- When the Naga Hills districts was created with its headquarters at Samaguting (Chumukedima) in 1866, Rengma was the backbone for formation of the district because major portions ofNaga Hills district territory was Rengma’s land. That point of time, the district consisted only five Naga tribes, viz 1. Rengma 2. Zeliang 3. Angami 4. Lotha 5. Serna. All four tribes have now their own districts except Rengma tribe. If there was no Naga Hills district in 1866 there would be no Nagaland state today.
- Rengma like other Naga tribes have equally contributed for the cause of Nagas if not more. During the First World War, Naga Hills sent 2000 labour corps to France, and Rengmas alone were 200 corps for the service of the Nation. Nagas returned home from Europe and formed Naga Club in 1918 to raise Naga voice to outside world, there Rengma tribe was one of the founder members of the Club. Mr. Nrilo Rengma, Dobashi was its member. Naga Club was the first Naga common organization which submitted the memorandum to Simon Commission on 10th January, 1929 to exclude the Naga Hills from the proposed Reforms scheme where Rusilo Rengma, Dobashi was one of the signatories of the memorandum. That was the first Naga memorandum submitted to the Government for Naga common welfare. Rengmas are second to none for the cause of Naga people. Nagas got statehood because of their struggle since the formation of Naga Club in 1918.
- After World War-II, on the advice of Mr. C.R.Pawsey, the Deputy Commissioner ofNaga Hills District, the Naga leaders, mostly Govt. servants, met in April 1945 at Kohima and formed Naga Hills District Tribal Council to have Naga unity for Naga cause. Mr. Mayangnokcha Ao became its first President and Mr. P.Sentsi Rengma, the Joint Secretary. This Naga Hills District Tribal Council (NHDTC) was the second Naga common organization after Naga Club. Rengmas were one of the founder members of NHDTC.
When NHDTC held its second meeting at Wokha in 1946 and changed its nomenclature into Naga National Council with the same office bearers of the NHDTC except its President, Mr. Mayangnokcha Ao who resigned and in his place Mr. T.Aliba was elected. Mr. P. Sentsi Rengma held the same office of Joint Secretary and Mr. Whenha Rengma who later became the first Ato Kilonser of FGN was its executive member. Thus Rengma tribe was one of the founders of NNC.
- When ten Naga tribes representatives mostly NNC talked about the Naga issue with Sir Akbar Hydari, Governor of Assam in July 1947 at Kohima and arrived at ‘Nine Point Agreement’ (Hydari Agreement) with him, Rengma representative Mr. Whenha Rengma was there in the talk. We have worked faithfully for Naga common cause.
- NNC President, A.Z. Phizo, began the Naga National movement from Rengma’s land by hoisting the first Naga National flag at Parshen in Rengma area on 22nd March, 1956 by declaring Nagaland as a sovereign nation. As a result, hundreds of Rengmas lost their lives, and villages were burnt down into ashes and some villages were burnt down several times. The Naga National Movement gained its momentum on ground and spread its movement throughout Naga inhabited areas after hoisting Naga National flag in Rengma area. N aga National flag was made by four Rengma women of Sendenyu village on the advice of A.Z.Phizo which was first used at Parshen on the first day of celebration of the N aga Republic. Rengmas have contributed and sacrificed upto our maximum for the common cause of the Nagas.
- When Naga People’s Convention made its 16 Point Agreement with the Government of India in July, 1960 and created ‘Nagaland’ as the sixteenth state of the Indian Union, Rengma tribe was a signatory of the agreement. P.Sentsi Rengma was a signatory as Rengma representative. All signatory tribes were rewarded with district except the Rengma tribe which is yet to be rewarded a district.
- When we talk about MLA seats, Rengma had two MLA seats during interim government from 1961-1963. Mr. Riga Thong and Mr. Lothi Semy were interim body members. However, in the first Nagaland General elections, 1964, one seat was deprived from Rengma tribe for no valid reason. However, Delimitation Commission of India proposed two MLA seats for the Rengma tribe in 2003 in their Draft proposal based on tribal population which is yet to materialize.
- Naga tribes under the Naga Hills District were on six tribes viz. Angami, Zeliang, Rengma, Serna, Lotha and Ao and there were only two administrative headquarters for administration of Naga Hills – Deputy Commissioner at Kohima and SDO(C) at Mokokchung. To assist these two administrative centres, the Govt. created the post of Bench Court Chairman for the four remaining tribes – Lotha, Serna, Rengma and Zeliang. The Bench Court Chairmen were as follows:-
- Bench Court Chairman, W okha, 1945 – now District.
- Bench Court Chairman, Zunheboto, 1947 – now District.
- Bench Court Chairman, Tseminyu, 1948 – still sub-division.
- Bench Court Chairman, Peren, 1949 – now District.
- Tseminyu SDPDB has agproved for creation of Tseminyu District and forwarded to the Govt. ofNagaland on 18 March, 2016. Ref No. GA/TSNU/SDPDB-1/2011-12/12-16.
Tseminyu is the fifth administrative headquarter of Naga Hills but still remains a sub-division. Tseminyu administrative headquarter in now 69 years old, most deserving sub-division to be upgraded to district.
- Chronology of Tseminyu administrative Headquarter:-
i. 18-06-1948 : Rengma Bench Court under Deputy Commissioner, Naga Hills, Assam.
ii. 05-08-1956 : Political Asst. to Deputy Commissioner, Naga Hills, Kohima, Assam.
iii. 19-05-1958 : Circle Officer under Naga Hills Tuensang Area
iv. 19-04-1959 : Assistant Commissioner – II (AC-II) under Naga Hills Tuensang Area.
v. 10-04-1966 : Extra Assistant Commissioner (EAC) under Kohima District.
vi. 26-01-1981 : Sub-Divisional Officer Civil, SDO(C), under Kohima District.
vii. 18-06-1991 : Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) HQ under Kohima District.
Generally, new districts are created for administrative convenience or ease of administration so that the distance between the district headquarters and remote areas are shortened, which in turn helps with better implementation and monitoring of government schemes and programmes and also maintaining law and order in remote areas. Districts can be also split or created based on the demographics, historical significance, or various sociocultural factors. It is clear that creation of new districts all over the country have no fixed criteria, differing from region to region. So also the same applies to the state of Nagaland where creation of new districts are purely based on the merit of each case coupled with political will and necessity, with no fixed standard criteria adopted or notified by the government.
Longleng sub-division having a population of 50,854 (as per 2011 census) among other sub-divisions in the state of Nagaland and most recently, Noklak sub-division were upgraded to districts out of political and administrative necessities, the recognition and the consequent reward of which the Rengma people completely acknowledge, congratulate and wish for development and prosperity to follow the creation of district.
In the like and manner on the basis of which other districts in N agaland were created and more importantly in acknowledgement and recognition of the unique historical, demographic, administrative and tribal considerations of Tseminyu-sub division having a population of 56,844 (as per 2011 Census) and of the Rengma tribe, there appears to be no concrete reason why Tseminyu sub-division should not be conferred the same status and recognition. Thus, Tseminyu sub-division be upgraded to a full-fledged District in line with the government policy to bring administration to the doorstep.
The Rengmas also acknowledge the action of the Nagaland government for creation of EAC HQ to one village- Khezhakeno, based on its historical importance in the history of Nagas. In the same manner, Tseminyu ADC HQ be upgraded to District Headquarter on grounds of unique historical importance and significance of Tseminyu administrative HQ, the 5th administrative headquarter position in the then Naga Hills District, and the distinct background and history of the Rengma tribe.
The Rengma Hobo, on behalf of the Rengmas, hope that the Government of Nagaland will recognize and consider our genuine demand and upgrade Tseminyu subdivision to a District Headquarter in the best interest of the general public for which we shall remain ever grateful.
Issued by: Rengma Hoho in the interest of public.