Less than three weeks after Nagaland’s well-known journalist and writer Monalisa Changkija released her latest book “Cogitating for a Better Deal”, Ao Senden, the apex body of the Ao tribe of the state has announced a “ban” on it for allegedly making false allegations against the sanctity of the apex body of the Ao community.
The ban order was issued by Ao Senden president Prof Sangyu Yaden and general secretary Tsupong Longchar through a press release in Dimapur on Tuesday. It said that though the Ao Senden honoured the constitutional provision and status of freedom of the press and expression, this freedom could not be “misused” and that no one was permitted the power and liberty to write anything without evidence.
Interestingly, the Ao Senden had summoned Changkija to its presidential council of November 11 where she was asked to explain why action should not be taken against her for making certain remarks and “false” allegations about the tribal body. Dissatisfied with the author’s reply, the Ao Senden adopted a resolution where she was also asked to sign among others.
The Ao Senden said the “false allegations” contained in the book in relation to a particular incident in Changki village (from which Changkija’s family comes) sometime ago, had created serious repercussions in the society. Percolating further, such “wrong-doings” would lead to “disaster”, the Ao Senden observed.
Monalisa Changkija, author of the book however stood by her observations and said she considered Ao Senden as an NGO on the basis of laws of the land. “I have no problem in reiterating that Ao Senden is an NGO and that it has no mandate to arbritrate over any intra-village or inter-village dispute. Moreover, how could an NGO or any other organization expel any village from any community within Naga society?” Changkija, who is also editor of “Nagaland Page”, a leading daily newspaper of the hill state, asked.
Pointing at the particular chapter called “Consequence of Long-term Conflicts in Northeast India” Monalisa Changkija told The Indian Express that she had only reflected how a famous Ao village called Changki was “expelled” from the Ao community and Ao Senden following some developments arising out of nomenclature of a particular clan. “I have also mentioned about how the NSCN(IM) also came into the picture and became party to the decision of expelling the village,” she said.