Road map towards Naga integration

Ao Yemen Chang

Every thinking and reasoning human being has different views on different issues, it converges after thorough deliberation and brainstorming; taking into account the various point and accommodating the interest of the majority views. As such, let me share my view on Naga Integration according to my understanding. Integration to my understanding is the state of wholeness and oneness and unity in purpose to achieve a common objective. To pursue such a lofty goal and objective the basic structure and groundwork is of utmost importance. Let’s ponder and rethink whether we are striving for it and working for it from the right direction or not. Time and again it has been mentioned that for the Nagas to achieve such goal, a collective approach is needed. Maybe, all of us are shouting hoarsely for the integration neglecting the basic groundwork and I feel that it is like crying in the wilderness. 

So, the few thoughts that I would like to share are: Firstly, We should have a common language as I feel that it will create affinity, closeness and bonding amongst us. When one studies the many languages of the Naga tribes it is found that all the tribes have similar words having the same meaning. So, to integrate the Nagas the first and the foremost practical step is to evolve a common Naga language gleaning all the similar words from all the tribal dialects which will help in removing the barrier of language and create homogeneity. 

Secondly, social and cultural bonding of the Nagas would be brought about by frequent cultural exchanges between and among different tribes. For, when one meets someone we tend to like them and become good friends and develop closeness. The division of the Nagas on tribal lines is of recent origin. Our forefathers seemed to have migrated from a common place so extensive and exhaustive research on the migration of the Nagas employing new scientific method needs to be carried out in order to trace our roots. Of course, Integration rally, shouts and speeches too plays an important role to announce to the world our intention and objectives. However, when we clearly observe it, it is found to be devoid of any basic structures. So, unless we return to the basic, I feel that the integration issue will cause moré harm to the Nagas than a positive result.

The moot point I would like to share is on the issue of the selection of the Naga Hoho President. As per my observation, it was an ill-conceived plan to break up the TMPO, a social organization fighting to safeguard the rights of the most backward tribes. Had it been taken up in an open manner, it could have strengthened the Naga Hoho and the Nagas but the manner in which it was carried out has led to open dissensions even among the members of the Naga Hoho itself.

What has it achieved? Instead of unity it has created a breached and a feeling of mistrust. If the policy of Divide and rule are concealed under the façade of unification and integration then no tangible result is foreseen in the near future. Instead of helping the less privilege brethrens in order to march ahead hand in hand if ulterior motives are employed it will definitely backfire as has happened now.

For the information of fellow Nagas even the reservation provision which has been viewed and raked up time and again is only a paper tiger as negligible percent of the backwards are benefited and recruited under that quota. It is quite obvious that if you visit a directorate or any directorate you will find hardly 5 to 10% of the employees from the backward tribes where there should be at least 30%. As per the 33.3% reservation meant for the 60% of the population of Nagaland.

So, disparity in education, economy and employment can also be detrimental to the integration process. As such these issues should be taken into consideration and addressed.

My humble opinion on integration is laid bare with all frankness for the fellow Nagas to digest. If we really want a unified, integrate Nagaland a deep soul searching exercise is the need of the hour. As Nagas, it is our fervent wish to live together under one umbrella where all of us have equality, fraternity and prosperity.

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