Dog meat issue in Nagaland: Naga Hoho

UT News Service | Dimapur, JULY 21: The Naga Hoho has “fervently” appealed to the State government of Nagaland to review the standing order on the dog meat ban. “Naga people are not going to stop eating dog meat and thereby the law itself will become a mockery”, it added.

In a press statement issued on Tuesday evening, Naga Hoho said “the decision of the state cabinet on July 3, 2020 and the subsequent order of the Government of Nagaland which was capitulated on July 21, 2020 with the conformity of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and the Food Safety & Standards Regulation 2011 with regard to banning of dog meat, commercial import and trading of dogs in the markets and also sale of both cooked and uncooked is undoubtedly ridiculous”.

The Naga Hoho statement then said that Nagaland was never a part of Indian princely states and the history of migration, their customs and tradition and food habit and social life of the Nagas cannot be compared with the people in mainland India and “therefore the right for food cannot be taken away by any authority on earth”. The Naga Hoho then added, “We wonder whether the state government is there to protect the rights of indigenous Naga people or to just follow the orders according to the whims and fancies of the Government of India”. The Naga Hoho also said that, among many reasons, Naga people at large consider and value the dog meat as medicine and part of food habits. “No force can stop and alter the food habit and culture of another community whether through legislation or force,” it asserted.

The Naga Hoho then said that it “strongly feels” that any directive that comes from the government of India cannot be made into law without proper discussion in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly. “Today it is pertaining to dog meat, tomorrow all forms of alien culture may be imposed on us thereby the sanctity of our existence will be perished if we are unable to protect ourselves from such invasion against the rights of indigenous people,” the Naga Hoho also said.

According to the Naga Hoho, ever since the first election to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly, every political party in Nagaland has clearly enshrined in their manifestoes and has been pursuing the Indo-Naga political issue for an honourable settlement. It also said that, on numerous sittings of the Nagaland legislative Assembly, the Naga political issue was discussed and adopted resolutions in the floor of the house. “Even today, every individual and organisation claims to be the stakeholder of the Naga political problem on the question of political settlement,” it also said. According to the Naga Hoho, the Naga people, be it government servants or a layman, cannot deny their involvement and contributions to the Naga political struggle in one way or the other and so also every family has been facing hardship directly or indirectly. “Having said that, the directives issued by the state government on July 7, 2020 asking the government employees to sign the declaration about the involvement of their relatives in the Naga movement for self determination is really shocking and beyond comprehension,” said the Naga Hoho statement.

It then said that, after more than 70 years of political struggle and 23 years of Cease-fire agreement, “at no point of time”, neither the government of India or the state government has ever asked its employees to make such a declaration. “We question the wisdom of the concerned authorities and the people in the power corridors for imposing such irresponsible orders making the government servants insecure of their sincere and dedicated service,” stated the Naga Hoho. It also said that the order also implies lack of trust and confidence on its employees. “Off late, the Naga Hoho had categorically appealed to the Governor of Nagaland –cum-Interlocutor to come out with clarity as to why Naga political groups (NPGs) should be termed as armed gangs”, stated the Naga Hoho, adding, “In the same manner, we appeal to the government of the day and the Governor of Nagaland to tell the Naga people the reason behind the signing of self-declaration by the government employees”.

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