Sunday, April 11, 2021
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Separate Naga Constitution and Flag

Before the British people came to India and set up their empire and ruled India for about three hundred years, Nagas were never a part of India. Nagas did not even join the Union of India when India got its independence. The first two Indian General Elections in 1952 and 1957 were boycotted by Nagas. But Nagas were forcibly made to join the Union of India, something like forced marriage. Till today majority of the Nagas strongly feel that they should have some semblance of a separate entity. The Nagas find very difficult to come to terms with the idea that they are completely and fully Indians like other Indians. The historicity of Nagas lie in the fact that Nagas being never subjugated by any external entity such as Moghuls, Ahoms, Burmese or even by the British. Therefore, many Nagas feel reluctant to be called Indians even today and consider their Naga identity as independent of any circumscription by any other identity. They strongly resent to the artificial balkanization of their ancestral land into different territories like in Myanmar, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Throughout the world the colonial powers and other powerful groups of people divide, draw and redraw land boundaries; I would suggest in my humble way that the Naga dominated areas of adjoining states like Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam should be integrated with the present Nagaland state and the affected states can be compensated in proportion to the size of the areas inhabited by Nagas. Such territorial integration will greatly satisfy and respect the genuine aspiration of Nagas. This is not beyond the Indian Constitution. This will be correction of the British and Independent India’s historical wrongs committed for their administrative convenience. If this is not done how the final settlement of the Naga political problem can be said to be acceptable and honourable where the strong emotional Naga sentiment is not being addressed. The peace accord will be another failure. Coming to the separate flag and separate constitution the toughest and complex problem will be the Naga constitution. What should be the content of the constitution? Should the separate constitution embody the Article 371A and more or what? But the ground reality of India at this historical juncture is such that they are not going to allow Nagas to be separate from India by hook or by crook. Nagas do not have the strength or power to snatch their political rights of self determination from India. If Nagas offer moral arguments on the basis of their history and ethnicity India will not listen as politics is primarily a game of sheer political and military force. RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Siv Sena and BJP manifestoes and policies are very clear to implement someday within India as one Constitution, one law, one flag and one Hindustan. Such trend is against the basic framework of the Indian constitution. Moreover such movement is bound to be counterproductive as India is not a monolithic state. It is a state of pluralistic diversity in religion, race, language, caste etc. In the light of this what the Nagas should do? The Nagas are in a disadvantage for political bargaining for being a tiny minority in the face of 1.3 billion people. For the past 100 years Nagas have been living with Indians willy-nilly. Further the Indian Constitution extends equal rights and opportunities to all people irrespective of caste, creed, ethnicity, religion etc. at least constitutionally. Because of this guarantee in Indian Constitution not only North-East people but others are rising in different fields unlike in ancient days. It is the attitude of mind that matters. Indians should acknowledge that Nagas have genuine political problem. Indian political leaders and the public leaders should have genuine will to resolve the Naga problem. They should not go on fooling and playing with the Nagas. If this is not acknowledged, the Nagas will be unhappy and dissatisfied and the solution of Peace Talks is not honourable but coerced solution by sheer might of physical force which is highly immoral. Time has come that human beings must learn to live together. The possibility of atomic war should be avoided. No powerful state should bully weak and small state and majority should not bully any minority. United Nations should take effective steps in this regard. It is the general fear that any atomic war will destroy this planet earth.
Xavier Pfokrehe Mao,
Department of Philosophy,
NEHU, Shillong

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