Imphal: The United Naga Council (UNC) has expressed dissatisfaction over the recent statement made by Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh that “every land in the state belongs to the government and it has the authority to use it for the development and well-being of the people”.
While appreciating the CM for taking up the initiative and carrying out a mass tree plantation programme at Mongjoi village in Sadar Hills area as part of the 72nd Van Mahotsav celebrations, the Naga body stated that such a statement does not merit the occasion.
“Such a statement has no basis with the facts and it can be ill-informed to the present and future generations in a state like Manipur,” said the UNC.
The Naga body further reminded the chief minister to be more cautious and be realistic in his approach and not to fall in line with his past predecessors.
“We must all frankly admit that, what belongs to the Meiteis is theirs and whatever belongs to the Nagas is ours as the two indigenous communities had co-existed as immediate neighbours since time immemorial. The two communities together landed under the British India and the state of Manipur forcibly came into being with the formation of Independent India and Burma in 1948,” said the UNC.
It added that for this fallout, “we all have our own movement and struggles for self-determination till date”.
“It is the people who came first and not the state. The state does not own land until it first own its people, said the apex body of the Nagas in Manipur.
The state government must be mindful of what they are doing with any new developments and any new creations, the UNC said while hinting at the body’s opposition on the creation of seven new districts in the state in 2016.
UNC further said that in regards to the Mount Koubru range imbroglio, it is equally concerned on the protection and preservation of environmental and ecological balance.
“It will be good if none becomes over obsessive on the ownership of the area since it has its own history. The more they assert their rights of ownership over the area, the more they contradict their roots. They must know this and any amount of historical rhetoric and distortions is never a solution,” said the statement issued by UNC.
Be what they are, the Nagas and the Meiteis will never be a problem, added the UNC.