Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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On ULB imbroglio

Some few days back, I saw a status of a friend, who is a daughter, a sister and a mother to someone from the very proud land she was birthed. She poignantly wrote about the repeal and of the Nagaland Municipal Act in Toto without mentioning the same, God forbid if she openly spoke out about it.
It tugged at the deepest of my heart.
I felt sad and powerless and scared of the powers that some wields over our Naga society.
Something has gone so wrong with us that we no longer understands the meaning of equality. That uplifting the minorities is not just our fundamental duty but we should be morally obligated as a conscientious society.
The Imbroglio over the Urban Local Bodies elections has taken a toll, lives has been lost, dreams has been shattered and developments has been stalled.
Well, I am grateful to some of our leaders who takes pride in showing to the world that the Naga menfolks are but just a bunch of misogynist.
I would like to implore those against ULB elections and reservations in particular that those candidates will not come from foreign lands, rather it’ll be your own mothers, sisters and daughters, who will just be participating in the local bodies afforded by the reservations. If you say that they are at par with men and reservations is moot kindly think again. To those in power, who didn’t want to vacate the comforts of their wards for reservation just imagine if we had been having ULB elections post 2004.Your turn would have definitely come.…
The youths are waiting and tired, since 2004 we have successfully managed to block funds meant for developments.
Infact, the Nagaland Municipal Act was passed in 2001. First amendment to include women reservation in 2006. Second amendment in 2007 deleting taxation over land/ buildings etc.
Those still wary about the NMA may read the Amendments.
As per the Finance ministry a total of 9,172.63 crore had been released in 2021-2022 alone. If you calculate the numbers of years we have missed out on the funds meant for development of our towns and villages it is to the tune of thousands of crores.
In India’s budget allocations for 2023-24, it is noted that an amount of INR 764.32 billion has been assigned for improving various urban sectors, including housing, transport, sanitation, and other infrastructures..We will be missing out all these.
As the Chief Secretary’s letter is not enough, the President of the Bar Association of Nagaland has clarified that the words “Omitted” and “Deleted” carries the same weight .The contentious “taxations over lands and properties” in the NMA has been amended.
I wonder if our CSOs has a different lawyer to interpret the NMA and the Amended Acts to them. Harping on the effects it will have on our beloved Art.361A even when many lawyers has cleared for us is really mind boggling.
The hasty decision taken by our elected representatives to repeal the Act in Toto when the CSOs are demanding the replacement of the word “Omitted” to “Deleted” is also another thing altogether.
Where do our society go from here?
I sincerely appeal to our elders, leaders and legitimate representatives to take decisions which will benefit all sections of the society and also alleviate our standing with the outside world.
RukewezoWetsah, Former President
Tenyimi Students’ Union Dimapur