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Naga Nationalism on the Rise After Abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir?

Kohima, August 15, 2019:

It seems like the abrogation of the Article 370 (which gave special privileges to the citizens of Kashmir), has led to a resurgence in Naga nationalism as the the Naga national flag was unfurled in many locations across the State.

Moreover, students from all across the State took part in the Naga Independence Day celebrations on August 14.

Not only in Nagaland, the Nagas in Manipur too hoisted the ‘Naga National Flag’ across the state to mark the 73rd Naga Independence Day celebrations of the community, one day ahead of India’s Independence Day.

Hundreds of Naga from different places including neighbouring states of Nagaland and Myanmar attended the Independence Day celebration held at Katomei public ground hosted by the Naga People’s Organisation (NPO) under the theme “One Goal, One Destiny”, where the key speakers highlighted the proud Naga history and appealed all the Nagas across the world to remain united.

The ‘Naga Independence Day’ has been an annual event, but the celebration this year attained significance in the wake of the withdrawal of the Article 370 in Kashmir, which raised alarm bells in the Northeast Indian State, where Article 371A is in place.

The provisions of the Article 371 basically protect the rights of the indigenous tribals, and the state that stands to lose the most if these provisions are stripped, is Nagaland.

Article 371 A, which applies to Nagaland, lends the state a fair amount of political autonomy – no act of the Indian Parliament will apply to the state if it interferes with the religious or social practices of the Nagas unless approved by the state legislature. On the other hand, Manipur’s Article 371 C is only restricted to its hills and offers significantly less powers to its hill districts council.

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