Naga peace talks & NE India

Wilubou Newmai, social activist.: 20 Dec. 2012

The present system of govt. that we have is too remote for the localize problems, culture & traditions which are there in the region. Something on the line of such a land would be the answer. A stitch in time saves nine- An English Proverb Everybody in the country must be must be realizing today what gas been happening in NE India since June 14 agreement 2001 between the Govt. of India and the NSCN (I-M). Still today there is a crisis of confidence regarding the Naga Peace Talks. In reality it is a good step towards bringing peace in the strife-torn North East of India. But the fact remains that this has created a lot of complications as the reaction in Manipur was quite grave. Needless to say, there is a lot of confusion among our North East people and they want to know what is the real picture of the talks. So this is the situation which is at present is really not very clear.

The tragic irony is that Centre is not sincere in its effort to solve the grievous problems of the North East and it is still playing an aged-old divide and rule policy of the British people which bears no relevant today. When just keep on saying that the people of North East should join the mainstream, it is also our right to understand them. We have to create the atmosphere for them also. We can’t impose everything for this place. We must take them into confidence on important matters such as the Naga ceasefire and at the same time we must take intensive effort at this stage to workout sound agreement with the talking UG groups from the region like the NSCN. Because rather than simply going on talking and forgetting all things till the time for the next ceasefire to be extended again, the kind of policy which will not solve the conflict situation here, the Centre must realize now and stop testing the patience of the NE people if it is genuinely interested in solving their problems. For example, the peace has reign Nagaland for the last 15 years. It is a good sign, but things may become tense again and turn much deadlier this time if the Centre pursues delaying tactics to deal with the already complex situation in the north east.

It is tragic that a dozen rounds of peace talks between Naga militants and the govt. of India have so far not been successful in breaking the ice of the Naga political issue that has been for more than 6 (six ) decades since India’s Independence. The people of Nagaland have a unique history. A political solution is a must for the Naga movement. It has gone on too long, without any resolution and at great human cost and suffering. The present situation in Nagaland demands an immediate, just and fair solution of the problem. After all, the Centre needs to initiate unconditional peace talks with other militants groups in the north east in light of the on-going dialogue with the NSCN (I-M).
In fact, there is a yearning for peace whether it is in Nagaland or Assam, all the states that we have 7 (seven) sisters. There is a definite yearning for peace among the people and they have welcomed the accord that was signed on in 1997 between the NSCN and the Centre. But given the situation there the feeling of negligence which the people are experiencing over the period of time and because of the local interests, have manifested themselves in a violent manner. Even after more than 6(six) decades of India’s independence, the north-east remains the proverbial area of isolation and backwardness, spawning unrest and alienation. The Centre’s prolonged negligence has resulted in extreme disappointment among the northeast people. Needless to say, there are many in the region who don’t have access to good road, bridges, schools and health care- centres. Deprived of such basic civic amenities, many people have chosen the extreme step of demanding their own independent homeland (s) which will have far reaching consequences. Moreover, the people’s voices have been largely ignored by the pro-govt. newspapers.

How long will the people of the North-eastern States live like this? Don’t they deserve more development schemes for their speedy development and to enable them to catch up with the rest of the country? Should not the government pay special attention to the backward region like the north-eastern region in a democratic country? Why are they lacking in confidence? It is strange how, in this age of political correctness, the Indian govt. has largely unconcerned about the plight of these unfortunate people of the region. The people of North-east India are also an integral of India and they take pride in the country’s pluralities, but if we consider the Centre of step-motherly attitude towards the north east problems, this seems a big farce. And so if our democracy doesn’t help for the development of the neglected and less fortunate people and work for the harmonious growth of our India society, what’s it for? Inevitably, the prevailing boiling situation in the region will worsen if effective steps are not taken at the earliest. Until the Indian govt. trust in them as the people of our north-eastern states want to be trusted, the govt. will not be able to handle all the things concerning-them.

Furthermore, the present system of govt. that we have is too remote for the localize problems, culture & traditions which are there in the region. So something on the line of such a land would be the answer. There is a federal list but as far as the local matters are concerned whether it is sanitation, it is a school or repair to the roads, local budget have to be given and total freedom to them to do what they want. This is what Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru also gave. Our earlier leaders when they were discussed the Constitution list of this all of them were agreed to this. But we have not been able to give a proper mechanism to it. Autonomous Councils have failed to do again. Of course, Panchayati Raj is the answer, but the Panchayat is very small and restricted to local govt. I think which is based on a panchayat should be enlarged and the village should be given total territorial control wherever the village limits are there who are for registration of records, for collection of revenue and that perhaps is what the people of the north-east want. Above all, the dreadful situation in north-east demands urgent steps to finding a political solution in North-east demands urgent steps to finding a political solution to the insurgency problem through sincere dialogue.

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