Kohima, Apr 30: Former NSF president and Naga People’s Front (NPF) MLA, Y Vikheho Swu today maintained that there is no better time than today to solve the Indo-Naga political issue as the Government of India is trying its best to solve it.
Speaking at the valedictory session as the special guest, MLA Swu said records tells that as early as 1929 when the Simon Commission came to Naga areas to ascertain the opinion of the Naga people in the event the British decides to leave India and the Naga areas, the Naga delegation made their position clear that the Naga people would prefer to remain as free people like before in the event the British’s leaves India and the Naga areas.
Naga history took a different turn after the visit of the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru with his Burmese counterpart U Nu, in March, 1953, he said. It propelled the Nagas from a non violent movement of expression of Naga peoples’ rights to live as free people, to take up arms in self defense. Within months of his visit The Assam Maintenance of Public Order (Autonomous District) Act 1953 was drafted and made into law. Assam police and Indian troops were sent into the hills to deal with Naga Nationalist, although most times innocent Nagas bore the brunt.
Overriding the indisputable assurance made by the father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, in Banghi Colony 1947, “Nagas have every right to be independent, if you do not wish to be under Indian Union no one will force you to”, Swu quoted then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru saying, “Even if heaven falls or river runs red with blood, I will not allow Nagas to be independent”. Nehru further went on to say that he will station Indian army for every single Naga”, he said.
In 1997, Swu said a ceasefire was signed between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM). This was followed after some years by signing a ceasefire with other Naga National Groups who are now grouped as NNPGs. Lately another group led by Gen. Niki Sumi have agreed to join the peace process, he said.
Political negotiations have been going on with the NSCN (IM) as well as with the NNPGs, thus establishing a peaceful order based on the conclusion that violence only serves to create a chain of suffering for everyone, he said.
“Democracy is not something we can take for granted, and neither is the peace process,” he said.
“There is no better time than today when the Government of India is trying its best to solve the Indo-Naga issue, and when most of the Naga political groups have come forward to the negotiation table- that we should all try and extend support to both the GoI as well as the Naga political groups for an honorable, acceptable and inclusive solution to the long pending Indo-Naga political issue,” Swu said.
Close to 60 years since statehood, the Naga struggle has endured, and our understanding of individual roles in this saga has also expanded, he said.
Meanwhile, dwelling on the setting up of Naga Solidarity Park, Swu said it came into being in 1993 in commemoration of the United Nations declaration of the year for the world’s indigenous people.
He said the idea behind having a Naga Solidarity Park was that it would be a “Sacred” place for us Nagas, to come together to re-strengthen, renew and to re-bond, whatever may come our way.
Swu said the NSF since its inception has played a pivotal role in as much as Naga unity and identity is concerned.
“You and I, we are all in the midst of a silent crisis, one that is slowly but surely killing off the Naga identity,” he cautioned.
The Naga identity, he said, is slowing eroding and getting lost in this massive onslaught of modernization, globalization and technology.
Lamenting that the young Naga people today are no longer speaking our own mother tongue even at home, Swu said the core of our identity is also our beautiful and unique dialects.
“We must realize that our culture is our identity, our language is our identity. These are what identifies us as unique people in this diverse world,” he said. (Page News Service)