24Indianews

Nagaland  is a state in Northeast India. It borders the state of Assam to the west, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam to the north, Burma to the east and Manipur to the south. The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur. It has an area of 16,579 square kilometres (6,401 sq mi) with a population of 1,980,602 per the 2011 Census of India, making it one of the smallest states of India.

The state is inhabited by 16 major tribes – Ao, Angami, Chang, Konyak, Lotha, Sumi, Chakhesang, Khiamniungan, Dimasa Kachari, Phom, Rengma, Sangtam, Yimchunger,Kuki, Zeme-Liangmai (Zeliang) and Pochury as well as a number of sub-tribes. Each tribe is unique in character with its own distinct customs, language and dress. Two threads common to all, are language and religion – English is in predominant use. Nagaland is one of three states in India where the population is mostly Christian.

Nagaland became the 16th state of India on 1 December 1963. Agriculture is the most important economic activity and the principal crops include rice, corn, millets, pulses, tobacco, oilseeds, sugarcane, potatoes, and fibers. Other significant economic activity includes forestry, tourism, insurance, real estate, and miscellaneous cottage industries. The state has experienced insurgency as well as inter-ethnic conflict since the 1950s. The violence and insecurity have long limited Nagaland’s economic development, because it had to commit its scarce resources on law, order and security. In the last 15 years, the state has seen less violence and annual economic growth rates nearing 10% on a compounded basis, one of the fastest in the region.

The state is mostly mountainous except those areas bordering Assam valley. Mount Saramati is the highest peak with a height of 3,840 metres and its range forms a natural barrier between Nagaland and Burma. It lies between the parallels of 98-degrees and 96-degrees east longitude and 26.6-degrees and 27.4-degrees latitude north of the equator. The state is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna; it has been suggested as the “falcon capital of the world”.

History
The ancient history of the Nagas is unclear. Some anthropologists suggest Nagas belong to the Mongoloid race, and different tribes migrated at different times, each settling in the north-eastern part of present India and establishing their respective sovereign mountain terrains and village-states. There are no records of whether they came from the northern Mongolian region, southeast Asia or southwest China, except that their origins are from the east of India and that historic records show the present day Naga people settled before the arrival of the Ahoms in 1228 AD.

The origin of the word ‘Naga’ is also sketchy. A popularly accepted, but controversial view is that it originated from the Burmese word ‘Naka’, meaning people with earrings. Others suggest it means pierced noses.

20th century
In 1944, the Indian National Army with the help of Japanese Army, lead by Netaji Subhashchandra Bose, invading through Burma, attempted to free India through Kohima. The population was evacuated. British India soldiers defended the area of Kohima and were relieved by British in June 1944, having lost many of their original force. Indian National Army lost half their numbers, many through starvation, and were forced to withdraw through Burma.
National wakening yet eventual road to statehood within India
In 1929, a Memorandum was submitted to the Simon Statutory Commission, requesting that the Nagas be exempt from reforms and new taxes proposed in British India, should be left alone to determine their own future. This Naga Memorandum stated,
Battle of Kohima
In 1944 during World War II, along with Manipur, British and Indian troops in Nagaland successfully repelled Japanese troops in Battle of Kohima. The battle was fought from 4 April to 22 June 1944 from the town of Kohima, coordinated with action from Imphal, Manipur.

Historical rituals

Historically, Naga tribes celebrated two main rituals. These were feasting and head hunting.
Head hunting
Head hunting, a male activity, would involve separating men from their women before, during and after coming back from an expedition. The women, as a cultural practice, would encourage men to undertake head-hunting as a prerequisite to marriage. The men would go on an expedition against other tribes or neighboring kingdoms, and kill to score number of heads they were able to hunt. A successful head hunter would be conferred a right to ornaments. The practice of head hunting was banned in 19th century India, and is no longer practised among Naga people.

Geography
Nagaland is largely a mountainous state. The Naga Hills rise from the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam to about 2,000 feet (610 m) and rise further to the southeast, as high as 6,000 feet (1,800 m). Mount Saramati at an elevation of 12,601.70 feet (3,841.00 m) is the state’s highest peak; this is where the Naga Hills merge with the Patkai Range in which form the boundary with Burma. Rivers such as the Doyang and Diphu to the north, the Barak river in the southwest, dissect the entire state. 20 percent of the total land area of the state is covered with wooded forest, a haven for flora and fauna. The evergreen tropical and the sub tropical forests are found in strategic pockets in the state.

Geography
Nagaland is largely a mountainous state. The Naga Hills rise from the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam to about 2,000 feet (610 m) and rise further to the southeast, as high as 6,000 feet (1,800 m). Mount Saramati at an elevation of 12,601.70 feet (3,841.00 m) is the state’s highest peak; this is where the Naga Hills merge with the Patkai Range in which form the boundary with Burma. Rivers such as the Doyang and Diphu to the north, the Barak river in the southwest, dissect the entire state. 20 percent of the total land area of the state is covered with wooded forest, a haven for flora and fauna. The evergreen tropical and the sub tropical forests are found in strategic pockets in the state.
Demographics
Population
The population of Nagaland is nearly two million people, of which 1.04 million are males and 0.95 million females. Among its various districts, Dimapur has the largest population (379769), followed by Kohima (270063). The least populated district is Longleng (50593). 75% of the population lives in the rural areas. As of 2013, about 10% of rural population is below the poverty line; among the people living in urban areas 4.3% of them are below the poverty line.

Demographics
Population

The state showed a population drop between 2001 census to 2011 census, the only state to show a population drop in the census. This has been attributed, by scholars, to incorrect counting in past censuses; the 2011 census in Nagaland is considered most reliable so far.

Languages

Per Grierson’s classification system, Naga languages can be grouped into Western, Central and Eastern Naga Groups. The Western Group includes among others Angami, Chokri  and Kheza. The Central Naga group includes Ao, Lotha and Sangtam, whereas Eastern Group includes Konyak and Chang. In addition, there are Naga-Bodo group illustrated by Mikir language, and Kuki group of languages illustrated by Sopvama (also called Mao Naga) and Luppa languages. These belong mostly to the Sino-Tibetan language family. Shafer came up with his own classification system for languages found in and around Nagaland. Each tribe has one or more dialects that are unintelligible to others.

Religion
The state’s population is 1.978 million, out of which 88% are Christians. The census of 2011 recorded the state’s Christian population at 17,39,651, making it, with Meghalaya, and Mizoram one of the three Christian-majority states in India. The state has a very high church attendance rate in both urban and rural areas. Huge churches dominate the skylines of Kohima, Dimapur, and Mokokchung.

Government
The governor is the constitutional head of state, representative of the President of India. He possesses largely ceremonial responsibilities apart from law and order responsibilities.

The Legislative Assembly of Nagaland (Vidhan Sabha) is the real executive and legislative body of the state. The 60-member Vidhan Sabha – all elected members of legislature – forms the government executive and is led by the Chief minister. Unlike most states in India, Nagaland has been granted a great degree of state autonomy, as well as special powers and autonomy for Naga tribes to conduct their own affairs. Each tribe has a hierarchy of councils at the village, range, and tribal levels dealing with local
Elections
The Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) is a state level coalition of political parties. It headed the government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (United) (JDU). It was formed in 2003 after the Nagaland Legislative Assembly election, with the Naga People’s Front (NPF), and the BJP. The alliance has been in power in Nagaland since 2003.

Urban centres
The major urban areas of Nagaland are Dimapur, Kohima, Mokokchung, Tuensang, Wokha, Mon, Zunheboto, Longleng and Kiphire, India . There are five urban agglomeration areas with population of more than 40,000 in the state:
Economy
The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Nagaland was about ₹12065 crore (US$1.8 billion) in 2011-12.[61] Nagaland’s GSDP grew at 9.9% compounded annually for a decade, thus more than doubling the per capita income.

Nagaland has a high literacy rate of 80.1 per cent. Majority of the population in the state speaks English, which is the official language of the state. The state offers technical and medical education. Nevertheless, agriculture and forestry contribute majority of Nagaland’s Gross Domestic Product. The state is rich in mineral resources such as coal, limestone, iron, nickel, cobalt, chromium, and marble. Nagaland has a recoverable reserve of limestone of 1,000 million tonnes plus a large untapped resource of marble and handicraft stone.
Natural Resources
After a gap of almost 20 years, Nagaland state Chief Minister, T. R. Zeliang launched the resumption of oil exploration in Changpang and Tsori areas, under Wokha district in July 2014. The exploration will be carried out by the Metropolitan Oil & Gas Pvt. Ltd. Zeliang has alleged failures and disputed payments made to the state made by previous explorer, the state owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

Transportation
The railway network in the state is minimal. Broad gauge lines run 7.98 miles (12.84 km), National Highway roads 227.0 miles (365.3 km), and state roads 680.1 miles (1,094.5 km). Road is the backbone of Nagaland’s transportation network. The state also has over 15,000 km of surfaced roads, but these are not satisfactorily maintained given the weather damage. In terms of population served for each kilometer of surfaced road, Nagaland is the second best state in the region after Arunachal Pradesh.
Education
Nagaland schools are run by the state and central government or by private organisation. Instruction is mainly in English which is also the official language of Nagaland. Under the 10+2+3 plan, after passing the Higher Secondary Examination (the grade 12 examination), students may enroll in general or professional degree programs. Nagaland has one Central University (Nagaland University), one engineering college (National Institute of Technology Nagaland) and one private university (a branch of the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India)

Culture
The sixteen main tribes of Nagaland are Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Dimasa Kachari, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sumi, Yimchunger, Kuki and Zeliang. The Konyaks, Angamis, Aos, Lothas, and Sumis are the largest Naga tribes; there are several smaller tribes as well (see List of Naga tribes). Tribe and clan traditions and loyalties play an important part in the life of Nagas. Weaving is a traditional art handed down through generations in Nagaland. Each of the tribe has its own unique designs and colours, producing shawls, shoulder bags, decorative spears, table mats, wood carvings, and bamboo works. Among many tribes the design of the shawl denotes the social status of the wearer. Some of the more known shawls include Tsungkotepsu and Rongsu of the Ao tribe; Sutam, Ethasu, Longpensu of the Lothas; Supong of the Sangtams, Rongkhim and Tsungrem Khim of the Yimchungers; the Angami Lohe shawls with thick embroidered animal motifs etc.