When I joined NSCN (IM) i.e. in the year 1991, I joined against the wishes of many people especially people who were living close by me, including neighbours, friends and relatives. Because, they loved me and did not want me to be separated from them and allow me to live a life of hardship and risky. As it is every a human heart does, they wanted me to be together in all good and bad times, in happiness and in sorrow until death do apart us. Yet then, I firmly believed that I was born as a man in the midst of situation like this in our country to fight and liberate our people. So, with a painful heart I left my home and loved ones behind, fixing my eyes on what is unseen but eternal.
Now, after serving 17 years, I left the NSCN (IM) on the night of 24th December, 2007 as my conscience no longer permit me to continue as a soldier under the present style of NSCN (IM) government. I don’t want to go in detail what I felt and experienced in the NSCN (IM). I mean the ugly side, but would like to share some words that I thought were a rightful free expression of my views and a useful sharing for all of us. Because, I still hope and would labour that, good or bad all national workers irrespective of which faction we may belong should realize each one of our own fault and come together under one umbrella to unitedly fight for our freedom. In today’s situation, whom do we call reactionaries and who are we to claim as revolutionaries. Defection between factions is rampant, today’s IM bahadur fighters will be tomorrow K bahadur fighters and vice versa. The leaders stick to their so called ‘National Principle’ but their government is running like a joker. The kilonsers, steering committee members and army commanders are busy amassing wealth. The kilonsers, steering committee members, tatars, secretaries and regional authorities are increasing year after year, month after month as if the underground government is solving unemployment problem and giving them jobs. There are beautiful laws, army rules & regulation, party discipline etc. within it and more and above that, latest new directives were issued from time to time but no person in authority have the mind or the courage to enforce it. They are timid and powerless when it comes in the matter of enforcing ahzas for the strengthening and betterment of the organization and the government, but powerful and stubborn in indulging corruption and partialities.
Drinkers, heroine users, drug abusers and even persons with HIV positive are abound among the cadres of the NSCN (IM). Partialities, isms and distrust within the organisation are beyond tolerable but who care for that. An army cadre may become a drug addict, may be fallen to serious illness, may get injure in fighting or may be defected to other factions, nobody bother about that. The junior cadres, the lower ranks are not being cared, loved and kept under the control of the leaders. There is complete chaos, some may go and some may come. Some may remain because their tribe is in dominant of that faction; some may defect to other faction because he found no justice. Some opportunists may always remain or join in the faction which they think is most powerful and controlled maximum areas of Nagaland or important places like Dimapur, Kohima and National Highways.
The greatest factor that hinder in enforcement of the ahzas within the army is that, most of the over smart army personnel who are responsible for loosening of discipline and breaching of Ahza/ NARR are the very men and confidants of unit commanders, thereby blocking the way to implement the rules. Again, most of the incompetent army authorities are the men and confidants of the highest leaders of NSCN (IM). Though, at present, they may be called incompetent or may indulge in anti-people activities, in the history of the NSCN (IM) ups and downs, they were the backbone and had contributed their best. So, as it is unfair to victimize them, the ahzas ought to be remained in name without implementation. All ahzas remained in name. Repentance and reformation within the organisation, and strict rules to be adhered by all NSCN (IM) members were time and again announced in the Newspapers but no authority mind about it. May be, it was announced in the newspapers to let the public read and make the NSCN (IM) look alike as a white-washed tomb. When public uproar in any part of Nagaland because of the underground cadres’ excessiveness or because of its authorities interfering in public affairs, the voice of the people were suppressed instead of dealing our own cadres and mending our own ways. Those persons who are brave in suppressing the voice of the people and those who hated the other factions bitterly are regarded as staunch men of the organisation.
So, if this is the situation, where is the question of ‘National Principle?’ We cannot blame the Indian government, S.C. Jamir, RAW or any other outside forces responsible for this. Many of our young men born with high patriotism spirit came to join to fight for the precious cause of “Nagaland for Christ”, but instead of getting encouragement and guidance, they faced lot of intolerable things contrary to the life of a revolutionary. So, many of our comrades hoping to find a little better in the other group used to go and come. And because of this, our leaders call them reactionaries, traitors and anti-nationalists and hunt them down to kill, and many were killed without having the slightest scruple. Please do not destroy them, they have not taken a single pie from the Indian govt., RAW etc., it is purely because of the lack of guidance of the leadership that our friends and our young men are in confusion. As for me, I fear God; I will not be part of the present day style of NSCN (IM) government anymore. Out of love for my country and my people, I joined the organisation, why should I agree to be employed in destroying our own people.
To be frank, it is not today that I have these things in my mind. Though, I was in the NSCN (IM), some years back that I began to realize ‘Unity first, Solution next’ is the right thing. Please don’t misunderstand me, it is not that I never have faith in the NSCN (IM) and its leadership. It’s NSCN alone that rejected and totally condemned the Infamous Shillong Accord, it alone fought the occupational forces of India and Myanmar for all those years through until India admitted that ‘Naga problem cannot be solved militarily’. Thus, the Naga freedom struggle movement continue to keep burning, and not only that, NSCN alone was the source of inspiration and encouragement for all the other revolutionary groups in the South East Himalayan Region. That was how many of our Nagas’ youth who were born with patriotism spirit and fighting spirit got attracted to join the NSCN, and I was one of them. The admission of Naga Nation into the fold of UNPO and various progresses made for the furtherance of Naga cause in the international arena were all achievements of NSCN (IM). The wisdom and capability of our leaders of how they dealt with the Indian government and the way of how Ceasefire was brought about in the highest level between as two entities were all praiseworthy. The recognition of unique history of the Nagas and its situation in Nagaland by the Indian government is one of the biggest achievements for the Nagas.
However, in spite of all these, the more important thing is, as lovers of our country and its people our priority should be for the safety and welfare of every citizen. We owe to show them love, teach them love and show them our oneness. Though, India is a multi nationalities and multi religions country, during their freedom struggle movement they stood as one. They broke the barrier of religion and caste, they shouted slogan like ‘Hindu-Mausalman ki jai’ and drink water from the home of a Muslim by a Hindu and vice versa. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Indian Nation took most care for the harijans (untouchables) and worked hard for the upliftment of them in the society. There was not a noise about him or because of the Gujaratis. He loved all citizens equally and all citizens across the country look up him equally, whereas, this is not among us.
So, why are we in a hurry for a solution when there is sharp division among the Naga society. Nagaland is too small to be divided as that of the Chinese between the communist and the nationalist. Which party will be driven out to form a Naga Taipei in Nagaland? Nagaland is not a small world that one should dream to create a history of one’s own tribe. It is that we stand as a Nation because of our faith that Nagaland is God’s purpose and with the proudness of our heart as a brave people. Apart from God and without the unity of our family there is no hope to see a new Nagaland. But, some want to claim victory and some opportunists want to reap together with them. That is why some section of people both underground and over ground are in a hurry for a solution before unity, knowingly the solution which is in sight for them would never be a type of solution which we can call an ‘Honourable Solution’ for the Nagas. Seeking solution excluding some section of people and seeking to exclude some section of people from among the Nagas are both unacceptable. In today’s Naga underground politics some tribes are no doubt pursuing a policy of domination over others. This is very dangerous and has to be corrected at all cost among us before we seek solution with India and Myanmar. There are some people and tribes who do not have their stand at all, whichever group is a little stronger or is under control in their area, they work together with them for their safety or in the other way for their own benefit, this is more dangerous. Still, there are many among us who in the guise of ‘Freedom Fighters’ take advantage of everything and keep on destroying us. But, knowingly we all fail to fight it back and put it right, this is our greatest failure. When Nagas were once called naked and had nothing, we chose freedom and dare to fight the mighty India and Myanmar. Today, when we become more advance, educated and can be more aware of our rights, we become more coward and live in confusion…this is ridiculous. How can we go on hurry for the solution when our house is in disorder and our people are heading for a civil war. Who is to be called blameless among us? We are all unworthy to be called as national workers, we had done more harm than good for the people.
Therefore, if we are for the Nation, unity is a must before anything. And in this regard, I would like to appreciate the stand of the Eastern Naga People which they always voice and stand for “Unity first, Solution second’. I always take the voice of Eastern Naga People’s Organisation (ENPO), the Konyak Union, the Eastern Naga Students Association (ENSA) etc. and as well as the words of the leaders of National Workers from the Eastern Nagas as sincere and sweet, a real concern and an effort to unify us and rebuild our Naga Nation. For me, if the task of unification of all factions is accomplished and the whole Naga people become as one, the national workers really begin to work for the people and fight for its freedom and the people look up and take us as their ‘Freedom Fighters’, that much is sufficient. I will be always happy to stand in the war front to fight for my people and for the cause of “Nagaland for Christ”.
Maj. Z. D. Akho.
free press imphal 17th feb.08
‘On the other hand, we feel that our continued stay there is going to prolong our frustration and hurt ourselves more and more,’ the statement said.
Elaborating, it said the conversion of MU to a Central university, has put the tribals in an unenviable position, and it is now clear that all doors for a tribal joining the university as a faculty member are closed.
It noted that while MU was a state university, there were just two tribals out of 121 teaching faculty members. The university has confusing and half-baked reason to explain this circumstances, it said.
On the other hand, after its conversion to Central university, 21 posts of professor, 26 posts of reader and 23 posts of lecturer were recruited, but not a single tribal was among them, it said.
After conversion to a Central university, implementation of rules and guidelines followed by other Central universities has only benefited one community, the statement charged, closing doors for the tribals who constitute one-third of the state’s total population.
It said repeated pleas to the university authorities, the Manipur government and the Union ministry of human resources development in this respect have fallen on deaf ears. Rather than trying to do something positive to address the genuine grievances of the tribal community, the university authorities are hell bent on the recruitment drive for reasons best known to them.
It said the future course of action to be taken after the mass withdrawal will be decided at an emergency consultative meeting to be held at Kuki Inn, Imphal on February 19, 2008.
Mobile Office, February 13 2008
A smear campaign for a reason?
As stated before the Naga International Support Center in the interest of Human Rights favors unification of all Nagas. However when one overlooks the dynamics of the initiatives taken, one cannot but conclude that lack of sincerity oozes out of the pores of the unifiers. They claim any party not readily in agreement with their unification probe does so out of Naga interest. Yet, anyone who cares to remember the history of separation understands that unification is virtually impossible sans admitting and repenting committed wrongs. But, does the unification team really want to bring repenting parties together, or are they engaged in a smear campaign to cover up what they did in the past?
The cause of the split
Let’s examine the cause of the split which led Khaplang, the accountable leader and Vice-Chairman of the NSCN, till then united, to launch a brutal assault on the NSCN members. They had come for a high level meeting with him to straighten out their differences. But instead Khaplang, from then on the K, launched an attack which left some 100 NSCN members dead, more while on the run for their lives, but miraculously NSCN leader Th. Muivah escaped.
Khaplang instead of attending the meeting accused the top NSCN leaders, who had traveled to Eastern Nagaland (Burma) of one major issue, later more but minor point when the first but decisive one was withdrawn. Here are the main two:
‘Th. Muivah, secretary general, and Isak Chishi Swu, Chairman, had made a deal with the Government of India to accept the Suisa proposal but under the constitution of India. And second: the NSCN was preparing an attack on the Konyak and Pangmi to kill them all.”
The differences between Vice-Chairman Khaplang and the other leaders of the NSCN entailed things like: abusing of funds, setting bad examples for the cadres by womanizing and not willing to follow the rules of abstinence of alcohol, smoking and drugs among the soldiers of the Naga Army. Khaplang’s answer came out of the blue as soldiers loyal to him were ordered to attack the NSCN camp to kill all present there.
Much water has passed under the bridge since then and most likely the from then Khaplang held on to the name NSCN-Khaplang like he represented the people; the Indian press obeying him by calling the others NSCN-IM. As they targeted each other for defense and revenge both committed crimes. A sinister detail is that the K-group was financially and militarily aided by the Indian Armed Forces. Since this bloody split up developments have been erratic, but on different occasions efforts to reconcile were initiated. Usually the initiatives came from the NSCN but with the condition that the wrongs could be redeemed when they were admitted and when forgiveness asked from the Naga people. Of course the Naga people yearn for peace between the two groups, engaged in this bitter and feudal fight, killing anyone ‘ on the other side’, sometimes just under mere suspicion.
Out loud NISC states that this killing has to stop: it is inhumane, it is unjustified, it is against all laws and it defies the true Naga nature of living in peace as family of tribes.
But it must be said too that the same group which shouts unification unilaterally does not address the root causes of this problem brutally initiated by the self imposed Khaplang group. It also goes without saying that the heading uttered by the Hokato Vusshe, spokesman, of the Unified NSCN is out of order on its own premise; ‘Muivah’s politics not in the interest of the Nagas’ as per the Nagaland Post of 10 February 2008
First of all this is not a personal thing
Secondly: calling itself Unified NSCN is premature for all are to be together in agreement.
Thirdly: in contrast to Khaplang the NSCN under the leadership of Isak Chishi Swu, Khodao and Th, Muivah have always stated that sovereignty is the goal, this in contrast to the collaborating with the Indian Armed Forces K-group.
Fourthly: the NSCN does not demand anything. That is not what the negotiations between India and Nagaland/lim (not the state so lim) are about. They are between two nations and the Nagas do not demand sovereignty because they are entitled to have it, it is their right, they have the right to self determination which was taken away by India, hence the NSCN fights to regain it. The NSCN negotiates on in what way a sovereign Nagalim could be operating cooperating with India. Never has the issue of sovereignty been dropped. And this is not limited to Nagaland State only, like some Nagas including K like to settle for, but for all Nagas. So, all those in Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and last but not least in the Sagaing Division of what is now called Myanmar.
Hokato? There is no factional politics but to come together but to keep the treacherous followers of Khaplang with his guns and goons and money, who has too much blood on his hands, out of the way of the people. And, Hokato, you actually think Chairman Isak Swu can be overruled just like that, or is it that implicitly you play Khaplang’s ‘quit notice’ on the Tangkhuls again?
The Naga International Support Center would like to see these allegations properly investigated. All this hearsay whipped up by emotions without support and factual basis leads only to more diversion and consequently to bloodshed. Hokato, if you really want unity then call for an investigation to get the truth out, the culprits charged and the found guilty punished? Hokato, the Naga International Support Center is fully with you in your drive for unity on behalf of what you call the Unified NSCN, but calls on you to be consistent and so to take it seriously. Be brave and address the root cause of the problem. We use the word brave here because when you act wisely, honor the dead by showing respect to the bereaved families you will surely trample on some long toes, toes with vested interests and so toes which will try to stop you?
Consequently: The Naga International Support Center calls on the ‘Unified NSCN’ to act wisely, to avoid the suspicion of creating a new faction which, in the light of President’s Rule in Nagaland State carries the double suspicion of being encouraged, financially, by the Indian stand-ins. However NISC does encourage you to be genuine in your efforts, for indeed the Naga People are yearning for peace amongst themselves.
‘Muivah’s politics not in the interest of the Nagas’- Nagaland Post
Sensing frustration from being alienated by the Nagas, Th. Muivah has started playing factional politics by involving “ism” into Naga National movement. By terming NSCN leader Azheto Chophy and other leaders who were joint signatories for unification as habitual defectors, it is clear that Muivah is dead against Naga unification. After all the efforts made by the different factions and Naga civil society and frontal organizations to end bloodshed and killings among the Nagas, Th. Muivah has gifted the families of 6 (six), the dead bodies of their loved ones in Mokukchung, Dimapur and Phek. Muivah boasts of taking the Naga issue to the International level as well, but instead of playing factional politics, he should instead talk of Naga sovereignty. The Nagas made him a leader to speak for the Nagas, but even after several rounds of talks he has had with India, he still fails to spell out the Charter of Demands to the Nagas.
If Th. Muivah is at all, a true Naga leader, why would he involve in the Indian-sponsored elections as he has been doing in the past? The NSCN, GPRN has enough proof and evidence that he and his gang is actively supporting a political party in the coming elections in order to gain his interests. Muivah and his gang is blaming the unification group for being involved in kidnapping, extortion and illegal collections in order to cover up his anti-Naga activities through the media. But instead, he should pinpoint the actual facts, the involvement of his own erring cadres before throwing allegations on others.
Muivah should know that the Nagas’ desire for unity is being realized and the GBs, DBs forum, tribal frontal organizations are working earnestly towards achieving this long felt need of the Nagas. But why is he violating his own Chairman, Isak Chishi Swu’s desire for unity and reconciliation among the Nagas. Every Naga knows that Isak Chishi Swu’s proclamations and declarations are being overruled and played down by Th. Muivah and that Muivah’s politics is purely not in the interest of the Nagas. It should be the endeavour of all Nagas, irrespective of tribes, community or social organizations to support the unification process and as leaders of the Naga Nation, people like Th. Muivah should not defile the aspirations of the Nagas.
Hokato Vusshe, spokesman, Unified NSCN.
A Naga International Support Centre, NISC http://www.nagalim.nl
A human rights organization