Peace in Nagaland?

“Once there is peace in Nagaland, there is all hope, that the sanguinary battle fields of North East India will descend to calm. The only quirk will still remain with Assam, as the Paresh Barua faction of the ULFA, is yet to come overground, and is fighting to the last cause. But, they seem to be in a minority. The Government of India must be given credit for tenaciously pursuing the Nagaland peace process for a decade, with the help of various interlocutors”

Peace in Nagaland?
by Ananya S Guha

The recent report that the NSC( I-M) are reconsidering their demand for a greater Nagalim is not only a welcome sign, but it is a mature way ahead for talks, giving up also the call for an independent nation and sovereignty. The demand for a greater Nagaland brought conflict of interests as the group claimed the Naga areas of not only Manipur, but Arunachal Pradeshand Assam as well. There was opposition by these state governments.The group now having given up this demand; the talks can concentrate on Nagaland and the Naga inhabited areas of Manipur. This will also ease tensions between the hill and valley ‘ conflict ‘ in Manipur. The residual part of Manipur, inhabited by tribes such as Ukhrul, Tamenlong and Senapati districts can function as autonomous councils, in the manner of BTAD in Bodo areas, or even a state can be formed which will however not have geographical contiguity.

This decision if one may call it of the NSCN ( I-M) is very significant and brings into fore a flexible way of looking at things for peace and development. However the two factions of the NSCN must work together on this. Reoports indicate that the two factions are mellowing down on issues.

Nagaland is the crucible of socio political unrest in North East in addition to Assam. Over four decades, the tribulations of Nagaland contributed to developments in the other states as well. In fact the militant groups in the different states of North East India had always an understanding, and an affinity for each other, towards what it considered a common goal. The rebel forces believed in the precept of a common enemy, or that, enemy’s enemy is a friend. This helped to bring them together on a common platform of warring with the Indian Government, and events of recalcitrance in one state always affected the other, leading to turmoil in almost all the states of North East India.

Once there is peace in Nagaland, there is all hope, that the sanguinary battle fields of North East India will descend to calm. The only quirk will still remain with Assam, as the Paresh Barua faction of the ULFA, is yet to come overground, and is fighting to the last cause.

But, they seem to be in a minority. The Government of India must be given credit for tenaciously pursuing the Nagaland peace process for a decade, with the help of various interlocutors.

Peace and Development in NE India


Many people talk about peace and development, but how many of us sincerely want peace and development in North East India? Arms Force Special Power Act (AFSPA) was introduced in NE regions in 1957 and re-imposed in Manipur and Nagaland in 1985. Nagaland State has again been declared as a disturbed area in July 2011. The draconic law of AFSPA has mentally and physically affected the people in the region, and it will have a great impact even in the future. Some people may allege that there is peace in the region, but controlling the people by a gun barrel cannot be called as PEACE. If you are really talking about peace, let there be peace and development in the region in letter and in spirit.

The government wants to bring peace and development in the region, but it cannot do so while denying the rights of the people. If rights and justice of the people are denied, there cannot be peace and development in NE India; this is true not only in NE India but anywhere in the world. With mutual understanding and knowing the facts of the history, no problem is so abstruse as to be unsolvable.

The BJP government took the initiative in the Indo-Naga peace talks with the senior leaders like Atal Vajpee Bihari. However, the younger generation have different views on the Naga political problem; some are even ignorant about the essential Naga historical facts. There is medicine to kill pain, and we can prescript medicine to reduce it, but a doctor needs to diagnose the root cause and problem, and give the complete dose to heal a patient. Repressing the rising voice of the people through military might is only like a doctor prescribing only the pain killer to be relieved ephemerally.

Mizoram state is becoming one of the fastest developing states in NE and has achieved the second highest literacy rate in India after the insurgent problem was solved. The State has recently celebrated the 25Years of Peace in the State on 30th June 2011. It has become one of the model states in terms of developments and peace in NE. Only those who have genuinely studied the issues and problems can only understand the real cause of the problem and issue of NE India.  Recently, Rahul Gandhi – one of the promising future Indian Prime Ministers, says, “Army is not the solution to Kashmir and NE.”  Many other Indian Army officers having previously served in NE region also gave a similar report.

When the NE burns, it affects all of India; when the Naxalites affected regions burn, it affects the entirety of India. Unfortunately, only some logical and visionary leaders see this aspect. According to the govt. of India – Home Ministry Affairs (HMA) 1967, NNC was listed as a banned terror group in NE India. On 17th May 2010 the govt. of India released another list of terror groups in India in which more than 100 terror groups are banned like – Maoists, ULFA, NBDF, SIMI, etc., but the NSCNs factions are not included. However, some people alleged the NSCN – the Naga National Workers as terrorist, criminal, extortionist, etc. If the NSCN are terrorist and criminal then the whole Naga civil leaders and Naga people also can be booked under TADA and criminal cases for supporting them to bring peace in the region as an accomplice also can be punished under IPC.

India will become a peaceful Nation and develop more progressively once some of the threats and problems are solved. Today the three biggest problems being encountered by the GOI are –

i). The Jammu and Kashmir issue and problems

ii). NE insurgent Issue and problems (especially the NSCN and ULFA)

iii)  Maoist problems (Naxalites) issue and problems

India has been investing a huge sum of money for counter-insurgency. Such expenditures would be reduced significantly if the above three problems were solved, yielding not only peace, but also greater economic prosperity. Those three problems have different issues and problems, and it needs to consider patiently in each case separately.  It is high time that the GOI gives serious thought to these burning issues in India. Corruption is another mania in India, but the above three issues are more important than other issues in India. If the GOI wants the Naga political to be solved and to restore peace in the region, it needs to acknowledge and accept the genuine cause of the Naga political problem and prescribe the complete dose to heal the region completely.

The people of NE India yearn for peace and development, but more than 60% of the Indian population does not understand the root causes for the lack of peace and development in NE. One should not think that the problem in NE region is just a law and order problem. While considering the size of the region and demographic aspects, some people may want the Seven Sisters to become one nation, but there is no historical basis for such a union. Why has the giant India had a ceasefire with the small Naga army since 1997? The size does not matter but the historical fact counts.

It is well-known that NSCN is considered as the mother of insurgents in Northeast India, and everyone who loves peace and development in the region needs to extend support to resolve the Naga political and ULFA problems. Then someday the beautiful greenery of the NE States of India can become one the best tourists’ destinations, and also become one of the commercial hubs of India. The people around the world want peace and development in the region and in a recent Annual Gathering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the World Baptist Alliance (WBA) which consists of 120 Nations support Naga Reconciliation. NE people have suffered enough for more than 50 years under AFSPA and the insurgency problem, and it is time now for everyone to think more positively and to have the desire to the most pressing issues and problems in the region.

The Naga Political problem is not problematic only to the Naga indigenous people; it affects the whole NE region and India. Directly or indirectly, development in the northeastern region is depending upon solving the Naga Political and ULFA problems. Once the Naga Political and ULFA problems are solved, we can see the dawning of development and peace in northeastern region of India. It is alleged (reported) that the Naxalites have a link with the ULFA, and the network may continue to enlarge as times passes. It is also alleged that the NSCN is giving shelter to the ULFA cadres some where in the border of India and Myanmar. So in one way or another, all three groups are closely linked, which shows the insurgent epidemic in the future in India.

Solving the NSCN and ULFA problems in NE will bring solace to India and in particular to northeastern region. The GOI and the people of northeast need to understand not only the factual issues, but also to acknowledge and accept  the genuine cause of the Naga Political problems. In previous Central-NSCN-IM Peace-talks, the Chairman of NSCN-IM said that the Peace-talks are coming to most crucial stage, and in more recent talks (18 July 2011), NSCN Special Emissary V.S. Atem told the Telegraph, India, “The talks were positive and we now enter the most crucial phase of the negotiation.”  Moreover, it is also reported that the Naga political problem will be solved in “shortest possible time” and the solution will be based on “the uniqueness of Naga history and situation which was recognized by the government in 2002”.  After more than 60 rounds of Peace-talks held in different countries and in Delhi, now it is showing a positive result in their Peace-talks. Consequently, the people of Naga-land and NE India should be in euphoria and extend their support to the ongoing Peace-talks to bring a long-lasting peaceful solution in the region.


-@Dr. Thohe Pou


Education and Naga Students in the City

Education is one of the most important aspects in human life – education can solve almost all the problem in human life – may be the economic, health or spiritual problem and this is what I personally believe it.

 Where we have come from?

Aos are the first who converted into Christianity and they are the first who started the modern education among the Naga community in Nagaland State. In Manipur the Tangkhuls are the first who were converted into Christianity and started the modern education in late 1880s. After more than 50 years of Aos and Tangkhuls stared their modern education, many other Naga tribes commenced their modern education.  And when we compare with the modern education in India, the Nagas commenced their modern education after more than a century the Indian modern education starts.  However, today we are competing with the mainland Indians in many aspects.

 Where we are today?

NSUP Literary Meet

Today many Nagas are working in different corporate offices and many other institutions and organizations. The mainland Indians forefathers were engineer, doctors, lawyers etc but our forefathers were illiterate and even today many of our parents are also illiterate. But today many of the Nagas are doing very well in many in many fields. When we introspect to our root and background, we don’t have any good family background but by God’s grace many Nagas are doing very well in many fields. Today, even if you are finding difficult to compete with others in your college and working place, we have some good reasons. But it does not means that we should compete with others or give up.  

What are the facilities and opportunity in the city?

Today we have lots of facilities and opportunities in the city, which are not available in NE especially in Nagaland and Manipur.  When I go to Delhi in 1992, I took up computer Science, but unfortunately I have never seen computer in my life before I go to Delhi. But today, the scenario is changing fast… I believe that today almost every student might have seen computer, if not might have heard about computer.

In every city, you have lots of facilities, infrastructures and opportunities. But all these kinds of facilities and infrastructures also can be very perilous too if we do not use it in a proper way. Many of us can misuse the facilities like mobile phone, Ipod, laptop, internet, hotel, shopping mall, multiplex movie halls and many things more. How many of you are addicted to internet, games in internet, sending sms, listening music, going for movie, shopping etc?. We need to use our time and money wisely in using all kinds of the facilities; otherwise we can be lost in the midst of these multi-facilities, which are around us.

 What is your educational background?

Many of us may be not from a good school or our parents may be illiterate but our hard work and sincerity will add immense advantages and work wonder in our life. Example: There is one school known as Shajouba Baptist English School, Mao, Manipur and from that school, three alumnus have awarded Doctorates (PhD) and two got Central Service as of now. So the school that we have come from does not matter much but our sincerity and hard work help us to bring success in our life. Of course coming from a good school will give always add more advantages to our sincerity and hard-work. Three years of graduation is also one of the most crucial stages in students life as it can bring immense change in one’s life – may be from bad to good or vice versa.

 What are the main purposes for a student?

First: As a student, the main purpose of studying is to get good percentage in the exam. Of course our good knowledge in our subject will give immense advantages. Do not underestimate any subject or course that you are under going – may be Humanities, Social Science or Science; you only need to be expert or specialized in that subject. It is always better to be an expert in humanities than having little knowledge and just securing pass mark in commerce or Science.

Getting good percentage has two important advantages. i), it will help you to be confident and your confidence will bring success in your life. We need to build confident in our life whether we are a student or working in any company or organization. This confidence will come only when you have good knowledge and information with you.  ii), As a student it will help you to get into college or good company when you pass out your graduation. Confidence will also bring more successful and will help to mingle and deal others more confidently. I got 2nd Division in my Class 10 and it was good during that time. But today passing in 2nd division is nothing. For a sincere and hardworking student, it is more difficult to fail than passing. I personally feel that today any average student can get 60% under any Board or University in India.

Secondly, one needs to learn and possess some basic etiquette. Try to learn living together with other people, learn the team work and learn to adapt new environment. I used to call some of the officers as uncivilized officers. Who are these uncivilized officers? These are the officers – may be in any institution, company or organization who possess a good skills and technically sound but they are unfortunately do not have good team work, basic etiquette and unsocialable or difficult to adjust with other people. They may be technically sound and expert in their own field but miserably useless and destructive to work with any other social animals.

Thirdly, vision in life: What is your vision in your life? We need to have our own visions and dreams in our life. Education does not means simply going to school or college and finish our studies with good percentage. We need to have broad mind –open-minded, accessible to other people, possess neutrality, unprejudiced.  Today when we see from the Naga perspective – we need to FREE from the concept of my village, my tribe and my people as it will bring unity among the Nagas. I wish that we are more to Naga than to our own tribe and people. In other word, consider to be a Naga than to our own tribe or people. When we have the broad-mind and able to accept other tribes and people, our Naga people in the city and back home will have more unity and peace.

As we learn to have broad-mind and open our hearts to new concept and many other things, it will help us to adjust and live happily and successfully in the city with other people from diverse cultures and races.

Fourthly, student and monthly expenditure: How many of you are getting Rs 5000-8000/- per month from your parents? How much are you expecting to earn in a month after your graduation or post graduation? Today, in India even some of the fresh MBA and Engineer starts earn around Rs 8000-10,000 per month, and for the students from Humanities and Social Science may be able to earn less than that. Once you are graduated, you may want to work in Government or Private sector, and if your monthly earning will be less than your monthly expenditure during your student life, how are you going to manage to live in the city? As a student, you need to live on only with your basic needs; otherwise you will have a great problem in the future. I have observed that some of students do not want to work in the city after their graduation as they can not earn more than what they were getting from their parents during their student life. Today, if you live a luxurious life depending on your parents’ money, you will come to face the problem after your graduation or when you start working.

@Dr. Thohe Pou