New districts in general, are created for administrative convenience or ease of administration so that the distance between the district headquarters and remote areas are shortened, which in turn helps with better implementation as well as monitoring of government schemes and programmes and law and order maintenance in remote areas. Sometimes it can also be created on the basis of historical significance, demographics or various socio-cultural factors.
The creation of new districts has no fixed criteria and thus differ on the basis of the region all over the country. This same case applies to the Nagaland state which was created not on the basis of popularity but out of administrative necessity on tribal considerations, political grounds and to meet the sentiments and aspirations of the Nagas, which was purely based on the merit of each case coupled with political will and necessity.
Recently the Noklak sub-division under the Tuensang district was granted the status of a district for this same purpose of administrative convenience. However, shortly after this development, there has been a lot of unrest among the other sub-divisions, who have for long voiced the same demands.
Following this was the demand from the Rengma tribe of Nagaland who demanded Tseminyu sub-division to be upgraded to a district, in line with the government policy to bring the administration to the doorstep.
Seconding this was the Phughoboto sub-division under the Zunheboto district, which very recently held a rally to demand the creation of the Phughoboto district. Around 24 villages under this division participated in a public rally on the 30th of Jan last month. This rally was jointly organized by the Sumi Aphuyemi Hoho and the Phughoboto District Demand Committee at the local ground of the Phughoboto town. In a representation submitted to the Addl Deputy Commissioner of Phughoboto, these organizations justified their demands saying that the Pughoboto sub-division was one of the oldest in the state after it was accorded the status in 1986. It also stated that the sub-division has not seen any progress owing to sheer negligence and other multiple reasons.
The experience of the Phughoboto sub-division under Kohima district for 23 years and 31 years under the Zunheboto district historically after the attainment of statehood has not proved worthy of its people. Also, it stated that Pughoboto was one among the firsts, who supported as well as nourished the Naga Nationalism, bearing the worst brunt of the Indian army atrocities.
During the Naga Nationalist movement, Pughoboto area was declared as the ‘hideout of the Naga nationalist’ and for this very reason, according to its people showed that despite its sacrifice, it was left unattended by the successive state govt.
Thus, it is with this reason that its people has appealed the govt of Nagaland ‘to recognise their sacrifice and and accord them a full-fledged district’. The Sumi Aphuyemi Hoho and the Pughoboto District demand Committee has said that the unofficial documents will also be handed over to the Nagaland CM. It has also adopted an 8-points to underscore Pughobotos demand to be upgraded as a district.
The popular demands for creation of new districts( in my opinion) seems reasonable enough as delimitation should happen so that every tribe get their due share of funds and development. Many will not agree to this but right now some tribes in Nagaland are enjoying at the expense of other tribes misery! All Nagas despite its historical legacy of its forefathers deserve to share equal status as it will bring progress, upliftment, pride and also enhance the recognition of one’s community.