”…It is a matter of great satisfaction that the dialogue between the Government of India and NSCN have successfully concluded…” (FA 3rd Aug. 2015.). Why haven’t this great satisfaction been shared with the Nagas till date? Did the propaganda campaign misled GoI in 2015? Where is the post settlement political and administrative structure if it has successfully concluded? This is about a people’s history, land and political future, not a small boy’s chocolate to be kept inside a pocket.
In 25 years of ceasefire and dialogue there have been two mutually beneficial agendas at work.
1. ASSIMILATION AND INDIANISATION OF NAGALAND: Beginning from 1997, the GoI has utilized the time and energy to assimilate Naga people, their identity, history, culture and their ancestral land, primarily Nagaland state, into a “pressure cooker” social and economic pandemonium. Both knew Indianization of Nagaland state will lead to indianization of entire Naga homeland. This will serve both southern Naga IM leaders and GoI well. Brazen utterances like, “Nagaland will cease to exist” is not a silly plan. As it is, Nagaland today is a land where tenants, with GOI’s help, dream to be landlords through hackling, harassing and brutalizing the owners with symbolic tools like Integration, flag, constitution, Pan Naga Hoho etc. Who has played into the hands of India? Since 1997, Nagaland has lost two generations and counting. What do GoI or IM leaders care? None. It suits their plan perfectly.
2. AMASSING WEALTH OF NAGALAND: Immediately after 1988 crisis, having warmly welcomed by hospitable Nagas into Nagaland, southern Naga IM civil and military officers did not own a hut then. Today, in the name of political dialogue, GoI has facilitated southern Naga IM leaders to extort our people and utilize much of Nagaland’s money to buy and develop farmlands in Dimapur, Chumoukedima and Peren districts. Constructing mansions and other assets in Dimapur, Ukhrul, in India and abroad. With such grandiose luxury accumulated over three decades, it is very easy to hide behind powerful slogans like greater Nagalim, flag, constitution etc., to soak in the wealth of Nagaland for few more decades. This is again mutually beneficial drama. Grim reality and visible catastrophe staring at Nagaland and all Nagas cannot be prevented by wrapping oneself cozy in extra large Naga flag, unwritten Naga constitution or Naga integration. These elements will be most precious and desirable if Naga tribes rely on practical aspect rather than be a slave to sentiment and emotion.
Two years after the music died and the dust settled on Framework Agreement, as demanded by the Naga tribes, the Church, Village headmen and apex Naga civil societies, WC, NNPGs, in its Agreed Position signed with GoI on 17th November 2017, redefined the scope and parameters of Indo-Naga political negotiations. No camera flashlights, no hype or hoopla was needed. That afternoon, the Naga delegation experienced a solemn moment with thankful hearts, sat at a round table when a historic document was signed. GoI acknowledged, “…GoI recognises the political and historical rights of the Nagas to self determine their future in consonance with their distinct identity…” God never fails. This has an unlimited political horizon to begin the negotiations. To an unwavering Naga patriot, the paragraph dutifully honoured the Naga aspiration and echoed the immortal words of Mahatma Gandhi at Bhangi Colony spoken to NNC leaders in the month of July, 1947. Within this document lay the very fabric of Naga Flag and all others, symbolic or otherwise. Despite the vigorous process of assimilation going on, WC, NNPGs have great belief that there is an opportunity for an early acceptable and honourable political solution that would pave the way for Nagas to salvage our ancient democracy, history and culture. Nagas must insist, reassert and defend our land as per Agreed Position and then partner GoI for an enduring peaceful co-existence.
God Bless Nagaland!