‘Naga freedom struggle cannot end with a Naga cultural body’
Dimapur, February 16: The Eastern Naga National Workers Association (ENNWA) under Working Committee (WC), NNPG has declared that it will not accept the Pan Naga Hoho without land integration, terming Pan Naga Hoho as ‘political annexation of Nagaland’.
“What is Pan Naga Hoho? The Eastern Nagas of Nagaland and in Myanmar heard this terminology in the month of November 2019. Naga freedom struggle cannot end with a Naga Cultural Body. In the Naga context, cheap lacklustre political lexicons such as integration, supra-state, shared sovereignty, pan naga hoho etc. coined at Hebron camp are diluting the very spirit of Naga nationalism exhibited in 1929, 1947 and 1951,” said a statement issued by ENNWA representing 7 Naga groups – GPRN/NSCN, NSCN (Reformation), NSCN/GPRN (Khango), NNC/FGN, NNC/GDRN, NNC/NPGN and NNC (Parent Body). The statement was issued in response to an ENNWU (IM) statement.
The statement claimed that the Pan Naga Hoho is “a noose on the necks of Nagaland tribes and not a cultural garland to bind all Nagas together as is being propagated.
“In reality, there is a plan to ensure that Nagaland shall, in their own words, “cease to exist”. ENNWU being a part and parcel of Hebron camp and issuing press release supporting Pan Naga Hoho sends a loud signal that there are wise ENNWU leaders who knows the truth and can differentiate between the noose and a garland,” it said.
On the other hand, the ENNWA claimed that the Government of India came to a realization in 2017 that political negotiations must begin with genuine stakeholders, “not within the ambit or extension of but independent and outside of IM’s 2015 FA. This is very clear to GOI and all Nagas.”
The statement said the ‘Agreed Position’ signed between GoI and WC, NNPG on 17th Nov. 2017 leaves nothing to ambiguity or illusion, as it has outlined a clear practical political concept about who the Nagas were, where Nagas are and what Nagas ought to be. “This document takes forward the spirit of January 10, 1929, August 14, 1947, and May 16, 1951. The historical dates are embedded in the Agreed position,” it said.
Hoping that ENPO leadership and affiliated tribal hohos, along with the rest of the Naga tribes, will not be victims of “dubious propaganda at play”, the ENNWA said Eastern Naga National workers, irrespective of political affiliation, must not be forced to chase a bubble called Pan Naga Hoho like little children.
It claimed that the WC, NNPG has, without hesitation, shared a status paper detailing the blueprint of the Indo-Naga political solution which has been made available to all Naga tribal hohos, intellectuals and civil societies. “It is not just for Nagaland state but also for Naga ancestral lands in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, without disturbing the present political boundary. Naga solution shall also benefit other communities since all must learn to co-exist in peace and harmony.”
Stating that at this point of Naga history, Nagas outside the boundary of present Nagaland state must adopt rationale path and maintain emotional integration instead of “playing the role of a bully threatening all and sundry”, the statement said we must preserve and strengthen our customs, traditions and our identity through new political and administrative arrangements.
Nagas must enable neighboring communities to progress alongside us. With this vision the WC leadership is reaching out to Kuki, Meitei, Ahom and other community leaders. There has to be a greater understanding among the people of the northeastern region. Our co-existence will determine our future, it said.
“With physical integration of Naga areas kept for future endeavour through agreed terms, unless one has a sinister political agenda, the idea of establishing the so called Pan Naga hoho through an act of Indian parliament will be the end of any hope for Naga unity. Why? It is seeking GOI’s permission even on those subjects over which Nagas have absolute sovereign rights over their social, cultural and traditional customary practices.”
The ENNWA maintained that any cultural body in Naga homeland will be a voluntary affair among Naga tribes post Indo-Naga political solution. It said the Pan Naga Hoho can be formed like the erstwhile Naga Hoho or be discarded/rejected as was done by most Naga tribes. “ENNWU must understand that fourteen indigenous tribes of Nagaland and other minority tribes, having unique and special administrative and political status different from other Naga tribes, have informed the GOI that we strongly oppose Pan Naga Hoho without land integration,” it stated, while making it clear that the ENNWA and Nagas of Nagaland will not accept the “so called Pan Naga Hoho.” (Page News Service)