Article 371A most powerful, yet Nagas yet to grasp: Kikheto Sema
Source: Oken Jeet Sandham (NEPS) *

Wokha, November 21 2018: Secretary Finance and Land Resources, Government of India, Y Kikheto Sema, IAS, said the Article 371A is the most powerful Article in the Constitution of India.

The Article 371A is for the State of Nagaland which was born out of the infamous 16-Point Agreement in 1960 .

Speaking at the 3rd General Conference cum Cultural Exchange Program of the Central Nagaland Students' Association (CNSA) on Tuesday here at the Wokha Village, the Secretary Finance explained that the State of Nagaland was born out of a political exigency through the 16-Point Agreement in 1960 and it was incorporated in Article 371A after the enactment of the Nagaland State Act, 1962 .

Stating that the 16-Point Agreement as the most powerful agreement, Sema regretted that many of them had not realized the power and importance their State had under the Article 371A.

Secretary Finance and Land Resources, Government of India, Y Kikheto Sema, IAS, speaking at the 3rd General Conference cum Cultural Exchange Program of the Central Nagaland Students' Association (CNSA) on November 20, 2018 at the Wokha Village
Secretary Finance and Land Resources, Government of India, Y Kikheto Sema, IAS, speaking at the 3rd General Conference cum Cultural Exchange Program of the Central Nagaland Students' Association (CNSA) on November 20, 2018 at the Wokha Village

"They are yet to grasp the power of the Article," he added.

Sema narrated the genesis of the Naga movement and the inspiration their forefathers drew up.

He mentioned about Nagas participating in the World War I, Simon Commission in 1929, Naga leaders' meeting with Mahatama Gandhi before the British left the Indian sub-continent, declaration of the Naga Independence on August 14, 1947 .

He said the political conflicts between the Government of India and the Naga leaders under NNC began when the latter conducted a "Plebiscite in 1951" .

He also disclosed how their parents and grandparents suffered due to the conflicts.

Their granaries and villages were burnt down, many of their parents and grandparents died while many ran for safety in jungles for days, weeks and even months in the 1950s and they continued to suffer in the 1960s too, he recalled.

He was so emotional while sharing as how his own parents faced the same situation.

"I used to share about the struggle my parents faced during that time," he said.

Sema further disclosed that when the situation was so bad, the Naga leaders declared to have negotiation with the Government of India.

When the Government of India agreed to have negotiation, it indicated their realization that the Naga issue could not be solved through the Indian Army, he stated.

Because it was a huge loss for the Nagas as well as the Indian Armies, he added.

He said the negotiation led to the signing of the 16-Point Agreement paving the way for the creation of the present State of Nagaland, he added.

Yet, it does not end the Naga issue as could be seen from a series of ceasefires and accords between the Government of India and Naga political groups.

The Finance Secretary regretted to note that the British had divided the Nagas in two countries � India and Myanmar.

The Nagas in Indian side were further divided and the most unfortunate is the Nagas started dividing further among them.

"The darkest period was Nagas killing Nagas," he rued.

He called upon the Nagas not to think that the Article 371A was giving them to live without work.

"It is not dividing the Nagas either," he stated.

Sema said North East had vast mineral resources, vast forests, biggest hydro project and they would become the riches in the country once they come together.

He called upon the people of the North East to unite and become the most progressive, developed and rich in the country.

He also pointed out that they could not achieve their goals if they remained divided.

They could only achieve their goals when they come together, he added.

At the same time, he urged the Nagas under the Central Nagaland Tribal Council (CNTC) to bridge the gap among the Nagas.

"You are the heart of the Nagas," he said and told them to bridge the gap among them.

Ao Senden President, Chubawati also spoke on the occasion.

* The sender of this news can be contacted at nepsonline(AT)yahoo(DOT)com .

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