After the battle of Plassey in 1857, the British Raj or the colonialists, ruled India for nearly a century upto 1947. They were very keen on expanding their domain in the east. The desire to subjugate and administer the fierce, unconquered independent Naga people and their homeland met with stiff resistance. Partially they were able to. Meaning, the recent political negotiations between WC,NNPGs and GoI is to resolve the unresolved pre-independent India political conflict.
NCP and other restless individuals and organisations itching to ink MoU for oil exploration with Assam in Naga areas must answer the people of Nagaland first.
a) History is clear, the oil-bearing area belongs to Nagaland, how much money have the oil companies and Assam Government paid to NCP or Nagaland state Government? The whole exercise of granting legitimacy to Assam Government, at one stroke, to co-own and extract oil from Naga areas is a criminal act which is unacceptable.
b) The Indo-Naga political solution is keenly awaited, and for so-called the dispute boundary between Nagaland and Assam will be resolved by a third neutral central body as per negotiated terms. There will be claimants to other Naga oil-bearing areas encouraged by the proposed MoU. The sell out of Naga people’s assets for cheap profit devalues our historical right. The joint oil exploration will be treachery of the highest order. The deal must be called off.
There is a clear negotiated terms on the anvil that defines a path on resolving the boundary issue between Nagaland and Assam, the GoI and NNPGs have, in no uncertain terms, agreed that Naga people are the sole masters of their land, every element on the surface, below and above their head! Exception to this are strategic minerals, Rare Earths or any new finds, having Nationalsecurity implications yet, would still be a joint venture exercise between GoI and Nagas.
On what legal and historical basis has the NCP Nagaland commented that Oil exploration and Political issue are separate issues? Political issue and petroleum issue is woven in a single fabric and therefore NCP legislators as, politicians themselves must not play ordinary politics of this nature. Forging one’s own principles identity as a party is advisable. How can natural resources in Naga ancestral soil, for which thousands of Nagas from the time of Britishers, sacrificed their lives for, and continue to do so, be separated from the Naga political discourse? Nagas need not be lectured on oil exploration matter. NCP as partners in the opposition less government has been forced to stick its neck out to defend the undefendable. NNPGs will not sit quiet when the sacrifices of thousands of patriots are ignored.
The reality is, Ahoms and Nagas will co-exist as has been for centuries. Nagaland will explore and utilize it’s own God bestowed mineral resources. The current dispensation is a caretaker government in the context of Indo-Naga issue and as such slogans like employment, revenue and infra development are language of plunderers.
The GoI representatives have informed the WC, NNPGs that the Political leadership of India was working tirelessly towards an inclusive Indo-Naga Political Solution. Therefore, a Rio or a Himanta inking joint exploration deals for seeking royalties from companies or neighbouring states will not serve the purpose.
WC,NNPGs changed the dynamics of Political negotiations with the GoI. Naga Tribes were made partners to the talks, details were made accessible to Hoho leaders and civil societies as opposed to secrecy and non-disclosure of people’s political aspiration. There is real danger in authorising few men with money to strip Nagaland of all its natural resources.
They say, “The devil lies in the details” no one is showing the details. Who is playing with Naga future? Money power and blind loyalty on all fronts have dulled the bright minds of many Naga intellectuals. Money has silenced upright leaders and practical politics. There are too many puppets on stage parroting their rich masters but there are also many warriors, individually or collectively, standing for our people. God bless the vocal, courageous tribal leaders and Naga intellectuals. Time for the real stakeholders to stand and be counted. Nagas must avoid committing a HARAKIRI.
Media Cell, WC,NNPGs.