Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Clarification of land and its resources in Article 371(A) of Indian Constitution

It is very sad that some Naga leaders always try to misinterprete and ignore the protection given to Nagas by the Constitution of India for vested interest , personal gain etc..As a Naga leader one should stand firm for the cause of Nagas in whatever the situation it may come. Nobody should sell the Naga’s rights to our adversaries for your position,facilities and self interest. Think of it, it is a hard earned price paid by shedding of the precious blood of Naga patriots,intellectuals etc. Many have suffered and tortured to die beyond human imagination in the hands of our adversaries for self determination of Nagas .The blood and untold sufferings have earned Nagas a unique identity . It is not easy as we think.Naga MLAs or leaders of any Naga organisations should in no way do away our provisions /rights that has been enshrined in the Article 371(A} of the Constitution of India. The rights of Nagas should never ever be twisted/altered by any individuals/ leaders.
The Constitution of India clearly says – Notwithstanding anything in this constitution, no Act of Parliament in respect of land and its resources, Customary laws, Social and Religious practices shall apply to the State of Nagaland unless the Nagaland Legislative Assembly by a resolution so decides. From this, it is very very clear that, authority is given to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA). The NLA therefore, have the power to accept or reject the Act/ Bill passed by the Parliament. We also need to understand that Constitution of India is supreme and above the Supreme Court of India and the Parliament.So Constitutional protection given to Nagas is above the Bill passed by the Parliament.The Indian parliament may passed any Act/ Bill on any subject matter for all the states of India but Nagas has been protected and safequarded by the Constitution given the authority to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly to decide whether to follow or to reject . In this case, the NLA can frame its own separate Act/Bill fitting to Naga context to implement without following the Central Act or rules directly. In no case, the provisions/ rights given to Nagas by the Constitution of India should be a problem or a stumbling block for the Nagas in any way.. Based on the provisions, the Nagaland Govt. can find ways to make rules on the subject matters like Nagaland land regulation Act , Nagaland Mineral Act, Nagaland Forest Act etc. that falls under the Article 372(A) for Nagas in the interest of the Nagas.
In regards to land and its resources, it means the land and its minerals( Anything that is under the earth or that comes out of the earth is mineral including oils) and forest resources means the forest land and its plants ( plants are the produce of land).So minerals and forests are both resources of land. The Naga MLAs are representatives to speak and to fight for the cause of Nagas. They are responsible for the better or worse for future of Nagas. What you( Hnble MLAs ) do today we will reap tomorrow..If you make mistake today the younger generation will curse you but if you sacrifice your position for the good of Nagas, you will be remembered from generation to generation.
No political parties agenda or manifesto should influence the Naga leaders to take away the rights of the Nagas. The present Naga MLAs are expected to unitedly stand firm to fight Naga’s rights like the Mizoram and bring peace and prosperity to the Nagas .
Wanthang Rengma
Retrd. Director ( G&M}
Govt. of Nagaland.


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