Home | Letters to the Editor | There is no Backward Tribe in Nagaland State: A.Z. Jami

There is no Backward Tribe in Nagaland State: A.Z. Jami

In the erstwhile British Naga Hills District, the Angami, Aos, Lothas (Kyong) and the Sumis (Sema) figured prominently in the records. But after the formation of a separate State of Nagaland, every tribe whether big or small participated in the administration of the state directly or indirectly. Since the inception of the statehood almost every tribe had been represented by their men in the Legislature or the Executive in one way or the other. Therefore, logically and candidly speaking comparatively there are no backward tribes in Nagaland. If there is really any backward tribe in Nagaland, It is the Lothas (Kyongs) or Wokha District. Having some educated people and few Government Officers do not qualify a community as an advanced tribe. It is the economic strength that matters. The Lothas or Wokha District are economically crippled beyond doubt, the factors are not far to seek.
To be polite, the successive Government of Nagaland neglected the Lothas in one way or the other, the reasons be known to those who were in authority, theoretically there is a collective responsibility of Government of a state. But practically the real authority of the Government rests with the Chief Minister and the other Secretaries. Some of the past Chief Minister deliberately neglected the Lothas and almost all the successive Chief Secretaries treated the Lothas with bias mind. As much, the Lothas could not stand on their knees economically. In the past, some Nagas contested in the certain areas or District. This time, the census of 2011 had been conducted with more structures and the provisional Census of 2011 has been published. I don’t know whether people will say the 2011 Census is deflated or compressed. As per 2012 provisional Census figure, the total population of Mon District (Konyaks) is 250671 and the District sends 9 (Nine), MLAs to the Nagaland State Legislative Assembly, a little less than thirty thousand population for one MLA. Tuensang, Longleng, and Kiphiri together account 323427 population and send 11 (Eleven) MLAs to the state Assembly, that is also a little less than thirty thousand population for one MLA seat. Phek District  (Chakhesangs) has 163294 and send 5 (Five) MLAs to the NLA, which is a little more than thirty thousand population for one MLA post. But the Lothas (Kyongs) have 166239 population and send 4 (Four) MLAs to the NLA which is more than fourty thousand population for one MLA. Therefore, how could any tribe or District which comparatively send more MLAs to the NLA be called backward tribe or community??
On the other side of the wall, Kohima District with state capital has 270063 population sending 7 (seven) MLAs (Including Tsemenyu) to the NLA which is less than fourty thousand population for one seat of MLA. Zunheboto District (Sumis) has 141014 population and send 7 (Seven) MLAs to the NLA. The ration here is little more than twenty thousand population to one MLA. Makokchung District has 193171 total population and send 10 (Ten) MLAs to the NLA in the ratio of  little less than twenty thousand population to one MLA. Such is the position and so why Lothas can’t say that the “LOTHAS ARE DISCRIMINATED” by other Nagas. And that the Lothas are most backward tribe in Nagaland. I wonder how Christianity and Christian leaders are working in Nagaland and in naga Society.
Again, Chakhesang have the backward tag on their tribe. But Vamuzo Chakhesang had been Chief Minister of Nagaland at one point of time. There are only two MP seats from Nagaland, one to the Rajya Sabha and the other to the Lokh Sabha. The Konyak the so called backward tribe had send two MPs, Chingwang Konyak and Wangnyu Konyak to the Lokh Sabha in different period of time. Sangtam had sent Asangba Sangtam to the Lokh Sabha for two consecutive tenures. This time, Changs have sent CM Chang to the Lokh Sabha. The so called backward tribes are sending more representatives to the NLA. They have many high ranking Officers in the Government. They excel in the field of education, Art, sports and as well as in religious fields than the Lothas. In the recent past and till today, while the so-called advanced tribes like Aos, (Makokchung), Sumis (Zunheboto) and the Lothas (Wokha) are getting Rupees two/three crores a year for so-called development, the so-call backwards are getting several crores more than the other tribes in the form state projects and Central scheme for development. Besides, there are local area development fund for each MPs and MLAs. For example, Wokha District gets local area development fund for four MLAs whereas Mon District gets LADF for Nine MLAs. Now where all these funds are spend. Off course, all this funds or monies do not, in the most cases reached the people at the grass-root. In most cases, the monies are enjoyed only by some people who are sitting comfortably in Kohima and Dimapur. So, Let us try to find out the causes of our problems and grievances instead of beating about the bush.
Lastly, I want to say that Lothas have the longest and remarkable boundary with Assam. And it is to be admitted that in most cases Lotha MLAs are given in-charge / Portfolio of the border affairs. But only the name or the post will not work. This issue needs firm and steadfast support of the state Government and its Missionaries. All the fertile plain        areas of the Lothas have been given to the refugees by Assam with the logistic and tacit support of the Assam Government, Assam Arm Police and Indian Para-military forces. Inspite of all such negligence and discrimination from others or the Government, and inspite of all these grievances Lothas have been keeping mum. I don’t know the reason behind it. Perhaps the Lothas are weak or there are no sensitive and community minded persons. Or may be there are no good leaders among the Lothas or the Lothas are not supportive to their leaders.
Lothas (Kyongs) are most unfortunate people among the Nagas, If there is any backward tribe in Nagaland, then it is the Lothas and none other. If the Lothas continue to remain in their deep slumber, I can say though I am not a seer, that Lothas have no future at all.

The truth Hurts.

A.Z. Jami
Senior Naga National Worker

Comments (1 posted):

Toshi Longkumer on February 20, 2012 01:21:37
Nice Write up, but from my point of View, I would say, Kyong(Lotha's) has been neglected and that shouldn't make the Kyong People considered themselves Backward tribe. Your Tribe has done lots of gr8 things.


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