FNR holds public interaction to empower Naga reconciliation process

FNR holds public interaction to empower  Naga reconciliation process
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Dimapur, April 25: What do the different Naga National Political Groups want when some are fighting for ‘independence’ and other settling for ‘shared-sovereignty’ and even if a solution comes, is the public ready to accept the solution? Or who are Nagas anyway?
These were some of the questions tossed by participants from different background on diverse issues related to Nagas during the 3-hours long public interactions organized by Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR).
Held at Elim Hall, Duncan, the interaction was the first of several such planned interactions by FNR that would take place in different places in the months to come to ‘walk the Naga Day’.
Talking about the idea behind the planned series, Dr. Akum Longchari said that the need of the interactions was felt after the Naga Day celebration to reach out to people and discuss to have a deeper and richer conversations as well as share ideas and invite constructive criticism from people.
On the occasion, Rev Dr. Wati Aier, the convenor of the FNR assured that FNR is never going to be institutionalized and the day it does, it would cease to have its impact, while rejecting the cynicism among many that the forum is in fact somehow associated with a particular Naga political group.
He said that the forum is not in any kind of illusion and skepticism was expected from the beginning but despite all, the journey of FNR would continue.
Giving a brief history of the formation of FNR back in the year 2008, Rev. Wati said that the forum was created with the singular objective of dealing with ‘factional killings’ and it eventually succeeded in bringing the Hohos and different NNPGs on the table for the greater cause of the Nagas and facilitated the signing of a ‘Covenant of Resolution (COR)’ in the year 2009,thereby stopping the killings and things have improved much both among the relationships of different NNPGs as well as the progress of Dimapur as a city and the short-lived night-life that it has nowadays.
“It wasn’t easy,” Rev. Wati recalled and described that he had witnessed the uncomfortable countenance that shadowed the faces of the leaders of the NNPGs when they shook hands; nevertheless, they did that for the Nagas as a whole.
He further said that the conflicts however didn’t stop at once as during those days mobile phones were not readily available and it took almost a year for the commands to reach every regiment from the top level and communication and distance was thus a problem.
Rev. Wati, later reacting to a comment about the unity of NNPGs for a solution, said that the term ‘Naga National Government’ was gaining popularity during the years 2011 and 2012 and NNPGs were coming together, but Government of India at that exact time came and got serious with one particular group and the idea of one Naga government wasn’t given a fair trial.
Adding to the origin story of FNR, Dr. Longchari said that it came into existence in a violent time and the forum enjoyed much public participation, but as the killings declined, so did the participation. He said though the killings stopped, the psychological warfare continues through rumours, confusions and divisions, leading to public perceptions and there needs to be a way to break this cycle.
Dr. Longchari said that FNR stands for reconciliation and it will remain so.
Social activist and FNR member, Niketu Iralu in his address said that FNR is trying to restore the health of Naga society and examining where things have gone wrong and added that while politicians and churches are easily blamed, everyone has been contributing to the problem and there is a need to accept the problems of individuals.
He continued that unless people claim the moral responsibility, things and future of Nagas is going to remain the same no matter how many new slogans are created and how many new ways old things are being told again and again.
“We all have callings to do something about our future,” he said.
Quoting a journalist friend from Delhi, he said that he has been told by her that India doesn’t respect Nagas anymore but it just admires the story of Nagas.
On the context of Indo-Naga political issue, he said that Nagas are not trying to secede from India but Nagas are neighbors of Indians and Nagas had made it very clear that they are not against any country and India should respect the fact.
A total of eight members of the 34 from FNR participated in the first public discussion. The subsequent discussions will take place in different parts of Nagaland, the neighboring states as well as Delhi. (Page News Service)