Post Mortem

Will Naga integration remain a myth?

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/17/2019 12:04:57 PM IST

 To amalgamate all the Naga inhabited areas within India and beyond is one of the two major aspirations of the Nagas. Whereas, to bring about the lands of the Nagas in Myanmar to be integrated with Naga territories in India is but international issue. However, integration of Naga territories in NE India is permissible under Art 4 of the Constitution of India. 

Whereas, we have already been apprised of by GOI that out of the ongoing Naga political negotiations, the Naga territorial integration remains non-negotiable lest it is perused through democratic process as mentioned above. Also, the Naga negotiating teams too divulged the ground realities to Naga people despite subsequent egoistic assertions at times. And as for my understanding of the situation, any political solution evolved out of the ongoing negotiations will be without territorial integration. 

Nevertheless, sovereignty and integration are the aspirations of the Nagas, and it will remain so till we achieve it. Whereas, it is pertinent for the Nagas to introspect our determination in upholding and promoting the avowed political agendas. By resolutions, by public declarations collectively or otherwise and by preaching every Naga claims to be the champion of Naga cause. Yet, look at how farcical we are: 

1.Nagas are so obsessed to continue talking about integration of the lands of Nagas, but we deliberately refuse to unite our hearts through reconciliation which is the prerequisite for the purpose. Let’s not forget how we refused to positively respond to the mediation of the American Baptist leaders in 1997. 

2. What is the logic of talking about Naga sovereignty and integration when we have not less than 10 Naga national governments now.

3. What relevance for one to talk about Naga unity when every Naga is hell bent to place personal agenda above the common agenda. 

4. What does it matter for one to give angelic statements when he can never walk the talk. 

Not because of being a pessimist or optimist, but the above are the challenges.

How Naga integration will be possible? We know well that resolutions after resolutions by Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Naga integration is just a mere monologue. Soliloquy is not the answer here. It has to be collectively cohesive. The 13th Clause of the 16-Points Memorandum expressed the desire to let the other Nagas inhabiting the contiguous areas to join the State of Nagaland provided Nagas in those areas are willing to do so. Yet, except the erstwhile Naga Hills and the ENPO area (the erstwhile Tuensang area under NEFA) that formed Nagaland, there was no positive response from Nagas of Manipur in particular at the time of the creation of Nagaland Statehood despite the invitation. And we know that integration cannot happen out of coercion but only out of mutual consent with synchronized determination. Whereas, of all the Naga areas, it is the Nagas of Manipur who are politically vibrant and the most potential to take requisite initiatives in respect of integration, and therefore I am quoting it. 

Whereas, I remembered how Manipur Legislative Assembly had special session to pass resolution for the territorial integrity of Manipur not long ago. I failed to come across news about any reaction of the Naga MLAs opposing such proposition in that session. Presently, there are 4 Congress MLAs, 4 NPF MLAs and 2 BJP MLAs representing the Nagas in Manipur Assembly. If the Nagas in Manipur have genuine desire for Naga integration, their elected representative should have staged walkout from the sitting in such situation. We know 10 Naga MLAs are helpless to change the course of the decision in a House of 60. Yet, symbolic show of protest is legal and is recorded. The Naga MLAs in Manipur, irrespective of belonging to any political party, should have unitedly registered protest against such move against Naga integration inside the Assembly. Had the Nagas been equally sincere in upholding our political agenda, we would have synchronized our actions with transparency. Having failed to defend the agenda of the Nagas in respective spheres by Naga political leaders in Manipur left Nagaland Assembly in the lurch. When we do not walk the talk, we led others to take us casually. Thus, NLA resolutions on Naga integration are made futile due to apathy of our counterpart. The action of NLA can therefore be compared to that of a man trying to clap with single hand, and no matter how many years he has been trying, his efforts can ever make a sound. 

Meanwhile, look at the NLA resolutions on Naga integration particularly the latest one on 20.9.2018 vis-a-vis the participation of the State Govt. in the ongoing tripartite talk between the GOI, the ENPO and the PDA Govt for creation of Eastern Nagaland Statehood. Had Govt. of Nagaland acted on time and reasoned with ENPO leaders a decade ago, Nagaland would not have faced the peril of disintegration today to my belief. Whereas, with a view to divide Nagaland into two, tripartite talk has reportedly begun between the three parties. Whereas, the proposed Eastern Nagaland cannot be created without splitting Nagaland into two. Is PDA Govt. agreeing to disintegrate Nagaland despite adopting successive resolutions on Naga integration? Also, if ENPO is serious about its demand, ultimately the 20 elected members have to prove their support to it democratically too. In other words, so long as these members remain clung to their present official positions, how will one takes it to be a serious cause. 

In the light of above, in the process of Nagas harping on integration, we are rather on the verge of disintegrating what even was even integrated, and therefore making it a myth than of a reality. 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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