Post Mortem

Agreeing to disagree with nscn (im) on riin

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/13/2019 11:41:36 AM IST

 The Press Statement of MIP (Mis-Informed People?) NSCN (M)...Sorry...(IM) from Hebron, 12th July 2019 is a clear indication that they are only able to see the world through the prism of their own small ‘international’ pond of Hebron and not beyond. There is absolutely no dispute that “all Nagas are indigenous in their ancestral homeland” contiguous or otherwise. That the Nagas headhunted each other to protect their respective ancestral homeland is proof enough. Except for the fearful sycophants in high places, the general stakeholders of Nagaland at large have been requesting the NSCN (IM) from the very beginning to share the contents of Framework Agreement of 3rd August 2013...which continues to be shrouded in secrecy. For all practical purpose GoI has repeatedly made it amply clear that the subject of ‘Sovereignty’ and ‘Integration’ are off the negotiation table. Whether true or not, NSCN (IM) has not been able to conclusively dispel this claim of the GoI beyond a doubt because of their failure to repose faith in their fellow Nagas. Therefore Nagas of Nagaland has nothing to go by on a concrete basis to make a collective stand. Until such time this delusionary confusion is made clear, the Nagas of Nagaland has no choice but to follow the course it has delineated for itself in the matter of RIIN. The only area that even the Nagas of Nagaland want some clarity in this matter is for the Government of Nagaland to have a definitive implementation yardstick to qualify all those who have settled in the State of Nagaland before 1-12-1963. It is imperative for the Nagas of Nagaland to protect its fences just as much as our Naga brothers from Arunachal, Assam, Manipur and Myanmar must protect their own from outsiders until we are able to integrate all Nagas under the same political roof...if and when this happens. As of now, everyone is expected to enjoy the meagre resources from within their respective geographical boundaries without aspiring for dual privileges at the cost of others...Nagas as we all may be. 

That ‘Nothing is conclusive on the Naga Issue’ is totally a statement of a fact but this inconclusiveness has largely been perpetuated by the NSCN (IM) in not wanting to collectively deal with this issue with all the other Factions in the fray as equal partners because we are all struggling for one and the same cause. The uncontaminated truth is that our Southern Brothers of Manipur in the NSCN (IM) organization have forgotten history by not honestly acknowledging that they had refused to join the Naga National Movement before 1965 but are now spearheading the movement they had once refused to join...with absolute autocratic arrogance laced with tonnes of egocentric misadventure...that too in total secrecy at the cost of the stakeholders. The ‘inherent rights of the Nagas’ can only be customarily exercised within their own land holdings and not beyond and therefore RIIN does not in any way contradict this inherent right of the Nagas of Nagaland. Whether ‘16 Point Agreement’ or not, the people of the State of Nagaland have every right to protect their interest from all other unwarranted elements just as much as our brothers from Assam, Arunachal, Manipur and Myanmar must protect their own ancestral land until such time the issue of integration can finally be reconciled.

It is irrefutably correct to say that “All Nagas, wherever they are, are indigenous in their land” be it with or without their common history. It would highly be erroneous however to imply that the Nagas of Nagaland are indigenous in the land of our Southern brothers of Manipur or Assam or Arunachal or Myanmar on grounds that we have a common history. It is for NSCN (IM) to realise that in order to fulfil their professed ideals of historical commonality, the same spirit of commonality through unity can achieve what they are trying to verbally profess...not by working against this very objective by their egoistic failure to work with all the other National Workers as equals. The Nagas have only harvested counterproductive result thus far. Therefore, until such time the Indo-Naga issue is resolved let each Naga sector judiciously protect its own. Integration can eventually become a simpler task without unnecessary outsider baggage from all sectors. It would therefore be more maturely in the fitness of things for NSCN (IM) to look at the bigger picture and reconsider its present stand against RIIN.

Khekiye K. Sema IAS (Rtd), Upper Forest Colony, Kohima

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