DIMAPUR: The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) slammed Nagaland BJP president and minister Temjen Imna Along Longkumer for his recent statement in the Nagaland Assembly on the Naga issue. 

While participating in a discussion on the Naga political issue in the Assembly, Along said separate Naga flag and constitution is not achievable. 

His conviction that separate flag and constitution shall not form a part of the solution to the Naga issue reeks of a conspiracy to deprive the Naga people their legitimate rights wherein he is an integral part of, if not the mastermind of the same, NSF president Kegwayhun Tep and general secretary Supuni Ng Phillo said in a release. . 

The student body accused Along of indulging in rhetoric to please his political bosses at the Centre. It said the minister has forgotten the blood, sweat and tears of those who gave up their everything in order to usher in a solution that is inclusive, honourable and acceptable to every Naga individual. 

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According to the NSF, Along’s public advocacy for Naga solution to be brought within the framework of the Indian Constitution undermines the founding principles of the Naga homeland and the same is not accepted by the Naga youth and student community. 

It added that the minister’s insinuation that certain Naga political groups are indulging in delaying tactics for their selfish gains only reflects the shallow understanding of the issue that is just, fair and righteous.” 

The NSF condemned Along’s comments, saying the elected people’s representative failed to truly comprehend the larger issue at hand and chose to be the “shadow and the echo of the few names he threw around during his eloquently crafted speech at the state legislative assembly”. 

The federation also condemned his inability to assert the rights of the Naga people and for towing the lines of those truly responsible for the delay in honouring the ‘unique history and situation’ of the Naga people. 

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The NSF cautioned the minister against activating “his verbal diarrhea mode on issues wherein he has very little or no knowledge about”. 

It said being a first-time elected member of the state Legislative Assembly does not automatically qualify him to make sweeping statements on an issue that is more than a century old and involves the sacrifices of the entire Naga people.  

The NSF also demanded that Along respect the sentiments of the Naga people. 

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com