‘Take forward unfinished task of reconciliation’
Dimapur, September 14: The Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) has appealed to the leadership of the NNPGs and the NSCN (IM) to meet and explore a workable mechanism of cooperation around the ‘Competencies’ and the ‘Agreed Position’ in consonance with the Naga common ground.
In a statement, FNR said leaders of the two groups “having reconciled and forgiven” each other in the form of the Covenant of Reconciliation (CoR) must demonstrate transformative and healing statesmanship by exercising the intent and spirit of the CoR into practice.
This is fundamental because both the groups engaged in parallel process with the Government of India have polarized the Naga public, tribal and civil society organizations, it said, adding Naga people are now saying it is time for these two Naga political groups to meet and take forward the unfinished task of reconciliation.
“The constant public accusatory and divisive statements have empowered vested interests to control and change the narrative with flawed and factual errors to the point people are no longer able to recognize the truth. This is creating an alienating mindset which is extremely insular for citizens to feel free, secure and to participate without fear.”
Reminding that Naga tribal and civil society organizations have time and again conveyed their views to the GoI and the Naga political groups, the FNR recommended and urged that the NSCN (IM) and NNPGs be given the space to reflect independently and search their conscience to do what is right.
“In the meantime, we further recommend not issuing new press statements which will help reducing confusion and reactivity.”
Stating that the Naga peoples’ political unity in purpose finds strength and solidarity on the common ground of its historical and political expressions of Naga rights and aspirations, the FNR said the foundation of the common ground includes the Naga Memorandum to the Simon Commission on January 10, 1929, the Declaration of Naga Independence on August 14, 1947 and the Naga Voluntary Plebiscite on May 16, 1951.
“Together, this common ground guides and provides the political and moral underpinnings that affirm the Naga peoples’ rightful place with self-confidence,” it said.
“Naga history has taught us that when the spirit of the common ground is exploited, compromised, and taken from us, no one really benefits. It consumes us all. Sadly, Naga history is replete with instances when any departure from this common ground has been at our own peril, at times turning Naga against Naga. Its consequences have traumatized the Naga people, as it has deeply wounded and fragmented our society.
“Can Nagas learn from our own history and constructively get out of this stalemate?” it asked.
Maintaining that at this juncture, the Indian State, because of its security concerns and fragile democracy, remains in an arrested state as it maintains status quo on discussing the issue of sovereignty with the Nagas, the FNR opined that for the greater good of democracy, new approaches are required for the Government of India to imagine beyond a limited political process. “India has a responsibility to all its citizens for raising this fundamental question within the political process. This highlights the urgency for cultivating an understanding around the common ground since the core issues of Naga rights still need to be addressed.”
Given the precarious situation, the FNR said it is imperative for Nagas to take ownership of our narratives, protect our common belonging, and unite to break down barriers by strengthening the bonds and relationships among ourselves. “Let us renew our commitment and solidarity to a shared future that will benefit all Nagas, now and in the future,” it appealed. (Page News Service)