Saturday, July 13, 2024
Editorial

Unfortunate intractable status

Just a cursory perusal of our newspapers and the numerous social media posts provides enough information on the opinions and stances of Naga national groups, tribal bodies, civil society organizations and some individuals vis-à-vis the Naga political issue. One is unsure whether our political parties ought to be included in this category because they obviously have two legs in two boats ~ their utterances and conduct suggests that. These opinions indicate a kind of re-drawing of lines of the 1990s, which seem to further embattle the issue. The 1990s saw the emergence of the phenomenon of tribal bodies and civil societies as we know them now so they were still in the stage of dipping their toes in the water, so to speak. The 1990s were also a decade of intense turf wars ergo heightened violence, so the pressure was on ostensibly to take sides. Moreover, the perceptions and perspectives of the leaderships of these nascent tribal bodies and civil societies were attuned to that era ~ we must understand that the 1990s was the last decade of the previous century, which means that the lines of thinking, the thought processes, the ideologies, the visions and the ideals, as also the global political and economic equations, of the last century had great impact and influence on all kinds of our leaderships at that time. Much changed rapidly since the dawn of the 2000s ~ generational shifts occurred, technology overwhelmed us and introduced us to unimagined possibilities, the global political and economic shifts and the vastly different experiences thereof led to cultural re-thinking and re-calibration ~ all of which impacted and influenced us in numerous ways. Naturally, against this background and with generational shifts within our tribal bodies and civil societies, perceptions, perspectives and opinion have changed and they will continue to change ~ all of which will have brought us now to the present stances of our tribal bodies and civil societies, which are engaged with the Naga political issue. Now, with the passage of time newer civil societies have emerged ~ indubitably, many more will emerge and all of them are products of their milieu vastly different than those of the last century or even of the last decade. This ever-evolving opinions of Naga tribal bodies and civil societies on the issue must not be very easy for the Government of India to deal with ~ although to be sure the Government of India is also not what it was in the last century or the early decade and a half of the present century. So, with leaderships, ideologies, lines of thinking, thought-processes, visions and ideals evolving constantly, it is doubtful that any solution to the Naga political issue could and/or would be resolved within any time-frames. So, statements regarding solution by August 15 should probably be seen as a hope and a kind of wishful thinking. However, sovereignty is still the demand of Nagas; simultaneously, India is equally firm on the non-negotiability of sovereignty ~ that is the crux of the Naga political issue. What doesn’t help Nagas’ cause is the multiplication of Naga national groups and of over-ground organizations engaged to resolve this issue, which means multiplication of opinions and stances ~ although this inversely strengthens democratic ethos. What further compounds matters is that the Naga people have not given their mandate to any one group ~ in fact, not even to any one organization. This obviously works in India’s favour but we are apparently stuck in the previous century. So, either we un-stuck ourselves now or celebrate Independence Days without independence ~ and wait for more August 15s. In the same token, it may serve India better if the BJP-led Government of India decides on whether the Nagaland State Assembly elections or the resolution to the Naga issue should take precedence. There is, after all, no comparison between a 75-year-old India and an ambitious political party. So, what we can also see is if we are stuck in the previous century, the present BJP-led Government of India is stuck on its ambitions and visions of power and domination in the decades to come. This then suggests an unfortunate intractable status of the Naga political issue currently ~ notwithstanding Agreements, Positions and public posturing on solution. But then the human psyche is geared towards power, control and domination ~ never mind, the packaging and presentation.

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