Dimapur, October 27: Former Chief Minister of Nagaland and former Governor of Odisha, Dr S C Jamir today said that only those born and brought up in Nagaland by Naga blood are indigenous. He, however, stated that Kacharis are also indigenous people of the State.
Speaking at the launch of Nagaland Indigenous People’s Forum (NIPF) here at Don Bosco School, Dimapur, Jamir said, “A Naga from Manipur, Assam or Arunachal Pradesh is indigenous in his own state but not of Nagaland and this should be clear. A Naga of Manipur cannot claim that he is an indigenous of Nagaland by virtue of being a Naga. Such misconceptions should no longer take place. We have to be very clear about it and it should be clear.”
He said considering the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland we should not consider our problems with emotions and sentiments but to study the present conditions and decide on relevancy.
“Israel is a small country but they are dominating half of the world and like Israelis, Nagas should have the spirits of Israelis to survive. Nagas should invite the spirits of Israelis to survive,” he said.
Stating that everyone is living in a fast changing world and everything changes according to time, he said what is relevant today may not be relevant tomorrow.
He said what kind of Nagaland there will be after 20 years or 50 years, no one is aware of it, but people need to change according to the time and prepare themselves for tomorrow.
He said the Government of India’s Look East Policy, presently called Act East Policy, needs to be given much consideration because the 21st century will be of the Asian civilization instead of the western civilization and our major interactions on business and people to people contact will be with our Asian neighbours.
“Due to the Act East Policy there will be large scale influx of people from South East Asia into Nagaland, crisscrossing our civilization in the Northeast region,” he reminded.
Jamir said entire Northeast region have to come together and the flood gates will be open in our lands and economic activity will be intermingling with each other. “In such scenarios, we need to preserve our traditions and identity and for which we need to work from now on,” he said.
“Unless we develop, we improve, we cannot prosper ahead,” he added.
Jamir also questioned as to why we should always talk about the past, and added “Our objectives should be for the future”.
Speaking on the indigenous population of the State, Khekiya Sema, IAS (Retd) said, “We cannot forget our past drawing references from the extinct red Indians of America whose identity and existence were finished due to the white men’s encroachments in their lands.”
He said Naga culture and traditions would also perish in the same way “until and unless we don’t awake from the deep slumber which we are in at present and take steps to protect and preserve it”.
Lamenting that Nagaland does not even have a codified customary law, he said it was never formulated in writing since the statehood of Nagaland.
On Naga flag and Constitution, Khekiya Sema said, “We want to know what are the demands placed by the Naga groups to the government of India and Naga people should be given time to study and understand it and decide it. We need to know our future which is being decided without our knowledge. Naga people will be in the cross fire between the GOI and the many Naga groups. The GOI should not hurry itself to ink it”. (Page News Service)