On the Demand for Tseminyu District

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The Tseminyu Subdivision, one of the oldest of Nagaland, should have been upgraded as District many years back when the other districts were formed off the then subdivisions of the three districts of Kohima, Mokokchung, and Tuensang. In the 4th January 2018 issue of The Morung Express (Page 10, Public Discourse) Mr. Kenyuseng Tep, President, Rengma Hoho elucidated the Tseminyu District demand with numerous justifications. The Rengma contribution to the Naga political cause on various fronts has been immense, yet the Rengmas have been relegated to the back seat time and again. It appears that the powers that be, through our long history, have taken undue advantage of the peace-loving and amiable Rengmas, which has left the Rengma region grossly under-developed. A case in point is the river course that we know as NH 2 connecting Botsa and Longsa via Tseminyu. The Rengmas are a FORWARD Tribe with not a single College in its jurisdiction. Some Backward Tribes have many times more officers and government employees than the Rengmas. Delimitation had been desperately hijacked and shelved by people well off, so that the Rengmas still have only one (1) Assembly Constituency, whereas the electorate is about 5 times more than that of another constituency.

Holding a grudge against each other has been the hallmark of the Nagas for too long. We are badly divided on clan, village, range, and tribal lines, with things getting worse each passing day. The greatly weakened Nagalim issue is getting still weaker; Nagaland State itself stands to lose much of the concessions that the Constitution of India has provided, thanks to our stupid ego, chauvinism, vindictive attitude, etc. Let us try to get over all these negativities and start afresh, taking a cue from the Rengma attitude (through all the pent-up frustration and pain accumulated over the decades, the highway blockade has still been lifted by the frontal organisations on humanitarian considerations for other fellow beings). But please do not take this as a sign of weakness. It could well be the lull before the storm.

In regard to the District issue for Tseminyu, poor infrastructure is blamed, which is most unfortunate. It is there for everyone to see that infrastructural development has gone to a very few pockets of Nagaland. The neglected regions have cried hoarse. Now there are also demands for separation from Nagaland. Selfishness, greed, and stupid excuses are the cause of all this misery around us today. None of the other former subdivisions turned districts had the requisite infrastructure. The same came steadily, with upgradation. The issue of population is another lame excuse. The upgradation to District status was purely political in the past. It should be the same even now. Why do we have separate yardsticks for different groups? In the true context, Nagaland State does not even qualify to be a Union Territory. Time is running out fast. It is just a matter of time before elections are announced. The present government CAN, and should change the attitude of the past and do the right thing. Granting District status to Tseminyu will not lower your self-esteem in any way but only earn you the gratitude of the Rengma Community. Please do it!

-Prof. G.T. Thong

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