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Op-Ed

RCN clarifies on NTC Public statement

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By EMN Updated: May 09, 2014 11:37 pm
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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Rongmei Council Nagaland, in its consultative meeting has reasoned and felt a necessity to reiterate the public statement of NTC under the caption “NTC statement on the Rongmei Tribe Recognition” dated, May 8th 2014 published in some local papers. However, it is considered needless to repeatedly publish the legal status and genuine approach made to the govt. of Nagaland for asserting the status of Rongmei living in the state of Nagaland prior to the creation of statehood. Nevertheless, the said paper statement of NTC on the issue has prompted the council to once again and for all time, made its stand and position clear to the general Naga publics and people with the intention to avert any undue misgiving and misconstruing that may. The fact that, the legal position and the deprived conditioned of the Rongmei Naga of Nagaland has been long ignored, complicated and distorted by certain sheer apprehensive and un-brotherly treatment intended against the least and most suffering Naga tribe in the state. It is unimaginable and painful to experience such an inhumane treatment meted to the deprived Rongmeis of Nagaland by Nagaland Tribes Council. God knows, we too deserve to be treated humanely and equally respecting the dignity of human person in the eye of law and universal Declaration of Human rights. The open rejection and defamation to be rallied is unthought-of to have happen for the first time in the Naga society.Despites the attempt to deny and denounce the Rongmei Naga constantly reflecting in local papers aggrieving the community, we have decided our resolute stand to face the fact and bear through in the spirit of forbearance and forgiveness with our focus intention to live together in peace and harmony in the state. Therefore, the following statements are laid out clear with its simplicity to and for the general understanding of the Naga publics.
1. That, the Criteria for recognizing a tribe as indigenous inhabitants in the state of Nagaland as per Govt. Notification. No.AR-8/876 Dt.28th April 1977. and in accordance with the guideline provision given, the Rongmeis of Nagaland has qualified in Toto to pursue and assert their rights to be enlisted in the state tribe list. In the said criteria or for the matter, there is no law or provision made in term of land, territory or ancestral land boundary or aboriginality of a community/tribe as qualification bar for the purpose of recognition of any tribe in the state or any state in the whole of the country either by constitution of India or by enacting of state laws.
2. Understand that, the electoral roll of 5th December 1963 under Kohima District or for the whole state of Nagaland has neither directive guideline nor instruction given for mentioning of a tribe against the person’s name to be prefix or suffix or a column in the list. The Names and persons belonging to Rongmei as Kabui at that time, mentioned are the clear proof and evidence to substantiate the participation and presence of Rongmei in the state since and prior to the statehood.
3. That, the Rongmei of Nagaland is not demanding for a separate scheduled tribe or to be categorized with or among the recognized scheduled tribe list; (1) Naga (2) Kuki (3) Kachari (4) Garo and (5) Mikir. Understood that, not a single Naga tribe in the state is recognized as a scheduled tribe by an act of Parliament or constitution of India. The Rongmeis of Nagaland is only seeking the Govt. to include or insert the Rongmei under Naga scheduled tribe with the rest of the Naga tribes.
4. The RCN is not demanding or claiming for inclusion of the whole Rongmeis in the state but asserting the just and deserving position and status only categorized and scrutinized members list of 1313 under the strict treatment of the Govt.’s Criteria.
5. The interim Guwahati high Court order W.P.(c) No.4519/12 is misconstrued and misinterpreted. The intention of the Court order being to state that, granting a scheduled tribe status to Rongmei in the state is outside the purview of the court. It is the subject matter of the state concerned. Therefore, the said Court Order did not barred or dismissed the particular process only referred to the state administration to deal with the matter.
6. Expressed our sorry state and displeasure over the fact that, the issue of Rongmei recognition has scaled up to be a political issue, dragging it to be seen as a political discontentment among the Nagas.
7. That, the intended motive and purpose of NTC oftentimes reflecting in a clear tone, their social classification as Nagas of Nagaland tempered against the Recognition of the Rongmeis of Nagaland passed by the Govt. of Nagaland is manifested, in the form of Rally against the Govt. of Nagaland. We don’t oppose the NTC, neither condemn nor resent their proposed Rally to be demonstrated on the 13th of May 2014. We are willing to support and cooperate if any social organization is doing for the interest and welfare of the Naga society.
The above legal clarifications tells volumes of facts and legality sufficient enough to suffice or satisfy any legal query within the purview and subject matter of the state Govt. others implications or apprehensive gestures against the Rongmei recognition is unfounded.
Having stated the above clarifications, The RCN humbly pray and beseech all the right thinking Naga citizens and esteemed Naga organizations to kindly create a positive climate and conducive atmosphere for inter-tribal relation, harmony, understanding, and peace to prevail in the common Naga society.

James Akham
President, RCN.

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By EMN Updated: May 09, 2014 11:37:28 pm