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Nagaland Legislative Assembly marks 50 years of foundation

By EMN Updated: Nov 30, 2014 1:13 am

State paid homage and rich tribute to the pioneers, including the Interim Body Members

Principal Correspondent
Kohima, November 29

Marking the 50 years of enacting laws for the betterment and welfare of the people of Nagaland, the State Legislative Assembly (NLA) today celebrated its 50th Anniversary by paying homage and rich tribute to the pioneers, including the Interim Body Members. Delivering a short speech, Governor P B Acharya said that during the last 50 years, NLA has functioned on the true spirit of democratic principles and followed the noble ideals enshrined in the Constitution.
“Irrespective of political affiliations, elected members could play a vital role in legislation of laws and formulating government policies as representatives of the people under the Constitution of India.
He also expressed confidence that the leader of the house and leader of the opposition and all MLAs would continue to uphold the dignity of the House.
He also mentioned that the first NLA session was held on March 2, 1964 with the address by the then Governor Vishnu Sahay and T N Angami elected as first speaker and Shikhu as Deputy Speaker on 5th March 1964.
Expressing concern that no women representatives have been elected to the Assembly during the last 50 years, the Governor urged the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to help Naga women in getting elected as she has been winning for the last eight consecutive terms in the parliamentary elections.
Chief Minister TR Zeliang said the most notable and appreciable qualities about the NLA have been the decorum steadfastly maintained inside the House during all these past 50 years. “The NLA has not witnessed any unruly behavior as frequently witnessed elsewhere,” he said.
He said, through is 50 years of existence, the NLA has done commendably well in fulfilling its various functions and responsibilities. It has been actively performing its role in making new laws in exercise of the powers given under Article 371(A) of the Constitution.
The CM called upon the members of the present House to rededicate themselves to the cause of democracy, and be more active in discharging their duties as sentinels of democracy, and as leaders of the society and the people they represent.
NLA Speaker Chotisüh Sazo extending warm welcome to all, including Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who was the chief guest of the celebration, said that “Nagaland is a paradise state for social scientist, anthropologist and others for its colourful tradition, folklores, myth and legends carrying their ancient chronicle”.
He apprised the people that Nagaland was a district called Naga Hills within the State of Assam until 1957 when it was put under central administration with the nomenclature of Naga Hills Tuensang Area (NHTA) in July 1960, following discussion between the then Prime Minister and the leaders of the Naga People Convention, a 16-Point-Agreement was arrived at whereby the Government of India recognized the formation of Nagaland as a full-fledged State within the Union of India.
The State of Nagaland was formally inaugurated on December 1, 1963 while the first elections were held in January 1964 and the first Assembly was constituted on February 11, 1964. Presently it is the 12th House of the State and has 60 members.
He expressed the hope that the visit of Lok Sabha Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan would leave a footprint that Naga people would cherish even in days to come.
Lone Member of Lok Sabha from the state, Neiphiu Rio said that the State of Nagaland was formed under difficult circumstances through blood, tears and sacrifice of every Naga family. The fruits of Statehood which have benefited generations came at a heavy cost of struggle, revolution, violence and great sacrifices. He stated that Nagaland is a political state which was formed out of a political 16-Point-Agreement.
Congress Legislature Party Leader Tokheho Yepthomi said that jubilee is the time to introspect and revive the sense of oneness, hard-work and sincerity in the State. He also called upon the present members of the House to set examples for the younger generation to follow.
Earlier, State Chaplain, Rev. Khrütsoyi Luruo offered dedicatory prayer of commemorative monolith. Minister for Roads and Bridges, Kuzhuluzo Nienu chaired the function wherein special songs were presented NLA jubilee choir and Nagaland Chamber Choir and vote of thanks tendered by NLA Deputy Speaker Levi Rengma.

IBMs appeal Centre to fully implement 16-Point-Agreement

Principal Correspondent
Kohima, November 29

The surviving Interim Body Members (IBM) of Nagaland today appealed to the government of India to honour the full implementation of the 16-Point-Agreement, which brought about statehood to Nagaland.
Addressing the 50 years anniversary celebration of Nagaland Legislative Assembly on behalf of seven surviving out of the 42 IBMs here today, T. Kikon said “this will ensure that the welfare of the Naga people is well safe-guarded in the Constitution of India even in the years to come”.
“We tried to fulfill all the clauses in the 16-Point-Agreement but unfortunately we could not do so,” he lamented but aspired saying that it is now for the young leaders to pursue what we could not fulfill.
He also encouraged the legislators and leaders to keep to the true path of service towards the people and the state. “Let us not forget that Nagaland became a full-fledged state after much bloodshed. Let us continue to encourage and work for the state which I believe will stand as a shining star in the global world of today,” he said.
Recalling vividly the events of those troublesome and humble beginnings of the state of Nagaland as a fledging within the Indian Union, he said it was an extraordinary situation for us at that time. “We were compelled to take most logical decision as the people were suffering untold miseries,” he said while also narrating that many were killed, villages were burnt, people massacred and women and children were not spared either by the Indian Army.
Through these difficult periods of time, the Naga Peoples’ Convention was held thrice in 1959, he recalled adding that these conventions ultimately led to the signing of the 16-PA on 26th July 1960, forming the base for the creation of the State of Nagaland.
The Agreement led to the formation of the de-facto legislative assembly comprising of 42 IBMs, who were chosen from the different tribes and entrusted with preparing the necessary ground works for a full-fledged statehood.
The IBMs served its purpose from 1961 to 1963, out of which only seven of them are living today. “We have come a long way as young leaders then, enduring ambushes from those who opposed statehood,” he said while maintaining that the IBMs sacrificed the best years of their youthful lives for the formation of the State of Nagaland.
“We went touring the whole of Nagaland to spread awareness about the benefits of the 16-PA. Many a times we went hungry, sleepless and always on the run for our lives. Some of our dear friends sacrificed their own lives for the sake of the State and for the betterment in their lives of the people,” he recalled.
Nagaland was then a virgin state and passing through its teething stage, he said while maintaining that basing on the 16-PA, we the young legislators of that time began to work accordingly.
Many developments too place and today to have seen the changes and the transformation taking place in our lifetime is indeed a great blessing, he said.
On behalf of the IBMs, he wished NLA to continue in its service towards the state. It is for you all to continue with the noble ideals, he said while wishing “let there be unity and understanding among the leaders so that people are happy and proud to be Nagas”.

By EMN Updated: Nov 30, 2014 1:13:45 am