The Naga: Clash of Ideology and Principle (Part I)

The ideologies and principles of the Nagas are simple even today. However one needs to understand the historical background and ethos of the Nagas before one goes to scrutinise the present clash of ideology and principle. The main ideology and principle during headhunting was to bring prosperity for the village (society) and to be a man of integrity with high dignity. But today do we have the same ideology and principle to bring prosperity and to be a man of integrity with high dignity?

With great optimism and zeal – the Naga Club was formed in 1918, which was later re-christened to Naga National Council (NNC) in 1946. In Naga political history, the first clash of ideology and principle was observed in 1956 when there was clash of ideology and principle between Phizo and his colleague late Sakhrie, who believed in non-violence – adopting the principle of Mahatma Gandhi. On January 18, 1956, Sakhrie (former General Secretary of the NNC – who resigned from NNC for its extreme and violent means) was assassinated for alleged co-operating with the Indian Government and anti-NNC activities. “Many others who openly opposed the movement also met with the same fate” (Alemchiba: 1970).

The NNC wants complete Independence from India however some of the Naga leaders have different ideology and principle to solve the Naga problems; they want to solve the problem by creating Nagaland a new State and accepting the constitution of India, which clashed the ideology of the NNC. 5years after Sakhrie’s was assassinated, on 20th August 1961, Imkongliba Ao was assassinated and Dr. Imkongmeren, the architect of the NPC and formation of Nagaland State was assassinated on 22nd Aug. 1961 by the underground Nagas since it clashed the main ideology and principle of the NNC to have sovereign Naga Nation. Seemingly then, the NNC want to liquidate all the people who ever compromised from its main agenda of complete independence from India. “According to him (Phizo) the Naga People’s Convention was no more than a ‘puppet assembly’. The people will accept neither the Indian ‘bribe’ of statehood no India’s offer of ‘internal autonomy’ as something to be eulogized. It is only a means of conceal her (India’s) heinous crime against humanity” (Daili-Mao 1992:75). In the process of struggling to have Nagas right to self-determination, many precious Naga lives had been lost but the Nagaland becoming a State under the constitution of India in 1962 may be a great success according to the Naga People Convention as seemingly there is more peace and unity restored in Nagaland State. But according to the NNC and Naga people as a whole, it was indeed a stumbling block to the Naga National Movement (NNM).

The violence and hostilities continued even after the creation of Nagaland state, and the Nagaland Baptist Church leaders felt the exigency to restore peace and the Peace Mission was thus formed on February 24, 1964 which later steered the Indian State and the Federal Government of Nagaland to declare the bilateral ceasefire on 6th September 1964. There were six rounds of talks in Delhi from February 1966 to October 1967 but those talks borne fruitless. In June 1967, R. Suisa and Vizol – the two Naga respected elders went to London and met Phizo, then the President of NNC and brought the news that he was not willing to participate in Indo-Naga peace talks. With this news, there were two group formed as pro-Phizo and anti-Phizo (Sema group). On June 22, 1967 the General Kaito Sema, the former commander-in-chief of Naga Federal Army organised his own force. His brother Khughato Sukhai also resigned from the Prime Ministership (Ato Kilonser) of the Federal Government on October 24, 1967 as he lost the confidence of his colleagues for not being able to bring any fruitful solution even after six rounds of Indo-Naga peace talks. He also joined in revolutionary group with his brother Kaito Sema but was assassinated on August 3, 1968 by suspected Naga Federal Armies. On 1st November 1968 anti-Phizo groups with other nine tribes formed the Council of Naga People (CNP) and unanimously elected Kughato Sukhai as the President. The following day, the CNP declared the formation of the Revolutionary Government of Nagaland (RGN) and Mr. Scato Swu – the former President of FGN was elected as the Prime Minister of RGN. “The main objectives of the new party were among others, for the integrity of Nagaland, peaceful solution of the Naga political problem, and peaceful coexistence.” (R.Vashum 2000:91). However the FGN and NNC alleged and accused them as ‘renegades and traitor’ who worked with the Indian security forces. The objectives or ideology and principle of the RGN seem to be provoking but the splendour of RGN shattered in a short span when about 1500 men surrendered at Zunheboto to the Government of India on August 16, 1973 under the leadership of General Zuheto and Zekiyhe. General Zuheto was given rank of BSF Commander and Zekiyhe as Deputy Commander, and Scato Swu was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha. The clash of RGN and FGN ideology and principle also came to end but the division created in Naga underground was a great impediment to the NNM.

The Shillong Accord, in 1975, termed the most gullible act of the NNC, was another great stumbling block to the NNM, which showed another clash of principle of the Naga leaders. Under the leadership of Kevi Yallay, the younger brother of Phizo and other four members came to accord with the Indian government –L.P. Singh representing the Indian government. Some of the NNC members in Peace Camp (PC) were still waiting for peace and promise from Indian government. The people in PC may be remorsed for trusting the Indian government but the fruit of their gullible, had to be reaped.

The Shillong Accord precisely revealed the clash of principle, which earlier the NNC was deadly against such kind of ideology and principle. According to earlier ideology and principle of the NNC, all those members in Shillong Accord were supposed to be assassinated. However there seemed a trivial amendment in their principle of assassinating those who went against their ideology and principle and those who rebelled on Shillong Accord took different ideology and principle (perspective) and formed their own group. Through this accord, the accordists lost their vision and main ideology and principle of the NNC by accepting the petty promises given by the Indian government. The rebel group under the leadership of Th. Muivah condemned the Shillong Accordists as a traitor, and formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN); Isak Chishi Swu became the Chairman, S.S. Khaplang and Muivah remained the Vice Chaiman and General Secretary. However the glories of NSCN ruptured shortly when he NSCN was split into two groups as NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) on 30th April 1988.

The main ideology and principle of the NNC was not to compromise with India government and accept the constitution of India for solving the Naga political problem and the same ideology and principle was passed to NSCN. However due to lack of communication and misunderstanding between the Naga leaders, the NSCN was split after a bloody spurge led by S.S. Khaplang who accused Muivah and Isak Swu to co-operating with the Indian government and of moving towards a settlement within the Indian Union. From the view point of S.S. Khaplang, it may be a genuine act as it went against the ideology and principle of the NSCN. However carrying out such a barbarous act without further communicating with other leaders was indeed regrettable. Many precious Naga leaders were assassinated since 1956 due to their misconception of killing, lack of communication and understanding among the leaders. If our Naga leaders adopt the principle of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology and principle of non-violence, today we may be in different phase (better situation) in Naga National Movement. After nine years of NSCN split, the Indian government had taken into confidence with the NSCN-IM and the ceasefire was declared in 1997 between the government of Indian and the NSCN-IM to have the Indo-Naga political talks. The NSCN-IM having Indo-Naga talks with Indian government – at the Prime Minister level without any condition solved the earlier misconception and accused by S.S. Khaplang. Today the NSCN-IM is having unlimited ceasefire with the government of India and the Indo-Naga peace talks seem going on in right direction. However some people may be sceptical about the present Indo-Naga peace talks.

Today the Nagas are in cross-roads in different aspects with clash of ideology and principle. The NSCN lead by Tangkhul and Sumi became the most talks in Nagalim from 1988-2000 but the progress and the glory of their leadership seem vanishing after 2000 AD due to lack of transparency and mobilising power. There were also many fratricidal and other problems encountered by the Naga people during this period. The formation of NSCN-U in November 2007, under the leadership of Azheto Chophy and Kedolu is another clash of ideology and principle of the Naga leaders even though it was alleged to be ignited by an Indian army officer. Today the NNC, NSCN-IM, NSCN-K and NSCN-U have their own ideologies and principles; some of their ideologies and principles are appreciable but some may be unfeasible. After the formation of NSCN-U, it becomes a hot talk in Nagalim and around the world and we may need to ponder on the ideology and principle of the NSCN-IM and NSCM-U, which seem to have different ideologies and principle when it comes to unification and allotment of different posts. When we talk about the clash of ideology and principle, we also need to observe the different ideologies and principles – which are applied by different insurgent groups. Today the Naga civil leaders and Naga people may need to study the different ideologies and principles of different factions and support the faction, which will bring peace, development, prosperity, unity and reconciliation in Nagalim without compromising the dreams and aspirations of the Naga people. (To be contd.)

–         Dr. Thohe Pou

MNS Screams and Terrorists Celebrate in India

Raj Thackeray was from Shiv Sena party but due to hunger of political power and leadership – he had deflected from Shiv Sena and formed a new party known as Maharashtra Nanirman Sena (MNS). MNS is a very new party as compares to Congress and BJP but it is old as Shiv Sena since the ideology of MNS is same as Shiv Sena – and it’s just a copycat as told by Shiv Sena Chief – Uddhav Thackeray.

Different politicians have different ideology – some politicians want to become popular through their notoriety – by means of vandalizing the government properties and creating nuisance to the public, while others want to become popular through their non-violence – with their altruistic work for the people. We have the liberty to propagate our own ideology but an ideology and thirst of power like Hitler is destructive to the people. India has its own constitution and we expect every citizen to respect and obey at the same time having the full rights to enjoy everything under the constitution of India.

If we go according to the constitution of India – every Indian has every right to work and migrate to other states except only those states where there are special conditions. If the MNS is having problem with the outsiders for grasping the peanut salary job and other petty works, and difficult to compete with them, they may need to work harder like those Biharis and UP workers in Maharashtra. Maharashtra is one of the most developed states in India but if the MNS thinks that they cannot compete with those workers from one of the least developed states like Bihar and UP – they may need to have a special reservation like SC/ST for the Marathi speaking people. But the MNS is just underestimating the caliber of the sons of the soil through their violence creating in the state. Earlier the Shiv Sena had tried to drive out the Gujaratis and South Indian and now the MNS wants to drive out the north Indian from Maharashtra. In Assam also the Assamese want to reserve the job for the Assamese and they want to drive out the Hindi-speaking people. There was also problem in Manipur with the Hindi-speaking people. While these incidents happening in Assam and Manipur seem to be the copycat of Shiv Sena ideology and they seem to be emboldened due to earlier Shiv Sena driving out the Gujaratis and south Indian from Maharashtra. So just think – what will be happening in India in the near future if this kind of regionalism commence in all the regions of India.

MNS and outsiders in Mumbai – but who are the outsiders in Mumbai? If the MNS is having problem with the outsiders then they themselves are also the problem. The Mumbai history shows, “only the Koli are the original settlers in Mumbai” (Anil Dharkar). Today if the MNS are laughing to glory – the terrorists group of India (TGI) also celebrating together with them for vandalizing the govt. properties, bashing up the North Indian and trying to create a regional division in India. The news of killing Rahul Raj and Dharamdev Rai in Maharashtra due to MNS related anti-north Indian campaign may be a good news to the TGI since that is the starting point of breaking the unity and integration in India. The TGI also may be laughing to glory with Bajrang Dal, RSS and VHP for torturing, raping and killing the innocent Christians in India not because of they hate the Christians but India will gradually break into different segments like Muslim, Hindu and Christians with the help of those Hindu fundamentalists.

MNS must be happy to learn the poor and helpless North Indians packing their things and leaving Maharashtra with their empty stomach. But it is ironical that the poor and helpless laborer, taxi driver, rickshawala etc were the main target sparing the rich and well settled North Indian in Maharashtra. Why the film actors and businessmen from North Indian were spared? The glory of MNS successful campaign against the north Indian must be celebrating together by TGI as the India is gradually going to disintegrate very soon with such kind of campaign and there can be sovereignty to all the States of India or have a sovereign States of India as – South Indian States, North Indian States, Western Indian States and North Eastern States of India. MNS have the other means to demonstrate against the north Indian but taking the law into their hand only shows their immaturity in dealing the different sensitive issues.

There are many politicians in India who are working for the unity and integration of India. But MNS leaders seem want to create a separate region of Maharashtra. The shortsighted MNS leaders may no see the problems to come in the future because of their present pretty desire of self-glorification but the visionary Terrorists groups of India must be happy with the works of MNS, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal. The TGI or enemy of India has a great vision that gradually the India can break into Hindu, Muslim, Christian, J&K and North Eastern States. But do the shortsighted leaders of VHP, RSS, Shiv Sena, MNS and Bajrang Dal have the visionary like the terrorists group of India? The TGI must be laughing and celebrating as the North Indians are leaving Maharashtra and many Christians were tortured, rape and killed not because of they hate the north Indian or Christians but Indian is slowly going to disintegrate through this kind of hate campaign and killing.

J&K and North East are not far away from breaking away from main stream of India when the fundamentalists of Hindu leaders and MNS want to have division on region and religion. Which is more serious threat to India’s unity and integration – TGI or north Indian, TGI or Christians or TGI or Muslims? Instead of killing and hate campaign – all the leaders should first fight against the terrorists in India. We also need to fight against the terrorists in India instead of fighting for petty jobs available in the State.

It would be difficult to remove all the outsiders from Mumbai but if they really want to remove the outsiders from Mumbai then they may need to take up some steps like –Unlinking all the railways routes from Maharashtra to other states, stop plying all the flights playing from other states to Maharahstra and stop investing in Maharashtra all those industrialists and MNC from other states and move out from the State. When all the above infrastructures are removed then not a single outsider will be able to come to Maharashtra. But let’s also think of a State without those infrastructures, laborer, taxidriver, rickshawala, Safaiwal etc. According to different writers, the north Indians are more industrious and more productive in their work as compare to the sons of the soil. However if the MNS want those less productive workers with higher wages – there will be not other option except to accept those local workers.

There are many people (esp.TGI) who want to bring disunity and disintegration into religion, regional or cultural region of India. Therefore the presents MNS works and other Hindu fundamentalists’ leaders can play a very important role to disintegrate and bring disunity in India. The MNS should know that when they laugh to glory for their successful plan to remove the north Indian – there are also TGI who are indirectly supporting from their heart – the ideology of MNS to divide into regionalism. When the Hindu fundamentalists attack, rape and kills the innocent Christians in different states, they may be happy too. However there are also TGI who are celebrating together with them for their successful work and their ideology to break the India into religious group of India. All those political and religious leaders who are fighting for petty desire for self-glorification need to realize that it will greatly affect the integration of India and they should not let their enemies laugh and celebrate.

– Dr. R.B. Thohe Pou