CM stresses on unity of Nagas for solution
KOHIMA, NOVEMBER 25
Chief Minister TR Zeliang today while talking about achieving permanent peace in Nagaland underscored that the need of the hour is for all Nagas to come together on one platform with one voice for solution to the Naga political issue.
“We have been talking about the need for Naga unity, especially for resolving our protracted six-decade old Naga political issue…….However, Naga unity is still only a dream we are pursuing,” he lamented pointing to varied divisions within the Naga society. Such divisions, without unity, will confuse the Nagas themselves as well as the government of India or beyond, the Chief Minister stated while addressing the Rengma-Pochury Day celebration at Naga Solidarity Park, Kohima Tuesday as the chief guest.
“Today any kind of infrastructure or social development can take place but if our political problem is not resolved, then we are travelling a journey with unknown destination,” Zeliang asserted. He maintained that when the Naga political problem is resolved once and for all, the Nagas can expect permanent peace in their land, and whatever development have been done in their land will become their permanent asset.
“But if it is not resolved, anything can happen any day. And whatever we have done can be damaged at any point of time,” he said, and called upon the people to wake up with the kind of spirit that the two tribes – Rengma and Pochury – are coming together, calling other Nagas to be united in true spirit.
While pointing out that no strong decision can be expected from the Centre without a stable government, Zeliang is optimistic that today, the government of India has established a stable government. He expressed hope and belief that if the Nagas become one and keep their minds positive then the government of India under the leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver towards resolving the Naga political issue.
Also, stating that the culture, traditions and customary practices of the Nagas are well protected under Article 371 (A) of the Indian Constitution, the Chief Minister underscored the need for the younger generation to realise the values of their unique culture and to respect the traditional village and tribe authorities. He fears that without the culture, traditions and Naga unity, Nagas will be counted as nobody outside the state.
“Nagas are one ethnically and culturally even though we speak different languages,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the common history shared by the Rengma and the Pochury tribes, Zeliang stated that these two communities despite being relatively smaller amongst other Naga tribes, are again badly divided by state and international boundaries- the Rengmas, within their own homeland, are divided between Nagaland and Assam whereas the Pochurys are divided between Nagaland and Myanmar.
While terming such division as cruel outcome of certain historical forces, the Chief Minister urged upon them to actively try to build cultural and social bridges amongst members of the two tribes across both state and international borders instead of feeling dejected.
“Social, cultural and emotional integration of a people cannot be disturbed or stopped by any forces of the world,” he asserted.
In his brief address, parliamentary secretary for School Education Yitachu, the lone legislator from Pochury community, said the occasion is not just for the Rengmas and Pochury people alone but to promote brotherhood for the Nagas as a whole. He observed that Nagas are suffering from a deficiency of “one Naganess” and stressed on the need for the people to put aside tribal differences and start thinking and behaving as “one Naga”. He sees this as the only way for the future of the Naga people.
The parliamentary secretary also called upon the two communities to set exemplary role by inculcating a working culture, stating, it is vital to sustain the institution of democratic system of government. He said the people have to learn to generate revenue for sustenance of the system that is required for the society to move forward.
Nagaland Assembly Deputy Speaker Er. Levi Rengma also exhorted the gathering on the importance of knowing and understanding one’s own culture, history and origins. He said modern cities and towns are becoming melting pots of culture and traditions, and people today prefer to define themselves where they are going, not where they came from. He stated that history matters as it helps the people to understand the present. He emphasized on the need to understand one’s own culture as well as others’ cultures so as to coexist in a society.
Solidarity notes were read out by representatives of Western Rengma (Assam), Dr. Nshonga Rusho and Eastern Pochury (Myanmar), Lasaiah.
Rengma Hoho president, Sawathang Kezseb chaired the programme while Pochury Hoho president, Penthii Pochury delivered the welcome address.
Other highlights of the programme included exchange of respective tribal shawls by the leaders of the two tribes, cultural songs and dances performed by cultural troupes from both tribes.
The tribes adopted a three-point resolution during the occasion which includes that the Rengma-Pochury communities support the Naga peace process wholeheartedly to assure peaceful and harmonious coexistence of all the Nagas; that the Rengma Hoho shall host the Rengma-Pochury Day celebration in 2016, and thereafter the next celebration shall be observed in 2020 following which, the day will be observed after every fifth year; and the Rengma-Pochury Community shall take up common venture project as common property for which a 5-member planning committee has been set up for further course of action.