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Atem ‘belittled Nagas’:GPRN/NSCN
Published on 18 Feb. 2011 1:10 AM IST
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Reacting to reports over NSCN (I-M) leader, V. S Atem’s statement at the 20th anniversary of Unrepresented Nations People Organization (UNPO) at The Hague recently, the GPRN/NSCN said his statement had ‘belittled the Nagas’.
The MIP of the GPRN/NSCN said it could have been a momentous opportunity to propagate Naga political struggle in its entirety as one people and one nation but regretted that Atem belittled himself and his organization by digging up the corpse of the dead Indian prime minister to force a negative opinion on NSCN chairman S. S. Khaplang and NNC.
Stating that no purpose was served in projecting one faction as the master of Nagas, the GPRN/NSCN maintained that Narasimha was an elderly statesman and did not possess a schoolboy temperament to utter such “lifeless comments” against Naga leaders. It reminded that the government of India and GPRN/NSCN entered into a ceasefire agreement as two entities in 2001. It said Narasimha Rao’s ashes have long been washed away in the Ganges. If the issue was in the hands of NSCN (I-M) as claimed, the GPRN/NSCN said, it was now 17 years since the 1995 meeting of Isak Chishi Swu and Muivah with Narasimha in Paris adding “clearly the Indo-Naga problem cannot be solved by few people behind closed doors.”
It also said that a nation’s future would be determined by its people and not by few self appointed saviors and cited the unrest in Egypt and surrounding countries.
“Atem’s statement is unfortunately a huge setback for the Naga people since UNPO’s distinguished delegates must have reasonably concluded, and rightly so, that he represented a Naga faction and therefore no tangible progress was visible in the last thirteen years of talks between the GOI and IM,” the GPRN/NSCN said. Further, it said that the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) has done a remarkable job since its inception and that the international community stretching from the United States to South Africa to Thailand, had expressed happiness that Naga people were finally coming to terms with each other to find a common ground.
The GPRN/NSCN said there would have been a thunderous applause in the assembly had Atem reflected the desire and will of the Naga people for reconciliation and unity for acceptable political solution between Nagas and government of India. “Informing the assembly on the Covenant of Reconciliation (COR), of which Th Muivah is a signatory, the Chiangmai Summits and the September 18th 2010 summit of three Naga Political group leaders could have had far greater positive impact instead of borrowing imaginary comments supposedly uttered by a dead former Indian Prime Minister in 1995 against NSCN Chairman SS Khaplang and NNC,” it added. The GPRN/NSCN said that the interest of the Nagas people and not that of any group was important in the present context.
It was also pointed out that the Naga history and politics did not begin from Isak Chishi Swu and Th. Muivah’s informal conversation with Narasimha Rao in Paris in 1995.
It said that the heart rending tale of sheer bravery of the Nagas against the superior armed intruders (British) began during the first half of 19th century when the British first set their eyes on the beautiful hills of Nagaland.
The GPRN/NSCN said it was also the first conflict between Nagas and outsiders with historical truth in it.
It said that the contribution of 4,000 Nagas, known as the Naga Labour Corps, in the service of the allied forces in Europe during the First World War (1914-1918) was a testimony of faithfulness at a decisive hour. Upon their return from European war theatre, a sleepy Naga nation staggered to its feet feeling the pinch of Nationalism and thus the Naga club was formed in 1918 by enlightened patriotic members, the GPRN/NSCN said. It recalled that by 1929, the Nagas drafted a memorandum and submitted to the British Statutory Commission demanding that they be left alone to determine their own future in the event of the British handing over power to India. It also recalled that in 1947, Nagas met Mahatma Gandhi at Bhangi Colony urging him to free the Nagas, which the father of the Indian nation duly recognized and promised. To strengthen their stand, Nagas conducted mass plebiscite wherein 99.9% opted for a free sovereign Nagaland, the GPRN/NSCN said and that in August 14, 1947 Nagas declared their Independence from the British one day before India achieved independence.
It said that the Naga political struggle took a violent turn due to Government of India’s failure to respect and acknowledge the assurance of Mahatma Gandhi.
The GPRN/NSCN said it was guided by these powerful historical and political events that have shaped the course of Naga history for over 150 years.

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