Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu, the president of Naga People’s Front (NPF) and a former Chief Minister of Nagaland, has voiced strong opposition to the Forest Conservation Amendment Act 2023, deeming it unacceptable to the Nagas. He called for a resolution to be passed by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) to counteract the amended Act.
Speaking at a fresher’s meet cum cultural event organized by Tenyimi Students Union Dimapur (TSUD) at Bundrock Hall Patkai Christian College (PCC), Dr. Shürhozelie reiterated his concerns over the Act's impact on the unique land ownership system of the state. He contended that the Act was ill-suited for the region and could lead to significant challenges within Nagaland.
Highlighting the importance of land as a fundamental asset among the Nagas, Dr. Shürhozelie emphasized that any infringement upon their land rights would not be tolerated. He asserted that the Nagas would staunchly resist attempts to undermine their land rights, stating, "For the Nagas, this is a very dangerous law. But Nagas will never yield even in the long run. That much I know."
During his address on "Preserving & Enhancing Culture through Education," Dr. Shürhozelie expressed concern over the preference for foreign languages over native tongues, particularly among students. He conveyed his lament at delivering his speech in English to Tenyimi individuals and stressed the significance of culture and language in shaping society.
Dr. Shürhozelie also disclosed that Ura Academy, of which he is the president, has sought the inclusion of Tenyidie language in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. He hoped that the Government of India would take up this matter in due course.
Cautiously addressing the rapid adoption of Nagamese, he warned that its proliferation could endanger the rich linguistic diversity of Nagaland within a few decades. "We must caution our Naga brethren with the danger looming around so that they do not regret tomorrow," he urged.
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