Post Mortem

Will Nagas really miss the opportunity?

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 10/5/2019 11:39:12 AM IST

 In recent times, precisely after the three months’ deadline for solution announced by the Indian interlocutor, “Nagas should not miss the bus/opportunity again” has become the household talk. Some Nagas think we lost one great opportunity when Nagas rejected Indira Gandhi’s offer of “Take everything but sovereignty” in 1967. Others think failure to accept statehood as the final settlement was another opportunity missed. Now, many Nagas think we should not miss another great opportunity out of the ongoing talks.

Indira Gandhi talked as if Naga sovereignty was at Delhi to take home. She meant nothing except to throw sarcastic insult on Nagas. Naga leaders of that time were very clear that Nagas have nothing to take from India. They went to tell Indian leader that Nagaland was independent based on August 14, 1947 declaration. They went to tell India that her aggression of Nagaland was wrong, to ask her to withdraw her occupational forces out of Nagaland and leave the Nagas alone to develop their own future. Nagas did not miss anything in that talk. In fact, Nagas gained because our leaders did not compromise our sovereignty. Had it been today’s generation, it is quite a possibility that they might have accepted Indira Gandhi’s offer.

Naga People’s Convention betrayed the Naga National Council and the Federal Government of Nagaland with 16-point memorandum. The discussion on 16-point memorandum did not last even twenty fours at a stretch because Jawaharlal Nehru accepted statehood demand immediately. They got what they wanted. That was exactly what the cooperation group wanted from beginning. Statehood brought both good and bad, undoubtedly more bad than good. Statehood created socio-political synthesis in which, some educated people have lost the power to differentiate Naga sovereign right from constitutional right under India. Economic sovereignty is the catch word for them. Due to this synthesis, Nagas of present day talk from the perspective of India, in the context of India and in relation to India. It is doubtful if such people even know what they are talking.

What opportunities we got under statehood? The all-time high unemployment. The deplorable roads, the sick healthcare system, the zero-result producing education system. Rampant corruptions – embezzlement of public development funds, backdoor appointments, bogus employees, nepotism and favoritism. A state where economic criminalization like multiple illegal taxations by multitudes of agencies are accepted, not as law and order problem but as political problem. All in all, institutionalization of corruption. Probably, some opportunists are looking for more opportunities. Hopefully, the new opportunities will correct all those wrongs. Nevertheless, none should have any problem if the government of India is prepared to find solution to problems of what they called, contemporary realities. The general publics are fed up and wants anything to remove status quo. 

Talking of apprehension that Nagas may miss another opportunity, let us revisit our history and see what opportunities we missed. Nagas declared our own independence, gave mandate to it, adopted our own constitution, established our government and hoisted our own national flag. Nagas did all those to be nation among nations and people among peoples. We wanted freedom to rule ourselves, formulate and follow our own economic, education and healthcare systems. We wanted our own currency. We wanted to have freedom to exploit our own mineral and forest resources with or without external assistance. We wanted to have our own trade policy with other nations. We wanted to have diplomatic relations with other nations. We wanted to have a strong national army. We wanted to have all opportunities that a sovereign nation enjoys freely. Nagas missed all those opportunities because of India’s aggression of sovereign Nagaland and her imposed rule for over seventy years now. Without sovereignty, Nagas will continue to miss all these opportunities.

In conclusion, the positive side is that all conscious people, including even Indians, seems to agree that whatever solution may emerge out of the ongoing talks, it is not going to be the end but just the means to the end. That is to say, sovereignty chapter is not closed and the spirit of Naga nationalism lives on. God bless sovereign Nagaland. KUKNALIM!

(Opinions expressed here are personal)

Dr. K. Hoshi, Phek

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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