Reservation on tribal lines is a very touchy issue that has seen frayed tempers from all corners of Nagaland, be it in print or digital media, in the recent past. Understandably, the government is at its wits end. This issue has added to the bitterness and division in our already badly fissured society.
To be honest, the backward quota has not served its purpose even after so many decades. With the prolonged reservations the backward areas should have really progressed far ahead of the presently categorized forward areas of Nagaland. The quota meant for the really downtrodden have mostly ended up in the families of the rich and the powerful, who have had the advantage of good upbringing, very good education in and out of Nagaland, besides all the luxuries life has to offer. The most deserving ones have been brutally sidelined for want of education and basic needs. In the process, the really brilliant struggling younger generations of the forward communities too have ended up with nothing, but frustration.
Now, for some good news! The Kohima Science College, Jotsoma has the credentials to be the core of a State University but needs the blessings of all. However, there is a hitch. The college runs Under Graduate as well as Post Graduate and PhD programs in many disciplines, but is acutely short of teachers, which is a huge roadblock to growth. The major reason is the government restrictions on post creation. This has to be overcome if we are to provide quality education to the younger generations. The other problem is -Reservation. Some posts have been earmarked for some backward tribes. It appears that a Government of Nagaland order prevents the same from lapsing, resulting in such posts being kept reserved indefinitely, that is, till a suitable candidate is available. We may perhaps be looking at some High School or College students today, studying to fill up vacancies in the not-so-near future. This is wanton destruction of the very system we need to build for the future of the state.If we want a robust system that will help take our society to new, presently believed unfathomable heights, and mend the deep fractures within, appoint the best, and appoint immediately. No post should be kept vacant indefinitely. To achieve this, reservations should be withdrawn from the purview of the education system. The best teachers only can raise a generation of the best students from all corners of Nagaland. The best teachers only can bring the change we so desperately need.
Instead of backward quota on tribal lines, reservations should be for people of really backward areas. Even the supposedly advanced tribes, such as Lotha, Rengma, etc. have pockets of people who really deserve, but due to the faulty existing practice, are doomed to a life of hardship and neglect. These truly weaker sections have been languishing in misery, without opportunities for numerous decades.
This is time bomb ticking away fast; an explosion is imminent! Before any serious damage to our fragile society, let us deliberate on the matter with due consideration for our neglected neighbours in true Christian spirit. Let any reservation go only to the weak and downtrodden. For this to happen we need the goodwill and blessings of everyone in Nagaland, irrespective of which region or tribe one belongs to.
May the Good Lord shower His abundant blessings on every one of us and give us the wisdom to collectively build a prosperous future generation!
Prof. G.T. Thong
Lower Agri Colony, Kohima
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