Views & Reviews
Are Nagas Hiding Behind Article 371A?
There is a conscientious search for something more than historical facts and apparent goodness in Nagaland for the past few years. This is because the younger generations understood the importance of raising Nagaland to a higher status. Constructive actions are taken up so that we do not lack behind other States. They have learnt to mend the broken society as per their capability. They have learnt to differentiate the evil of corruption which is killing Nagaland till date. Good roads, quality education, decent means of transportations, sanitation and healthy living have become daily talks among the youth. Who should be held responsible for the poor conditions or absence of all these necessities in our State? Are Nagas taught the wrong theology of Faith alone? Are we producing fake prayerful Christians who go on eating the poor man’s share?
Article 371A is so kind that we have taken many things for granted. We speak of the provisions laid down in the Article (as our right) and live and act as we want. (Some people take for oneself even what belongs to others.) Is the Article obstructing our progress? Is the Article enhancing corruption in Nagaland? I still wonder in confusion. Special privileges forNagas as ‘Scheduled Tribe or Indigenous people’ is another form of present day enslavement. I hope Nagaland is not becoming the scapegoat of the Indian Government.
Are corrupt people of Nagaland hiding behind Article 371A? Are Naga customary laws becoming excuses for actual laws to take its course of action? The provisions and privileges laid down are good enough to make us realise the worth of being Nagas. But sometimes, special privileges can make us more corrupt and crime oriented. And this is where Nagas are heading. Please remember that we are Nagas not because of Article 371A. Abrogation of the said Article can be harmful, but it may bring transparency in Nagaland. We support Article 371A because (maybe) some people personally gain from it. We have kept all our crimes and wrong doings away from others. We are hiding happily behind the curtain of Article 371A.
The central Government is kind enough towards Nagas. From the inception of Statehood till date, we owe our gratitude to the Central Government. What we have become today is the generous act of the Central Government. The State Government has only deficit. We own no factories and industries to sustain us. Nagas are kept happy only by the comments of other people as ‘hospitable and kind people.’ The words of the Governor to the Cabinet Ministers are applicable to all of us. He exhorted the ministers to ‘provide basic services and ensure fair governance in the State’. The many schemes and funds that come to Nagaland are sufficient to develop the State into a model State. If we utilise well all schemes and funds; from VDB funds to State Government funds/schemes, I am sure, we will not lack behind other States. Thus, a close monitoring of any project and its proper implementation is the work of the concern department. By doing our jobs well, we are building Nagaland towards a progressive society. All the same, ‘to build would also mean to destroy all ways and means of corrupt living.’
After the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, there were lots of apprehensions and rumours that Article 371A meant for Nagaland may also be revoked. This ultra-rays voice entered the ears and minds of many Nagas. Nagaland Government assured that such episode will not happen to Nagaland. Tribal bodies and NGOs brought out the same issue on different occasions. But as long as we remain (politically) under the Government of India, we cannot escape the clutches of Government’s policies and actions. Nagas will not survive as a nation for we have nothing to depend upon. We don’t even have a stable Government to look after Nagaland. The Government of Nagaland finds it difficult to go against the policies and laws (which harm the greater interest of the Nagas) of the central Government be it CAA, NRC or AFSPA. The Government should be the voice of the people. The Government of Nagaland is for the welfare of Nagaland. No State Government should exist and function for the sake of Central Government.
What is the concern of Nagas? We want to enjoy maximum privileges but do little to develop the State. What if the provisions laid down are revoked? It may expose the nakedness and corruptions of Nagas to the world. Nagaland was declared “corruption free” in the year 2018 as per the report of the NCRB. “…not a single case of corruption was OFFICIALLY registered in Nagaland in 2018”. Praise God for such non-believable report! But if it is so, the year 2018 must be ‘the holiest year for Nagaland.’ Is Nagaland progressing or going from bad to worse in spite of all privileges and provisions made available at its door step? The face of Nagaland will tell you the whole truth. Furthermore, in Nagaland, we brand some tribes as backward. (No tribe in Nagaland is forward or backward). The brand does not allow them to grow as they should be. Remove all brands and tags and real change (equality) will come upon Nagaland. Classification of people into different categories in a small State like Nagaland will not boost Nagaland.
The provisions and privileges enshrined in Article 371A are for our good. We must not manipulate them. Our identity does not lie in the said Article. It is within us. Thus, let us not hide behind Article 371A. Let us walk the truth together. The Government may sweep the country with many policies and laws. But we must be on the lookout so that we do not fall prey to the wrong gleaming magnetic lights. God bless Nagaland.
Rev. Fr. GL Khing