Concluding the discussion on the budget speech, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today stated that the Indo-Naga political issue will be the top agenda of the government.
“In the days to come, let us work together and keep the Indo-Naga political issue as the top agenda of the government and of the elected sixty members including the member in the parliament.”
Viewing that without genuine peace, real development cannot be realised, Rio appealed all Nagas to collectively work towards peace and development. “We are here to support and strengthen the peace process and here we need everybody’s support. I am confident that despite our political differences and party affiliations, we all aspire for solution and I look forward to the positive contribution of every members in the months ahead,” stated Rio.
In touch with NNC, NSCN (K)
Earlier in the discussion, the Opposition leader TR Zeliang commented that Rio had not invited NNC (Adino) and NSCN (K) to which Rio replied, “We are informally in touch,” adding, that will be the first thing he will be dealing with when he goes to Delhi.
“I will be speaking on this issue with other groups and we are hopeful. In a democracy, though all may not be in consensus, our doors are open and we all should try to bring them. But since they are not willing, I think Nagas or Indian government may not wait forever,” he added.
Whatever the case maybe, Rio viewed that the sixty members of the House have to unite and work towards preparing the mind of our people.
“We all talk about Naga political issue but we harbour our isms from individualism to clanism, village and tribalism and not coming up to the level of ‘Nagaism,’” he asserted.
“The demand of the Naga National groups is very clear, it is total independence, total sovereignty, but realising the practical difficulties though we have the history recognised as unique, political, there are some serious issues which needs to be compromised though our rights, our legitimate rights are recognised,” he added.
Naga Hoho, others
have lost mandate
Expressing regret over the fragmentation of Naga society where the tribal Hohos and other organisations have disassociated with apex organisations, Rio expressed the need for the organisations and Hohos to unite again to strengthen the Naga political issue.
“Today where is the Naga Hoho? Many tribes they have withdrawn from Naga Hoho, ENPO is a separate entity and UNC is outside the state of Nagaland. And the Chakhesang Public Organisation, Angami Public Organisation and few others have withdrawn from Naga Hoho, so you cannot use the Naga Hoho at the present. It has no mandate, or for that matter Naga Mothers’ Association. Everybody has withdrawn,” stated Rio.
“To give them strength, they need to have the mandate of the tribal Hohos and also the participation of ENPO and UNC so that the apex body or collective leadership of the Naga people can be strengthened,” he affirmed.
Hornbill festival not a waste
The Chief Minister also disagreed with the opposition that Mini Hornbill festival is a waste of resource and time, adding “It promotes the beautiful and colourful culture of the Nagas.” Innovation and vibrancy of our youth has added beauty to the festival, he said.
“It is the most popular in the entire region and the magnitude is bigger than many other in international festivals and the Mini Hornbill festival should be hosted since every tribe has unique culture and those festivals can also promote work culture,” he added.
Name plates are false pride
On removal of VIP culture, Rio said name plates are being used even by people at the village level “which is a false pride.” Clarifying on the apprehension expressed by opposition, he said that that if Members go through Assam, escorts will be provided.