DIMAPUR, Oct 22 - A nine-member delegation comprising Naga Hoho, Angami Public Organisation and Chakhesang Public Organisation called on Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang in Kohima recently and sought re-examination of the Municipal Act of 2001 and the recognition of Rongmei tribe as an indigenous tribe of Nagaland.
The Naga Hoho submitted two representations to the CM on amendment of Municipal Act 2001 and Rongmei recognition issue at the meeting.
On Rongmei tribe recognition issue, the Naga Hoho urged the CM to re-examine the decision of the State Government, through the Cabinet Sub-Committee, in depth and find out a solution in consultation with all stakeholders/Tribal Hohos at the earliest. It also sought review of the amendments of Municipal Act.
In a 2008 letter to the government, the Naga Hoho had viewed in favour of granting indigenous Naga inhabitant status to Rongmei community settled in the State prior to the formation of Nagaland State as enjoyed by Kukis, Garos and Kacharis in accordance with the Government Notification dated 28th April, 1977. It had also opined that the committee should �examine with all seriousness in regard to conduct of enumeration and to include only the eligible Rongmei community so as to avoid communal misgivings in future.�
Stating that Naga Hoho is being �hauled up�, the representation said it is alleged that the government had taken such a decision on being �endorsed� by Naga Hoho. �Despite of our repeated clarifications through media and various platforms, the letter written to the Government in 2008 and the position of the Naga Hoho is being misconstrued which is uncalled for,� it said.
In the memorandum on Amendment of Municipal Act, 2001, the Naga Hoho apprised that amongst the various contents of the Act, the 33 per cent women reservation, tax and landholding system are in direct contravention with the rights guaranteed under Article 371(A) of the Indian Constitution.
The Naga Hoho affirmed that it stands unwaveringly with its constituent units in reiterating the time immemorial social, customary and traditional usages of the Nagas where no such �reservation� was practised by our forefathers.
It opined that the reservation policy of the Government of India is meant for mainstream Indian women and that the Nagaland Government �should not compare Naga women to Dalit, Adivasi, Sutra, Kaas women, and others.�
�Given the factual status of the Naga women compared with Indian women in toto, our women folk rather play a vital role in all spheres of Naga community,� it added.
Meanwhile, the Naga Hoho pointed out that Section 120 of the Act provides the power to impose inter alia land and building tax within its limit of municipality or town council. It cautioned that �multiple taxation or the different forms of taxes under Municipal Act will be contested strongly by the Nagas against the traditional and the conventional usage of taxation in our land.� �Imposition and collection of tax on land and building by the municipality as a form of revenue generating source for its duties and functions will only do more harm to our Naga society,� it opined.
Regarding land holding system, the Naga Hoho stated that the �pride of the individual Naga in having the authority to judiciously use and develop his land should not be discarded.�
It cautioned that if the government fails to amend the Municipal Act and goes ahead with the ULB elections without proper consultations, �unwanted situation� would arise in the State, �which will widen the division among various sections of society.�