September 21, 2018
The Naga tribes of Arunachal Pradesh which were vaguely mentioned in the ST list will now gain a proper status and position in the Scheduled Tribe list. They are to get a distinct name from now onwards as the tribal affairs ministry has decided to remove the reference “any Naga tribes” from the ST list of Arunachal Pradesh. Rather there will be proper names now for each of the Naga tribes, such as Nocte, Tangsa, Tutsa and Wancho etc.
This new move by the tribal affairs ministry will help the government in undermining NSCN-IM’s demand for a separate Naga-dominated Nagalim that they have been demanding by extending the border to other states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. From now on, the Naga tribes living in Arunachal Pradesh will have a distinct name rather than being a generalized tribe. For this to happen, a state government has to send a proposal for inclusion, exclusion or any other amendment to the existing names of tribes in the ST list. Once the proposal is sent to the Registrar General of India (RGI), the latter conduct further examination and once approved, the proposal goes to the National Commission Scheduled Tribe (NCST). This is further followed by the ministry preparing a constitutional amendment bill to incorporate the changes in the ST list and lastly, is forwarded to the Parliament after being approved by the cabinet.
The Tribal Affairs Ministry forwarded the proposal to NCST on July 25 and after all necessary procedures; the proposal was formally approved in the September meeting.
A home ministry official said, “The urgency attached to the proposal is evident as the home ministry is following it up daily.” But not only are the change in the references to the Naga tribe, but there are several changes in ST list made by the government. For instance, the tribe Abor has been removed, the tribe Khampti has been included as Tai Khamti and the three tribes (Mishmi, Idu, Taraon) have been expanded to include Mushmi-Kaman, (Miju Mishmi), Idu (Mishmi) and Taraon (Digaru Mishmi). Moreover, instead of just one tribe name of Momba, there will be names like – Monpa, Memba, Sartang and Sajolong (miji).