NSF urges people to elect ‘Nagas by blood’ in ULB polls

KOHIMA 13 Jun: The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has appealed to the people of Nagaland to elect “Nagas by blood and not by adoption” in the 26 June elections to 39 urban local bodies (ULB) in the state.

The students’ body claimed that electing non-Nagas to local governance positions pose a significant risk to the preservation of the Naga cultural heritage.

“The NSF, in collaboration with our federating units and subordinate bodies, hereby reiterates our firm stance on the paramount importance of indigenous representation in the upcoming ULB elections in Nagaland,” the body’s vice president Mtseisuding said on Wednesday.

The NSF underscores the necessity of ensuring that the voices and aspirations of the indigenous Naga populace are authentically represented in all decision-making processes, he said.

Naga people have a rich history and vibrant culture that are intricately woven into the fabric of the governance structures, he said, adding that central to this governance is the observance of customary laws and traditional practices, which are not merely symbolic gestures but are the very essence of Naga identity.

These practices have been handed down through generations and are vital for maintaining social cohesion, he said.

“In this context, NSF emphasises the critical need to elect individuals who embody and respect these traditions and therefore the need for electing Nagas by blood and not by adoption,” he said.

He said that the NSF fears that appointment of non-Nagas would disrupt the traditional systems that have long sustained the communities and dilute the cultural legacy that defines Nagas as a people.

“The NSF strongly believes that indigenous representation in local governance is not just a matter of political correctness but a fundamental necessity for the survival of our cultural identity,” he said.

The NSF also demanded that women married to non-locals and their children be excluded from contesting the elections.

“We appeal to the people to use their wisdom on the day of polling and send indigenous Naga candidates to the decision-making bodies of local self-governance and thereby protect the tradition and culture of the Nagas,” he added. (PTI)