DIMAPUR, July 25 - The NSCN (I-M) has voiced strong opposition to the recent Nagaland Government order banning dog meat in the State.
�The Nagaland Government went for the unthinkable by banning dog meat just to please some political celebrities,� the ministry of information and publicity of the outfit said in a release.
�But it would be far-fetched to imagine that the Naga food habit will change simply because the Cabinet has passed the order banning dog meat,� it said.
The State Government recently decided to ban commercial import and trading of dogs and dog markets and also the sale of dog meat, both cooked and uncooked.
Saying that this is not the first time that the Nagaland Government has put a ban on a food item, the NSCN (I-M) stated that the government had tried to ban beef allegedly under the influence of Hindutva.
�What is the urgency to ban dog meat without taking into consideration the culture of the indigenous Naga people?� it asked.
It said the Nagaland Government cannot be so spineless to surrender everything to the government of India without first taking its people into confidence.
It went on to say that racially or ethnically, the Nagas and the Indians are nowhere near to share anything similar.
According to the outfit, the right to eat anything as per one�s culture should not be put under restriction simply to satisfy the whims and fancies of somebody in power.
Saying that the Nagas are equally concerned about cruelty to any kind of animals, it said, �But to force us not to eat dog meat on the ground of cruelty to animal is not acceptable to us.�
�What about other animals or birds? What to eat and what not eat is not anybody�s business to enforce or decide. This is against the natural freedom of choice of food,� it said.
Asserting that the Naga people will not accept intrusion into their cultural character, the NSCN (I-M) said what belongs to the Naga culture must stay and what does not belong to it should not be entertained.