The concept of the tribe or the tribal:
Tribe or tribals are a group of people living together in the same region or territory sharing the same culture such as speaking the same language, following the same customs and traditional practices, wearing the same traditional dresses and attires, sharing the same food habits etc. These people are closely related one way or another and help each other in good times and in bad times. They also share strong feelings of love and affection for their own community; such bond of love and affection as a community or tribe sometimes enters the workplace too including system of governance, apart from other spheres of social and political life where it seems to be deep-rooted, resulting to practices of nepotism and favouritism even in office functioning, governance and administration of the affairs of the state and its people in Nagaland.
The evil effects of tribalism:
Deep-rooted tribalism many a times lead to injustice, exploitation and discrimination of the weaker, minority and poorer sections of the people in Nagaland; also depriving them of social justice and the many rights and privileges of the minorities and the weaker sections of the people in the society. In a democratic setup the majority, many a times, tends to dictate and influence the government machineries and functionaries in their favour or advantage thereby leading to neglect and deprivation of the weaker or smaller tribes/communities/ minorities.
Therefore, to do away with or to minimize the tribalistic feelings in our Naga society and particularly in governance, the following simple formula, as part of my opinion, are suggested for implementation:-
The positive solutions:-
- Mixed Tribes Assembly Constituencies : Wherever applicable and necessary, different tribes or communities living together in compact connected areas can be made into an assembly constituency. This way, I believe, with two or more tribes/ communities coming under the same umbrella with a common representative for the welfare and development of the common constituency can gradually minimise the feelings and spirit of the tribalism as is evident in some of the mixed-communities constituencies.
- Mixed tribes District: The most convenient and suitable location can be selected as the common Administrative Headquarter or District of two or more communities/tribes wherever necessary and feasible. If properly structured, streamlined and administered, it can minimise tribalism feelings as well as encourage accommodative behaviour.
- Common Development Centres: Common Development Centres like Educational institutes, Hospitals, Sports Complex, Public offices/ establishments, industrial centres if set up in central and convenient locations which are projected to potentially benefit maximum number of people and area-coverage irrespective of tribe ,region, language etc with only development especially that of human development as the focus can encourage healthy interactions and relationship building among different communities. Opening of better opportunities will enable opening people’s mind too beyond the walls of community-centric thinking.
An alternative solution:
If the above suggestions are found to be inapplicable or impractical then another viable solution in my opinion is this – irrespective of whether a tribe is bigger or smaller should all be given their own district, constituency and development centres to manages their own affairs without affecting that of others and without fears of being affected or marginalized. Fund allocations can consequently be done proportionate to the land area and population of the tribes/ communities concerned. This, I believe, will minimize feelings of tribalism and their consequent negative impacts and help build a more cohesive and fruitful Naga society as well as improve governance, administration and management of its populace.
I believe of these to be practical means of solving the ethnic / tribal problems in Nagaland as well as to encourage good and fair governance. These are my personal views shared for public consumption; and my sincere concerns and desire for a better and peaceful Nagaland being a concerned citizen. KUKNALIM.
Khinyi Woch, Bayavu Hill Kohima
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