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Women’s reservation in politics will lead to corruption: Nagaland tribal leaders


Source: Hindustantimes.com | Monday, February 6, 2017

Women have no role to play in Nagaland politics, prominent leaders of
local tribal outfits insisted on Saturday in the aftermath of violent
protests against holding local body polls with 33% reservation for
women.

“Reservation for women will encourage instability and
corruption in our society,” said Vekhosayi Nyekha, co-convener of Joint
Coordination Committee (JCC), the umbrella body of tribal organisation
which had been spearheading the agitation against women’s reservation in
elections.

He argued that since the seats reserved will not be
permanent, it will lure elected women representatives to indulge in
corruption, which in turn will lead to instability.

“Reservation
for women in elected bodies will be detrimental to our society as it is
against our traditional laws,” said Peter Rutsa, president of another
tribal outfit, the Angami Youth Organisation (AYO).

A
Christian-majority state, tribal bodies play a very important role in
Naga society where many traditional and customary rules are still
followed.

It was opposition from the tribal bodies which forced
chief minister TR Zeliang’s government to sign a deal with JCC on
January 30 to postpone urban local body polls scheduled to be held on
February 1 by two months.

But a Gauhati high court order on
January 31, asking the Naga Peoples’ Front-led government to go ahead
with the polls made the state government hold elections in 12 of the 32
urban local bodies as scheduled.

Meanwhile, tribal outfits took
to the streets and two youths were killed and several others injured in
police firing on January 31 in the state’s commercial hub of Dimapur
when they tried to enter Zeliang’s private residence.

Two days
later, violence erupted in the state capital Kohima with unruly mobs
burning down 21 government buildings and 11 vehicles.

Women have
never been active in Naga political sphere. The state has never elected a
woman MLA since it gained statehood in 1963. The lone woman MP from the
state was late Rano M Shaiza, who got elected in 1977.

Threats
of excommunication and social boycott if they took part in polls with
reservation for women had forced 140 candidates to withdraw and no one
had filed nominations in 10 municipal bodies.

The violence has now forced the government to declare elections held in the 12 local bodies null and void.

“But
we will continue our protests till the CM and his entire cabinet steps
down and the police officers responsible for the Dimapur firing incident
are suspended,” said tribal leader KT Vilie.

No ‘bandh’ was
imposed in Dimapur on Saturday, but there were restrictions on movement
of government vehicles in Kohima. From Monday, tribal outfits are
planning a total shutdown of government offices across the state.

Source: hindustantimes.com



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