FNR calls for avoiding politicking for short-term gains

DIMAPUR, DEC 3 (NPN) | Publish Date: 12/3/2020 1:11:10 PM IST

To meet the transforming needs of “contemporary realities”, Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) suggested both Naga leaders and Government of India (GoI) should avoid politicking for short-term gains and show statesman-like character and diplomatic qualities based on sincerity and respect.

In a statement, the forum asserted that Nagas are united in historical and political rights even if opinions and approaches are divided, claiming that Nagas are learning to use differences to heal and build understanding and for cooperation. And it would be beneficial for all, including GoI and neighbours to encourage and support a reconciled and healed Naga people, it added. Pointing out that the failure of 16-Point Agreement led New Delhi to sign the Framework Agreement with NSCN (I-M) in 2015 and the Agreed Position with NNPGs in 2017, FNR alleged that yet the recent public display to idolise the 16-Point Agreement revealed the true hand behind the gestures of peace. If the intention was to win the hearts of Nagas, this policy and approach demonstrated lack of acumen and prudence, it stressed.

FNR said all throughout Naga historical and political rights provided the common ground upon which Naga leaders entered into a relationship of forgiveness, trust, respect and reconciliation. It claimed that its focus was on reconciliation and peacebuilding using nonviolent approaches and dialogue. And between 2008 and 2014, over 300 meetings were held with Naga political groups, church, tribe and civil society organisations and the public. The meetings were designed to address differences by nurturing a consciousness for honest discussions, trust building and kindle healing and reconciliation through forgiveness and mutual respect. It also identified difficulties, challenges and opportunities for Naga reconciliation, the statement read.

In the course of identifying reasons and circumstances for disunity, the 16-Point Agreement of 1960 and Shillong Accord of 1975 with GoI and formation of “Revolutionary Government of Nagaland” in 1968 were seen as historical events that decisively fragmented the Naga political movement and induced situations for division and disunity. While majority of the Naga people across Naga lands had rejected the agreements, the forum said the consequences of these events led to bitterness, loss of human life, suspicion, distrust, fragmentation of Naga lands and division. It also created two narratives – one around Statehood and the other around Naga people-hood.

FNR emphasised that much honest discussion, truth speaking, healing, forgiveness and reconciliation were required around these historical events. But the trauma and wounds were still raw and sensitive, provoking the worst out of each other, it admitted.

Therefore, the forum said it was not surprising that the Indian State and its agencies with guile and statecraft have actively steered the Statehood narrative, intensifying division and simultaneously normalising complacency and conformity among the Naga populace. “But to what end? A divided Naga house is in nobody’s long term interest,” it declared. 


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