TODAY -

Frontier Nagaland Movement -
Marching towards Amicable, Legislative, Sustainable "Solution"

Dr. Aniruddha Babar *



Union Home Minister Shri. Amit Shah Ji already highlighted a "clear road-map for amicable, legislative and sustainable solution for Eastern Nagaland," to the talk team of the Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) during their meeting in Delhi. As I have been reiterating on numerous occasions, the final aim of the Frontier Nagaland Movement is to 'restore the constitutional rights' of the people of the Eastern Nagaland region and therefore, the solution as and when comes should be of inclusive nature in confirmation with the demands of our eastern people in the national interest.

Anything less than what is amicable, legislative and sustainable may not have any constructive existence in the political life of Eastern people and our nation. Also, it is truly understandable that the center will make sure that any 'constitutional entity' that may be constructed as a result of the 'solution' will not in-fact be any kind of 'liability' on the union but rather an 'asset' to the nation and constructive-impactful contributor to the nation building process and national growth momentum.

As Eastern people, we very well know that we are backward not by choice but by artificially manufactured circumstances, we are poor not by choice but by artificially manufactured circumstances and we have been excluded for more than a century not by our choice, but by artificially manufactured circumstances. In every time and space, these 'artificially manufactured' circumstances have always been 'Political' in nature which brought us on our knees and we remained on our knees till we are finally made to be awakened to our 'Constitutional and Legal Rights' in our independent nation.

Frontier Nagaland Movement is undoubtedly a political movement. The root cause of the inhuman situation in which Eastern people have been living for more than a century is 'political' in nature and therefore the medicine and cure will in-fact be also 'political'. Since the formation of the state of Nagaland, our Eastern people never had any say in the policy making affairs of the state of Nagaland.

Nagaland state assembly could be the best example to study as to how unequal distribution of the assembly seats resulted in the gross, naked violation of the constitutional rights of the Eastern Naga people which have been guaranteed to each and every citizen of India. Since the formation of state of Nagaland, political representation of the Eastern people was always much lesser than the political representation of the 'forward' tribes in policy making mechanism and processes.

Therefore, whatever policies and decisions were made in the assembly were always influenced by the 'tribal interests', 'tribal influences', 'intertribal-intra tribal dynamics', 'tribal nepotism & favoritism at the cost of governance of the state and the constitutional rights of the Eastern people. Such a mess gradually gave birth to 'epic corruption' that completely destroyed the State of Nagaland.

The 'corruption' in the state further auto-generated bad policy making and equally bad execution mechanism which undoubtedly created an 'irrevocable' impact all over Nagaland but the most severe and deadly impact has been witnessed in the Eastern region (my personal experiences and research).

Even after the formation of the state of Nagaland, Eastern region remained backward, because it was kept backward through the policy channels (official/unofficial) routed from Kohima which even New Delhi failed to bypass and as a result our Eastern people remained 'empty stomach', their own money, rightful development money guaranteed by the constitution could never reach to them.

Eastern Naga people and their MLAs and political representatives are undoubtedly victims of the 'Political Caste System' formed in state. No matter what one desires, a well-crafted system never permitted the Eastern MLAs play with it in the best interest of their own people.

Moreover, we cannot deny the fact that Eastern MLAs too performed their role in keeping their own people backward, they too have taken advantages of the ignorant and uneducated mind of their own people but the fact still remains that those MLAs were remained minority in the State assembly and the real power was never 'vested' in their hands. This is what Nagaland taught me, I hope my understanding is crystal clear.

As a Lawyer and a Political Theorist I believe that there is nothing that is impossible for the 'State Power' at least in a country like India which runs under one of the best Constitutions in the world. State is such a huge machinery, it can do anything and everything provided there is a strong will but the state of Nagaland has failed its own people on all fronts.

Sometimes it's said that entire Nagaland is backward. I refuse to accept this notion. Entire Nagaland may be backward, however its Eastern region was systematically 'kept' backward for reasons best known to the 'system'. Since I know Eastern region much better than any Indian or any forward Naga, I can responsibly say that it is the richest region in India. Eastern people have been made to seat on 'dormant wealth'.

If Government of Nagaland could have developed the eastern region systematically (sustainable development) in last sixty years (with the help of money that New Delhi has been regularly and continuously sending as well as technical support from other government agencies) not only Nagaland but entire northeast region would be leading the entire nation forward. Let us take an example of ITC Dan at Pangsha, it looks like a haunted place.

There is one Army post at ITC commanded by a Major and what else you can see there is nothing but abandoned structure, broken shades, mountain ranges, one beautiful Church in Myanmar and other distant habitations spread over the vast mountain range. Why Kohima failed to take advantage of the super-strategic location of ITC DAN and develop the region? We have three international trading centers in eastern region-if developed, can change the destiny of Eastern people and the face of entire India. Eastern Nagaland is a power house cum huge reservoir of 'dormant' state revenue which Kohima failed/refused to handle.

Story of the Eastern Nagaland is full of tragedies. It is infested with extreme poverty, HIV-AIDS, unemployment, Drug addiction, Alcoholism, Human trafficking and Illegal Weapons as well as Drug trade. This face of the eastern region deserve to be changed. Why should people suffer because of failed state machinery? Why should people not exercise their Constitutional Rights? Our people are citizens of India, now it is the duty of Central Government to come forward to rescue our people.

The liberation of eastern people lies in the formation of separate constitutional entity-it could either be separate state or union territory or any other unique system within the constitution of India that could grant eastern people separate Legislature with Cabinet headed by Chief Minister, separate Executive headed by Governor or Lieutenant Governor, separate Administration headed by Chief Secretary and separate Judiciary with extended full protection under Article 371 A (1) (a).

The new entity will have to be sustainable which we all know is fully possible considering the high potential that eastern region holds and its contribution ( for e.g. Mon 275.14 Lakhs, Tuensang, Kiphire, Longleng total 669.42 Lakhs contributed as revenue in the year 2018-19 ref. Dept. of Finance, Govt of NL report) to the state exchequer.

As I have stated on many occasions during consultations, public meetings and through my articles, there is no legal, constitutional or political barrier exist that could deter formation of the new, separate constitutional entity for the Eastern Nagas, however, we have to wait for the outcome of ongoing negotiations with Ministry of Home Affairs. Eastern Leaders and the Government of India will definitely come out with a 'constitutional model'- which will be amicable, legislative and sustainable.

Constitution of India has protected the rights of Eastern Naga people. Let us trust the constitutional process. There shall be victory of the people.

AND I, Dr Aniruddha Babar- Son of The East, give a clarion call to all the people in Nagaland who believe in life, human values, human rights, justice and the spirit of Constitution of India to come forward and support the cause of Frontier Nagaland- a political movement of broken, helpless, invisible people in their own god gifted capacity. It is not a tribal movement, it is a movement of defeated human beings, gearing up for a FINAL VICTORY to achieve constitutional justice and to reclaim human personality.

O' GOD give me this boon,
To never shirk from doing what is right
To never fear when I go to fight to restore my people's rights
To ever have the confidence to win
Let my heart learn through the ordeals of life
To have the desire to remember your name incessantly
And when the time come
Let me lead my people bravely to the land that they dream-THE FRONTIER NAGALAND


* Dr. Aniruddha Babar wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is at Dept of Political Science, Tetso College, Nagaland
The writer can be contacted at aniruddha(AT)tetsocollege(DOT)org
This article was webcasted on 17 January 2023.



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