On 2nd August 2014 local papers carried a condemnation item given by Dimapur Longsa Youth Forum(DLYF) in connection with the purported threat on the life of its citizen Jonah Achumi by one Salehk Arkham, son of Mostin, Vice Chairman of Dimapur Muslim Public Forum. What prompted Salehk Arkham to opt for such ‘life threat’ is better known to parties involved. So far no rejoinder has come from Salehk, and perhaps he has better reasons to remain so.
Mine is a mere reaction on the face value of the news item without knowledge of the ground realities of the incident, simply using it as general clue. Of all the States in India, Nagaland is the best equipped with laws as ILP and Art 371(A) so as to protect itself from being swamped by outsiders. The developed nations are never complacent about immigration issue. Even to get a tourist Visa to visit a country is never easily given.
Recently, two Nagas from Nagaland applied for visa to visit London on invitation but denied. The given reason for denial was that there was no guarantee that the two would return after the brief visit. A rich country like UK is in no mood to accommodate two Indians, of course, these two had no intention to be British nationals. Thus, every country is strict about the issue of illegal immigrant. At the moment, Tripura is asking for repatriation of 35,000 Reangs to Mizoram.
Is Nagaland Govt. aware how many illegal immigrants are living in our State? Is there anyone serious about the presence of few lakhs of those outsiders living in Nagaland and trying to dominate and dictate the indigenous locals? We, the indigenous Nagas of Nagaland are responsible for what mess we have in our land today.
1. Population: When Census is enumerated, each Village tries to inflate the Village population with illegal immigrants and floating population wherever they are available, mostly in Dimapur area, with motive. One of the intentions is to get more funds from RD Deptt. etc. with such inflated figure. Many Village leaders may not hesitate to issue adoption certificate or authentication certificate proving that an illegal citizen is the bona-fide citizen of the Village.
2. Electoral Roll: The worst is when Electoral revision takes place. We, the politicians mostly, become crazy and go for inclusion spree in electoral roll of all those illegal immigrants particularly in Dimapur and elsewhere as our and voters. In order to win election by hook or by crook, some Nagaland politicians even imported voters from outside the State. Legal or illegal, when a person is enrolled as voter, he has the right to claim to be so. That becomes the basis for citizenship.
3. Indigenous Local certificate: Whenever, an opportunity of recruitment for paramilitary services is given to Nagas, people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, etc. used to be recruited in higher percentage along with locals. When questioned as to how and why those non-Nagas are allowed to enjoy the quota given specifically for the Nagas of Nagaland, the answer is all those possess Indigenous Naga certificates, and thus the recruiting authority cannot deny anyone the seat if not on the basis of demerit in the interview. What our Deputy Commissioners and other concerned authorities doing today? Is a Bihari or a Bengali truly an indigenous citizen of Nagaland? Are the local administrative officers doing business with the future of the Nagas? Are our Naga officers feeling too lazy to check the antecedent of any non-Naga before issuing such important certificate? Do those officers issuing certificates realize how much ruin is done to the careers of our youths? What authority will henceforth streamline the issue of such certificate when Naga officers are crazy after business?
4. Misuse of Illegal Immigrants: The Naga Political Groups(NPGs) are reportedly using the services of legal or illegal immigrants to do their errand. In the past, the Naga movement was considered sacred and the Nagas believed it so. Having drawn those non-Nagas or particularly illegal immigrants into the service of Naga National Movement, its sacredness is contaminated. National workers conniving with such controversial nationalities for any activity, in my opinion, duplicates the sacred movement. Those mercenaries, when engaged by any faction, can go to any extent in mistreating the Nagas. Ultimately Naga people will lose interest in the movement because of the dilution.
5. Issue of ILP: In the past, the ILP issuing authority used to be meticulous while screening the application for ILP. The students’ organization like NSF used to involve in proactive role so that our land is not flooded with illegal immigrants and outsiders. Whereas, today only AKM and ASU have shown concern over the issue and the rest prefer to be spectator. Over and above, these days the concerned authorities are very complacent and casual is issuing ILP making the law redundant and namesake.
6. Intermarriage: There must have been a good number of intermarriages between Nagas and illegal immigrants. Contrary to Khasi culture of matriarchal system, the Nagas have patriarchal system. The children of those marriages are likely to face inconveniences in future. Especially those of the backward tribes who enjoy job reservation facility tend to face disputes on legitimacy to enjoy the reserved quota. Besides, there is chance to have clash between East and West within a tribe with respect to identity crisis in near future.
All these factors are contributory to emboldening illegal immigrants and outsiders to have all kind of undue advantages on the sons of the soil. At this rate, hardly any responsible authority is sincere in underlining the impending danger of Damocles’ sword hanging above us. I believe there is an active process of assimilation as the Naga spirit is in its lowest ebb.
Exactly what has to happen is happening now. None should be surprised at more incidents between several Salehk Arkhams and many Jonah Achumis hence.
(The writer is Z Lohe, former Speaker, NLA.)
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