This section will deal with the history of the term Nocte and its subsequent development from the medieval period to present. The term Nocte, was coined in the 1950s. It has been derived from two words: Nok, which means village, and Tey, which means people.
Since the advent of the Ahoms in early 13th Century, they have called the tribes of Nocte, Wancho, Tutsa, Ollo, Tangsa, and the different tribes of Nagaland as Naga or Noga. The name was also used by the Britishers up to the first half of the 20th Century. Among the other Naga tribes, the Nocte tribe were known to them as Borduaria Naga, Namsangia Naga and Paniduaria Naga. Read about Ahom-Nocte Relations.
After President Rajendra Prasad (26 January 1950 - 13 May 1962) passed the order called the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, the tribes of Nocte, Wancho, Tangsa and Tutsa, were together called Any Naga Tribes. The Ministry of Law published the Order on September 6, 1950, in The Gazette of India for nationwide notification.
As per the second paragraph of the Order, "The tribes or tribal communities, or parts of, or groups within, tribes or tribal communities, specified in Parts I to XIV of The Schedule to this Order shall, in relation to the States to which those Parts respectively relate, be deemed to be Scheduled Tribes so far as regards members thereof resident in the localities specified in relation to them respectively in those Parts of that Schedule."
In 1950, Arunachal Pradesh was administratively controlled by the Government of Assam. For this reason, in the Order, the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh were mentioned in Part I - Assam of The Schedule.
In Section 2 of Part I - Assam, the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh were mentioned under the heading, "In the Tribal Areas other than the Autonomous Districts". The Order mentioned eleven tribes, and they are as follow:
8. Any Naga Tribes
Due to the lack political awareness in the 1950s, the names Nocte, Wancho, Tangsa and Tutsa were not registered in the Constitution of India. However, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh recognized the singularity of each tribe, and thus registered the persons belonging to the above tribes as, Nocte (Naga), Wancho (Naga), Tangsa (Naga) and Tutsa (Naga), in their respective ST Certificates.
On July 11, 2014, Ninong Ering, Member of Parliament from Arunachal East ST Constituency (Lok Sabha), invoked Rule 377 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, and began the process of dialogue to replace the generic term Any Naga Tribes with the specific names of the tribes - Nocte, Wancho, Tutsa and Tangsa. He also put forward the proposal of including the Yobin tribe in the list of Arunachal Pradesh’s Scheduled Tribes. The Lok Sabha Parliamentary meeting was chaired by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan (June 6, 2014 – June 16, 2019), and was brought in the notice of Jual Oram, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs (May 27, 2014 – May 30, 2019).
On November 13, 2015, the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment Bill) 2015, was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Ninong Ering to further amend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, as per his 2014 proposal, in accordance with Article 366 (25) read with Article 342 of the Constitution.
The Bill also contained a Financial Memorandum providing for additional recurring expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India. This expenditure would be on account of benefits to be provided to the persons belonging to these tribes, under ongoing schemes meant for the development and welfare of the Scheduled Tribes.
The Bill was not taken up for further discussion in the Lok Sabha, as is the fate of many Private Members’ Bills. Ninong Ering further pushed the Bill, and on June 5, 2018, he met Jual Oram at his residence office in New Delhi, and submitted a memorandum to replace the generic term Any Naga Tribes, with the specific names of the tribes - Nocte, Wancho, Tutsa and Tangsa, and to include the Yobin tribe in the list of Arunachal Pradesh’s Scheduled Tribes.
In October 2018, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh cleared the proposal, after being examined and recommended by the Tribal Affairs Ministry and the Registrar-General of India. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On January 3, 2019, the Union Cabinet approved the Home Ministry’s proposal to replace the generic term “Any Naga Tribes” with the specific names of the tribes, namely Nocte, Wancho, Tutsa and Tangsa.
Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2018, for revision of the list of Scheduled Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, was cleared, and the names of some communities would be deleted.
An official statement said ‘Khampti’ would be replaced with ‘Tai Khamti’ in the list. ‘Abor’ would be deleted and ‘Mishmi-Kaman, Idu and Taraon’ would be included. ‘Monpa, Memba, Sartang and Sajolong’ would be included in lieu of ‘Momba’ in the ST list of Arunachal Pradesh.
Union Minster of Tribal Affairs, Jual Oram, moved the Bill, now called Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Third Amendment) Bill, 2019, on February 11, 2019. The Bill was passed on February 13, 2019 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then Minister of State for Minority Affair Kiren Rijiju. The meeting was chaired by Rajya Sabha Speaker and Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu. The Bill is yet to come into effect.
The name Nocte, Wancho and Tangsa were acknowledged by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in his 1958 letter. The letter was in reference to the monument called Pillar of Four Tribes.