Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Naga women object to repealing of NM Act, 2001


Close on the heels of the passage of the Nagaland Municipal Act (Repeal Bill 2023) on the last day of the first session of the 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on March 28 to repeal the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 in toto, several women leaders have objected to the decision to repeal the Act and took exception to the fact that it was done “without any civil dialogue or consultation with women.”
This was among several resolutions adopted at an ‘open state level discussion on Municipal elections by women leaders’ organized by Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) in collaboration with department of English, Nagaland University on March 29 at the Ladies Hall, NU Kohima Campus, Meriema. The house resolved its support to the now-repealed NM Act, 2001, including the First Amendment providing for 33% reservation in urban local bodies (ULBs).
Further, after daylong deliberations, the meeting also took cognizance of the fact that two women legislators had remained silent during discussion on the issue in the Assembly session and abstained from objecting or dissenting to the passing of the resolution repealing the Act.
Earlier, NMA president Abeiu Meru welcomed the women leaders to the event and urged upon them to use the opportunity to deliberate on the ongoing debate over municipal elections.
In her keynote address, Prof Rosemary Dzüvichü, former director of Women Studies Centre and professor of Department of English, Nagaland University, gave a detailed account of the struggles of Naga women relating to the implementation of the Municipal Act, 2001 and its first amendment that provided for 33% reservation for women in ULBs.
Speaking on feminism in Naga context, Dr Theyiesinuo Keditsu argued for the need to identify struggles peculiar to the condition of indigenous Naga women.
She contested the idea that feminist consciousness or praxis was a modern invention or western concept, citing various instances of feminist resistance and subversion in Naga traditional culture.
Noting that it was easier to change oneself than another, she discussed the malady of internalised patriarchy and urged all women present to confront this intimate enemy. She stressed for peaceful and non-violent strategies to challenge inequalities inherent in patriarchy.
NMA legal adviser Zheviholi Swu unpacked the legalities of the Municipal Act and traced various legal actions and recourses taken by petitioners, the Government of Nagaland and the court to date.
Given that the Act was a constitutional legislation, she asserted that its implementation was inevitable and that the latest bid by NLA to repeal this would be viewed seriously as it was sub-judice in Supreme Court. She said Any person or organisation aggrieved by the court order could implead themselves in the case.
Speeches were also delivered by director of Women Studies Centre, Nagaland University Prof Lungsang, NMA founder and current adviser Sano Vamuzo, Abeni TCK Lotha, adviser NMA,who was also the chairperson of Red Cross Society, Nagaland.
During the open discussion, women representatives from NDPP, BJP and other party workers as well as representatives from Naga Women Hoho, Dimapur, Zeliang Mepui Organisation and Pochury Mothers’ Association shared their views.
In her vote of thanks, NMA general secretary Lochumbeni Humtsoe thanked the Department of English, Nagaland University, for collaborating with the association for this event and providing the space to deliberate, and students from the department for helping out as volunteers throughout the daylong programme.
More than a hundred women from various professions, tribal and women organisations, academics, journalists, political party leaders, business women, Naga women research scholars from the university and abroad as well as women students of the university attend the event to end the women’s month of March.

SEC notifies on cancellation of ULB elections
DIMAPUR, MAR 30 (NPN): Following the resolution passed by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly to unanimously repeal the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001 in toto, the State Election Commission (SEC) has notified the cancellation of the May 16 elections to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
State Election Commissioner T Mhabemo Yanthan, through a notification dated March 30, informed that “election programme” for conduct of general election to 3 Municipal Councils and 36 Town Councils as notified by the SEC on March 9 stands “cancelled” till further orders.


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