NSF says NE youth fest not appropriate


IMPHAL, Jan 16: Naga Students and women Organisations have long before come out with public statement that the North East Youth Festival 2011 at Tahamzam (Senapati) of the Youth Initiative Foundation, a vague organization led by one Dominic Chawang, at this point of time will not be proper and had advised the organizers not to go ahead with it.
The reason being the declaration of  severance of all political ties with the Government of Manipur(GoM) in the 1st of July, 2010 Naga Peoples’ Convention (NPC) convened at Tahamzam. This declaration was based on the unmistakable fact that it was impossible to protect their right to life, land, time-honored institutions, customary practice and values under the administration of the dominant and communal GoM, because the history of the Nagas has clearly confirmed that the GoM has never recognized and respected the identity and dignity of the Naga people according to a release of Publicity Wing NYF.
The release further mentioned that, however the organizers, defying the advice, have roped in the Indian Army for the preparation and presumably to counter the voice of the people against the ill timed programme, although they are not co-organiser of the programme. The Youth Initiative Foundation has challenged the very spirit of the NPC with this seemingly innocuous invasion that is detrimental to the interest and the future of the Nagas in Manipur. While the Nagas have taken up the movement against suppression, deprivation and discrimination and threat to their identity and culture, the Youth Initiative Foundation proposes to celebrate Peace through Culture and Identity of the entire north east region at Tahamzam, the very venue of the NPC.
It is also furthe mentioned that, this nefarious design to dilute and distort the real situation obtaining in the State of Manipur and the Naga areas cannot be allowed to be put in place. The sentiments of the Naga people cannot be bought over by superficial publicity stunts of songs, dances and catwalks. The programme is being supported by the dominant GoM to divide the Nagas and the tribals. The Army must therefore explain its interest in associating with this programme which seeks to rub salt on the festering wounds of the Nagas. We are not against festivals of the youth to whom the future belong. But when our space, our identity and culture has been subsumed by the dominant and we have been reduced to chattels, what will we celebrate and uphold in the festival ? Festival such as these will be meaningful and cease to be insulting only when we secure our space and equality, and our identity and culture is safeguarded in the Alternative Arrangement.  
The Naga Youth Front therefore has no option but to hold those few individuals who are spearheading this disintegrating initiative, responsible for any consequences arising from this forced event. The Naga Youth Front in all the regions are informed to be in preparedness to respond to the situation in a befitting manner the release added.


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