CSOs have failed to make an impact in Naga society: KK Sema

KK Sema speaking during the two day seminar on ‘Issues Confronting the State of Nagaland,’ organised by the Nagaland Law Students Federation (NLSF) at Hotel Saramati, Dimapur on July 29. (Morung Photo)

KK Sema speaking during the two day seminar on ‘Issues Confronting the State of Nagaland,’ organised by the Nagaland Law Students Federation (NLSF) at Hotel Saramati, Dimapur on July 29. (Morung Photo)

Morung Express News 
Dimapur | July 29 

Observing that the intended role of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were at providing a road map for the people by their involvement and actions, Khekiye K Sema, IAS (retd), spokesperson of Senior Citizen’s Association, Nagaland, stated “none have really made an impact in any recognisable or significant way...except for a few.”

Speaking at a seminar in Dimapor on the topic, “The role that civil society organisations have played in the Naga peace process,” the retired bureaucrat took a dig at the Naga Hoho claiming it has become a mere mouth piece of the NSCN (IM) today. Initially intended as an organisation representing the 14 tribes of Nagaland, Sema said, “Unfortunately over the years, some of our elders began to think in a bigger picture to include the Nagas outside of Nagaland state and so diluted the Naga Hoho to the extent where the Nagas of Nagaland lost a very serious forum which would have been quite critically important for today’s scenario.” 

“The unfortunate situation was that the tribes of Nagaland became a minority within that forum which began from our state and lost its relevance in as far as the Nagas of Nagaland were concerned,” he commented. 

Alleging that the NSCN (IM)  headed by its Chairperson, Th Muivah has been dictating the fate of the Nagas, he said, “the unfortunate part is therefore that the CSOs, rather than looking at the subject matter of what is intended for us to know, does not question anything other than to say what the NSCN (IM)  wants them to say." 

Sema also commented that although Nagaland has unnecessarily witnessed a huge population explosion of CSOs, only a handful like the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR), Naga Mothers Association (NMA), Naga GB Federation and to some extent, the Naga Hoho have stood for the political rights and interests of the Nagas. But even within these forums as well, FNR was the sole organisation which has made a practical impact on the ground, he opined.    

On the matter of taxation, he mentioned that Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) had played a significant role towards raising this issue in the state under the slogan of ‘One government, One Tax.’ It aimed at bringing together all the political groups under one umbrella with a single goal in mind. But at the same time, he accused the State government of also being one of the tax syndicates, operating alongside the various political groups. “It’s more like the State government is the shadow government and the NSCN (IM)  is the real government,” he said. 

Besides these points, Sema raised the issue of the on-going Indo-Naga political talks and questioned where it is headed towards. “We are at a very serious historical crossroad in which to decide for ourselves where do we want to go?” he asked. The whole picture is beginning to get more and more confused and the perspectives in which everything is being assessed.

Reminding that, “purely from the historical perspective Nagas are Indians by circumstance and not by choice,” and as such, he noted that sovereignty lies with the people and its future outcome should be made known for all to see. 

For this to happen, Sema categorically demanded for the competency clauses of the Framework Agreement (FA), along with the agree positions, signed between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM), to be shown so that it can be debated and discussed upon. Terming the idea of a Pan Naga Hoho as merely a form of emotional integration without actual territorial integration, he remarked that the Nagas of Nagaland will be at the losing end of this arrangement. 

Therefore, Sema called upon the youths and the Nagas of Nagaland not to be gullible in their approach and seek for a solution which will uproot their future. 

Other speakers such as Geihwang Konyak, intending candidate from 43 AC Tapi, spoke on the topic of, “Difficulties facing educated Nagas,” and highlighted the crux of the matter faced by the youths today which were unemployment and lack of gainful opportunities. He urged the youths of today to do away with merely talking but take action in their personal lives without being carried away by modernity and technology.    

For Kahuto Chishi Sumi, Convenor, Concerned People of Nagaland, speaking on, “The need for an independent and impartial Nagaland students body,” observed that in any progressive society, it is the youths who have been the catalysts for change in the society. However, today in Nagaland, he regretted the fact that the voice of the youths have been muzzled by tribalism and age-old prejudices amongst the different tribes. But encouraged them not to fear for speaking the truth and standing for the right issue. 

The two-day seminar on “Issues confronting the State of Nagaland,” organised by the Nagaland Law Students Federation (NLSF) at Hotel Saramati, Dimapur concluded on July 29.