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Did not speak against Naga cause — Along

By EMN Updated: Jun 27, 2019 11:48 pm

Our Correspondent
Kohima, June 27 (EMN): The president of BJP Nagaland unit and Minister of Higher & Technical Education Temjen Imna Along on June 26 clarified on his alleged remarks that went viral.

A section of the media had reported the minister as saying that he ‘wanted to see non-Nagas represented in State Assembly’ and ‘Nagas will stand up and live with India’ at an event in Dimapur.

“I have been misinterpreted, without reading the lines of communal harmony,” Along said during a press conference in Kohima. “At no point of my speech have I spoken against the Naga cause or the pride of the Nagas,” he added.

While felicitating students, Along said, he had told them to excel in their studies and “one day in this state, in the near future, you all may also become officers of repute; not only businessmen but through the opportunity of reservation in Dimapur, you may also get the chance to come to the Assembly.”

He said that he told the students in good faith to promote harmony and peaceful coexistence amongs the citizens of Dimapur “but it was blown out of proportion.” He added that he truly respect the talks between the government of India and Naga national workers.

Nonsensical and insensitive, says NSCN (IM)

The NSCN (IM) on Thursday denounced Along for his reported statements. “Under the given situation where the Nagas are placed in a critical stage, it is never the desire of NSCN to particularise any Naga political leader on the issue related to Naga national identity because we want everyone, irrespective of political affiliation, to work together in unison on Naga issue without taking any divergent stand.

“But, if somebody started exploiting his position and take liberty to make idiotic statement which has a direct bearing on the historical and national identity of the Nagas, it becomes a serious matter which need to be condemned and tackled in proper perspective. Of late, we have come to notice that Temjen Imna Along, Minister for Higher and Technical Education, government of Nagaland has been making nonsensical statements, insensitive of the Naga people’s struggle and sacrifice,” read a statement from the group.

It reminded that the minister had earlier made a statement that Nagas are Indians for which he had faced condemnation from various quarters. “Untamed as he is, again he made the statement that non-Nagas should find a place in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly.

“It is unfortunate that a person of typical character like Temjen has appeared in the Naga political scenario. Such a person is now lowering the credibility of the Naga political leaders in defence of Naga’s national identity. We are constrained to denounce Mr. Temjen for his repeated statement that goes against the national interest of the Nagas. Let there be no further dilution of the credibility of other Naga ministers/MLAs like Temjen has done. The sanctity of Naga history is not to be tampered with for vested interests,” it stated.

The NSCN (IM) stated that the minister cannot afford to make a mockery of Naga political history. Nagas have come a long way ever since it declared Naga Independence on 14th August, 1947. It advised him to reconcile himself with the ground reality of Naga national identity in the context of the ongoing Indo-Naga political talks and stand himself as a responsible Naga, lest he face further condemnation from the Nagas.

“He must bridle himself from making reckless and misleading statements to undo the hard-earned historical and political identity of the Nagas that has gained worldwide recognition as a separate national entity.”

By EMN Updated: Jun 27, 2019 11:48:32 pm