The Role Reversed
[dropcap]A[/dropcap] dutiful father preserves the inherited properties for his posterity. With his best, he acquires moveable and immovable properties for his generation to enjoy. Of course, nothing better than a possession which is just in the sight of God. Like a thoughtful father, the leaders of Naga Peoples’ Convention (NPC) were guided by God and submitted a 16-Points resolution to Government of India(GOI) in 1960 although there was no unanimity on the resolution. At that time, the decision was considered to be a blunder according to NNC and the public leaders who were with NNC. And yet, the GOI went ahead by granting Statehood to Nagas with ‘Nagaland’ as its nomenclature and not as Naga Pradesh. Out of 29 States of the Union, Nagaland is one of the two States placed in special category because of the Art 371(A) which contains almost sovereign clauses for the interest of minority tribal people. Nagaland has been in its 52nd year jointly enjoying the sovereignty of India, and those who condemned the pioneers who brought Nagaland Statehood have not brought better arrangement till date. This is a great challenge to those who disagreed with the Statehood as they condemned it and yet they too continue to enjoy the fruit of it. Had we refused to accept the offer of Statehood at that time, even by now we would have been in a District in Assam.Till a better alternative arrangement is brought, Statehood with Art 371(A) remains to be the prized possession of the Nagas of Nagaland. It is therefore the bounden duty of the leaders who rule Nagaland to see that its protective laws such as the Art 371(A), the Nagaland Land and Revenue Regulation Act 1978 and ILP(BEFR). Look at Meghalaya and Manipur whose citizens are now seeking for promulgation of ILP in their respective States. Why? For fear of having another Tripura or Jarkhand where the indigenous land owners are now the tenants and the employees of invaders.
Meanwhile, it is perturbing to observe that DAN Govt. led by NPF is contemplating to literally abrogate the mentioned laws in the name of most modern developments. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but the fact is that these laws will not be used in NSDZ as per the Concept Note. On the basis of the Concept Note, Assembly resolution on implementation of NSDZ was adopted on 24.3.2014 by 60 Members unanimously. Subsequently, when anti-NSDZ noises are heard from few quarters, few elected Members privately try to opt for self defence. Yet, there is no escape route for anyone as all were present while voting on the resolution took place, and staging a walkout by any Member in disagreement was not recorded by Nagaland Legislative Assembly. Also, the Nagaland Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules, 2012 empowers a non-member to be the nodal authority with financial benefits for liaison tasks. Thus, the land owners and the indigenous inhabitants would become the secondary citizen in their own land in respect of oil exploration and its benefits.
Whereas, be it any political party’s Govt., when the issue of infringement on constitutional rights comes, how ignorant and purchase-able the indigenous land owners may be, the State Govt., as the stable and robust guardian, should have been wise enough to keep the laws protected. Instead, the State Govt. is taking advantage knowing the gullibility of the public and fragility of certain tribal Hohos in respect of getting their approval for oil exploration or sale of land for NSDZ.
The thoughtless, disoriented and selfish father lives a frivolous life at the expense of his offspring and leaves nothing behind for his children to enjoy. Imagine, how the present State Govt. is playing what fatherly role. The role is definitely reversed.