There has been a brief lull owing to the raging pandemic across the world, nevertheless, Naga people are confident in the official position of GoI with NNPGs on the question of Indo-Naga political solution. The GoI under the astute leadership of Honourable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi had endorsed Mr. R.N Ravi as interlocutor for Naga Peace talks, who was also assigned gubernatorial charge for the state of Nagaland, to begin political negotiations with the Working Committee (WC), NNPGs on 27th September 2017. By 31st Oct. 2019, GoI and the two negotiating Naga groups announced conclusion of the talks. All contentious matters had been resolved through intense negotiations. Few unresolved issues were to be pursued and resolved through democratic process post solution. This is the official position of the GOI till date. This is assuredly the position of the Home Ministry, the GoI interlocutor, and the Nagaland State Government. The WC, NNPGs in tandem with all Naga tribes and civil societies await the Indo-Naga political solution. Despite this there is endless propaganda and disturbing distortion of truth to confuse the Naga people. Fortunately, our people can distinguish between those working earnestly for early honourable and acceptable solution and those changing goalposts each month to enrich themselves and prolong the Naga issue. Hundred press releases cannot nullify one political statement with fact and figures. Any entity deviating from this 31st Oct. 2019 open declaration must be deemed as open defiance to Naga People’s aspiration for honourable and acceptable solution.
The basis of the negotiation between the GoI and the WC is the recognition of the Nagas by GoI to, “…self determine their future in consonance with their distinct identity…” The unprecedented support and endorsement from Apex tribal Hohos and GBs, Churches, and other Naga civil societies, allowed the “Agreed Position” to echo the very voice and spirit of the Naga National leader’s meeting with M.K Gandhi, the Father of the Indian Nation, on that sunny morning at Bhangi Colony in Delhi seven decades back. It further agrees, “The two entities agreed to work out the details of a relationship…” “…co-existence with due regards to contemporary political realities”
The “Agreed Position” signed on 17th November 2017, and the subsequent political negotiations clearly answers the Naga historical question, the Naga political question and future relationship for the next generation. There is great confidence brimming within the Naga political and bureaucratic fraternity, Naga intelligentsia, the youthful generation down to village dwellers, that finally, on the strength and commitment of “Agreed Position” the GoI is preparing to heal and correct the historical, political and administrative maladies of the past. This is the truth and if there are groups who cannot accept this reality, it is their problem and Nagas must understand their obsessive, ever-changing political sloganeering.
The wrongs of the past against the Naga people and their inhabited ancestral land is being relooked and restructured as per the negotiated terms between GoI and WC, NNPGs. The status paper is in the hands of the apex tribal leaders and Naga politicians. This gives no room for pessimists or anti-unity, anti-solution elements to spew venom at. The progress made thus far is the translation of the Naga people’s will through the blessing and mercy of Jehovah, the Almighty Creator of Nagaland.
The Working Committee (WC) of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) is confident that Honourable Prime Minister will fulfil the warm comforting and reassuring words conveyed to custodians and administrators of Naga customary laws and traditions in villages, called Nagaland Gaon Bura Federation (NGBF) when the delegation met him at his office on 3rd August 2017 for early conclusion of the Indo-Naga political talks. The Status paper of WC and GoI talks reflect the commitment of Honourable Prime Minister to NGBF and apex Naga civil societies. The NNPGs thus negotiated with GOI understanding the pulse of the Naga people.
There is a clear segment in the negotiated points which entirely deals with the Naga people and the ancestral territories in the present state of Assam. Zeliangrong areas of North Cachar, Rengma Region including Mikir Hills and other Naga Tribal Areas should not be brought under the purview of any agreement till such areas are reassigned to the respective Naga Tribes and the Constitutional position as of 1949 is restored. Any agreement that contravenes the Agreed Position with the working Committee, Naga National Political Groups (WC, NNPGs) and the Government of India, will amount to breach of trust and faith deposed by the Nagas on the Indian Union.
The Naga Contiguous Territories and disputed border areas in Nagaland-Assam must not be infringed till a comprehensive Indo-Naga political solution is arrived at. An Accord entered into with any entity to fulfill and safeguard their social and economic interest is duly noted however, to discard and dishonour Naga history and political right through such exercise would add to the trust deficit of Nagas with the Union of India festering for many decades. It would be another unfortunate episode in the Political history of the Nagas.
Enforcing any Accord of the kind in Karbi Anglong or other area in Assam affecting Nagas and their land, creating new system contrary to the negotiated political and administrative structure of Assam Nagas in the status paper would be another lump of salt on the wound of Naga people.
WC, NNPGs, in order to maintain mutual respect and communal harmony in the region, urge the GOI to reconsider signing of accords in Assam in haste as there is a clear negotiated chapter which says that after the Naga Accord is inked, the Neutral High Empowered Committee would be constituted immediately to pursue and commit to the historical and legal contentions of the border dispute between Nagaland and Assam. It is against the spirit of the ongoing political dialogue between GOI and WC, NNPGs should any accord is signed in the tribal belt that endangers the historical, demographic, political and cultural identity of the Nagas.
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