DIMAPUR, April 3 � Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang has expressed dismay that disunity among the Nagas has prolonged resolution of the Naga issue for too long and resulted in formation of splinter groups. He said if the trend continued, solution would be difficult to come in.
Observing that Naga struggle for �political identity� is at a critical juncture, he regretted that instead of bringing unity, it has only caused disunity among Nagas. The Chief Minister was speaking at the celebration of Monyiu (post- sowing festival) of Phom Naga tribe here on Thursday.
Reiterating that the DAN Government�s top priority is to resolve the Naga political problem, Zeliang felt that had Nagas been united, the issue could have been resolved some four or five decades back.
He said the policy to divide Nagas could be the handiwork of some vested interests, and therefore urged the Nagas not to allow �outsiders to divide us.� He also stressed that peace cannot come from anywhere but it can only come from among the Nagas.
Reminding about Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s commitment to help solve the Naga problem within 18 months of coming to power at the Centre, the Chief Minister informed that the revived Joint Legislature Forum comprising all the 60 members of the State Assembly will visit New Delhi in this regard while seeking the support of the public in this regard.
Coming down on the legislators who continue to shelter themselves in a camp even after the dissidence storm has ceased, Zeliang sought to know who will till the land if the elected members continue to hide.
Zeliang also raised the issue on oil operations in Nagaland that had been legislated on the strength of Article 371(A) in the Nagaland Petroleum & Natural Gas Rules 2012. He said owing to a PIL filed in a court, works had been stopped since the past five months. The Chief Minister said the petitioner ought to respect one�s customary laws and decisions of tribal Hohos and village councils instead of running to high courts or the Supreme Court.
Zeliang further blamed the 13th Finance Commission for the financial crisis faced by the State while exuding confidence that the next 14th Finance Commission will take a realistic and considerate view for Nagaland.
He said there is need to improve the State�s economy since it could not even contribute five per cent of its revenue share even as it is totally dependent upon the Centre for 90 to 95 per cent of its budget requirement.
Zeliang also felicitated the Phom tribe on the occasion and expressed the hope that the festival will help cultivate the spirit of goodwill, friendship and take the Nagas to unity and brotherhood.
Speaking about Naga culture, tradition and customary practices, Zeliang said the forefathers of Nagas practised a village system of self-government and not through kingship or rulership, even before the �democratic system� was later introduced in their land.
He pointed out that in those days, clan elders or village leaders took responsibility to correct any wrongdoing by punishing offenders without favour or bias.
Zeliang, however, lamented, that in present day Naga society, such values of customary practices have disappeared.