Post Mortem

The real anti-Nagas

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 6/10/2019 12:06:10 PM IST

 If there is a term I abhor, it’s anti-Naga; because, for something to be anti anything, it must be completely opposite to or against that thing. And Nagas hailing from different tribes, with different customs and traditions and following different denominations of Christianity, if not different religions; it is difficult to find anything which is completely against everything that all Nagas stand for or hold dear.

But if there’s one thing that all Nagas have in common, it is our ownership of our lands and our rights to it. Every Naga from all tribes, holds full or partial ownership or rights to a part of our land, no matter how big or small it may be. Our land has shaped us and defines us. So, anyone seeking to deprive us of our rights to our land threatens our identity and our very existence.

With this in mind, I have no qualms in labeling Dr. Nicky Kire, and those who support his statement that Article 371A is the biggest stumbling block to development in Nagaland, as anti-Naga. Let us be clear that Dr. Kire has made the only public statement in support of Corruption in the history of Nagaland. For it is a fact that it is corrupt Legislators like him and their Bureaucratic and Technocratic lackeys who are the only obstacles to development in Nagaland, not the right to ownership of our land as enshrined in Article 371A(iv) of the Indian Constitution. 

It is common knowledge that before any project gets off the ground, deductions are made under various heads, sometimes going up to 35% of the Project estimate, with the money going into the pockets of these hyenas and vultures. When you have deducted a huge sum of money for any developmental project before a single brick is laid, you rarely have enough money left to pay compensation to the landowner and complete the project. By citing Article 371A as a stumbling block to development, Dr. Kire has implied that its alright for those mysterious deductions to be made, and since they cannot complete the projects if they pay the landowners, lets blame the landowners.

The Late Mr. Ihoshe Kinimi, Ato Kukau (Head G.B.) of Lumami Village took a nominal sum of one rupee for the land on which Nagaland University is established, even then, because of greed and tribalism, it was many years before it became a reality. The Doyang Hydro-Electric Project was completed even though every inch of land was compensated for at the highest possible evaluation; the only major problem arose when the Lotha landowners felt they were being cheated by the engineer in charge, Lanu Toy. The present broad gauge railway line is proceeding fine, with all the land owners along the way being amply compensated.

So, it does not matter whether landowners seek or refuse compensation, a project is estimated taking either eventuality into consideration. What the Project cannot estimate for is the percentage to be deducted to sate the gluttony of Naga Legislators and Bureaucrats. Directly controlled Central Projects are completed because Nagas cannot get their greedy little paws on it, not because landowners refuse or ask for compensation.

Indian parliament has changed the laws on land, the rights of the landowner and acquisition and compensation a number of times; from it being a Fundamental Right under Article 19, to its removal as a Fundamental Right by the 44th. Amendment in 1978 and its restoration under the Right to fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, (which guarantees the landowner a minimum monetary compensation for his land).

Article 371A has protected us from the vagaries of the above changes and ensures it remains a Fundamental Right of the Nagas. Any person who speaks against it is a Anti-Naga. I would like to assure Mr. Solomon Angami (who wrote the touching appeal on behalf of his widowed aunt) and all other landowners across Nagaland that the rights to our land are absolute; we can choose to forgo compensation or demand it as our right. If Dr. Nicky Kire really believes that Article 371A is a stumbling block to development in Nagaland, I challenge him to use his right as a Legislator and introduce a Bill in the State Assembly to abrogate or amend the said article. There are 59 other Legislators in Nagaland representing 59 constituencies; I’m certain all Nagas across Nagaland would be anxious to know the views of our elected representatives on this issue. God save Nagaland

Kahuto Chishi Sumi, Akukau (G.B.) Hevishe Village, Khaghaboto Range, Dimapur, (


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