreme Court ameliorated its Original Injunction saying ‘felling of trees is a traditional customary practice of Jhum Cultivation in Nagaland, but Trade with jhum-felled Trees is not traditional customary practice’. Hence, it barred Trade of jhum-felled tree. Nagaland stopped export of Logs to the outside and tortuously initiated scientific Forestry and Wild Life Management.

In the Gangetic Plain, all Agricultural Areas are regularly and repeatedly cultivated year after year for the last about eight millenniums -8,000years- of the Indo-Gangetic civilization without any let. Historically, most Forests in India belonged to the Rajas and now today they were taken over by the State.   

 The bureaucrat Experts in India do not fully understand the status of the Jhumland in the State are agricultural land the people own them and covered under the Constitution of India just like they do not know in detail  the destitute imprisoned  in inescapable economic and social fabric of life the poor people live in the Slums of the cities.  

 Any Expert may observe with a Telescope the whole of the horizon 360 degrees around from the top of the Observation Platform on the top of Kohima Village. He or she will see a lot of Manipur Hill areas, two third of Chakhesang Areas, Zünheboto-Satakha areas of the District, Lonkhüm-Mokokchung areas, Lotha-Rengma areas, and extensive areas of the Assam Plain including almost the whole of the Angami area, in Green vegetation.

They will hardly see some Jhum Cultivations in the whole of the Area mentioned above, and not much of the “20,000 hectares of Forest is cut down for jhum cultivation every year” as reported by Nagaland GIS and Remote Sensing Centre satellite picture [Eastern Mirror, September 10, 2019]. They will see the whole of the Angami and most of the Chakhesang Areas covered with Green Vegetation.

 [Quite some years ago, while I was in Service, a Remote Sensing Centre Satellite picture showed the whole of Intangki Reserved Forest in Nagaland as Jhum Cultivation Area and so I sent them a cryptic “‘Thank you Letter’ for showing the Intangki National Park of Nagaland as Jhumland!”].


Thepfulhouvi Solo.


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