How A Non-Naga Views Naga Problem -Part I
By: Jagdamba Mall
Naga society has always been in news because of insurgency and that is why if there is a talk about insurgency anywhere even in a hotel on a cup of tea, the plains people sitting nearby lend their ear to hear the discussion.
That is the curiosity among non-Nagas to know more about the Naga problem.
Back home is Nagaland, Nagas present very dismaying picture of their own. Everywhere feuds, fights and rivalry. A Naga accepts the leadership till such time he cannot revolt.
The moment he gets an opportunity, he revolts or betrays his master or mentor forgetting the past obligations. This is prevailing in political circle, underground organisations and now percolating down to the grass-root level of Naga society which will cause doom to the society. This has lowered the prestige of Naga Society.
The country is, at present spending nearly four thousand crores of rupees each year from all sources together.All these moneys are spent lavishly since it is Indian tax-payers money. They spend money indiscreetly on unproductive items and unyielding enterprises.
Once the money is finished, the political leaders bargain with New Delhi and bring additional fund in the name of containing insurgency.
The moment they reach in Kohima with bag full of money, the birds of same feather flock together around the money and distribute among themselves only to be starved within next few months.
Because whatever money has been brought would not last long. When the unlimited needs are not fulfilled, some of them go for extortion with threat letters in the name of this or that faction.
Even after that when their thirst for money is not quenched, they go for drug trafficking and illegal feeling of trees. This disgraceful drug trade and liquor business have spoiled the Naga Youths. In addition to all these illegal and evil practices, many patronise porno-video halls and indulgence in sensuality.
Nagas don’t give a serious thought before spending money. It is not unnatural. The man who does not earn, spends more.
Because he does not understand the value of money. In the process, a privileged class has emerged in Naga society who believe in maintaining the status quo. They do not want change. Because any positive change may deprive them of their present privileges. This privileged class is everywhere. It is in political circle, in exploit every thing out of chaotic situation in Nagaland.
They can draw salaries without attending offices and pension money on fictitious names. They can draw bills without doing the actual works allotted.
They can even instigate a section of armed groups to cause bloodshed if Delhi asks for accountability of money released by them.
The net-outcome is that Nagaland is still a lame state so far as state-economy is concerned.
This is present-day Nagaland wherein a section of Naga leaders remain ungrateful to Delhi for what Delhi has done to build up Nagaland.
In liu of expressing their gratefulness to Delhi, they blame Delhi for each and every unpleasant incident occurred in Nagaland.
When budgetary funds are released by Delhi and money starts flowing in Kohima, many Nagas are heard saying “Indians don’t want to see Nagas Youths”. When Budget money is finished in Kohima and Deli refused to grant extra fund, then also many are heard saying “Indians don’t want to see Nagas. They don’t want any development in Nagaland. Therefore we want independence.” Whether a pumpkin falls on sword or sword falls on pumpkin it is immaterial who falls on whom because in both the cases it is pumpkin whose body is pierced. imilarly money or no money, a section of Nagas are in the habit of cursing Delhi in order to hide their mischief and hoodwink common mass.
Is this the Nagaland Nagas admired for? We have been witnessing as to how past cease-fire agreements and accords had been entered into.
Currently, government of India is having cease-fire agreement with NSCN(IM) since August 1, 19907 and also with NSCN(K) since April 20, 2001.
Surprisingly, immediately after the agreements are signed and before the ink is dried, the other section disowns. The hardcore dissidents took up the arms and killed most of the signataries.
That is how a genius like Dr. T Sakhrie, first NNC general secretary, was gruesomely murdered and thus, a long chain of victims of macabre murder started and went through Dr.Imkongliba, General Kaito. General Povezo, Chalie Kevichusa, Tobu Kevichusa, Dalli Mungro, Mozoullie and many more.
The memory of dance of death enacted in Thevopisumi village in July 1956 wherein 48 youths were lined up and killed altogether one night, still shivers the whole body. Dr Hokishe Sema was brutally attacked. SC Jamir was attacked four times. JB Jasokie was always under Police protection. Who will lead Naga society if all these leaders are killed? It is not that those who wish to kill are in comfort.
Many of them have also been killed in counter insurgency operations. The nation mourns for them too. And the lives of leaders in underground camps are more vulnerable to army bullets.
Thus, the underground leaders re more in grief. But for what? This is a most
pertinent question the answer of which Naga society crave to hear we all know, they don’t want to face this question.
When asked directly, they evade the reply by shifting to more convenient issues, very often to irrelevant one. That is how all the agreements are not full successful.
Why? If Nagas want to find out a lasting solution why do they fail to unite and put forth an unanimous proposal for discussion?
This time also, people don’t think that Nagas will unite. Because, every Naga poses as leader. Nobody wants to be follower.
They give convenient definition of “Leader”. For Nagas, leadership does not mean – simple living and high thinking. By leader, they mean a luxurious life without doing any hard work. For this reason community life and collective thinking is disappearing fast and idea of individual monetary gain by legal or illegal means is ruling the roost.
They talk about Nagaland. But there is no Naga in Nagaland. One may be an Angami, another may be an Ao or Sema and for that matter any other tribe.
But he is certainly not a Naga because he does not act like a Naga and does not think like a Naga.
Aos think of Aos, Angamis think of Angamis, Konyaks think of Konyaks. Where is a Naga who thinks of Nagaland and who behaves like a Naga. Mizos have emotional attachment with Mizoram.
Similarly, Meiteis have emotional attachment with Manipur. They prefer to die than to sacrifice even an inch of their land. Where is that commitment and emotional attachment of Nagas to Nagaland?
(The article was published in a two part series in the paper edition of ‘The Imphal Free Press’. The article is reproduced here with due permission from Imphal Free Press)