Nagas Current Affairs - 2020

Hornbill Festival celebrated in Nagaland

Every year the “Hornbill Festival” is celebrated between December 1 and December 10. It is also called Festival of Festivals. The festival is organized by the State Tourism and art and culture department in Kohima.

Highlights of the festival

The festival is held every year in the Kisama village near Kohima, the state capital. The aim of the festival is to protect and revive the rich culture of Nagaland. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in the festival. Traditional arts of the state such as wood carvings, paintings and sculptures are displayed in the festival.

Tourism

The festival is a major tourist attraction. Till December 8, 2019, around 2,39,901 visitors have visited the festival.It includes 2,799 foreigners as well. The festival contributes a major share in boosting the economy of the state.

Naga Morungs

The Naga Morung is one of the major highlights of the festival. The Morung is a self-governing body that aims to protect the village men. Morungs were the community spaces in Nagaland where the young boys were trained. The boys are taught history and culture of the tribes in the land. They also learnt folk songs and tales during their stay. The boys were made Naga warriors in these Morungs.

At the Hornbill festival, the culture of the Morung tribes is exhibited. Their arts, paintings, lifestyle are displayed. Tourists stay at Morung cottages during the festival.

The name

Hornbill is a revered bird that is featured widely in the songs of Nagaland tribes. Hence the name horn bill is given to the festival. Hornbills are birds that are found in tropical and sub-tropical Asia, Africa and Melanesia.

Citizenship (Amendment) bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha

On December 4, 2019, the Union Cabinet cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) bill, for the bill to be tabled in Lok Sabha. The bill is being tabled amidst widespread protests in the north eastern states.

Key Features

The bill aims at providing Indian citizenship to 6 minority communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The communities are Hindu, Christian, Sikhs, Buddhist and Jain. Currently for a person to get Indian citizenship, he should have resided in the country for 11 years. The bill intends to amend this as 6 years.

Concerns

The bill has not included Muslim community. This according to the opposition is violation of Article 14 that legalizes equality before law. The article states that the government shall show no discrimination on grounds of religion, caste, race, sex or birth.

The Illegal Migrants factor

According the Citizenship Act, 1955, illegal migrants can either be sent to jail or back to their own countries. In Assam, the protest is on rights and livelihood of ethnic communities on passage of the bill. After the bill is passed, thousands of illegal migrants will be deported according to Assam Accord. According to Assam Accord that was signed in 1985, foreigners who entered Indian soil after March 24, 1971 shall be deported.

In Mizoram, the protests are by the illegal Buddhist Chakma immigrants who were displaced by the construction of Kaptai dam on the Karnaphuli river in 1962. The Nagaland Tribes Council and Naga Students Federations sees the bill as a threat to political future of their identity.

There are protests in Manipur in the fear of the state becoming a dumping ground to foreigners

In Tripura the Kokborok community has reduced to 33% of the population of the state. Initially the state was dominated by the community with 80% of the population. Tripural believes that this condition will worsen of the bill is passed.