Kohima, September 9: Against the backdrop of some organisations, particularly the valley based organisations in Manipur, opposing the impending Naga solution, political parties and mainstream pro-Naga integration organisations have urged people who are opposed to Naga solution to understand and honour the rights of the Naga people.
“To embrace the common humanity we shall with the various neighbours who border our Naga ancestral homeland. Honouring the Naga historical and political rights is not at the expense of our neighbours’ rights. Similarly, upholding our neighbours’ rights cannot be at the expense of Naga rights,” stated the joint declaration of meeting of political parties and principal Naga organisations held Saturday at Dimapur.
The “Declaration of the Naga collective spirit” further said: “This requires both Nagas and our neighbours to form relationship based on trust that breaks down the domestic walls and other boundaries that divide us. Today, we urge our neighbours to partner with us in bringing positive changes to transform this region for the collective interest, security and well-being of all people. Our future is indeed intertwined, interconnected and interdependent”.
Among others Naga organisations, the ruling Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) and opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) also attended the meeting.
The declaration said to demonstrate statesmanship that teaches people to step away from sectarian and divisive politics and embody a new vision for shared humanity, the idea is based on the principle of self-determination and inclusive good governance that embraces a democratic vision, values of human rights, the rule of law and the inherent dignity of human being, as well as, the collective dignity of all Nagas.
“To continue pursuing the path of reconciliation and justpeace through non-violent means with greater resolve and commitment,” the declaration added.
The joint declaration also stated that Naga historical and political rights are the manifestation of their common hopes and dreams, adding they provide the creative impetus to engage with their present challenges and prepare for their future.
“When we truly embrace our historical and political rights we will step out of our confinements and rise above the politics of fear and resentment to move forward. It helps us acknowledge and respect the various distinct regional identities, aspirations and differences existing within the broader Naga consciousness”.
The declaration also said September 8 gathering demonstrated as a Naga nation representing their collective desire and resolve to be unified as one people demonstrating their defence of an inherited legacy which is vital for their future progress. It further stated that Naga people are in solidarity as one people on the issue of Naga political and historical rights.
“When our elders made known their choice to take the path of nationhood before the British left their empire in South and South-east Asia, the Naga people did not violate any agreement for union made with any nation in our history. This establishes the legitimacy and integrity of Naga rights. And, in asserting the Naga political position, we do not oppose any of our neighbours. The historical fact that the Naga struggle started before India’s independence strengthens our moral authority,” the joint declaration said.
It added that Naga people recognised that while pursuing their rights and charting their destiny in accordance with their own creative and natural ability, they have been violently tossed between their inherent rights and the contemporary realities of geopolitical integration and sweeping economic and cultural changes.
It also declared that Nagas cannot deny that their present state of affairs is not acceptable and is unbearable and that the more the world seems to change the more things remain the same for the Nagas.
“Amidst these contemporary realities we are determined to engage each other in finding meaningful ways to respond to challenges and explore ways forward. We draw inspiration from Confucius who reminds us that “When it is obvious that goals cannot be achieved, don’t adjust the goals, but adjust the steps”.
The joint declaration said harnessing the deepest impulses in their consciousness that have drawn people together down the centuries culminating in what they are today, they make this declaration as a peoples and a nation based on the facts of their history. Also they look at what is required from them if they are to survive and grow in a fast changing and highly competitive world.
CM Chang presented the PDA Government and Dr. Ngangshi K. Ao represented the NPF. Organisations which attended the meeting were Nagaland Joint Christian Forum, Naga Mothers’ Association, Naga Women Union, Manipur, Naga Hoho, Naga Students’ Federation, United Naga Council, Manipur, All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur, Rengma Naga Peoples Council, Assam, Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights, Consultative Committee for Justpeace, Naga Shisha Hoho and Forum for Naga Reconciliation. (Page News Service)