Naga bodies train guns on TSE editorial
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Kohima, Jul 17: Numerous Naga frontal social organisations have strongly reacted to the editorial of The Sangai Express in its July 4 edition as well as against the comments of by some organisations based in Imphal over the text book issue.

The United Naga Council (UNC), Naga Women Union, Manipur (NWUM), Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) and the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) have said that they were constrained to issue a press clarification and set the record straight to justify the resolute stand of the Naga people for common administration.

In a statement issued to Newmai News Network this afternoon, the Naga social organisations said that the Naga people have a high respect for the views of an individual(s) or group(s), but Nagas will not tolerate the biases and chauvinism of the dominant valley community of Manipur.

There can be a cordial atmosphere in the neighborhood only when we respect each others' 'will' and 'aspirations', the statement said adding that the Naga people do not demand the support of valley community.

"We just want them to understand the historical and political rights of the Naga people.

The sudden outburst of concern for the students in the 4 Naga districts in the July 4 editorial of The Sangai Express is nothing but shedding crocodile tears, whereas its stand against the Naga Integration is clear.

The Sangai Express is advised to maintain a balanced reporting otherwise this can have serious implications, said the statement signed by UNC president KS Paul Leo, NWUM president Grace Shatsang, NPMHR convenor (South Sector) Phamhring Sengul and ANSAM president Paulring Langhu.

It said that the Naga people also wish to question, why the editorial of The Sangai Express, AISF, United Committee Manipur (UCM) and others and the State Government of Manipur panicked when the private schools of the four hill districts of Senapati, Tamenglong, Chandel and Ukhrul opted for the prescribed text books of NBSE.

"What makes them think that the students might lose their academic career by seeking affiliation to NBSE ? Do they mean to say that only BSEM is capable of imparting good education? Do they also think that getting affiliated to NBSE means playing with the future of the Naga students? Why are the dominant valley community and Mr Nandakumar Sharma, Secretary BSEM reacting so much when the Nagas are pursuing to evolve a common education pattern?", asked the social organisations of the Naga frontal organisations.

It further stated that the Naga people opposed the "imposed education system especially the BSEM" because the Naga people desire to have a common future with a common educational administration.

Giving some points and reasons, the statement said that the Naga people are compelled to undertake this syllabus replacement arguing that the BSEMthrough their prescribed text books imposes the dominant valley community culture and traditions upon the minorities (Naga & other hill people),the Educational curriculum of the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur, even contains chapters which attempt to distort Naga history;the State Legislative Ordinance of 2005 deliberately ignores the rights of the minorities by imposing the Meitei Mayek (Meitei Language) upon them (Naga & other hill people).

Moreover, the Bengali script is imposed in the schools from Class 1 VIII and thus through coercion and persuasion the dominant valley community is processing to assimilate the minorities.

It also reasoned that the order by the Governor of Manipur dated January 7, 2004 which bar the private schools in the State from seeking affiliation to CBSE or ICSE is an imposition of the valley community's will upon the Naga students in particular and the hill students in general thus depriving the minorities (Naga & other hill people) of their rights to free and fair education.

The people's movement for identity, dignity, justice, freedom and peace can never be smothered by any force.

The joint statement then pointed out that the Naga people also outrightly reject the "malicious allegations" that the demand for introducing of NBSE syllabus in the four hill districts was planned by the NSCN (IM).

"It is a blatant lie.

The Naga people hereby clarify that the private schools are affiliating to NBSE of their own free will and not under the barrel of a gun.

Mr.O Ibobi's allegation that schools are being forced to affiliate to NBSE through the barrel of the gun is a shameless lie", said the statement of the Naga bodies.

The statement then explained that the Manipur Chief Minister must also understand that nobody understands one better than oneself and stated that for the Chief Minister to say that most Nagas do not want to be affiliated to NBSE is just the same as saying that most Meiteis do not want to follow the BSEM syllabus.

"Can you believe it?", asked the statement.

The recent burning of Manipuri/BSEM text books in the four hill districts was inevitable,said the joint statement of UNC,NWUM,NPMHR and ANSAM reasoning that the Naga students are doing what they ought to do.

"The private schools in the 4 (four) Naga districts have introduced the NBSE syllabus and the Naga people are determined and asked whether there would be any loss for the BSEM and the valley community," added the statement.

The Naga frontal organizations appeal to all the tribe Hohos, student organizations, women organizations, religious bodies and the general public not to subscribe to the media reporting against the ongoing non co-operation movement of the Naga people.

"It is time the Nagas collectively pursued their cherished goal," concluded the statement.