The Frontier Naga Territory (FNT) is a proposed new administrative unit in the state of Nagaland. It would consist of the easternmost districts of Nagaland, namely Tuensang, Mon, Longleng, Kiphire, Noklak and Shamator. The FNT is the outcome of the Frontier Nagaland (FN) state that was demanded by the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO), an umbrella organization of tribal bodies in the region.
It is perceived that the FNT would allow for greater autonomy and development for the eastern Nagas, who have long felt marginalized by the state government. It is also argued that the FNT would help to promote peace and security in the region.
The Indian government is yet to make its decision on the FNT known publicly. However, there is some support for the idea within the government. In fact, there are reports that the FNT proposal was made by the GoI to placate the Eastern Nagas who had been demanding separate statehood. In December 2022, Home Minister Amit Shah met with a delegation from the ENPO and said that the government understood the grievances of the Eastern Nagas.
The FNT proposal is a complex issue with no easy answers. There are strong arguments both for and against it. However, the proposal has sparked a much-needed debate about the future of Nagaland and the rights of the eastern Nagas. There are pros and cons for the formation of FNT and it is important to weigh all of the factors involved before making a decision. The pros include greater autonomy for the eastern Nagas, increased development opportunities for the region, and potential for promoting peace and security. The cons, on the other hand, are that it could lead to further fragmentation of Nagaland and Naga society, it could be seen as a step towards statehood, and it could be difficult to implement and manage.
The FNT proposal is a complex one, but it is an important one. It raises fundamental questions about the future of Nagaland and the rights of the eastern Nagas. The Indian government will need to carefully consider all of the pros and cons before making a decision on the proposal. In the meantime, the debate over the FNT is likely to continue. It is a debate that is worth having, as it is a debate about the future of Nagaland and the rights of its people. The consultative meeting called by the state government on 30 June to deliberate on the provisions of the proposals of the Centre for constitution of an ‘autonomous council’ for the six eastern districts is expected to make things clearer.