Kohima: Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister congratulates the Gorkha community in Kohima for constructing a new Multi-Utility Hall at Chandmari, Kohima. He appreciated that the hall will be used for public utilities which he hoped will immensely benefit people who are living around. With this, he contributed an amount of rupees 20 lacs for more renovation of the hall.
“Gorkhas are very accessible and have a lot of similarity with the Nagas, including simplicity, bravery, honesty and trustworthy and very faithful and very hardworking. All the good qualities of the Nepali/ gorkha make others have friendship easily and accept them wherever they go,” Rio said.
On the grievances of the Gorkhas, Rio assured that the government will look into the possibilities of not only permanent citizens but also make them more comfortable.
Maintaining that the government is in the process of Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN), the CM said “you (Gorkhas/Nepalis) will also figure in that because you are already recognised as Indigenous Non-Naga Local Residents of Nagaland” as as mentioned in the State Government Gazette Notification on 22nd October of 1974.
This time in the RIIN exercise, the government will work on how to strengthen your position as already recognized, he said.
“We also have other recognized non-Naga tribes like the Kumkis, Garos, Kacharis and Mikhirs (karbis) who have their villages inside Nagaland much before Indian Independence and Statehood. Your category will fall in that and the government will see what will be best for all of us,” he assured.
He was also appreciative of the Gorkha community saying that they are very united and positive and there are no problems created by the Nepalis. He encouraged them to hold on to the good history and legacy of goodness.
Rio went on to state the fact that even during World War-II when many non-Nagas had fled from Kohima, the Gorkha community stood with the locals and went through the difficult times and even supported the rebuilding process of Kohima town.
He also assured the community that a proper directive would be given to the Art and Culture on declaring the temple in Chandmari as a heritage.
Delivering the keynote address, Santu Thapa, President, GPPK said the concept of constructing a Multi-Utility Hall is to facilitate different kinds of functions including congregation, ceremonies, parties etc and to reach out to the common people’s budget. “We are pleased to inform you that this newly constructed Multi-Utility Hall will be made available to all,” he added.
On the settlement of Gorkhas in and around Kohima, Thapa mentioned that there were 166 houses as per Gazette Notification by the Government of Nagaland in 1974. The early settlements of Gorkhas were in Daklane, Chotobosti, Hospital Colony, Piphema, Zubza, Aradhura and were largely populated at Chandmari prior to 31st Dec 1940.
Thapa also put forward their grievances to the Chief Minister, saying that in the Gazette notification of 1974, the Gorkhas were given certain privileges such as (i) equal property rights (ii) equal educational facilities and (iii) equal facilities for industrial license and loan.
Requesting the Chief Minister, Thapa said “in order to lead a decent and respectable life, a means of sustainable livelihoods have to be ensured as we do not have any option than to rely on job opportunities. The people of Gorkha community who have been settled permanently in Nagaland have no place to go out but to live and die here in Nagaland.” With this, he urged the Chief Minister to come up with policies to ensure basic means of livelihood.
He also emphasized saying, “we are not seeking equal employment rights at par with Naga brethren but shall be grateful if we are treated at par with other minority tribes settled in Nagaland.”
Special highlights of the inauguration includes; cultural show represented by various tribes, Khukuri dance and a special Gorkha song.
The programme was chaired by Ranjit Lama, Advisor, GPPK. While the vote of thanks was delivered by Meghraj Lama, President, Gorkha Students Union Kohima (GSUK). Meanwhile Jenny Lamechanne Chetri, Vice President, Gorkha Students Union Kohima (GSUK) compere the function.