Friday, December 4, 2020
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Why Naga Hoho has backtracked?

The Naga Hoho, as the parroter, submitted a written representation to the Prime Minister of India on the 28th of July, 2020 demanding replacement of the present Interlocutor Mr. R.N. Ravi, the honourable Governor of Nagaland with a new Interlocutor. The said representation was signed by Mr. H.K. Zhimomi, President and Mr. K. Elu Ndang, General Secretary, Naga Hoho and the same was published in the local papers on 30.7.2020. The representation was laced with several allegations against the Interlocutor of which I may not cite all except one or two. Quote:  In the 5th Serial: “With the appointment of Shri. R.N. Ravi as the Governor, it was hoped to expedite the peace process. Instead, he is breaking the hard-earned trust and faith of the people and rendering the 23 years of negotiation meaningless by smearing the Naga history……”  In the 6th Serial: “We feel that peaceful settlement cannot be achieved with an Interlocutor without empathy and without understanding our people, our history and our aspiration.” Unquote. Thus, there is no ambiguity in the language of the representation and its implication of the Hoho in urging the PM of India to recall the present interlocutor under whose leadership the Naga political issue cannot be settled.

Whereas, having understood the language and the intention of the Naga Hoho, I personally reacted to its representation questioning the locus standi of the Hoho as the 14 Naga tribes of Nagaland had disassociated from it at the time of the formation of the existing team of the Hoho. I also questioned the Hoho as to whether it opts for indefinite theoretical negotiation without solution as was published by few local papers on 5.8.2020. Following which several of the individual cohorts of the Hoho and the armchair commentators vehemently trolled my article with all sorts of toxic accusations as if the Hoho is the supernatural body that remains above the purview of public scrutiny.  Today we have a number of professional social media patriots, scholars and pioneers who have no gut to venture out to street on call but have the habit of undermining the ground realities and are fond of bragging about any given issue inside their closet as though the destiny of the Nagas is under their thumb. Many of these social media patriots are more of sycophantic than of independent and their outputs do more harm to the society than good. Nevertheless, such opinions can hardly influence any major decision.

Meanwhile, within a fortnight the President of Naga Hoho made a complete u-turn from the representation submitted to the PM of India when he said that and I quote “We have no connection with NSCN(IM)’s statement and there is no question of favouring or not favouring removal of Ravi as Interlocutor from our side.” Unquote. This statement of the Naga Hoho President was published in the national paper Hindustan Times on August 12, 2020 by Guwahati based correspondent. Leaving aside the proximity of Naga Hoho with NSCN(IM) as it does not merit debate, and yet how abruptly the Hoho has decided to denounce and disown its July 28th’s representation? What had actually prompted the Hoho to shove off such representation to the PM of India demanding the removal of the Interlocutor and then suddenly adopted a neutral posture within 14 days time? Is neutrality the stand of the pillars of the Hoho too? I hope the Naga Hoho had not submitted the representation to PM of India under duress, and therefore discarding its representation within a fortnight makes a mockery of itself. Had the Hoho been unconfident of the matter in the beginning, it should not have submitted it at all. Or else, had the Hoho realized its folly after submission, officially withdrawing the representation would have been more graceful than disowning it which is most odd and unethical. Imagine how and with what face the Naga Hoho takes up any issue with the PMO hereafter?

Despite the Naga Hoho being reduced to a mere Manipur Naga Hoho, it could have continued to contribute positively towards common interests had it not shed off the basic ethics of transparency, rationality and neutrality. Unfortunately, the latest behaviour of fragility of Naga Hoho is not just a disgrace to itself but such immaturity reflects bad light on the Nagas a whole.

Z. Lohe

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