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Naga issue is not cultural: NSCN (IM)

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, OCTOBER 23: As another year slowly runs its course, it would appear that the Naga political issue is set, once again, to undergo the empty Christmas Gift ruse.
Solution to the Indo-Naga talks packaged as a Christmas Gift is an annual staple of a section of the mainstream Indian media ~ recycled every year in the latter months.
This year too, the Christmas Gift was repackaged on the dot.

As noted by the NSCN (IM) in a statement issued on Saturday, “much hype was generated that the final Naga solution is just round the corner and it may come as a Christmas gift to the Nagas” following the resumption of the group’s negotiation with the Centre’s new Interlocutor AK Mishra, after a gap of nearly two years.
“However, the talks failed to live up to all the hype as the Government of India continues to indulge in political escapism on the very issues that is holding up the road to the Naga solution”, it stated, while asserting that “what is more important is how the Government of India comes to terms with the sentiment of the Naga people on the Naga flag and the Yehzabo (Constitution)”.
According to the group, it will not fall into the “trap being machinated by the Government of India”.
“Needless to say, the Naga flag is not just a piece of cloth to the Nagas but a feeling of pride which helped hundreds of Naga martyrs to sacrifice their lives by just seeing the flag flying high in the sky. Significantly, the Naga flag reminds us the courage and sacrifice of our freedom fighters that have brought us where we stand today proudly standing our ground to portray before the world the history of the Naga nation. Down the line, the Nagas, particularly those who have gone through fire and water defending the political rights of the Naga people, have learned to attach a strong emotional bond to the Naga flag as a symbol of the Naga nation’s pride and values”, the statement read.
The Naga group accused the Government of India of talking in different languages to different negotiating Naga groups in the matter of the Naga flag.
“The Naga issue is not a cultural issue that the Government of India should change the Naga flag as a cultural symbol and forego the Naga political identity as symbolised by the Naga flag. Where is the need for the Indo-Naga ceasefire if the Naga issue is a cultural problem and where is the need to drag on the Indo-Naga talks for more than two decades if the issue is something to do to solve cultural conflicts? Where is the need for Nagalim to get admitted as a bona fide member of the UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization) if the Naga issue is a cultural based problem? Nagalim was admitted into the fold of UNPO as NSCN was able to establish the historical and political credentials of Nagalim before the UNPO governing body and nothing to do with cultural credentials.

“What is of divine gift (Naga flag) to the Nagas, the NSCN will take the stand to defend it to the last man standing and not succumb to the flattering ‘post-solution’ offer. NSCN cannot drag the Naga people to make another blunder by falling into the trap being machinated by the Government of India. The earlier agreements or accords in the name of the Naga political solution are simply too terrible to recall. Once bitten twice shy”, it stated.
All said and done, the Naga national flag is of utmost importance for the Naga people and holds much spiritual value, the group asserted.
“The Nagas cannot be carried away by the ‘post-solution narrative’ which is just a well-laid trap. Christmas may come and go but the NSCN will not stop fighting to defend the Naga political identity”, it maintained.
(Page News Service)