Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Check the speck in your eyes first

On June 6, 2022, the local papers published the advisory under the caption ‘An Appeal’ by the Chairman, UDA warning the commentators on the issue of the Naga political problem to be cautious and avoid specious commentaries in both print and social media. Possibly the Chairman, UDA has given the statement on behalf of the UDA ministry. The 60 MLAs in the Opposition-less Govt. are the legitimate leaders of the people of Nagaland, and it is right for them to guide and advise their citizens on any given subject relating to people’s welfare. Nonetheless, the questions are as to whether they do walk the talk and whether they have laid exemplary actions for the citizens of the State to emulate attracts boomerang.
Quoting the said statement “Therefore, the perception of the present day UDA Govt. is focused on inclusiveness-which means all the Naga Nationalist Groups should be part of the long awaited Peace Accord in order not to repeat the same mistake of the past.” The implication of this sentence is easily understood. It means none of the Naga negotiators, neither the Working Committee (WC), 7 NNPGs nor the NSCN(IM) be left out as and when the political solution is evolved.
Well, the NSCN(IM) signed the Framework Agreement with the representative of the GoI on August 3rd, 2015 on its own volition, and neither that was done under duress nor with any type of coercion. The WC, 7 NNPGs too had its Agreed Position/Preamble signed on November 17th, 2017 under similar environment. Therefore, I strongly believe that the same pattern will be followed when the agreement is finally signed by the negotiating parties. In other words, neither the WC, 7 NNPGs nor the NSCN(IM) can be forced by the GoI or by any facilitator or by the Naga public to sign the agreement. The Naga negotiators have full freedom to opt for solution or opt out from solution. Reiterating what I had written already that neither the inclusive agreement can fetch superior agreement nor the so called exclusive agreement will fetch inferior dividend is what I understand and I believe. Whichever negotiator enters into agreement deed with the GoI will do it so for the Nagas as a whole. Therefore, the vocabularies as ‘unity’ and ‘inclusiveness’ may not be misused for self-imposed precondition to scuttle the smooth passage of solution on the plea that one negotiator declines to sign and the unilateral agreement is unpalatable.
My friend, the honorable MLA Imkong Imchen’s assertion that the demand of NSCN(IM) for Naga flag and Naga constitution is admissible in the agreement as per the Assam CM’s positive gesture is misleading. Every enlightened person understands that the Constitution and Flag are synonymous with a nation’s sovereignty. As of today, quoting what languages were used in the Framework Agreement as “the NSCN understood and appreciated the intricacies of the Indian system” and “Both sides have understood each other’s positions……” Whereas, the WC, 7NNPGs stated “…understanding of each other’s factual positions” in its Agreed Position. Thus, there are no ambiguities in both the FA and the Agreed Position agreements except that the political solution is to be worked out under the ambit of the Indian Constitution of India. Whereas, a sovereign nation has a single flag that signifies its sovereignty and a written constitution to run the country. The GoI has made it clear to the Nagas as a whole that there cannot be the Naga flag paralleling the Indian Nation flag nor can there be overlapping constitution. At best, special constitutional provision can be incorporated in the Constitution of India for the Nagas. Therefore, be it my friend, be it the so-called Global Naga Forum, the Naga Hoho, the NSF or be it the Chairman, UDA or the Core Committee on Naga Political Issue, better not be so obsessed with what is not realistic and unattainable. Parroting after the two agenda of NSCN(IM) is nothing more than pampering and laced with the intention of how to delay the solution or how to sabotage it in the guise of speaking for a higher political status.
The UDA has been so obsessed with the Chief Minister of Assam Mr. Himanta Biswa Sarma perhaps believing that the latter has the magic wand by which the BJP leaders in Delhi can be hoodwinked to dance according to the drumbeats of the UDA leaders in regard to Naga political issue. Indeed certain amount of confusion and anxiety were created by the hobnob of the Assam CM with the UDA and yet the much hyped about the last visit of the Assam C.M. to Dimapur became a damp squib. Consequently, Mr. Himanta rightly snubbed his sycophants during his visit to Diphu when he said that Dimapur and Kohima do not have what infrastructures Diphu has. What a stronger smack of indictment can the UDA leaders expect, as deserved, from a neighbor on whom they pinned all their hope and they almost worship him. Next, the UDA Chairman can further advise his Govt. to seek the help from the Manipur Chief Minister Mr. N. Biren Singh who too possibly has the same magic wand over the BJP top brasses. Mr. Biren may also prescribe similar dosage for UDA in relation to other inter-State issues.
On 29.6.2022, the local paper published the reaction of the Chief Minister of Nagaland to a question posed by media in regard to an earlier statement of the WC, 7 NNPGs asking the State Govt. to confine its activities to governance and leave the Naga political issue to the Naga political negotiators, to which the CM stated that “as elected representatives of the people and as politicians, the State Govt. has to talk for Naga political solution.” Further he said, “We represent the people and we are politicians….if we don’t talk politics who will talk and who will represent us.” Will the Chairman, UDA convey it to his Chief Minister to accept that there exists dichotomy between the role of the political negotiators and the role of the facilitators. That being the reality, there cannot be overlapping negotiations. The UDA in general and its Core Committee in particular are the facilitators having the liberty to talk within the given parameters only for promotion of the political process but not otherwise. Any facilitator attempting to overshadow the political negotiator is indeed against the spirit of facilitation and detrimental too. It is unnecessary for one to be provoked by the ethical truth. The constitutional truth is that the State election to Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) is not the Naga National Movement, and therefore the 60 MLAs are not the Naga National cadres except that they have taken personal oaths to remain the allegiant Members of the NLA under the Constitution of India. Secondly, the 60 MLAs have no ceasefire so signed with the Govt. of India (GoI). Thirdly, the NLA is not having political negotiation on the Naga political issue with the GoI. Fourthly, the moment the ongoing political negotiations between the GoI and the Naga negotiators, namely, NSCN(IM) and WC, 7 NNPGs are officially handled by the Core Committee of UDA, the Naga political status will eventually be reduced to a mere law and order problem. I hope that the Chairman, UDA and his colleagues do appreciate the recognition of the political status of the Nagas by the GoI and therefore will in no way resort to downgrade our political status with undue indulgence directly or indirectly.
The facilitation of the Core Committee on Naga political issue of UDA is expected to be transparent and wholesome. On the contrary, it is observed that there seems to be lack of oneness amongst the 60 MLAs on facilitation. I am sure there are members who are genuinely facilitating the expeditious solution. Yet, there are members who talk for solution but actively working to sabotage solution. The anti-solution elements are trying its best to scuttle the popular voice of the people for solution by creating divisions and syndicates. The contours are becoming more prominent after everyday.
It is therefore imperative that while the Chairman, UDA is advising the people to get the particles rid off from their eyes, he and his colleagues may have to remove the sizeable specks from their eyes first.
Z. Lohe

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