Amit Shah

The Global Naga Forum (GNF) has issued as public statement on April 11 against the “imposition of Hindi in the Naga homeland”.

Questioning the statement made by Union home minister Amit Shah recently, the Global Naga Forum “strongly” opposed the “imposition of Hindi” in the state of Nagaland and asked: “How does the home ministry in Delhi get to impose Hindi in the schools of the Northeast?”

“But let’s start from the beginning because history matters, and in this case the past has caught up with the present with vengeance. According to the Naga forum, in the early 1950s, Mahasabha activist Bhuddeshwar Gohain, headmaster of Seikho Government High School in the then Tuensang Frontier district, wrote to prime minister Nehru: ‘I am glad to note that the cries of Naga Independence have been crushed by the military, but there still remains the most powerful support of future revolt, which I’m sure the military cannot win. This is Christianity…. It will be wise, in my opinion, to check and replace the Christian culture immediately with the national culture. Education in this district should be immediately freed from Christian influence even with the help of the military when essential’”, the Forum said.

GNF then said it “welcomes” the study of any language in the “Naga homeland” – Indian as well as world languages. The forum further said it very much encourages teaching the rich oral traditions and literatures of the Northeast, India, Myanmar, and the world. According to the forum, this is because a healthy democracy depends on two groups of people. GNF also stated that an educated citizenry who respects and values the best ideas that human beings have written about, led by a team of capable public leaders working to promote the common good at home and beyond.

“This distinctive human endeavour for excellence and for peaceful coexistence among nations with immensely diverse languages, cultures, and religious beliefs has been going on for millennia,” it said.

GNF then said India has contributed to the history of civilization with distinction – in the past. But the Naga forum said the current BJP government’s arbitrary decision to impose something like the teaching of Hindi on the eight states of the Northeast does not advance human excellence or respectful co-existence among the diverse linguistic and cultural groups India is known for.

GNF further said that it has nothing to do with the goals of collaborative good governance either. It said the decision has everything to do with the BJP’s vision of a monolithic Hindu India and a RSS-driven “national culture” that the Mahasabha argued for in Tuensang seven decades ago.

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