The highs and lows

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/5/2018 12:15:45 PM IST

 September 6,2018 marks 54 years of the first cease fire in Nagaland that was signed on September 6,1964 between the government of India with the then undivided NNC/FGN. The signing of the cease fire came after months of intense efforts by the Nagaland Baptist Church to end the violence and inhuman sufferings of the people of Nagaland. In response to the active efforts of church leaders to bring about negotiated settlement to the Naga political movement, the government of India agreed to bring about the cease fire. The Naga undergrounds under NNC/FGN eventually agreed to enter into a negotiated settlement with the government of India, headed by prime minister Indira Gandhi. When the first cease fire was signed, it brought about much relief and elicited hopes among the Nagas to end decades of unyielding military operations and unbridled violence. The Naga people had suffered untold miseries since the fifties and therefore, when the first cease fire was signed in September 6,1964 they held thanksgiving service and offered fervent prayers for lasting peace. Six rounds of high level talks were held from 1966 to 1967 between the Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi and the underground leaders. The first round was held on February 18-19 1966 in New Delhi with official representatives of the government of India and the Naga underground delegation led by Mr. Kughato Sukhai, the Ato Kiloner. The other members were Mr. Imkongmeren, FGN vice president, Mr. Issac Swu, foreign secretary. To act as go-between the Nagaland Peace Mission was formed through the initiatives of the church. The members included- Assam chief minister Bimla Prasad Chaliha, Sarvodaya leader Jaya Prakash Narayan and churchman from England Rev.Michael Scott. The Peace Mission fell apart during 1966-67 after Jayaprakash Narayan resigned followed by deportation of Rev.Michael Scott because he detailed human rights abuse in Nagaland and finally Chaliha’s resignation. The Church leaders however did not give up. They continued to strive for peace by trying to rekindle hope. The final round of talks with the Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi was held in New Delhi on October 3, 1967. In all peace talks in New Delhi, the underground delegation was led by Mr. Kughato Sukhai. However, no positive agreement could be reached as a result of these talks. On August 31, 1972, the government of India abrogated the cease fire and banned the three underground bodies i.e the Naga National Council, the Naga Federal Government, and the Federal Army. Thus, the first cease fire agreement, which brought much peace, joy and rekindled hopes came to a sad end eight years later when the flame of peace was extinguished. Next, the Nagaland Peace Centre was formed at the initiative of the church headed by Dr.M.Aram and included some church members to ensure that peace prevailed in Nagaland.The Peace Centre did its best to be a mediator but then Indira Gandhi refused to talk about sovereignty. The past is reflected in the present and there is little anyone can do about it. However, the present is still in with us and there is so much that all can do for the future-if only there is unity and clear vision. 


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