Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has expressed concern over the ban on a book of a Dimapur based Naga Editor-Journalist by a tribal body and urged Ao Senden to withdraw the restriction urgently. Ao Senden (Ao Hoho), which is responsible for the welfare of Ao tribe in Nagaland, alleges that Monalisa Changkija’s recent book has narrated some false allegations against the tribal body. Released on October 25, the book titled Cogitating For A Better Deal (published by Heritage Publishing House, Dimapur, 2014), is a compilation of six seminar papers which the author presented at various national seminars.
It may be mentioned that Monalisa, an acclaimed Journalist and Editor of Nagaland Page, an English daily newspaper of the State, termed Ao Senden as an NGO having ‘no mandate to arbitrate over intra and/or inter village disputes’, whereas the leader of the tribal body claims that it is the statutory apex body of Ao tribe. This is the primary difference that led to the conflict between the Nagaland Page Editor and Ao Senden leaders. Monalisa, who belongs to the Ao tribe, has already stated that it was not her ‘intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments’ through her writings and apologized if that was the case. But the brave and outspoken Journalist maintained that she stands by what she wrote. Of course, Monalisa is willing to publish the Ao Senden’s refutations and rebuttals to what she had written, which they found to be incorrect/disagreeable/objectionable, in newspapers and in the book itself, as a conciliatory gesture.
“We believe the leaders of Ao Senden should consider the author’s gesture to have appropriate clarifications in the book and withdraw the ban over Cogitating For A Better Deal. It needs no mention that in the age of internet today the ban over a book , that is in English, by a local body makes no sense,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.