Time to lift the NLTP Act?

Dr Asangba Tzudir

The NLTP Act has been a hotly debated topic of discussion over the years and the chorus tilts largely towards lifting of the act. Once again the ongoing debate begs the question – Is it time to lift the NLTP Act? 

The issue has been thoroughly deliberated so much that a voting may even be applied to decide whether to lift or enforce the Act. Easier said than done, the situation rather creates a moral dilemma – to lift or not to lift? 

If the Act is to be lifted (there is no question of partial lifting), then, is the State ready with the various modalities starting from licensing and regulation?  Otherwise, if the Act is to be stringently enforced, then, is the state ready with the new mechanisms required to keep a total check by coming out with a zero tolerance policy? 

Either way, the state and the people are not ready, nor have we really studied and analyzed the long-term consequences beyond the immediate economic and religious considerations which have been the dominant themes in the debate on the NLTP Act.

Supposing that a final review of the NLTP Act is to be undertaken, then, to even come to the table first and foremost requires a thorough change in our mindsets, our mentality. Looking at the Naga context, we have come a long way from the narrative of having emerged from longtrok; from bowel of the earth; from cave etc. and we have been Christians for more than 150 years now, and that, we are a society trying to come together and moving towards civility and civilized.

However, as things stand to attest, in general, considering the fact that we are pretty much clothed, yet while clothed we simply display our nakedness. We need to first come out of our nakedness to sincerely deliberate about the NLTP Act and come to as logical conclusion. 

Whatever the conclusion maybe, the people should be ready to be civilized and act responsibly. So long as people are civilized and act responsibly without being ‘violators’ any situation will fall in place under a normalized condition. 

For now, even though the public may say that the time is high to lift the NLTP Act, the State is not ready either way, nor is the general public. The mind is in need of a metamorphosis or transmutation. However, that is a very difficult proposition and the moral dilemma will remain at a threshold between lifting and enforcing. 

 (Dr Asangba Tzudir contributes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be emailed to asangtz@gmail.com)