A layman’s analysis on Indo-Naga talk

By Z. K. Pahrü Pou, Mission Colony, Pfutsero.

Naga freedom movement is considered to be one of the longest people’s movements not only in Asia but also in the whole world. This movement is also one of the strongest movements that had survived the onslaught of mighty Indian armed forces as well as violent conflict among the various Naga groups. It has secured a revered place in the hearts of many indigenous people. Nature (type) of settlement that is going to arrive at will not only decide the destiny of the Nagas but also the fate of many other indigenous people’s movement both in India and abroad because the powerful empires are likely to use the same yardstick in dealing with the colonized people. For this reason, many indigenous people are looking with curiosity at the final result of Indo-Naga talk. However, the talk that begins (in 1997) with much hype and hope has been mired with confusion and ambiguity after more than 20 years and nearly 100 rounds of talk.

Is the GOI playing various cards to confuse the Nagas? The present Indo-Naga talk begins with three conditions: that it will be held in the third country, at the highest level and without any pre-condition. Whether the Government of India (GOI) is faithful to the promise they made to the Nagas is opened for all to see. But that cannot be considered a surprise as GOI has been doing the same thing again and again even in the past’s agreements/accords with the Nagas. In more than two decades of talk, the GOI has been playing with various cards and trying her best to downgrade Indo-Naga talk from sovereignty (as two separate entities) to ethnicity to a tribe and to factional level. This has created lots of chaos resulting in fear and suspicion of each other within the Naga family. In the name of inclusivism (stakeholders), the GOI has put various NPGs and civil organisations to compete and fight with each other.

This has been done intentionally so as to turn Naga political issue into internal ‘law and order’ problem and make the unique history of the Nagas meaningless. Today, respected interlocutor and Governor of Nagaland continuously talks about ‘corruption’ as the main problem of the state.

Few Nagas sincerely believe this ‘deceptive sermon’ without realizing that it is just a ploy to divert people’s attention from pursuing political freedom. During these many years of political lesson given by the GOI, many Nagas including some intellectuals were convinced that according to ‘contemporary reality’ the only way for the Nagas to survive is through total submission to Indian Union. This ‘reality’ says that ‘either you accept monetary assistance and be quiet or face bullets, bombs and death fighting for your rights.’ As a response to this threat, many Nagas have probably approved that India has the legitimate right to continue colonizing Nagas while the Nagas should surrender her right to exist as a free nation.

Is Article 371-A qualifies to be the crux of Indo-Naga political settlement? We were told that the Nagas have been denied of sovereignty. We heard that the Nagas were denied of physical integration of all Naga inhabited areas to live under a single administration. However, we were told that there could be the formation of the Naga Regional Territorial Council (NRTC) in Naga inhabited areas. It is likely that NRTC will be empowered by extending Article 371-A which at present the state of Nagaland is enjoying. Although this is purely under the purview of the Indian Constitution, it gives certain powers to the state/people especially in regards to customary laws and practices as well as ownership of land and its resources. If Art. 371-A is to come as part of settling Indo-Naga talk, it needs serious deliberation to correct the flaws and also make more powerful than now.

Art. 371-A with its main clause ‘customary laws and practices,’ has been used to discriminate women in the decision making bodies. Because of this Article, 33% reservation for women in the decision making bodies was denied in the state. Naga patriarchal society has made this Article to protect men’s interest at the expense of women’s right. It should be amended or interpreted so as to make inclusive and people’s friendly Act where no one is discriminated on the basis of sex difference.

Art. 371-A needs to get strengthened with autonomous power. In its present form, it has no power to protect its citizen from cruellest and draconian laws especially AFSPA & NSA. This means even after the final agreement, Nagas will be completely under the control of Indian armed forces and will face arrest, torture, frisking and detention without any warrant and on mere suspicion.

It is also true that Art. 371-A does not give full freedom to the Nagas to explore and extract oil and mineral resources in their own land. Oil and mineral resources are crucial towards developing one’s economy and Nagas should get 100% ownership right.

It is equally important to analyze to what extent Art.371-A can protect us from CAA as it might automatically pave the way to the introduction of UCC in the near future. Some Naga political leaders, instead of strengthening Art. 371-A, think that it is a stumbling block to development in the state. Hence, the signs of the time predict that Art. 371-A will gradually lose its strength and completely vanish in due course of time unless it is back up by a strong Naga Constitution.

Pan Naga Hoho as the apex authority body. In the absence of full independence or sovereignty, Nagas need to have a strong common political body. All Naga Political Groups (NPGs) seems to have understood that the present settlement is not going to be the final agreement. It is also understood that the right to self-determination will be pursued through ‘democratic means.’ However, after inking the present peace accord, all the members/cadres of various NPGs will be rehabilitated by the GOI and placed in their respective state where they belong. Majority of them will be absorbed into Indian armed forces. With this development, Nagas will be kept in pieces and a huge vacuum will come into existence in the Naga freedom movement. This is where the Nagas need a strong common political body to continue the dialogue with the GOI to recognise and grant the full rights of the Nagas. In this context, PNH is necessary. It should be properly established before signing the present deal and empowered to inculcate and foster the spirit of oneness and unity of all Nagas. It can be endowed with full power to oversee the administration of all the Naga inhabited areas as well as act as the custodian of Art. 371-A. Even NTRC will have its strength and will be effective only when there is a binding mechanism such as PNH. In the set up of PNH, there should be fair representation from all NPGs and various tribes of all Naga inhabited areas. It should become a brainstorming platform for Naga intellectuals where not only the welfare and development of the Nagas will be taken care of but also that of neighbouring communities and India as well. It is a layman’s fear that without having a strong PNH as a common platform, Nagas will be broken into pieces after the present Indo-Naga talk is over.

Conclusion: It is expected that GOI recognises and respect the unique history of the Nagas despite disunity among the Nagas. Trying to downgrade Naga political issue to economic issue or to solve from of ethnic perspective (e.g. Bodo Accord), will not bring a lasting solution. GOI of India should stop dealing with Naga’s issue solely from her security and international trade perspective.

It may be difficult for GOI to digest the idea of establishing PNH with full power but it is the only way forward for the Nagas in attaining their aspiration of living together under one administrative umbrella. Whatever accord/agreement is going to be inked this time; every party should honour and abide by it in letter and in spirit. It is hoped that India will not cheat again the Nagas as in the past. On the part of Nagas, we must transcend geographical division and tribalism, come together and stand in unity as one nation for there’s nothing to lose in unity but gain abundant life in freedom.

Christians are the next target in India

👍The BJP government has cunningly and cleverly included Christians in their CAA to avoid criticism on racism and biasm based on religion and minorities aspects. Do you think the Christians are free from their target, welcome and embrace by the majority Hindus in India? A million dollars question.

👍The BJP Government has preplanned and well drafted CAB, and they want to target the Christians, Muslims and other minorities one by one. However, sadly our Christian leaders from NE especially from Nagaland and Manipur have supported the CAA.

👍 Just watch and see. The days are coming soon and the Christians shall surely reap what they have done for the BJP to pass the bill in the parliament.

👍It may be sensitive and senseless for some people. But the realities will come soon.

Naga solution on basis of Framework: NSCN-IM

DIMAPUR, FEB 27 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/27/2020 11:46:07 AM IST

Against the backdrop of both the Centre and the Working Committee of NNPGs moving towards the goal of finalizing the final agreement for solution to the Naga political issue, the NSCN (I-M) has reaffirmed the decision of its Tatar Hoho on September 3,2019 and the collective leadership on July 23,2019 “to uphold the 3rd August Framework Agreement.

NSCN (I-M) MIP said the resolution was arrived after an intense deliberation on the “Indo-Naga political talks” at the February 27 emergency joint council meeting comprising of the collective leadership, members of the collective leadership, steering committee executive members, steering committee members, kilonsers, tatars, head of departments and colonel and above of the Naga Army held at the Council Hqs, Hebron.

The meeting also resolved that the Naga national flag and constitution represent Naga national identity and their recognition was “absolutely a matter of Nagas’ rights for an honourable political solution.”

It was also resolved that “the political solution shall be ‘Naga Solution’ of the Nagas, wherever they are” and therefore, NSCN (I-M) said it was a bounden duty to uphold the unique history and sovereign rights of Nagas that was “in consonance with the historic 1951 Plebiscite.” Further, the meeting resolved to uphold the “mandate of the Naga people given to NSCN on 21st January, 2005, to conclude an honourable solution to the Indo-Naga political issue and the unification of all Naga areas.”

It was resolved that political talks between government of India and NSCN (I-M) “must move forward in the spirit of mutual respect”. It also “condemned in the strongest term, the double-standard policy of GoI” and warned the latter against using its agencies, including the NIA to arrest and harass NSCN (I-M) members “who are in political negotiations with the GoI for the past 22 years.” The meeting also resolved that NSCN “shall continue to endeavour to conclude an honourable political solution that is acceptable to Naga people.”

WC/NNPGs to meet Ravi today on inking of final agreement

N. Kitovi Zhimomi (NP File)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, FEB 23 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/23/2020 12:16:55 PM IST

Amidst speculations of a stalemate between the government of India and NSCN (I-M) for inking the final agreement, convenor of Working Committee (WC) of NNPGs N. Kitovi Zhimomi, made it clear that “Nagas of Nagaland should not be sandwiched between government of India and NSCN (I-M)”.

Kitovi said this to Nagaland Post over telephone, ahead of the meeting with Nagaland Governor and Interlocutor for Naga Peace Talks, RN Ravi on February 24 (Monday) in Delhi. The 18-member WC delegation led by Kitovi will finalize the negotiated points (after signing of the ‘Agreed position’ on November 17, 2017), NNPGs media cell stated.

Commenting on the impediment against signing of the final agreement despite conclusion of “negotiations over contentious issues” on October 31, 2019, Kitovi said, “Some groups are purposely prolonging the signing of the final agreement. They only know why they are prolonging the solution.”

He said it was apparent that it would not be possible to “bring all the groups together to unanimously sign the final agreement, when some groups are deliberately prolonging it”.

Referring to the resolutions made by tribal bodies, civil society organisations, GBs and Nagas in general for early settlement of the Naga political issue, Kitovi asked, “Why solution must be delayed for some groups with vested interest?”

Kitovi made it clear that Nagas of Nagaland should not be “sandwiched” between government of India and NSCN (I-M) and that their rights “should not be crushed”. On the prolonged negotiations between NSCN (I-M) with government of India, Kitovi said, “The outcome of 22 years of negotiations of NSCN (I-M) is nothing but PAN Naga Hoho, which also lacks clarity”. Kitovi also said that the proposed PAN Naga Hoho (a social-cultural body of all Nagas) had confused the Naga people for a while. However, he said the people of Nagaland have now “out-rightly rejected PAN Naga Hoho without integration”.

Maintaining that there was no reason to prolong signing of the final agreement, the WC convenor said WC has come to an understanding that “whatever is not possible today would be pursued though a democratic process after signing of the final agreement”.

Kitovi rubbished speculations that NNPGs are negotiating only for Nagas of Nagaland. He reiterated that special status like separate Regional Territorial Council has been worked out for Nagas living outside Nagaland. Asked about Monday’s meeting with Ravi, Kitovi reiterated “There is no agenda; nothing to discuss. We will only talk about the final agreement signing ceremony”.

GOI will no sign Final Agreements without the consent of the Naga public


👍🏼Some Naga people may wish that the NNPGs may sign the final agreement; actually not a final agreement but only the agreement made or reached between the NNPGS and the GOI.

👍🏼The GOI cannot no sign the Final Agreements with any Naga negotiator (s) without the consent of the Naga public for many reasons behind.

👍Ravi is much more shrewd and cunning than some of our Naga leaders. And he knows that Indian intellectuals will mock him and Modi PM of India for signing with a particular faction without including the majority of the Naga public.

👍Ravi is just fooling and giving pressure to the NSCN IM and the gullible Naga public.

👍Ravi’s main intention is to bring all the Naga factional leaders under the framework of the Indian constitution, and he personally do not want any faction to be left out.

👍Ravi is also no too foolish to sign agreement with NNPGs when the Framework agreement was initially signed by the NSCN IM leaders.

👍Ravi and GOI signing the final agreement with the NNPGs leaders have more disadvantages to the GOI than to the people of Nagalim (Nagaland).