The History of Naga National Movement

What is the history of the Naga movement?

The British, who annexed Assam in 1826, constituted the Naga Hills district in 1866 and followed a policy of non-interference towards the hill tribes. As British paramountcy in India ended, A Z Phizo, president of the Naga National Council (NNC) declared independence on August 14, 1947. Since then the Naga Hills have been in turmoil, and despite creation of a separate Nagaland state in 1963, the movement has continued.

What is the NSCN?

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) was formed on January 31, 1980 by Isak Chisi Swu, Thuingaleng Muivah and SS Khaplang, who were all opposed to the NNC signing the Shillong Accord in 1975. But as differences cropped up, Khaplang moved out to form the NSCN(K) on April 30, 1988, with the original group coming to be known as NSCN (IM).

The NSCN(IM) has a strong international network. In 1993, it was admitted to the Unrepresented Peoples & Nations Organisation (UNPO). In Amsterdam, it has the Naga International Support Centre, intended at making known to the world the Nagas and their struggle. The UK-based Naga Vigil is yet another organisation providing vital support.

The NSCN(IM) movement, often called the “mother of all insurgencies”, is also held responsible for rise of insurgent groups in other states of the Northeast. Its ‘Greater Nagalim’ demand has created problems, with Assam and Manipur refusing to give even an inch of land.

What is the objective of the NSCN?

The primary aim is a Greater Nagalim comprising all Naga-inhabited areas, irrespective of whether they are in India or Myanmar. The NSCN-IM’s manifesto is based on the principle of socialism for economic development and a spiritual outlook — ‘Nagalim for Christ.’

Incidentally, the Nagaland Assembly passed a resolution back in 1964 supporting inclusion of all Naga-inhabited areas under one umbrella. Since then it has adopted the same resolution four more times, provoking a counter-resolution in Assam and Manipur each time.

Who are the NSCN leaders?

The NSCN (IM) leadership has a dominance of Tangkhuls — a Naga tribe inhabiting Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong districts of adjoining Manipur. Thuingaleng Muivah, a Masters from Gauhati University, is general secretary and ‘prime minister’ of the Government of People’s Republic of Nagalim (GPRN). Isak Chisi Swu is chairman. It has a full-fledged nine-member ministry, the four major ministries being home, defence, finance and foreign affairs.

Where does the NSCN get funds from?

NSCN (IM), like similar insurgent outfits in the area, collects “taxes” from the people in Nagaland and other “Naga-inhabited areas” on a regular basis. The GPRN has an annual budget of Rs 200-Rs 250 million. Intelligence reports also say that it collects portions of extorted funds of other outfits of the region in lieu of training, arms supply and shelter. Intelligence reports also say it earns money through narcotics trade. With an army of about 4,500 men, top NSCN(IM) leaders live outside India, mostly in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand. It also had camps in Bangladesh and Myanmar, but most cadres have shifted to designated camps in Nagaland after it signed a ceasefire agreement with the Government of India on August 1, 1997. Leaders and supporters are said to have business interests in Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh and other countries. Its headquarters have also shifted to Camp Hebron in Nagaland.

Has the Centre held talks with the NSCN leadership in the past?

In 1992, the then Governor, M M Thomas, a clergyman from Kerala, made the first successful move to get in touch with the NSCN. On June 15, 1995, then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao first met Muivah and Swu in Paris. A ceasefire was agreed upon with the Government of India with effect from August 1997. Subsequently, former prime ministers H D Deve Gowda (February 1997), A B Vajpayee (September 1998) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (December 2004) also met them. At least 50 rounds of talks have been held between the two sides at various levels.

Courtesy: Samudra Gupta Kashyap (Indian Express) on 12th Feb. 2010

NSCN (I-M) submits 30-pt demands

2March:  In a fresh bid to solve the vexed Naga issue, NSCN-IM today held the first round of talks with the government’s newly appointed pointsman R S Pandey during which the group submitted a list of 30 demands that includes sovereignty for Nagaland.

The meeting, held at undisclosed location, lasted for about 90 minutes during which a NSCN-IM delegation led by its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah submitted their 30-point demands, sources said.
The meeting which was seen more as an “informal type”, as pointed out by a delegate at the meeting, was held to know the new interlocutor who had helped Muivah in renewing his expired passport, they said, adding another round will be held tomorrow.

Pandey, while giving a patient hearing to the Naga leaders, conveyed to them that there was no possibility of sovereignty for Nagaland and the talks could be held around granting more autonomy.

More autonomy
The Centre, which held a fresh round of talks with NSCN (I-M) leaders in New Delhi on Tuesday, has offered more autonomy for Nagaland but won’t integrate Naga-inhabited parts of Arunachal to Nagaland.
Government is willing to give more autonomy, perhaps even a flag to the Naga’s under Article 371 (A), reported NDTV.
The Centre has prepared a 29-point counter proposal for the discussions this time, which includes financial sops and greater autonomy. The Naga leaders met prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and home minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi.

NSCN (I-M) general secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah during his meet with prime minister Manmohan Singh is understood to have conveyed the seriousness of his outfit to find a lasting solution to the Naga issue.
Muivah later met union home minister P Chidambaram during which the two sides had a comprehensive discussion on finding a lasting solution to the six-decade old vexed issue which includes boundary dispute with neighbouring Manipur and Assam.

“The government hasn’t given us any counter proposal, we have had comprehensive discussion, we will continue with the talks,” Muivah told reporters after the meeting. “If the Centre is serious then we will talk,” he said.
While the Centre said this time there would be no discussion on sovereignty Muivah has said the NSCN (I-M) would not compromise on sovereignty. Besides Chidambaram, others present at the hour-long meeting were Home Secretary G K Pillai and Special Secretary (Internal Security) U K Bansal.

Sources say the government has formalised a peace formula to break the deadlock with Naga rebels who are holding the first round of talks with the government in the New Delhi. Sources say the government is proposing the setting up of a Naga body without territorial jurisdiction but one that would have Constitutional sanction, according to Times Now. This government proposal would be in exchange for the NSCN (I-M) withdrawing its demand for sovereignty. So far, the NSCN (I-M) has been demanding sovereignty for Nagaland.

But, the Naga rebel leader who has been invited for talks to India by the prime minister has made his stand clear more than once that there will be no compromise on the issue of sovereignty.

PM reassures
DIMAPUR, MAR 2 (NPN): Prime minister, Manmohan Singh has reassured the NSCN (I-M) about the sincerity of the government to find an honorable political settlement to the Naga issue which would be acceptable to both the parties at the earliest.
According to NSCN (I-M) chief principal secretary, Samson Jajo, the delegation led by general secretary, Th. Muivah along with speaker ‘Tatar’ Hoho, Qhevihe Chishi Swu and member steering committee, Tongmeth Wangnao on Tuesday met the prime minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh at 11 a.m in New Delhi.
The meeting lasted for 40 minutes.

Later in the afternoon, the NSCN (I-M) delegation met the home minister, P. Chidambaram along with a host of high officials at 1:00 pm.
“It was categorically made known to the Indian Home Minister that Nagas will not accept any imposition on the Nagas but only through negotiated settlement. Any insult to the Nagas will only drive the Nagas further away from the Indians,” Jajo said in a statement. He said the Naga delegation made the stand of the NSCN (I-M) very clear to the home minister, despite the ‘betrayal’ of the government of India one after another in the past more than one decade of political talks. Jajo said Chidambaram expressed keenness and sincerity to settle the issue as early as possible. The meeting with the home minister lasted for more than an hour.

Jajo informed that the formal meeting with the newly appointed interlocutor R.S. Pandey representative of the government of India would begin on March 3. He said both sides have agreed to hold the talks with utmost sincerity for an early negotiated political settlement. “The news media report about Muivah being not happy with the interlocutor is bogus,” he added.

Nagaland Post