Kohima, Nov 7 (PTI) Nagaland Governor La Ganesan has strongly criticised the purported remark of DMK leader RS Bharathi branding Naga people as dog-eaters.
He said Nagaland is home to a rich and varied heritage, where every tribal group brings its unique culture and tradition to India’s vibrant tapestry.
"I am deeply disturbed and saddened by the recent derogatory comments made by senior DMK leader RS Bharathi about Naga people. This unwarranted assumption, branding the whole Naga community as dog-eaters, is not only in poor taste but also maligns our diverse and dignified culture," Ganesan said in a statement here on Tuesday.
"To stereotype and belittle the entire population based on the dietary preference of a few is not only disrespectful but inevitably leads to the distortion of our identity," the statement added.
He reminded that eating habits are a personal choice and do not define one's character, dignity, or value, hence, nobody should be insulted or disrespected based on such preferences.
"A person's culture, ethics and contribution to society characterise them, and not what is on their plate," he said.
The governor reiterated that the Nagas are dignified and cultured people deeply committed to their rich cultural heritage.
Bharathi, who is the DMK's organisation secretary, had allegedly made the remark at a party event held to mark the centenary of late party patriarch M Karunanidhi recently.
Bharathi's remark is an unfortunate generalisation that belittles an entire community on the basis of food habits, the governor said.
Ganesan noted that Tamils have co-existed peacefully in Nagaland in an environment of mutual respect and understanding, and similarly Nagas have been studying and working in Tamil Nadu peacefully and with dignity.
"The communal harmony that exists between the Tamils and the Nagas either in Nagaland or in Tamil Nadu is a testament to the immense respect that both the communities have for each other’s tradition," he said.
The governor appealed to the people of Nagaland to ignore Bharathi’s statement as it does not reflect the real voice of the Tamil people. PTI NBS NBS MNB