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Rongmei org appeals for dialogue on ‘tribe’ status

By EMN Updated: Apr 28, 2014 11:29 pm


AN organization from the Rongmei community has expressed willingness for a dialogue “with any unconvinced party” concerning the Nagaland government’s attempt to accord the community, the status of ‘scheduled Naga tribe’, and one which the Naga stratum is opposing. The organization, Rongmei Naga Indigenous Forum of Nagaland (RNIFN) issued a press release on Monday, April 28.
“The RNIFN would like to appeal to the newly set up five-member committee by state government to revisit the earlier report on Rongmei recognition, to uphold the integrity, impartiality and Constitutional values with all fairness in the eyes of God and men,” the organization stated in its press release. “We appeal to all sections of our Naga brethren not to be misguided or provoked, and that we are opened to any kind of cordial discussion with any unconvinced party for better understanding and peaceful co-existence.”
The organization said to “sincerely appreciate” the sentiments of the people in Nagaland opposing the recognition of the Rongmei. The Nagaland Cabinet’s decision in 2012 recognized only 1, 313 “genuine members who have been settled in the state prior to 1963,” the organization stated.
The RNIFN claimed that the 1, 313 indigenous Rongmei persons are “Nagas of Nagaland” and it would be “wrong to interpret them as Rongmei from Manipur or Assam “just because they are scattered in three states”.
“We will live here and die here in the soil where our parents are buried; so too our children and their children. Looking back down the lane, in Nagaland we have suffered enough for ages and today, our children are suffering as government administration continues to deny issuing of ST certificates or scholarships,” the RNIFN stated. “They cannot get admission in good colleges outside Nagaland under ST quota. They cannot write competitive exams under special quota without ST certificates. If competent authority of Nagaland does not take the responsibility, then who should be blamed.”
The organization has urged the Naga people to “feel our pulse and tell if we all can live in harmony as one Naga family of Nagaland,” and have appealed to them to look into the matter in “correct perspective without any bias or tribal colors and consider our constitutional rights as any Indian tribal deserves.”
The RNIFN asserted that we are all “Nagas by blood” and Christians by faith. “Your love and brotherliness in this regard shall be greatly cherished by us – the Indigenous Rongmeis of Nagaland forever.”

By EMN Updated: Apr 28, 2014 11:29:07 pm