Naga Hoho says no to imposition of Uniform Civil Code

(File photo: The Morung Express)

Dimapur: The Naga Hoho has strongly opposed the “imposition of Uniform Civil Code(UCC)”.

In a statement issued today, the Naga Hoho said it strongly opposed the “imposition of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) on the diverse communities of India, particularly on the Nagas”. It added, “We firmly believe that any attempt to enforce a one-size-fits-all approach would undermine the constitutional provisions, unique history, and indigenous culture and identity of the Nagas, as well as the principles of unity in diversity in the country”.

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The Naga Hoho then said Article 371 (A) of the Constitution of India recognizes the special status and rights of the Nagas. The Naga Hoho also said the article grants the Nagas rights to maintain the social, cultural, and religious practices and administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to customary law and ownership of land and its resources thereby ensuring their protection against any potential impingement. This constitutional safeguard is essential in respecting the distinctiveness and autonomy of the Nagas, acknowledging their historical journey, and upholding their fundamental rights, the Naga Hoho further added.

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The statement then said the Nagas have a rich and diverse cultural heritage that has evolved over centuries. The traditional institutions, customary laws, norms and practices have played a vital role in maintaining social harmony and ensuring the well-being of the Naga communities, the Naga Hoho also stated. Imposing a Uniform Civil Code without taking into account the unique cultural and historical context of the Nagas would be tantamount to erasing their identity and diluting their cherished traditions, it also added.

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Furthermore, according to the Naga Hoho, India’s strength lies in its unity in diversity, which encompasses a tapestry of languages, religions, and customs across its vast expanse. “This diversity is not only celebrated but also protected by the Constitution, which enshrines the principle of pluralism. Imposing a Uniform Civil Code would overlook the diverse needs and aspirations of different communities and undermine the very essence of this unity in diversity,” the Naga Hoho stated.

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The Naga Hoho then said it also “underscores the on-going Indo-Naga political talks”, which seek to address the long-standing issues and aspirations of the Naga people. These negotiations are based on mutual respect, understanding, and a commitment to finding a sustainable solution that respects the unique historical identity and rights of the Nagas, the Naga Hoho stated.

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The Naga Hoho statement then concluded, “Therefore, we urge the government and all concerned stakeholders to reconsider the imposition of Uniform Civil Code and instead foster an environment that respects and safeguards the diverse cultural identities and traditions across the country”.

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