The Lotha Hoho of Nagaland has expressed its reservation on the decision of Nagaland state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for immersion of ashes of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Wokha district.
In a release issued on Sunday evening, Lotha Hoho chairman Mhao Humtsoe and general secretary Mhondamo Ovung said that the decision of the BJP Nagaland unit to immerse the ashes of Late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the rivers of Nagaland will be doing at their own reasons best known to them.
Stating that the BJP party can perform the rite at any part of Nagaland, the Hoho however, warned that it will not allow it in any part of Wokha jurisdiction for the reason that it is neither the ‘cultural practice nor religious belief’.
While expressing its respect to the departed leader, the Lotha Hoho termed that Nagas ‘distinct culture should not be diluted’.
The Nagaland Joint Christian Forum is also ‘deeply concerned’ over the issue of immersion of ashes of the former Prime Minister in Nagaland.
“It must be clear here that we are not against any homage or practice of the party in its proper place and location but to insist on carrying the religious rite and culture of a certain religion which BJP keenly affiliates itself to is a suspect and that also in a land and culture that do not subscribe to such practices,” stated the forum.
“If a political party goes beyond the line of politics to hurt the religious/cultural sentiment of a particular community it will be constructed as bad politics to divide people on religio-socio-cultural line. We are in consonant with the nation, mourning the death of a great leader of the nation but in his death let us not divide the society that is fragile and needing much healing touch, the forum further said.
It also stated that imposing an alien cultural and religious practice in a land that does not practice such a thing will diminish ‘our political view of unity and create a sense of insecurity in minds of the minority’.
The Nagaland Joint Christian Forum sought the BJP leadership of Nagaland to take the sentiments of the community into consideration during this time when the nation is mourning the passing away of a leader whom all respect and honour.
“May God give you the wisdom at this emotional time to do the right thing for our community. To win the trust of the people you have to take the sentiments of the community in consideration,” it added.