TODAY -

Addressing the Zeliangrong question

Pakinrichapbo *

 Rongmei community : 5th State Level Amur Falcon Festival at  Tamenglong :: 4 November 2019
Rongmei community at 5th State Level Amur Falcon Festival, Tamenglong on 4 November 2019 :: Pix - Lamdamba Oinam



The Naga peace talk is on the edge of conclusion as reported in the Nagaland post dated 15.07.2020. It goes further to state that in a major breakthrough Government of India Representative and Interlocutor, Mr. Ravi, and also Governor of Nagaland and the Working Committee of NNPGs agreed to finalize draft agreement for early settlement to the decades old Naga Political issue.

The said press statement also mentioned that both the parties have chalked out action plan for impending final agreement, so the negotiation is closed between Interlocutor and WC of NNPGs as per the deadline of the 31st October 2019.

However, the narrative on the other side is different with the GoI and NSCN-IM failing to break the impasse on the issue of co-existing as two entities and share sovereignty with IM still not giving up on separate flag, constitution, and territorial integration .

The question as to what makes the results of Naga peace talks more so connected with the Zeliangrong people comprise of Zeme, Liangmai, Rongmei and Inpui tribe, living in three state of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.

Zeliangrong people were recognized under different names by the Schedules Tribe Order 1950 and its subsequent amendments. This article is an attempt to illustrate how the results of the current peace talks will have a huge implication on the Zeliangrong people and their ancestral lands.

The irony is that the Zeliangrong people are so politically divided thanks to individual and local interests, crude regionalism, and blind loyalty to their own factions without prudently discussing how to secure the best interests for the people.

In modern political sense, Zeliangrong consciousness as one unit started with Haipou Jadonang 1905 -1931. After his untimely death the burden of fulfilling Zeliangrong political interests was passed on to his successor late Apeh Gaidinliu (1915 -1993). In Nagaland context, fellow Naga tribes often question Zeliangrong existence in Nagaland without bothering to find out its historical backgrounds.

Late Gaidinliu though born and raised in Longkao Village, under Tamenglong District Manipur, had huge followers from her kindred tribes living in several villages under Tening Sub-division (Peren) and also from Zeliangrong people living in Dima Hasao formerly North Cachar Hills, which is one of the main reasons why Zeliangrong entity exists in Nagaland.

Followers of Naga political history will be aware of the fact that when Naga Movement gained momentum across all Naga villages from middle part of 1950s, Apeh Gaidinliu met Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru at Imphal (in 1953 ) and made him conscious of her people living conditions and also to do something spreading across the three States.

She soon mobilized members of the Zeliangrong who believed in her cause to fight for Zeliangrong homeland under the Indian Constitution. When the Naga National Council (NNC) authority was in its peak, Gaidinliu had to suspend Zeliangrong movement for homeland due to intense pressure from Zeliangrong leaders working in NNC.

The Zeliangrong leaders felt that it would not be right to go against the Naga cause spearheaded by NNC as it might create a sense of betrayal by the Zeliangrong. Soon after suspension of the Zeliangrong movement, the talks between Naga People Convention and GoI, resulted in Naga hills being upgraded to full pledge statehood in 1963.

Even though NNC condemned the statehood, their condemnation could not save the Zeliangrong people from physical disintegrations, blood brothers land boundaries with few inch apart became state boundaries further severing their historical ties and sympathy for each other. This was the first setback to Zeliangrong fraternity.

Even after the Statehood and Shillong Accord under the Indian Constitution, the Zeliangrong community still believes in the Naga cause and continues to support the Naga cause carry forward by NSCN and thus suspended their movement for homeland. The Zeliangrong people especially living in Assam and Manipur still believe in the results of Naga Peace talks with the hope of integration.

Forlornly, the Naga movement had come a long way crossing 70 years now and counting, in these long years Zeliangrongs faith in Naga cause remain as strong as it was in early NNC days, even overlooking the reality that the Naga tribes leading the movement now seems to have different aspirations to achieve from the peace talks, as most of the leading tribes lives within a single state and have nothing much to lose but to gain more after the final agreement is executed. While for the naive Zeliangrongs their faith in Naga cause could not shake them out unless the contents of impending final agreement do the talking.

As an ardent believer in Naga unity, I still hope the peace talks will deliver something to all the Naga tribes, but Iím left with little hope as Interlocutor R. N. Ravi said even territorial integration is dropped from the demands of Naga negotiators. With GoI and NNPGs agreement, it is very likely that the agreement would extend only within Nagaland state.

And if speculations are true, Nagaland will see increase of State Legislative Assembly seats and parliamentary seats, establishment of legislative council. Not discrediting the influence of NNPGs outside Nagaland, but I wonder if any arrangement made for Nagas in neighboring states would see the light of day.

Time and again NNPGs have stressed that they speak and remember the welfare of Nagas in other states, but it is hard to comprehend that NNPGs will fight tooth and nail to secure interests of Nagas outside Nagaland, even when the so-called Naga nationalists has taken regionalism to a new level. In such a reality, Zeliangrongs have very nominal or nothing to achieve from GoI and NNPGs solution for the Nagas.

With GoI and NSCN IM, the situation is not better, may be even worse. The NSCN-IM has said they have not given up on integration, but Interlocutor had time and again maintain integration of Naga areas is out of the picture.

How can Nagas get separate flag and constitution even when GoI is not willing to redraw state boundaries, which is legally permissible within the constitution? From the time of the formation of NSCN in 1980 and later split of NSCN to NSCN-IM and NSCN-K in 1988 to 2020 (which comes to total of 40 years and still counting), Zeliangrong people have given its due share of cooperation to IM, so what more one could anticipate if the peace talks fail to integrate Zeliangrong people and their lands?

Or one expects all Zeliangrongs to fully cooperate if IM decides to resume their guerrilla warfare against India in case the peace talks break down.

As for myself being a part of the Zeliangrong, I will be more than content if any group in peace talks could bring some sort of administrative autonomy outside the administrative control of present states government in Assam and Manipur context, even when full integration of Zeliangrong people could not be achieved straightaway.

However, failing to achieve even administrative autonomy from the peace talks, the Zeliangrong people need to seriously re-examine the sacrifices of their people to Naga cause by not only studying the present social, economical, and political conditions of the Zeliangrong people living in the three states of Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland, but also studying whether continuing to sacrifice for Naga cause will integrate its people.

Lastly Zeliangrong people need to realize Indiaís political realities before it is too late, that India will remain a difficult place for the minorities to survive, and worst in tribal state.


* Pakinrichapbo wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is an Advocate, from Peren and can be reached at pakinchawang(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on August 11, 2020



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Nongin, the State bird of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Financial Assistance for Journalist Phase-1
  • National Education Policy - Review #5
  • Condemn Moreh Police on Child Rapist case
  • Music video chronicling true naga spirit
  • What is trademark ?
  • Below par recovery rate
  • World Bamboo Day 2020 : A Report
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Pukning Pothasang #LetsTalkAboutDementia
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • 7th Khangminashi Lecture: Nanotechnology
  • Cancellation- Hyderabad Univ entrance exam
  • Condemnation on rape of 3-1/2 year girl
  • Calling social entrepreneurs from NE for UNDP
  • The Bright Lights :: Poem
  • Ensure health care service during COVID
  • Shirui Village, Shirui Hill, Ukhrul : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Life moves on
  • JRF (on Chakhao) @ICAR, NEH Meghalaya
  • Fruit face packs
  • BA/BSc Exam at Lilong Haoreibi College
  • Fingering of Ladakh
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Shadow of Greater Lim or Nagalim
  • Calls for change in election campaign
  • Tongjei Maril 1942: Bridle Path to Motor Road
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Khutheibam Abdur Rahman- Poet & Activist
  • Manipur StartUp Conclave 2020 : Gallery
  • Karmayogi Mission for reforms in civil services
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • Foundation Day- Journalist Union #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Athing Heirong, Khupsei: eMing
  • The thirst for reopening schools
  • Vale of Tears: Untold stories of violence : Rvw
  • Career option in Ethical Hacking
  • Monkey justice
  • Tribal Ministry for seamless implementation
  • Disturbing daily spike & total figure
  • Rani Phi design on 'Doctor in 2020' :: Gallery
  • Aquapreneurship & present Fishery status
  • Discussion: Crime Against Women in Manipur
  • World Ozone Day 2020
  • National Education Policy - Review #4
  • Sole meaning of life is to serve humanity
  • Covid-19 accentuates the job crisis
  • BJP versus Cong versus NPP
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji: Actress #2 : eRang
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Cultivating the common ground : FNR
  • Reimagining Immunity & Immune System
  • Happy Engineers' Day
  • My Teacher - I Salute Thee ! :: Poem
  • Today a reader, tomorrow a leader !
  • Discussion : Myanmar's 2020 Election
  • Daily spike of 90 thousand plus
  • Buning Meadow / Piulong Valley #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Discovery of a novel biopolymer
  • Mrs. Laldinpuii : Success Stories from NE
  • Remembering our heroic martyrs
  • Alternative to online teaching during COVID
  • Teenage skin care
  • Tree Planatation at Chandel
  • Final pact sans NSCN (IM)? Uneasy peace
  • The cry for Justice! Kuki Black Day
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Flood-like situation @Thangmeiband :: Gallery
  • Khumang : e-Conference on 'Science & Tech'
  • National Education Policy - Review #3
  • Demand for a DNA Testing Machine Lab
  • Lilong Haoreibi College resumed functioning
  • A song of appreciation :: Poem
  • COVID-19 & after: Need for change in plans
  • On the Flag that was hoisted at Kangla
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Ambulance to Chief Medical Officer : Gallery
  • Highway projects in Manipur & agriculture
  • Keeping an eye on 'Eye health'
  • Academic Year Online for Assam DB Univ
  • Need to go in for more after RAT
  • By-election; play a fair game
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA, Imphal :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Southeast Asia: Strategic for Competition
  • Memory of Pranab Babu
  • Gandhi, self-help, khadi & Atmanirbhar Bharat
  • The reality we live today :: Poem
  • NEET & JEE: Balance betn student & health
  • 21 years of reaching out to the readers
  • Non Positive
  • Agri Fair at CAU Iroisemba #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Suicide: Chasing death
  • Women rights-based access to contraceptives
  • Delimitation & limitation of valley minorities
  • Understanding CET
  • Himalaya Diwas at IBSD, Takyelpat
  • Noting post Covid complications
  • Rechecking hospital's modus operandi
  • Azad Hind: Its Forgotten Govt & the Army
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • MPSC 2016: Social media mob injustice
  • Manipur women weave success in pandemic
  • FEGOCTA to resume academic activities
  • Live one day at a time :: Poem
  • Should animal be given same right as human
  • Countdown to by polls
  • Tungjoi Glory Day (Senapati) #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Skill Development Prog by CM: Gallery
  • National Education Policy - Review #2
  • Hope : The reason we keep living !
  • International Literacy Day 2020
  • Beauty benefits of rice water
  • Targeting young girls : Minds of retards
  • Should trading Frog amount to smuggling
  • Rendezvous with RK Bikramjit (Flutist)
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Reminiscence of coming & journey : Book Rvw
  • And I sleep for the hunger of you : Poem
  • MPSC propose re-examination is not justified
  • Increasing local transmission
  • COVID Care Centre @UNACCO #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Naga story in Indigenous People movement #2
  • Revoke Agreement on 66 MW Loktak Project
  • My homage to Pranab Mukherjee
  • Eventide :: Poem
  • Protest against gangrape of a minor
  • Condemnation against the gang rape
  • Heat of the Internet
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Loans to vendors [Aug 25] : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang : A social reformer #3
  • National Education Policy - Review #1
  • Menstruation needs to be discussed openly
  • Serious internet jokes & reflections
  • Climbing number of cases, deaths
  • Akhunba Takhellei #2 : Film scene :: eRang
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Naga story in Indigenous People movement #1
  • Tribal Resource Conservation Ethics
  • Vilification of MCSCCE selected candidates
  • Grand Chef Manipur at Luwangshangbam
  • Monument of friendship :: Poem
  • How will the Naga CSOs respond ?
  • Irritating season
  • Yaoshang Halankar #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to dead by living
  • Need for Impact Assessment: Social media
  • Legal awareness on 'Right to Food' at Lamlai
  • First E/online Lok Adalat held
  • Teacher for JEE Main & tutorials
  • 'JLF has no concrete plan to the Naga issue'
  • Need to follow the basics of new normal
  • Why difficulties in containing COVID-19
  • Bijiyashanti reels yarn off lotus stalks
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Online Jump Rope Championship 2020
  • ICAMST-2020 at Dept of Maths, RGU
  • The obscurity of the pandemic
  • LDHCL signs Agreement with MSPDCL
  • Grand Chef Manipur Season 1
  • What is Patent ?
  • Party-hoppers' gift: By-poll amid COVID crisis
  • Virtual world: an epitome of new normal
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 August: Govt of Manipur
  • September Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Level I Trauma Centre @ RIMS : Gallery
  • Khumang 2020 : Science & Tech for Society
  • Haipou Jadonang : A social reformer #2
  • Webinar : Medical & its allied profession
  • eFDP on Unoganized Sector concluded
  • NSCN-IM : From spotlight to marginalised..
  • A fail mission to eradicate corruption
  • Landscape to Dzukou Valley #5 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Interlude :: Poem
  • Diversion: The political masterpiece ?
  • Webinar on Re-Imagining Mahatma Gandhi
  • Digital Health ID
  • COVID-19 and need for evaluation
  • Greater autonomy: On the path to exclusivity
  • Keeping Up With the Kakching Trekkers
  • COVID-19 Status 29 August: Govt of Manipur
  • National Sports Day @ MU : Gallery
  • The X Schedule
  • Observance of National Sports Day
  • 'No connection with streaming Manipuri film'
  • Unsung Warriors :: Poem
  • Life skills for exciting career
  • Making a mockery of a real menace
  • Battle of Maram : 1944
  • COVID-19 Status 28 August: Govt of Manipur
  • CM foundation for 1000 projects : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang : A social reformer #1
  • National Sports Day & Fit India Movement
  • Love Jihad: Are We Prepared from Our Side
  • Bamboo sector for post COVID economy
  • September deadline
  • The Covid contractors
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 August: Govt of Manipur
  • New Education Policy (NEP) 2020
  • Naga, Kuki, Meitei & Pangal should overcome
  • No Federation should disturb peace process
  • Letter to Manipur Public Service Commission
  • Learn lessons from the past
  • Adding bite to Nambul saving initiative
  • Last Day @ Sangai Fest 2019 #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Understanding borderline personality disorder
  • A glimpse into mystique of 'Kamikaze'
  • Message from Corona... :: Poem
  • JAC meets CM :: Killing of Laishram Angamba
  • Why NPF withdrew from JLF on Naga Issue
  • NPF Working Committee Resolutions [Aug 26]
  • From politics of guns to peace talk
  • A need to ponder on for a new normalcy
  • Is Manipuri a Tonal Language ?
  • COVID-19 Status 25 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process: New Developments
  • Reshuffling & local vegetables
  • Children's story writing competition
  • Home made face masks during Monsoon
  • Pandemic poses a high risk to economy
  • Fresh MCSCCE 2016: Old wine in new bottle
  • Politicians have no regard for PM in Manipur
  • Media perception of the War of 1891
  • COVID-19 Status 24 August: Govt of Manipur
  • CM conference with DCs [Aug 24] : Gallery
  • Setting historical records right
  • Orders for 7th UGC Pay 2018 demanded
  • National Recruitment Agency
  • Protest : Killing of Laishram Angamba [Aug 24]
  • Respect & COVID-19 in Manipur
  • Assault on medical personnel at Dimapur
  • Remote-controlled lives
  • Manipur Art Fest [Sep 2019] #2 : Gallery
  • Democracy and rule of law
  • Women bodies stage sit-in protest
  • Changing Global Narratives in corona's times
  • The Plight Beyond the Contagion :: Poem
  • Community transmission calls for new strategy
  • Covid-19 : A look beyond sambal khaba
  • Moirangthem Mani : Kalabhusan (Thang-Ta)
  • Climate change under gender lens
  • Common sense
  • Farmer Producer Organization (FPO)
  • Politics during pandemic: All is not well
  • Khagee Leihao is a gift from China
  • Baldeep Ningthoujam- develops COROBOI
  • 86 vacancies of Trainee at NHPC Limited
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • 13 August @BT Park #2 : Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Kangla #2 : Gallery
  • 16th Death anniv of Chittaranjan : Gallery
  • Manipur Independence Day [14 Aug]: Gallery
  • Independence Day @MR Ground : Gallery
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • Hentak :: An indigenous Manipuri food
  • Princess & Political Agent launch #2 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #3: Gallery
  • HSE Toppers - Commerce stream : Gallery
  • HSE Toppers - Science stream : Gallery
  • HSE Toppers - Arts stream : Gallery
  • SPONSORED ADS