My dear country men, respected village Chiefs,honorable leaders of political parties, tribal hohos and civil societies, revered priests of the Churches, fellow Christians, beloved youthand comrades-in-common cause.
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ!
As compelled by circumstances, I am duty bound to clarify the position of talks to one and all. Gossiping of deadlock of negotiations, mudslinging game and rumor of war are the talk of the days. We must be aware of rumor mongers and opportunists.
The fact is that our national resistance movement began the day the forces of Indian and Burmese aggressor-states intruded into our land, which led to resistance movement resulting in armed confrontations. The Nagas are the aggrieved, not the aggressors. But, after a decade long armed confrontations, the Government of India (GoI) invited the NNC leadership for political dialogue in 1964. Endorsed by the Tatar Hoho,NNC and FGN leaders embarked upon negotiations with the Government of India, which ended in deadlock due to lack of political will of India. Thereafter, confrontation resumed. However,the leadership of NNC and FGN finally ended with the Shillong Accord on account of acceptance ofthe Indian constitution in 1975.
Every Naga, young and old is well informed of it that the 16-Point Agreement and Shillong Accord could not solve the problem the Nagas have been facing;rather they are the seeds of division and killing among the Nagas on the one hand, and prolonged fighting with India on the other. So,the resistance movement continued.
After twenty (20) years long resistance against the colonial forces under the banner of NSCN,the Government of India invited NSCN leadership for political negotiation in 1995. Therefore, NSCN leadership was mandated by the Tatar Hoho (National Parliament) to engage in dialogue with the Government of India for working out an honorable solution.
Thus, the cease-fire agreement between the Government of India and NSCN was signed in 1997 based on the agreed three terms –
1. Talk without condition
2. Talk at Prime Ministerial level and
3. Talk in third countries
In the following talks in 2002, the Government of India recognized the unique history and situation of the Nagas. By unique history it means – the Nagas have never been a part of the Union of India and that of Burma either by conquest by the two powers or by consent of the Nagas.
Finally, the historic Framework Agreement was signed between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim representing the Nagas. It was signed by Mr. Isak Chishi Swu, the Chairman of NSCN,and Mr. Th. Muivah, Chief Negotiator of NSCN and Mr. R.N. Ravi, Interlocutor of Government of India in the presence of Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, Chief of Indian Army, Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag and a host of NSCN leadersin the eyes of the whole world on 3rd August, 2015.
In keeping with the universal principle of democracy on sovereignty, the Government of India has recognized the sovereignty of the Nagas statingthat sovereignty of the Nagas is with the Naga people. However,the Nagas and the Indians will not be totally separated. The two people will live together on the basis of the principle of co-existence of the two entities with shared-sovereignty.Two entities means two people. The term coexistence naturally applies to two entities or more. If the Nagas are tomerge with the union of India,then the Nagas and Indianswillbecome one entity, and that the question of two entities does not arise.
In the subsequent talks on competencies, the Government of India has recognized the territories of the Nagas by stating that Nagas are the owners of their land and its resources beneath and above the land. The Government of India has also clearly stated that integration of the divided Naga territories is the legitimate right of the Nagas and that it will be materialized through democratic process.
By virtue of the Framework Agreement,the Nagas will coexist with the Union of India as two entities as different kind of flowers bloom together. At no point of time, the Nagas have agreedto live within the Union of India. And all Interlocutors of the Government of India acknowledged that fact. The Nagas will associate with India in many fields as two entities. We understand that the spirit of living together, cooperation and coordination builds the world whereas the spirit of opposition and confrontation destroys it. Therefore, we have chosen the path of living together with India with the spirit of cooperation and coordination.
However,the Nagas are strongly opposed to forced Union. We are aware that forced Union will certainly breed fighting and killing within the box. The Government of India is creating fear psychosis in Nagalim by deploying thousands of armed forces personnel. We do not see war situation here. The spirit of peace dominates the hearts of the people for twenty two (22) years, which I believe, is a prelude to a permanent peacein the land. If Government of India chooses military option to dictating the negotiating team, that will not be the end of the matter. The issue will remain alive and kicking.The Nagas are always for a negotiated settlement based on the doctrine of mutual consent and recognition of rights. Ibelieve the present Indian leadership will not commit the mistake of their past leaders.
After coming so close to the point of conclusion, we are facing hurdles on the issues of Naga flag and constitution. The Indian authorities who deal with the talks arealso well informedthat the Indo-Naga political solution without Naga flag and constitution is not conclusive and that will create a room for future headache. We are looking for a lasting solution.
After all, the Naga people have reasons to appreciate and give thanks to the prudent and accommodative Indian authorities who are involved in the talks at various stages, particularly the present Prime Minister of India,Shri Narendra Modi through whom the two parties could signed the historic Framework Agreement on 3rd August, 2015.The Nagas are also deeply indebted to the leadership of late Mr. Isak Chishi Swu and Mr. Th. Muivah who took all the necessary troubles in bringing the issue thus far. This legacy will go into the pages of history to be valued and adored by generations of both peoples.
This Framework Agreement is the meeting point for the two contending parties – Indians and the Nagas and the rallying point for the divided Nagas. The Framework Agreement will certainly bring an honorable and acceptable solutionto the long-drawn Indo-Naga political conflict as it addresses the security concern of India as well as the historical and political rights of the Nagas. It will open up a new era of harmonious peaceful coexistence for the Indians and the Nagas.
Since the Framework Agreement is issue based, I believe every sensible and patriotic Nagas will be for it. We do not see any valid reason to go against it when the Government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagalim have reached an acceptable solution that touches the heart of the matter.
Dear Naga brothers and sisters, now is the time for the Nagas to assemble.We are one by blood, by history, by culture, by faith, by politics and above all, we are the Lord’s people. The name of the Lord is in our people and land.
We are now entering a new era where together wewill build a land of peace and progress;together we face the common dangers, together we work and live for a common cause,and together we glorify the name of the Lord.
God bless the Nagas! God bless Nagalim!
* Disclaimer. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and participants on this page do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Nagaland Page.