Monday, February 2, 2015

Small things matter in Nagaland, the Land of Festivals

Small things matter in Nagaland, the Land of Festivals

Jawaharlal Nehru came to Kohima (Nagaland) along with the PM of Burma U Than in 1953. More than 25000 people gathered at local ground in Kohima. But when a word spread across the crowd that Nehru denied taking representation of their demands, all dispersed immediately leaving Nehru and Burmise PM all alone on the dias. Nehru felt it as an insult and never visited Kohima again. It was said that Nehru might not knew the matter, his PS refused from the outside. Prior to the incident, tea cup fell down from the hand of Mrs. Gandhi in the guest house as she was accompanying her father. 

However, Pandit Nehru agreed on peace dead and gave Statehood to Nagaland in 1963. The State was inaugurated by Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, the President of India on 1 December 1963.

People were unhappy with Nehru because Nehru accepted the McMohan line with Burma in hurry leaving two Naga districts (kachin, and one more) in  Burma. Naga tribes villages are in Senapati, Tamenglong, Ukhul districts of Manipur; some villages in Arunachal Pradesh and some in kachar and karbianglong districts of Aasam, bordering Dimapur. To unite all Nagas under one umbrella is their dream.

No sitting PM from Congress visited Kohima thereafter except Mrs. Gandhi who came for election campaign in 1980, when she was not in power; people murmur. And the result, there is United Democratic Front Government in power (38/60) supported by BJP. BJP had one seat but 3 NCP MLAs joined, making its strength of 4.

The militant activities, post of creation of Nagaland (funded and trained by China) was put on rest by the efforts of three members Peace Misson (1964) (CM of Assam, Jai Prakash Narayan and Scott) and later by Governor of NE Shri BK Nehru (1972). The Commandant surrendered in front of the Governor was absorbed in BSF.

Naga People (Khiamniungam, Pochury, Kontak tribes) in Burma are living in poverty even now, as Rangoon is far away to take care of their welfare. Economic development is more important than independence. If a highway road net is built between India and Burma, it will open up a tourist route to Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia etc. It will not only boost up the economic activities in the area but also rejuvenate cultural exchanges amongst the South East Asian Countries started by Samrat Ashoka.

There are 14 major tribes in Nagaland: Angami, Ai, Chakhesang, Chang, Khemungan, Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sema, Yimchunger, and Zeliang. There are 10 sub tribes. People are Christians, speaking English mostly. Each tribe has different dialect mostly from Aasamiya. Pork and rice is their staple food. No street dogs are seen around as dog meat is a delicacy of Nagas. There is "kira bazzar", where small frogs, silk worms, other worms, spiders, shells, etc., are sold as food.

King chilli of Nagaland is one of the hottest chillies on earth. An mm touch can put your mouth under fire. During the festival of Hornbill (the State Bird of Nagaland) inaugurated by the PM, a chilli eating competition was held. People were enjoying the facial expression of Chilli eaters. At the festival site, the stalls were displaying arts, dance, food, handicrafts, living style, for each tribe. People were seeing, buying and eating Naga foods.

Agriculture is the most important economic activity and the principal crops include rice, corn, millets, pulses, tobacco, oilseeds, sugarcane, potatoes, and fibers. Other significant economic activity includes forestry, tourism, insurance, real estate, and miscellaneous cottage industries.

People are simple, honest and hard working and lovers of dance and music, but sensitive towards Nagas issues, may be small for others but big for them, they will make it prestige issue.

Don't miss visiting Nagaland, a land of beautiful people, land of music and dance, land of festivals.

You will love to visit it again.

Punanchand
2/12/14
Kohima

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