Views & Reviews
Why is PDA So Edgy on RIIN
Initially the PDA Government in Nagaland appeared to be determined to effectively enforce the Inner Line Permit (ILP) covering the District of Dimapur and to undertake the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN). Subsequently, on 27th September, 2019, the State Govt. convened a Consultative Meeting at the State Banquet Hall, Old CM’s Bungalow, Kohima to which all the tribal bodies of Nagaland including the civil organisations were invited and all were present in that meeting. I too participated in the discussion. To my memory, barring one or two less relevant organisations, all the apex tribal organisations and mass-based organisations in Nagaland supported the Govt. to carry out RIIN.
The PDA Govt. took the most essential and the right decision on RIIN in particular in June-July, 2019 in the best interest of the State of Nagaland. Accordingly, the State Govt. constituted the Commission on RIIN headed by Mrs. Banuo Z. Jamir, and the Commission had extensive consultations with all those whosoever mattered. Thus, as far as the ground work for assessing the opinion of the public on RIIN is concerned, the Commission on RIIN had sufficiently and successfully completed. Now, the Commission’s report has been in the possession of the State Govt.
Therefore, it is indeed perplexing to watch how the State Govt. has reconvened the consultative meeting on 16.4.2021 with the tribal bodies for the second time on the same issue of RIIN for which they all gave their unstinted support to RIIN on 27th Sept., 2019. Since the concerned stakeholders had already extended their unreserved support to Govt. for conducting the RIIN exercise, the PDA Govt. is expected to proceed ahead without hesitation. We all know that RIIN is not without opposition particularly forces from outside the State of Nagaland like Naga Hoho or other unseen elements trying their best to sabotage the indispensable program. Nevertheless, the State Govt. is expected to remain focused and be robust to undertake what is in the very interest of the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland since the Statehood was created for those indigenous people in particular and not for those who are opposing the idea of RIIN. The hesitation of the State Govt. whips up the following few questions.
1. What factor or factors has/have deterred the Govt. of Nagaland from its determination to carry out the program forthright? Who has imparted this wisdom to PDA Govt. to chew RIIN like cud?
2. Is the Govt. of Nagaland not aware that there have been two gravitational forces in Nagaland and each one tries to keep Nagaland under its control? I believe that the Govt. is not in dilemma as for whom it has to stand for.
3. The PDA Govt. is expected to disallow any other circumstances as fear phobia or appeasement to overshadow the importance of RIIN knowing well that today’s complacence will fetch tomorrow’s ruin.
4. Am I wrong to conclude that most of the authorities in Nagaland today, be it in Govt. or in NGO have high tendencies to become malleable and to turn oneself into the agent of the anti-Nagaland force. Are these authorities not aware that the anti-Nagaland forces are trying its best to dilute the protective laws of Nagaland?
5. Is the Govt. of Nagaland not aware of that the moment any of the protective laws of Nagaland is allowed to be relaxed, that becomes the basis for opening the floodgate to outsiders to invade Nagaland and in the process the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland will ultimately be reduced to secondary citizens in their own land? Is the present day Govt. not interested at all to streamline and refurbish its protective systems in the greater interest of the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland?
6. I hope the PDA Govt. does not use the April 16, 2021 as a ploy by which it draws inference from such meeting. In other words, is the State Govt. trying to inflict its undue influence on the invitees whereby such decision is adopted to dump the RIIN in cold storage in the better interest of the opponent and the Govt. shifts the inevitable consequences to the invitees?
Well, should there be anyone who may like to propose the implementation of RIIN without cut-off year or relaxing the cut-off year is nothing less than backstabbing. Such proposal of having RIIN without 1.12.1963 as the cut-off year is similar to that of a house constructed without a single door or a high security wall erected without a gate. The RIIN without cut off year is a toothless tiger and it is a mockery in itself. Under any circumstances the State of Nagaland has to survive, and if so, its special laws are to be guarded from dilution and destruction. Be it any authority under the State Govt. or in NGO, whoever is responsible for emasculating any of those legal provisions will definitely go into the annals of Nagaland’s history.