Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Top Stories

“Bhal paisey…or bhal pa nai”: The Modi factor in Naga talks

Nagaland News

Nirendra Dev
New Delhi, May 16: All eyes are on how things would unfold vis-a-vis the Naga peace talks and future politics in the next few days.
But everyone round the corner also feels it is possible Prime Minister Narendra Modi will ‘deliver’ something.
Some go into deeper analysis: If any Prime Minister can really deliver on Naga peace talks and solution, it will be Modi.
His gutsy style of politics and conduct often appears similar to that of Nagas.
Veteran SC Jamir told me in November 2021, “I have seen so many Prime Ministers but as Prime Minister, he (Modi) has guts”.
Modi’s flamboyant style of politics often could be compared with the manner Naga leaders like Vamuzo or Jamir functioned.
Vamuzo had obliged students when he introduced a new superannuation ordinance — 57 years of age or 33 years of service, whichever is earlier.
Jamir had ‘extended’ the provisions of Disturbed Area Act in 1994 and many thought that was the last nail in the coffin; but Jamir actually survived.
Nagas are the most humble and most furious at the same time, depending on the situation.
Many people say almost similar things about Narendra Modi.
It’s altogether a different chapter and perhaps also ironic that a headhunting community is “so emotional” that they base most of their actions on feeling.
“Bhal paisey…or bhal panai (either we like or don’t)” — actually makes a lot of difference about Nagas and how Nagas think.
So does Modi; at least, some actions of his past as well as present suggest!
Note the manner the Modi Government has conducted itself in deciding India’s policy on the Ukraine-Russia war.
The balancing tight-rope walk is a tough job by any measure and more so for a regime which also claims to be one of the most ‘US-friendly’ dispensations in Delhi.
India is a part of the four-member Quad group and all three others the US, Japan and Australia have gone against New Delhi’s stance.
Observers can also recollect the manner Modi had inducted Suresh Prabhu into the BJP, first in 2014 and then into his cabinet.
The Shiv Sena had declined to nominate Prabhu in the Union Ministry in 2014, but the Prime Minister thought he should have him in the cabinet — by hook or crook, as they put it.
Nagas also believe in such functioning styles at times.
Interesting? Or a boring argument? The choice is yours.
But when I am trying to draw such a comparison, I am not bordering my thought process on the question of right or wrong.
Yes, Nagas too have been ‘wrong’ at times and committed mistakes and so did Narendra Modi.
But they have been ‘right’ also and have played their corrective cards well.
A quick checklist on a few similarities and dissimilarities:
– The history of Nagas actually represents the larger history of insurgency in the Northeast.
The story of Narendra Modi represents the history of Gujarat from 2002 and the story of India since 2014. A few gutsy moves — anti-Triple Talaq laws, Ram Temple and Article 370.
Surgical strikes against Pakistan were other instances.
Did people imagine these even on May 25, 2014 — a day before Modi was sworn in as the Prime Minister?
Notwithstanding tough situations they have crossed, Nagas also have a tendency to believe that they are destined to ‘succeed’.
Here too a similar situation can be suggested about Modi who despite 2002 and international press and countries hounding had remained firm and stuck to his guns and has today changed the game!
Losing is one way of learning how to win, and who can tell that better than Nagas or Modi himself.
I also want to stress that the ‘Naga-succeeds’ phrase would also apply to the development front. .
Individual Nagas have achieved so much since 1947 and 1963 Statehood that senior political leaders believe that the kind of development Nagaland has seen, the feats achieved by many Nagas could not be imagined by their forefathers.
But there are concerns today, and rightly so, about political polarisation in Nagaland between solution at ‘any cost’ and allowing the status quo in a surcharged and uncertain political environment.
Those who are in hurry for a solution pact to be inked at the earliest do not hesitate to complain that the erstwhile Manmohan Singh regime’s ‘indecisiveness’ syndrome has caught a section of the Modi government too.
Why delay the process for so long, especially since October 31, 2019 if there is no talking point?
Some answers are kept hidden only in the womb of time.