Post Mortem

Misinterpretation of the Naga political settlement

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/5/2020 12:53:36 PM IST

 (From previous issue)

It is fair to assume that the President thought all the unreconciled Nagas, irrespective of state boundaries, would soon reconcile, but fourteen years later, the rising tide of Naga nationalism forced GoI to impose another accord, the Shillong Accord of 1975, hoping that would be the final settlement. However, the GoI was proven wrong again, leading to the present tense situations, even after the signing of the Framework Agreement (in August 2015) and 17th November 2017 Agreed Position.

Fast forward from the catastrophic days of post-creation of Nagaland statehood and the Shillong Accord, we now face similar situation where misinterpretation of the impending final settlement, to be made between central govt. and NPGs, is likely to occur again. Not long after the signing of the framework agreement, each of the signatories to the framework agreement involved has created its own versions or interpretations of what the framework is, which are often contradictory even though the parties are referring to the same accord. Not surprisingly, Nagaland’s leading intellectuals and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) had only questioned the framework agreement signed between GoI and NSCN IM by asking its contents to be made public. While the agreed position signed between GoI and NNPGs did not receive the same treatment of attention the framework agreement received for the reasons best known to those (CSOs) demanding the details of framework agreement.

Seeing such unhealthy political environment where even CSOs are involved in taking sides only shows the days ahead won’t be so pleasant. Taking sides, because of group’s hidden interests will not only create political turbulence but also create chaotic atmosphere just as it happened in the past. CSOs, therefore, need to seriously study if taking/choosing sides would help bring permanent peace and reduce collateral damage once the ongoing peace talks breaks down (which by the way appears inevitable).It is essential for us to realize that the GoI have a long term plan to gradually bring an end to Naga national movement, since ending a nearly hundred year old issue won’t be possible with a single accord (as demonstrated by the two past agreements/accords, i.e. sixteen point agreement and the Shillong Accord, that greatly reduced the spirit of Naga Nationalism).

Remarkably lots have happened since the incidents of political drama of statehood and Shillong Accord. Back in those days, we saw as the aftermath of these two watershed events, thousand of frustrated Nagas joined the Naga militants groups to fulfill its political goals of establishing Naga Nation. However, going by the present scenario in Nagaland context, it is highly unlikely to see the repeat of the past events, where youths joined the movement with the object to achieve the aims of Naga Nationalism. The sentiments of nationalism, especially among the Nagas of Nagaland, have reached a point of exhaustion due to the repeated failures to achieve any substantial breakthrough. This is made worse when we include the problems and growing issues of multiple parallel-governments, tribal rivalries, and regionalism. In case similar arrangement (similar to the creation of statehood and the Shillong Accord)is made between Central Gov’t and NNPGs, disagreement among Nagas is bound to emerge given some sections of Nagas within Nagaland and Nagas outside Nagaland will continue with the struggle even if the framework is signed, which will be viewed as a “sell-out.” And in such scenario, as the saying goes that a man is at his worst when betrayed by his own kind, it will be difficult to find a middle ground and to start anew.

The pressing question now is how to bring different armed factions to a comprehensive agreement for the sake of creating a safe future for all the Nagas. To restart the work of bringing different armed factions to an agreement, CSOs and the mass public have to be honest in their approach. In conclusion, the Naga Nationalism runs the risk of becoming one of the greatest farces of the 21st century if it continues to be on the same page following the existing degenerating method.

(Concluded)

Pakinrichapbo, Advocate, Samziuram Village Peren

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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