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Do Nagas share similarities in the manner Modi conducts himself?

Nagaland News

If one fails, must make way for others, that’s message from Mizoram too

Nirendra Dev
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 5: Losing is perhaps one way of learning how to win and who can tell us better on this other than Narendra Modi… so would be the story of Nagas as well. Those who know Nagas, especially Nagas of Nagaland, would agree that they are the most humble and at the same time ‘most furious’ community of the human race depending on the situations. Many people say almost similar things about Narendra Modi. Is it an interesting, or a boring argument?
The choice is yours!
But lately, Nagas have developed an image of being conformists. ‘Let us agree to the routine norms type’. “Misa Misi…” is another refrain and it has a powerful and multiple connotations.
In his scholarly book The Russians, American journalist Hedrick Smith had said that Russian students and perhaps other citizens also were (are) not radical or progressive ~ but they all belonged to the SILENT MAJORITY.
Smith also had built up his argument saying students would need stipends, dormitory rooms and also admissions into courses of their choice. In a general sense in Nagaland, it’s the Bolero syndrome. And hence pressure groups have also lost their teeth. The problem is there is ‘encouragement’ of such a phenomenon because this suits the Status Quo club.
No room for moral judgments.
Now, a quick checklist of a few similarities and dissimilarities between Modi and the Nagas:
* The history of Nagas actually represents the larger history of insurgency in the Northeast. The history of Narendra Modi’s political career represents the history of Gujarat from 2002 and gradually turning out to be the ‘future-history’ of the BJP and also of India, that is Bharat, especially since 2014.
* Notwithstanding tough situations they have crossed, the 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 indifferent international press hounding, had stuck to his guns and has today changed the game in his favour.
Even in May 2023, the prophets of doom were working overtime. Media did its part as ‘left liberal armed-chair experts’. The poll outcome in 3 Hindi/Hindu heartland States (December 3) has proved everyone wrong.
It’s altogether a different chapter that a headhunting community is “so emotional” that they base most of their actions on an emotion called FEELING.
So does Modi ~ at least some actions of his past as well as present suggest. Yes, it is the ‘Dabang’ way of conducting himself. Nagas also know such a style.
Individual Nagas have achieved much since independence. The feats achieved by many Nagas could not be imagined by their forefathers or even the same Naga brethren in neighbouring Myanmar.
In terms of ‘Dabang’ style of functioning, Modi had given a glimpse of his state of mind when in 2014 he allowed a freehand to NSA Ajit Doval and his chosen IPS friend, RN Ravi, to go ahead with the Naga peace talks. The NSCN (IM) leadership had reservations.
But once the message was clear that the Prime Minister had made up his mind to retain the negotiator RN Ravi, the ‘tough diplomatic mantle’ in Naga leaders also saw reason. This is the story of the talks between 2014 and October 2019. But after that, things got derailed and delayed.
On the eve of Statehood Day, Governor La Ganesan made an interesting observation. In his own words, “unemployment, the quest for enduring peace, equitable growth and rapid advancement are the battles we continue to fight”. His words perhaps reflect his mild anguish that nothing much is being done to ensure ‘enduring peace’. But His Excellency also has to do more.
In a general sense today, there is an apprehension that a hardliner stance could even lead to ending of the ceasefire. Nagas may be prepared for it; or are still indifferent.
For his part, PM Modi could be too busy; or for him one or two MPs from Nagaland or Manipur may not be crucial vis-à-vis his battle ‘Hat-trick’ of 2024.
But it goes without stating that only a man like Modi has the ‘guts and determination’ to deliver something on messy affairs such as Naga peace talks. Nagas who want Solution also know that it is only he, who can deliver. The rest would again prefer a Deve Gowda or IK Gujral variety of Prime Minister(s) and preferably with communist Home Ministers such as Late Indrajit Gupta.
You may get a good press but nothing good may be served from a long term perspective. Nagas have paid a price over the years and they have done so more in the State of Nagaland.
But practical problems are immense. The legislators now want to become Ministers. The pressure groups are not speaking out. To top it all came an effort recently where a Government-sponsored pressure group would be created. The move has been either deferred or derailed.
People who want to control everything never know the limitations of the same. We may call it corporatisation! If Gautam Adani’s over corporatisation is a problem, so is the one closer home ~ often not named, not even identified.
Nagas are passing through testing times, so is Modi himself. Both must deliver now.
Nagas of the past knew which side they were on. Philosophers now talk of Generation Z, Generation Alpha, etc.
The new generation or some of those from the old stock may presume any ideology as irrelevant. They are not engaged, they have not seen any cataclysm (a large-scale violence).
They have to bring back the ‘commitment’. Those who fail must make way for others, that’s nature.
Perform or perish is also the message from Mizoram.
(Views are personal)