NSDZ consultative meet today a ‘red herring’, says NTC
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 25
THE Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) in a press release today have expressed surprise over the consultative meeting called by the State government on September 26 to discuss the topic of the Nagaland Special Development Zone . Its press release states ‘It is amusing indeed because of the fact that the slated consultation will be done to scrutinize the resolution of NLA dated 24.3.2014. Secondly, a set of silly and rudimentary ‘questionnaires’ is being placed before the elected representatives, political parties and few civil organizations which amounts to undermining the caliber of the invitees’.
The gist of the concept note on NSDZ which has been circulated the release says contains ‘very high sounding promises such as foothill Super Highway of 4-8 lane roads with parallel Railway lines, employment opportunities for the youth, faster growth and development of state’s economy’. It also says that the NTC expects the government of the day to talk realistically and practically. The condition of the 74km 2 lane NH-29 from Dimapur to Kohima holds out no hope for an 8 lane road. The bigger question being who will finance such a project when the government has not been able to realize Prime Minister Vajpayee’s promise made a decade ago to convert the 2 lane NH to 4 lane road.
The NTC press release has posed the following questions to the state Government.
a) Is NSDZ a developmental project or a package to sell out the birth right of Nagas of Nagaland?
b) Can the indigenous Nagas of Nagaland exist when we become landless citizens in our own land?
c) Shall we remain silent when the Government of the day is hell bend to abrogate the protective constitutional provisions for the sake of outsiders?
d) Is it advisable to let the present Government to open a floodgate to Nagas from other states to have full access to enjoy the indigenous rights at par with sons of the soil?
e) What privileges Nagas of Nagaland can enjoy in other neighboring states in reciprocity?
f) Is the Government for outsiders or for the Nagas of Nagaland?
The State of Nagaland is well insulated by the Article 371(A), the Nagaland Land and Revenue (Amendment) Act 1978 and the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 (ILP). The Nagas of Nagaland must know that infringement of the above mentioned provisions in any manner will reduce us into secondary citizens in our own land, adds the release.
It says the NTC shall leave no stone unturned to protect and defend these provisions and to always stand as a guardian of the aspirations and wishes of the indigenous people of Nagaland. The NTC also reiterated that it will never oppose developments within the framework of the mentioned laws, and yet development cannot substitute our fundamental rights of existence for the Nagas of Nagaland.
The NTC feels it pertinent for the Naga Hoho clarify its resolution on NSDZ which states ‘reservations with regard to the land and transfer of ownership. The NTC is of the opinion that this contradicts the age old customary practice of the Nagas’ as published in the local media September 11, 2014.
The NTC also states ‘the modus operandi of the State Government to pass the buck to others as NGOs or other political parties for its wrong doings or proceed ahead with its camouflaged bourgeois programs under the protection of such platforms at the expense of the indigenous Nagas’ is unsavoury. The NTC release concludes that the ‘exercise is nothing but exploitation of the Nagas of Nagaland for selfish interests and to accommodate outsiders’.