Eastern Nagas must unite and speak in one voice

Ashikho  Pfuzhe
Kiphire | July 12

Nagaland Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Resources & Sports, K Naiba Konyak, has said that Eastern Nagas (comprising of four backward districts of Mon, Tuensang, Longleng and Kiphire) are “not marching forward” because of lack of unity and respect for each other.

Addressing the inaugural function of the 3rd general conference of the Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) at Kiphire town on Thursday, the Parliamentary Secretary stressed on unity and respect for one another to achieve greater things for the eastern Nagas.

“Without unity nothing is possible. Let us speak in one voice”, Naiba said and added that though the six eastern tribes (Konyak, Chang, Yimchungrü, Sangtam, Khiamniungan and Phom) may speak different dialects, they must unite and speak in one voice.

In a lighter vein, the chief guest said that when Nagaland attained statehood and while other Naga tribes were busy deliberating on the spoils of statehood (lucrative government jobs and others), the Eastern Nagas who also attended the statehood celebration in the state capital Kohima were busy competing with each other on which tribe would be the best dance troupe.

“We (six tribes) tried to drown each other’s voice and even our loin clothes fell off while trying to win the trophy for the best dance. Eventually we got the first prize in dance but did not get government jobs”, Naiba said.

Stating that there is a season for everything, Naiba said that one must be pragmatic and urged both the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO) and ENSF not to repeat mistakes of the past.

The Parliamentary Secretary also said that Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio was “open-minded” and “listening” to what eastern Nagas says. “When leaders are open-minded, there is progress but when leaders are crooked, there is no progress”, he said. He appealed to the eastern Nagas to be united and not to dance to the tune of others anymore.

Calling upon the students to focus on education, Naiba said without education a society or people even if granted a separate nation would not be able to progress. He further called upon the students to pay attention to serious issues like drug menace and deforestation in the eastern districts.

President, Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Kelhouneizo Yhome, in his greetings said that unless Nagas join their hands together, the Naga future was at stake. Stressing that Nagas as a whole must march forward “as one people and one nation”, the NSF President urged the eastern Nagas not to forget the “common Naga identity” while addressing “domestic issues.”

ENPO Vice President, Chingmak Chang, in his address said that ENPO’s demand and stand on “Frontier Nagaland” is for the future of the eastern students and asked the students to have the courage and determination to fight for the demand. He also clarified that the demand was not for “disunity of Nagas” but to get justice in many fronts.

DC Kiphire, T. Roy also addressed the inaugural session. Other highlights of the inaugural programme included presidential speech by ENSF president, Hawang T Wangsha, welcome address by ENSF vice president, T Likhumse, special numbers by Yimchungrü Akhiru Arihako and Phom Students’ Conference and felicitation of academic toppers. ENSF speaker, Throngso Yimchungrü, proposed vote of thanks.

Among other dignitaries, Chief Guest for the valedictory function, Parliamentary Secretary for CAWD, Torechu, graced the inaugural function.