Guwahati: The Isaak Muivah faction of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (or NSCN-IM) has blasted the Nagaland Cabinet's decision to impose a ban on the selling of dogmeat in the state.
In a statement issued through its publicity department, the insurgent body claimed that "Nagalim (the NSCN's envisioned homeland of a majority Naga population) is under the forced occupation of India."
"Nowhere the Nagas share something common with the mainland Indians. In as much as the facial structure is different, so is the food habit. Thus, racially or ethnically, Nagas and Indians are nowhere near to share anything similar. Our origin of civilization is also different. Whether we belong to backward civilization or advanced, civilization it does not matter. Nagas are proud of their rich culture and traditions. Let no force on earth impose alien culture on the Naga people. Leave us alone as we have been for decades", the NSCN (IM) said its statement.
Slamming the Nagaland state government for its attempt to ban cow meat "under the influence of Hindutva", the insurgents claimed that the Government "went for the unthinkable to ban dog meat just to please some political celebrities."
The NSCN-IM further pointed out that since time immemorial, dogs have been bred for different purposes like hunting, pet, house guard, and for food. "The right to eat anything as per one's culture should not be put under restriction simply to satisfy the whims and fancy of somebody in power. The Nagas are equally concerned on cruelty to any kind of animal. But to force us to stop eating dog meat on the ground of cruelty to an animal is not acceptable to us", further stated the communique.
Besides Nagalim, there are other dog meat-eating nations like South Korea, China, arctic Antarctica, Nigeria, Vietnam, and Switzerland, the NSCN (IM) further pointed out.
"India under BJP has become more aggressive and chauvinistic in such pursuit in order to create a Hindu way of living, thinking, worship, and eating", the NSCN (IM) stated, adding, "We should be proud of our ancestors who offered tough resistance to an alien culture and the strong bond they shared with our culture, tradition and custom that differentiate the Nagas from the rest of the world as a unique and interesting entity."
"The Naga people will not accept intrusion into our cultural character. What belongs to the Naga culture must stay and what does not belong to the Naga culture should not be entertained so as not to pollute the Naga culture", the insurgent body further wrote.
The remote Christian-majority state's chief secretary, Temjen Toy, recently tweeted that the state government had banned all commercial import and trading of dogs. The sale of dog meat, both cooked and uncooked, has also been banned in the state. The move followed an appeal earlier in the week by Member of Parliament Maneka Gandhi, who urged the Nagaland government to intervene in the matter.
Gandhi's appeal came after she received photographs of the trade from a Nagaland-based animal protection group. The pictures taken by the group soon became viral on social media platforms.