No solution without transparency, says NGBF
Dimapur, Sep. 8 (EMN): The Nagaland Gaon Bura Federation (NGBF) has reiterated its stand that the solution to the Indo-Naga talks cannot be ambiguous, and shrouded in mystery and secrecy.
The federation issued a statement on Tuesday informing that its members had attended a meeting on September 4 at the invitation of the NSCN (IM) chairman. “The position of NGBF is unchanged. Final agreement be signed as per October 31, 2019 understanding arrived at between government of India and two Naga negotiating groups i.e., FA with NSCN (IM) and ‘agreed position’ with WC, NNPGs. The Nagas will not be a party to any solution which is enforced without transparency.
“In the meeting, NGBF urged the NSCN (IM) to unite all the factions, come under single platform and also lay before the Naga people the contents and blueprint of post solution political and administrative structure such as the one WC, NNPGs produced before the Naga tribes and civil societies in the form of status paper on Indo-Naga political talks. This will clear any doubt,” the statement read.
Further, the federation claimed that there is a ‘nefarious game plan by an unprincipled and uninformed group of people who are desperately trying to limit, discredit, marginalise and muffle the traditionally honoured voice and authority of Naga village chiefs’.
“The gaon bura (village chief) institute was established under the then erstwhile British-India government in the Naga Hills much before India got its Independence. This institute is the unique and exclusive established village authority in Nagaland which none of the states in NE India has and it has been retained as the primer traditional body. In recognition of its authority, the British Raj has awarded red blankets as an insignia to the village chiefs (sic),” it stated.
Over a century, the federation stated, ‘Naga village chiefs/chieftains/GBs’ have been at the forefront of building Naga nationhood.
“On 21st April 1917, Kuhoi Zhimomi, son of Sukhai Zhimomi, chief/akukau/GB of Kiyeshe (Sukhai) Village, led two thousand (of) the 21st Naga Labour Corps to Europe. He was ably assisted by other village chiefs from among Aos, Angamis, Lothas Rengmas etc., in the entire sojourn. In 1929, when Nagas submitted the memorandum to British statutory commission, Nijevi Sema was one of the interpreters and a chief from Shenakusa village. The Konyak, Phom and other Naga village chiefs have always displayed valour and uncompromising spirit on the Naga political issue,” read the statement.
Today, it stated, along with the hereditary kingship village chieftains, the government-appointed gaon buras (GB) within Naga tribes, towns and cities, work in tandem under the banner of NGBF.
“Most are hereditary while some are appointed but only after proving one’s domicile, integrity, social conduct and acceptability by the general public of that locality/colony. Only then the government can issue appointment order. The GBs in Nagaland are not paid government employees as we do not enjoy salary from the state government except the traditional symbolic uniform which is the red blanket that is issued to us by the civil administration from time to time.
“Thus, every single GB, village chief in Nagaland is a proven man and an anointed leader, having every right to knock on the door of the chief minister or the prime minister on the Naga political issue. NGBF is the legitimate offspring of Nagaland. We are committed to facilitating and ensuring honourable and acceptable political solutions for the Naga people,” it stated.
The federation urged “all rejected organisations, destructive social media heroes” to think twice before passing judgement on the activities of NGBF because it doesn’t need a certificate from any political party or group.
“We check our clouds, the direction of our winds, the noise in our grasslands and forest and act on our conscience to do or say what is best for our people. We are the traditional conscience keepers, a solemn institution listening to the voice of our forefathers. We will not allow our land and people to be eternally threatened by bullies with guns,” it added.