Nagaland advances cleanliness drive after pushback from church bodies over Sunday plan
The Nagaland government decided to conduct the cleanliness drive on September 30 after after several organisations and church bodies opposed the Oct 1 plan
KOHIMA: The Nagaland government on Wednesday decided to conduct the cleanliness drive on September 30 rather than October 1, following opposition by the state’s church bodies against holding the events on a Sunday.
“Nagaland also, along with the rest of the country, will be taking part in the mega cleanliness drive, which has been decided to be carried out across the state on 30th September 2023 (Saturday) at 10am, instead of 1st October 2023, on account of the designated day falling on a Sunday,” said a Nagaland government order issued by principal secretary, Home, Abhijit Sinha.
The order came after several organisations and church bodies faulted the central government for conducting the sanitation drive on a Sunday and asked the state government to intervene.
“The church is aware that cleanliness is part of civic duty and therefore, we will do so joyfully except on Sunday, which is a day of worship for Christians and not for work,” the Nagaland Joint Christian Forum (NJCF), a conglomeration of different denominations of Christianity, said in a letter to chief minister Neiphiu Rio. The forum suggested the state advance the cleanliness drive by a day.
The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) [NSCN-IM], which has been in talks with the Centre, said the “spirit of secularism must be rightfully respected” for such a nationwide drive.”Naga people will stand as one Christian family to resist such a cleanliness initiative that defies the mutual respect for different faiths that reflects the secular character of India. NSCN cannot remain as a mere spectator to any policy or initiative that obstructs and undermines Christian faith,” NSCN-IM said in a statement on Tuesday.
Other Christian bodies such as the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, Chakhesang and Angami Baptist Church Councils, and the influential Naga Students Federation had also rejected the idea of conducting the cleanliness drive on a Sunday.