Saturday, January 16, 2021
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The Hypocrisy behind Anti-Delimitation

The Delimitation Exercise notified by the Government of India (GoI) for Nagaland has stirred a hornets’ nest, with numerous groups who profess to be staunch Christians up in arms to protect their ill-gotten legacy. It has once again portrayed the selfishness and greed that exists in Naga society today.

It is unfortunate that the 2001 census, which has been condemned and relegated to the trash bin for the gross population manipulation, has been considered for Nagaland. This, definitely an oversight by the GoI, has to be rectified.In all fairness, the GoI should consider the 2011 Censusfor Nagaland. The Chakhesang Public Organisation has correctly pointed out this anomaly. PerhapsourHon’ble Governor can kindly put in a word with the GoI to correct this mistake.

The lame excuse that the exercise should be carried out only after the Naga Solution reeks of ill intent. The Naga issue that began more than half a century back, is still continuing. The Peace Talks that began more than two decades back, is also still ongoing. We are as disunited as ever; we are not sure if the issue will be resolved in a couple of months or continue for the next few decades. In the meanwhile, the sufferingof the deprived lot continues. And anyway, even if Nagaland gets a raise in the number of constituencies in the near future, the exercise can be carried out again. It is only in our perverted narrow-mindedness that we have made a mountain of a mole-hill.

The table below portrays statistics that is floating around in various whatsapp groups.

Sl No District Population Consti-tuencies Average per Constituency Present position Consti-tuencies

Entitled

1

2 3 4 5 6

7

1 Mon

2,50,671

09 27,852 250671/33010 = 07.59

08

2 Tuensang

1,37,501

05 27,500 137501/33010 = 04.17

04 (06)

3 Noklak

59,300

02 29,650 59300/33010 = 01.80

02

4 Mokokchung

1,93,171

10 19,317 193171/33010 = 05.85

06 (07)

5 Zunheboto

1,41,014

07 20,145 141014/33010 = 04.27

04 (05)

6 Wokha

1,66,239

04 41,560 166239/33010 = 05.04

05

7 Dimapur

3,79,769

05 75,954 379769/33010 = 11.50

11 (07)

8 Kohima

2,70,063

07 38,580 270063/33010 = 08.18

08 (07)

9 Phek

1,63,294

05 32,659 163294/33010 = 04.95

05

10 Peren

94,954

02 47,477   94954/33010 = 02.88

03

11 Kiphire

74,033

02 37,017   74033/33010 = 02.24

02 (03)

12 Longleng

50,593

02 25,297   50593/33010 = 01.53

02

For a population of 19,80,602 (2011 Census)distributed over 60 constituencies,the average number ofpersons per constituency should rationally be 33,010.However, taking the traditional tribal territories into account, except for some constituencies, there will be minor variations;but this should be in terms of a negligibly small percentage that should not hurt anyone.But column 5 of the table above shows the disparity in the present distribution, with many districts way below 30,000. Noklak was carved out as a district from Tuensangpost-2011 census, so the position is now 5 and 2 (?) constituencies in favour of Tuensang and Noklak respectively.Following theabove rationale, column 7 of the table shows the actual district-wise number of entitled constituencies.

But it has been pointed out by some authors (whatsappp notes doing the rounds)that, besides population, other factors such as remoteness, development factor, etc. (?) should also be incorporated into the delimitation exercise. With that reasoning it is suggested/proposed that instead of 4, Tuensang should be entitled to 6 constituencies and Kiphire 3 instead of 2, and so on (figures within brackets in column 7).However, for Kohima District, which has 7 constituencies, status quo is supposed to be maintained. A glance at column 7 of the table above clearly indicates that Kohima District should have 8 constituencies. At present, Tseminyu is a single constituency. As per population data, it is entitled to 2 constituencies. This means that Kohima, minus Rengma area, retains its original position while Tseminyu gets an extra constituency. If the above is the data for the Delimitation Commission, it has to be rectified.

Census 2011 data, which is freely available for all to see, indicates a Rengma population of 62,951. The data also shows some tribes with smaller populations having their own districts and 2 constituencies. The polite Rengma representations over the decades for their own district and 2 constituencies have fallen on deaf ears.Besides the Rengmas, other tribes such as Lothas, Zeliangs, etc. too have lost in the number of constituencies. The highly manipulative system will just not allow growth of these people. Is this not discrimination perpetuated over the last five decades, and more?Where is the true Christian spirit of equality and fairness?

It is high time the leaders of the affected groups put their heads together and represent their case to the Delimitation Commission and solve this matter once and for all.Doom follows lukewarm attitude!

Lord, have mercy on the deprived!

Prof. G.T. Thong

Lower Agri Colony, Kohima

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