Determinants that Impacts our Economy

By: Albert Dovei

Have you ever wonder what was the exchange rate of INR (vs USD) when Indian got Independent?

To your taste, the equation is,

1 INR= 1 USD as of 15th August 1947.

(Although the dynamics of Exchange rate between the currencies is not the same as today and make 1USD=59.4 INR)

Not many people from among the Nagas, are aware of this change. And still fewer are aware of the impact of this change.

No one would precisely know which factors had moved the currency value of a country and by what quantum. It is because the factors are numerous and its impact could be varied. The impact is still further made complicated because some of these factors are interrelated. So, many different economists may cite various different factors, but they could mean the same thing at different time- giving them the benefit of doubts. If there is one clear cut rule, then the currency traders wouldn’t be having so much of fun and bonuses and vice versa.

Economists had played very safe and have club all these factors together to fit into the term “DEMAND and SUPPLY”. Consider, if there are only few soya growers and still fewer who make AKHUNI/Fermented Soya – SUPPLY, judging by the way we (the nagas) consume AKHUNI – DEMAND, we would be at the mercy of the soya growers and the manufacturer of AKHUNI. In a world without UG, we would be amazed at the way they priced Soya and AKHUNI like the way many are amazed by the TAX.

Of the so many factors, the following are significant and common;

  1. Inflation
  2. Interest Rates
  3. Other country’s Economic Indicators ( Growth, Country’s current Account, Govt debt)
  4. Terms of Trade
  5. Political Stability

1. Countries with a lower inflation rate, generally will have a rising currency value as compared to the one with higher inflation rate. Purchasing Power Parity or popularly knows as PPP is an economic theory which reflects that a currency value of a country moves towards an equilibrium. Its basis is the law of “one price”.

Consider the following example;

Say there are three countries and exist independently (no communal feelings):

COUNTRY 1; NAGA (AKHUNI Consumer and Producer)

COUNTRY 2: MEITEI (AKHUNI Consumer)

COUNTRY 3: KUKI (AKHUNI Consumer and Producer)

Cost of 100 gms of AKHUNI = 10 NAGA $(=10 KUKI $ = 10 MEITEI $)

Let us also suppose that the values of these countries’ currency are same as at 31-12-2010. Imagine the total cost of transporting (including Trade terms such as Tax) AKHUNI to imphal from KUKI CITY and NAGA CITY and between KUKI CITY and NAGA CITY is same and equal =ZERO (an assumption so that this factor does not influnced the outcome though it reality, this never exist). Imagine everything else remain the same, MEITEI will likely import 50% from NAGA CITY and 50% from KUKI CITY. Lets consider for now, there is nothing like Supra State and Kuki state equally in DEMAND.

Consider a scenario, the price of AKHUNI in NAGA CITY has increased (now 11 NAGA $ per 100gms of AKHUNI) because of increase of labour cost for production of AKHUNI in NAGA city – A case of INFLATION. BUT the price of AKHUNI in KUKI remain the same. This is called ARBITRAGE.

You can expect the following situation;

  1. MEITEI and NAGA consumer of AKHUNI will certainly desire to buy AKHUNI from KUKI CITY.
  2. The DEMAND for NAGA AKHUNI declines–> They need to lower their price to be competetive.
  3. The DEMAND for KUKI AKHUNI increases–> they took advantage

Eventually, the three factors will meet somewhere where the business will continue as usual but with one thing change – the value of the currency.

Lets say in the process, the price of the KUKI AKHUNI is increased 10.53 per 100 gms and the NAGA AKHUNI price has thus declined to 10.8, this would push the bring the Exchange rate to.

1 NAGA $ = 0.975 KUKI $

Or is it the other way round? Because of the three activities above,

1 NAGA $ = 0.975 KUKI $

And has push the price of KUKI AKHUNI to 10.3 KUKI $ per 100gms and NAGA AKHUNI to 10.8 NAGA $ per 100 gms.

You may also refer to REER (Real Effective Exchange rate Index) for readings an improve your knowledge on Exchange Rates.

2. Interest Rates plays a very important in the cash Inflows/Outflows of foreign currency into a country. You will see many central banks across the world change their policy rate based the changes in other countries. Many Asian countries’ central Banks waits for the Fed’ Rate policy revision. Investors today are very clever, and a slight arbitarage could shift their investment destination. If you look closely, FORWARD Exchange rate is related to the Interest Rates.

F= S(1+id)/(1+if)

where

F is the forward exchange rate

S is the current spot exchange rate

id is the interest rate in domestic currency

if is the interest rate in foreign currency

Note: Time factored in

The Forward exchange rate is used for Forward Exchange Rate trading and impacts the currency exchange rate. From the above formula, we know the interest rate of a country impacts the exchange rates.

Govt. 10 Year bond for some countries are as follows (All annualised as at the day of 31-12-2012);

India =7.5% (Interbank rate 7.31%)

Pakistan=12.07% (9.33%)

China = 3.71% (Interbank Rate 6%)

Japan = 0.86% ( Interbank Rate 0.16%)

Have you been thinking to borrow money from Japan and invest in India?

Sometimes, the interest rates in certain countries goes negative (have you ever thought how it could possibly happen?)

3. Economic indicators of a country are the beckoning light for the investors. Based on the soundness of the state of the economy, investors will regulate their inflow of money into the country. As at the current Quarter, the FOREX EXCHANGE RESERVE of India stood at USD mio 287,846 rose from 4,646 in 2003. China on the other hand, during the same period the Forex Exchange Reserve stood at USD mio 3,442,649 as against 403,251 in 2003.

We can see what has been happening. Growth in India and China has been phenomenon during the last decades. And that was how, the FOREX increases and during some part of the period, the value of Indian currency picked up to as high as INR 38 against a dollar.

Investors examine their risk appetite before investing into any country. Often investors perform their risk return profile analysis for investments. China and India top the list in the GDP growth rate and this provided a platform to the foreign investors for capital gain and high interest income.

Besides the GDP, there are many other economic indicators that tells the health of a country economy. PUBLIC DEBT and Current Account are also important economic indicators. Public debt of China is 23% as compared to 50.40% for Pakistan and 67.57% for India (as per 2012). Partly because of this high public debt, the rating agent has downgrade India to the last investment grade (BBB-) with a negative outlook, last year (this is as per S&P rating, Baa3 as per Moody’s with a stable outlook). As a comparison, Pakistan was rated B- by S&P with stable outlook and China with AA- and stable outlook by S&P.

Here are public debt figures of some countries;

US= 101.60%

Japan= 211.70%

Greece= 156.90%

Greece is currently facing economic turbulence because of the high public debt.

Current Account figure is a reflection of the movement of currency across the boundary of the country. Current Acccount (as a fraction of GDP) of India, China and Pakistan for the FY2012 are -4.8%, 2.3% and -2% respectively. Negative values also indicate, total import outweighs total exports.

4. Terms of Trade: Governments sets the terms of Trade and it has direct impacts on import and export. Taxation is a very important factor which could promote/discourage any business. For example, Bangladesh textile exporters have more privilege than the Indian counterparts among the textile consumer countries (e,g Europe). What does this mean? There will be more business for Bangladesh textile industry meaning more exports to other countries. Foreigners need to buy Bangladeshi Taka for import of Bangladesh’s goods. Bangladesh gains on Textile Industry.

Similarly, there are many industries, where trade with one country is more convenient/cost efficient than the other leading to preference of one country over the other leave aside the political issues. Recently, the European countries have asked India to reduce the import tax on luxury cars to India and it is learnt that India has asked European union to lift the tax on Indian textile imported to European countries. Likewise the import tax between countries could be very complex and sometimes not healthy.

Are we trying to understand such complexities?

Do you know why Cars are so cheap in America and Middle East? If not because of import tax, average middle Indian could be driving HONDA CITY.

5. Political Stability is one of the most important factors for investors to invest in a country. The less stable the country, the less number of investors will be for the country. Rating Agency uses political stability as one of the key elements for risk rating.

Three years ago when I tried to book a hotel in Sydney, the price of Zimbabwe dollar runs into million per night. Of course it was during one of those days when the political situation was very volatile and inflations could be in 1200 (%). Have you ever wonder what does this mean? Imagine how much money the middle man (brokers) would have made.

Conclusion:

However, the current volatility in the currency exchange rate is more to do with complex thing which are happening around the world. Although the traditional economic theorems hold true to a certain extend, the dynamics of modern businesses could (and has) created a precarious situation to the financial markets at times. Many structured financial products look very attractive from outside but its real value can be very minimal. The recent financial crisis of 2007 was tagged to US subprime mortgage crisis, but in reality the parties that helped fuel the crisis ranges from Finacial institutions, regulators, credit rating agencies, government housing policies, consumers, insurance companies etc. Using a complex financial instrument known as Credit Default Swaps (CDS), the investors were made to believe that the risks were perfectly hedged in relation to Mortgage backed securities. A synthetic CDO (Collaterilized debt obligations) were created whose payment streams were derived from the premium of CDs. What happen here in the process is, an enormous value was created out from that limited financial instrument’s intrinsic value- can you believe that?

The questions; what happen when such a financial crisis loom large in an economy? What would the investors do when the borrower’s (Government) expenses become too much as compared to the income and the government cannot manage their budget deficit anymore? This is exactly what happens in Greece which along with other European countries almost brought down Europe economy recently. What would you do when you think your borrower is not managing your borrowed money and also his own money properly? Most lenders/investors would try to pull out his investment money. And this adds to the woes of the falling exchange rates when investors pull out their money from your country and never to come back again in the near future.

Specific situations in Financial Institutions can create a temporary volatitlity in the Exchange rate and Interest rate. When SBI launched the Indian Millenium Deposits amounting to Rs 37,000 Crore, it created a considerable volatility in the exchange rate, yields on gilt securities etc.

Another situation is when investors have alternative investment destinations. You will see when the US ecnonomy information (job, GDP etc.) are good, the stock index rises in Dow Jones. Similarly, when the Federal reserve review their policy (e.g Rates) in favour of investors in their home country, you will see a sudden shift in the Market.

In the current scenario, it is reported that overseas investors have pulled out a staggering Rs 29,191 core from the Indian debt and equities in less than a month (during June 2013) due to the weakness in the rupee.

All these reasons add to the volatility in the market rates. But behind all these there is the resources availability, the consumers and the managers of this economy. And how well they managed the economy, is left to the bloggers.

Central Banks also play an important role in controlling the exchange rates by setting policies for the Banks in relation to kinds of financial instruments the Banks are allowed to transact, limits on the open positions for individual currency, external borrowings, capital requirements etc. At times, Central Banks buys or sells foreign currency as a temporary controlling tool for exchange rates movements. Financial news has reported that RBI has intervened to stop further falling down of INR value.

Central banks sometimes squeeze the liquidity with sale of government securities. Currently (since last week) the RBI is trying a sell Rs 12k Crore through open market operations but it looks like the whole process is pushing the interest high indicating the yield which the market demand is definitely higher than what RBI has offered. By squeezing the liquidity from the market- which should decrease the supply of INR- thereby increasing the INR currency value.

But then do you know what would this impact the commoners? By trying to solve an issue, another problem could be just created.

The government of India had on 16th July, in order to boost the economy and put a stop to the sliding of the INR exchange rate has relax the cap on Foreign Direct Investments in the following sector;

     
INDUSTRY WAS (in %) NOW (in %)
TELECOM 74 100
DEFENCE PRODUCTION 26 26 (allows to increase on a case by case basis)
INSURANCE 26 49
ASSET RECONSTRUCTION FIRM 74 100
CREDIT INFO FIRM 49 74
SINGLE BRAND RETAIL   49

 

 

 

 

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A Rejoinder to ‘Nagaland Tribes: The Latest Bone of Contention’

Dr. D.Kuolie, Head, Deptt of Tenyidi

NU & Secretary General, Ura Academy, Kohima.

Reading the write up of Thepfulhouvi Solo in your esteemed daily 9-6-2013 I am compelled to clarify certain points on the question of Tenyimia, Tenyidie and its related issues though this rejoinder for public interest. I will also add those left out vital points of his earlier article published in Nagaland Post on 30-11-2009 as the present article is obviously, an extension of the earlier.

The theory of the writer claimed that the term ‘Angami’ is a corrupted form of ‘kerügumia’ (thief) from Zeliang language ‘kergami’. In fact, the Angami people used it without knowing its source and meaning in the early days. However, during 1970s, this theory was clarified by late John of Viswema. According to him, the British army under Captain Jenkin and Lieut. Penberton, when about to cross Tenyimia country from Imphal to Assam in 1832, they asked the Meiteis, what sort of people lived that side, by pointing at Tenyimia country.

They were told ‘Ngami’ which means ‘perfect/independent people’. The word did not conform to the English language and therefore, it was noted as ‘Angami’. That interpretation of late John had a matching version because the velar nasal sound /ŋ/ never occurs in initial English language. To suit to their language, a syllable vowel /a/ was prefixed to the word to form /aŋami/. That version was accepted by Ura Academy since then. Although, the ‘Angami’ is a popular term till today, it has no other meaning in Tenyidie beyond late John’s version. The continuity in use of the term,

‘Tenyimia/Tengima/Tenyimi’ which originates from ‘Tenyiu’ the name of the forefather of the Tenyimia group was accepted by all units by their historical knowledge. ‘Tenyimia’ therefore, means the descendant of Tenyiu. TPO is purely a reunion of the divided family based on blood-lineage. Tenyimia or Tenyidie is a canonized term and TPO is not seeking ‘Tribal Recognition’ from any quarters. The writer’s claim, ‘Tenyimie consists of a convenient number of Nagaland tribes together with one or more from the outside’ is perfectly in line with his earlier writing, ‘The Khezamas, the Sopfümas (Mao), the Zeliangs and the Rengmas never hitherto took themselves as ‘Tenyimia’. So far to my knowledge, the Tenyimia were in unity-form many a time although irregular, till regular formation established in 1993.

Every TPO units stood firm by their history of brotherhood. despite disparagers existed. As such, the idea of ‘disbanding the Tenyimi Union for the future good of the Nagaland’ is not a healthy suggestion, the fact that TPO is a reunion of the Tenyimia family, which is in consonance to the basis of all Naga society. The formation of Ura Academy too, is on the same base. Rev. J.E.Tanquist instituted the Angami Literature Committee (ALC) in 1939 and approved by the then Deputy Commissioner, Sir C.R.Pawsey. In 1960s, those early educated people who served in various Government institutions at Kohima, were also leaders of respective sub-communities.

Having a common wish to bring the people together, those personalities made frequent meeting and deliberation over oral historical account of our ancestors. Following such mutual understanding and acknowledgement, they resolved to modify the name of ALC into Tenyimia Literature Committee in 1970 and ever after the Angami language was renamed to its original term call ‘Tenyidie’. Nomenclature was further made to Ura Academy in 1971, in which representatives of Angami, Chokri, Khezha, Pochury, Rengma, Zeliang and Mao were all present. Their objective is to develop literature, preserve and promote culture and other aspects of Tenyimia community through academic study. We still have some living pioneers for a living testimony.

There is nothing wrong in adapting the meaningful original term called ‘Tenyidie’ by ‘Tenyimia people’ as Mother Tongue. To clarify another significant point is the misinterpretation of the term, ‘Keviu Ú Ya’. I would prefer to translate it as ‘the good (part) is ours’ rather than his translation ‘the better is mine’. The expression is derived from religious philosophy that denotes the claiming of godly blessing to both the villages/parties during celebration of events like ‘vitho’ (treaty) and ‘sonyi’ (friendly exchange festival). His claim of it as a political wisdom for the propagation and promotion of Tenyimia is far from truth.

The writer claimed that except ‘Chokri’ all other tribes within Tenyimia community have distinct languages and having respective Bible and Hymn Book of the Church. The emergence of such books is mainly the product of the church workers for evangelizing the gospel, however, without understanding the gravity of power of a common language. Dialectal variation is natural to all languages of the world. Considering languages as distinct on the basis of those bible and hymn books is far from complete, and therefore, his theory is not acceptable. It will be a safer attempt to study ‘dialectology’ before jumping into a pool of controversy.

Ura Academy has achieved to certain degree in the development of Tenyidie language and literature for the future benefit of Tenyimia community in general, the younger generations in particular. The establishment of Department of Tenyidie under Nagaland University is symbolically, a genuine recognition by the highest institute of learning. There are regular academic activities including research programs rather than a mere coaching class.
The division of geographical area into administrative set-up is generally the outcome of a political decision that binds to the people.

That is why the Tenyimia community as well as the Nagas remained separate till today. However, Tenyimia community like the Nagas, accepted the transmitted history and shall ever remain a family despite shower of spikes and arrows from any quarters. The writer contributes many valuable suggestions for the Naga future, but his historical interpretation on Tenyimia and Tenyidie is not acceptable. It will be better to avoid application of intriguing politics to confuse the Tenyimia people and Tenyidie.

Expansion of NPF beyond Nagaland: A Naga unification movement (Part I)

By : Gairiangmei M Naga

The Naga People’s Front (NPF) is one of the oldest regional parties in the whole NE India. The NPF-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) ruled the Nagaland state from 2003 to 2008. Again, the NPF-led DAN alliance came to power after the polls in Nagaland Assembly elections in February, 2013. Earlier, the NPF was called Nagaland People’s Party. But now its nomenclature has been renamed to Naga People’s Front along with amendment of its constitution to broaden the scope of its political activities beyond Nagaland State. On 1st April 2011, the NPF was formally declared the formation of NPF’s units in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh with adhoc office bearers appointed. The main intention to expand the NPF’s units beyond Nagaland State was to work for unity and integrity of the Naga people by integrating all contiguous Naga inhabited areas under one administrative roof. Large populations of Naga people are living in different parts of Northeast region: Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar. Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio called for an integration of Naga inhabited area under a single administrative unit. The NPF President Dr Shurhozelie said the entry of NPF to Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh was in the light of the four resolutions passed by the Nagaland assembly on the issue of integration of Naga inhabited areas. Replying to a query as to why the NPF did not launch its unit in Assam, as large population of Nagas too lived there, Rio said they could not do so as the election in Assam came closer. The 13th Assam Legislative Assembly election was held in two phases on 4 and 11 April, 2011 and the result was announced on 13 May, 2011. During the declaration of the NPF’s units in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, the NPF President Dr Shurhozelie explained the party position for not fielding their candidates in the last election in Arunachal Pradesh. He said when his party had already prepared to take part in the elections; the Election Commission of India did not permit them to go ahead as some procedural incompletion of NPF.

The NPF’s formation of its unit in Arunachal Pradesh created a political storm in the State and it was strongly opposed by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), Save Arunachal Forum (SAF), and All Nyishi Students’ Union (ANSU). AAPSU questioned the motive behind the formation of NPF’s unit in Arunachal Pradesh. “The office bearer of NPF Arunachal Pradesh unit should immediately relinquish their post and apologize to the people of Arunachal Pradesh. If not, people of Arunachal Pradesh will teach them a lesson,” stated AAPSU President. SAF in a communiqué said, “The NPF’s move to form its party unit in Arunachal Pradesh should be treated as most unfortunate and rejected outright by every right thinking Arunachalee and the idea of NPF to safeguard the interest of Nagas is simply not acceptable as this trend would set a dangerous precedent in the peaceful state of Arunachal Pradesh”. Disapproving the NPF’s bid to start their Arunachal Pradesh unit, the ANSU termed it as “direct insult on the people of Arunachal Pradesh”.

On 26 May 2011, all Manipur based political parties convened a meeting to discuss the issue on formally launched NPF’s unit in Manipur. Other than the Chief Minister Ibobi Singh, the Congress was represented by Th Debendra, Phungzathang Tonsing and Gaikhangam, the CPI by P Parijat and L Iboyaima, CPI (M) by Sarat Salam and Yumnam Ratan, Radhabinod Koijam of NCP, Ch Ajang Khongsai of NPP and O Joy of MPP. After seriously studying the objectives of the NPF as enshrined in its Constitution and read as “To work for unity and integrity of the people by integrating all contiguous Naga inhabited areas under one administrative roof and also to provide protection to all the ethnic groups who are indigenous inhabitants of the State,” all the representatives of political parties attended the meeting strongly opposed the opening of NPF’s unit in Manipur at Senapati as it would lead to instability of Manipur and spread disharmony among different communities of the State. Congress-led Secular Progressive Front (SPF) Government Cabinet also discussed the proposed visit of Neiphiu Rio to Senapati and resolved to urge the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to persuade the Nagaland Chief Minister to defer his proposed visit. Now, the proscribed United National Liberation Front (UNLF) has joined the chorus and it has slammed the entry of NPF in Manipur, terming it a ploy to advance NSCN (IM)’s agenda of disintegrating Manipur. The UNLF also hailed the decision of the people, political parties and the incumbent Government to oppose Neiphiu Rio’s plan as justified.

AMUCO had criticized the SPF Government’s stance on the launching of NPF’s unit in Manipur by saying that if the SPF Government was opposed to the launching of NPF’s unit in Manipur, then why they did not raise any voice when an NPF office was opened at Dewlahland, Imphal on March 31, 2011. It is questionable why the Government first decided to oppose the move before it was reversed after a few hours, AMUCO stated in a press release.

Explaining its justification on the expansion of the NPF’s units in neighbouring states, Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu said: “There is no law/rule to stop a recognised political party to extend its activities in any state in the country, adding because the Constitution of India guarantees to all citizens the democratic right to choose the party of their choice which can best represent them in the assembly in as much as an individual has the right to vote for the candidate of its choice.
The United Naga Council (UNC) has been struggling to achieve “integration of Naga inhabited areas”. UNC has been launching Non-cooperation movement against the Manipur Government: Boycott of the Autonomous District Council elections; Severance of ties with the Manipur Government; and Demand for an Alternative Arrangement. But no positive response is forthcoming from the Government of India.
The Nagas from Manipur had extended support to the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) and got elected six MLAs to the Manipur State Assembly with the blessing of the UNC. These MLAs could not deliver the expectations of people that the mandate assigned to them. Besides, the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur had initiated an affiliation of the schools in the Naga areas of Manipur to Nagaland Board. This initiative was also going nowhere.

In 1972, the United Naga Integration Council (UNIC) was merged with the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, it was agreed upon that the Congress party would not oppose Naga integration movement as anti-party, anti-national, anti-state and unconstitutional activity. Today, contrary to what was agreed earlier, the Congress party led by Chief Minister Ibobi Singh has been scheming to derail the legitimate cause of the Nagas. Even those Naga leaders like former Chief Minister, Rishang Keishing who was a signatory to the above Agreement and Gaikhangam who is the President of MPCC remain mute spectators to the rule of the Congress party. The national political parties have completely failed to fulfill the political aspirations of the Nagas.

In response to Thepfulhouvi Solo’s articles

 

By: Dr. R.B. Thohe Pou

It is true that Nagas from other states and nation do not have the same privilege as the Nagas in Nagaland State under 371 (A) even though that Article was part and parcel of the struggle of the whole Naga people. And it is so incorrect for you to accuse the whole Naga tribes outside Nagaland State of trying to share in the privileges enjoyed by the Nagas in Nagaland. You also do not need to feel sorry or worry for the tribes outside your Nagaland State as they have their own land and food to survive. Even if the present Nagaland state becomes a Sovereign state, Supra State, Pan-Naga Nation or whatever that the Naga people may decide – the present Nagaland state will continue to have its own share. No one is taking that away from you.

Why are you so happy and complacent with the present State of Nagaland, which was created in the name of the entire Naga people? If you think the Naga Plebiscite of 16th May 1951 was undertaken only by the Nagas from the present Nagaland state you are terribly misinformed and may need to go through the history of the Naga Plebiscite again. And if the ‘Plebiscite’ were really a matter confined to the present Nagaland State tribes only then it does not represent all Nagas and must be deemed invalid. However, the Indian Govt. is no fool and would not have agreed to the peace-talks without any condition at the Prime Ministerial level if they thought it was an issue concerning the State of Nagaland only.

Just to jog your memory let me remind you that the southern Nagas did take an active part in Naga National Movement (NNM) from the start till the present day. A few prominent leaders worthy of mention here are Late A. Daiho Mao, Late Suisa and Late Sani Dahrii (who was also a Shillong Accord signatory). The Naga Club was formed in 1918 and during the heights of Haipou Jadonang’s civil disobedient movement in 1929 in the Naga Hills, the Naga Club submitted a historical Memorandum to the Simon Commission in Kohima, in which it demanded that the Nagas be excluding from the proposed ‘Reformed Scheme’ of India. Jadonang started a religio-political movement in 1925 to overthrow the British rule in Naga areas. In 1927, he prophesied the end of the British rule, which provoked S.J. Duncan, the then SDO at Tamenglong, to issue a warrant of arrest against him.

By 1930, the movement had spread to all the Naga Hills but Jadonang was arrested by the British in 1931 and later hanged to death. After his death Gaidinliu, his cousin sister who was only 16 then, succeeded him as the spiritual and political leader. However, she was also arrested in 1932 and by 1934 the movement came to end. Phizo moved his base to Burma in 1935 and later returned to Nagaland in 1946. “By this time the issue of Naga Self-determination had well gripped the minds of the Nagas, and public opinion had already been moulded against the continued dominance of the British Indian over the Nagas” (M.Zinyii:1961:11). The NNM was directly or indirectly influenced, emboldened and shaped into the present form by Jadonang, Gaidinliu and the leaders of the Naga Club. A.Z. Phizo, he whom we lovingly call the Father of the Nation came into picture only after the foundation was laid by his predecessors, in the same manner like how the NSCN came into picture after the foundation was laid by the NNC.

The Naga leaders from the present Manipur state closely worked with Late A.Z. Phizo for an independent Naga land. The Naga National League (NNL) also determined and declared to all Nagas NOT to pay house tax to the then Deputy Commissioner of the Naga Hills, Assam and as a result the Assam Rifles killed three persons and injured many other people during a protest. Afterwards the NNL President, A. Daiho, was arrested and imprisoned at Dum Dum jail in Calcutta. One should never forget that the present State of Nagaland was a fruit of the struggle of the Naga people irrespective of geographical location and one should refrain from trying to suppress the movement whilst remaining oblivious to the plight of Nagas outside Nagaland State. The GOI has poured in several crores of rupees to suppress the NNM and today it appears that your stomach has been too fattened and that you have forgotten the past and present sacrifices and hard labour put in by the Nagas from all the Naga inhabited areas.

It may be constitutionally impossible to share in the privileges of the Nagas in Nagaland State, which they enjoy under Article 371 (A), but it is an insult to the Nagas outside Nagaland State when you make the analogy of the ‘rich man’ and ‘Canaanite woman’ in the Bible as everyone knows who you are referring to as the rich man and the Canaanite woman in the Bible. It is tasteless to say the least.

With reference to your article, “Globally utopian, locally empty” you seem unsurprisingly contented with your retired life devoid of any future hope or vision in life. But today the Naga youth have a dream to live life on a global scale – Nagas may be economically backward but their preferred life style is no less than the people from the developed countries of the world. You may be happy with your retired life with your pot of hard earned money as a former IFS officer but the Naga youths today have a vision and future hope, unlike you. And who are those people from outside the State who illegally collect Tax over the barrel of a gun? We have too many factions and we should not allow anyone from outside the Nagaland State or inside the State to collect tax illegally. But that will happen only if we together bring a solution to the Naga problem.

If Thuingaleng Muivah is not talking about a Sovereign state anymore – the NSCN-K, NNC and other Nagas still are and aspiring to have our Nagas’ Rights to Self-determination. Why have you become so complacent with the present Nagaland State? As a retired IFS officer, you surely have the intelligence to know that a Supra State or Pan-Naga State is definitely possible even under the Constitution of India. It is shocking that you dismiss the same as impossible. If Sovereignty, Supra State, Pan-Naga, etc. are impossible, we have indeed been fooled by the so-called Naga national workers. Why are the common people silent? Why are over ground Naga leaders still morally supporting the Naga national workers? Why are you (we) paying tax to the Naga underground cadres? Naga political issue is not just a Nagaland state issue but it is one of the most serious problems in India and unless the Naga political problem is solved, there will be no peace in NE India or in India. I still believe and have faith in the Naga historical facts and in inalienable right to self-determination.

“The Manipuris claimed all the Catchments Areas of present Nagaland that drained into the Doyang River as their Territory . . . the Roads in Turkey today follow almost the same ancient Road alignment Evangelist Paul walked from Tarsus to Ikonya or to Galatia in the days following the death of Jesus” If there is no such concept as “Consent of the People” and rights of the people and we simply follow the old roads or demarcations of the ancient Kingdom, all the catchments areas of present Nagaland that drained in to Doyang River should be given to Manipur state as claimed by Manipuris and the present Nagaland would have been under Manipuris or Ahom kingdom (Assam today). So are you saying that the present state of Nagaland should be under Assam?

“Some Nagas talk about some SUPRA NAGA STATE or PAN-NAGA STATE. But when not an inch of Assam or of Arunachal or of Manipur or the ENPO can detach into a separate State: forget talking about Supra State or Pan Naga State; they are just Utopia talk” Are you saying that there is no single Naga living in the present States of Assam, Arunachal, Manipur and Myanmar? If the British or Indians had not divided the Nagas using the present artificial boundary and instead decided to follow the old roads how did the present state of Nagaland or the other States or countries come into being?

During this critical period of the NNM with talks happening at the highest levels there will be ups and downs, allegations & accusations, tinged with a mixture of hope and doubt. Naga scholars, intellectuals, right thinking people, etc. can contribute their constructive thoughts and suggestions to improve the present situation and to bring a lasting solution to the Naga political problem. However, planting doubts or creating rivalries and divisions within ourselves will only worsen the prevailing situation. Let us hope for more of the former from such an accomplished intellectual like you.

Clarification to TPO’S accusation

Thepfulhouvi Solo.:    2 Jul. 2013

I was willingly pulled into the “Nagaland Tribes Council” (NTC) move by some young matured Angamis who I highly appreciated for their sacrificial contributions in the effort for a common cause and I felt I should also put in my ‘widow’s might’ into the cause. I expected some rough sea in the journey for the cause if the “Tenyimie” is recognized as a ‘TRIBE’ in the state of Nagaland because “Tenyimie People” is composed of tribes from outside the state also and Nagaland Tribe Council is solely for those of the state of Nagaland only.

Therefore I wrote, (I quote): “To the best of my knowledge, officially Tenyimie (Tenyimi) is not declared a single Tribe, yet once notified, its contents will act like theTrojan Horse and Zeliangrong or ANY non-Nagaland Tribe combined with one or more from Nagaland, can easily be passed off as ‘Nagaland Tribe’ to the ultimate undoing of the Nagaland Tribes of Nagaland. Once the Fence Wall is breached, the Vineyard is not safe from the Wild Boar, -very unchristian language but 5 wise Virgins of New Testament could not share their limited Oil with their other 5 virgin friends in the middle of the night”.

I therefore suggested the disbanding of the TPO and I am not the only one to having such a feeling; some important fellowmen in our Community feels the same. I know powerful people are behind the Organization: I have nothing against them personally. I only felt they would unintentionally and inadvertently find themselves against their own community ultimately just like the TPO President who is against the inclusion of Nagas of outside Nagaland in the Nagaland Tribes Council but in his own Organization he has them included and he calls my view: “perverted version of distortion and destructive Intension” !
I know Keku; I taught him Mathematics in High School, Class 7 in 1960, – large but very good natured, quiet, obedient, of good demeanor, attentive and a nice boy; today, just like the  unfortunate young minister of Nagaland, perhaps he has mouthed, under the compulsion of a difficult world, what he would swallow only with difficulty!

Passing the buck

Khekiye K. SemA IAS (Rtd), Forest Colony, Kohima

It is hard to believe that the Hon’ble Chief Minister is actually serious about requesting the GOI for “a policy of sustenance for the undergrounds”. Since he has repeated himself over and over again on this issue one has no further choice but to believe and conclude that he is dead serious about this proposition. Surely there are people in his cabinet capable of guiding him to think straight or does it consist of a crowd devoid of gray matter that only knows how to parrot ‘YES SIR’ to anything and everything that is proposed by the Hon’ble CM? While it no doubt affords him the comfort of completing his term without an opposition to his leadership, the danger of such complacent comfort could lead to arrogant decisions that may result in detrimental consequence at the cost of the Nagas.

The case of Rongmai Tribe as a recognized tribe within Nagaland and the pending subject of recognition of Mao and the Tangkhul Tribes in a similar manner is a case in reference. The true level of understanding or appreciation of the sentiment of the Nagas of Nagaland is no longer a factor. The well and truly expressed feelings of the Nagas of Nagaland against such a move be damned.

Deflecting his intended decision to a bureaucratic committee’s recommendation, who have limited choice but to toe his inclination, may serve his personal expansionist agenda and purpose but the consequent burden of such an arbitrary decision will finally rest on the shoulders of the people of Nagaland. Nagas should not be fated to this. The powers that be should realizeS that a boomerang impact will eventually be felt somewhere down the line. Wiser mind should therefore tread more cautiously in such matters.

It ought to occur to the Chief Minister that the moment the Factions accept such a sustenance package from the GOI, they might just as well pack up the ‘Sovereignty’ baggage and go home. As is the way of the politicians, they may twist and turn and explain that this ‘sustenance package’ is not a ‘surrender package’ which to me looks like one. This rehabilitation proposition simply boils down to asking your enemy to cease the fight for a while, beg them for food because you are hungry, and then continue the fight after eating the food you get from them.

I leave it to the people to judge the rationality of this proposition because this is exactly what the CM of Nagaland seems to be suggesting. Naga issue will become a non issue. On hindsight is this in fact a short cut game plan to resolve the Naga political problem for good? Taking the path of least resistance is the cowardly way of dodging the problem, but the problem remains unresolved nevertheless. We do not have to travel afar to some foreign land to learn a lesson when we can learn from the experiences we have had in our own backyard.

The status of the Shillong Accordist in the Mission Compound, Kohima and the Transit Campers at Chedema ought to provide us with ample examples of what will transpire even if such sustenance package were to be received from the GOI for the factions. Among other benefits, did the Shillong Accordist not receive Rs.20,000/- each for all their peace camps across the State as a sustenance support from the GOI to run their surrendered establishments back then? Did it stop them from taxing the people thereafter? Remember the Chakabama bridge incident? Similarly, if the GOI were to actually respond to the Chief Minister’s request positively, and the underground factions accept such a package, what makes the CM so sure that the Factions will immediately stop their taxation spree? Greed has no breaks. If the Factions continue raising taxes, which rest assured they will, even after accepting the package, can he stop them?

We will back to square one. So is this a solution or a practicable proposition at all? Yes, I would concede that making the Factions hoist their white flags would ease his nightmare. There is no doubt about that. However, this takes a semblance of a very potent poisoned carrot being dangled before the Factions. Will they take the bite?

What surprises me is the complete silence, the complete lack of reactions from all the Factions concerning this matter. Are the Factions actually hoping that the GOI will follow up action on the request made by the Hon’ble CM so that the 9 Factions of Nagaland can share the loot without assessing the consequence? Knowing the level of greed that permeates within the lot of them, sharing this loot, even if given, will not be an easy task. It may very well spark off another round of fratricidal elimination game on the question of equity disbursement or the lack of it. Instead of addressing a more sinister proposition that will shake the very foundation of the whole National Movement, the factions or at least a faction has been wasting its time threatening and making vain attempts to silence the voice of the people. The Factions seem to have lost their bearings somewhere along the line.

It is my convicted belief that public opinion is a serious weapon that needs to be fully awakened and let loose in Nagaland. This is our last and only bastion. This is a task well within the ambit of the Government of Nagaland to do so. Despite the animated stance of the Government, a ripple has just about begun to emerge where a channelized public opinion has induced a modicum of positive results.

Is this not visible enough already? Is it not enough for us to encourage and strengthen it? Instead of politicking with everything, the politicians should leave the Tribal Hohos alone to restore Naga Hoho to its legitimate place of honour and allow them to independently generate that kind of public opinion that could take us forward. This is an imperative need of the hour. The Government of Nagaland must take a very hard look at the ground reality. Granted, it is impotent against the Factions and their taxation. No one can blame them. This is not a simple matter for anyone, high or low, having to face a death threat tagged to a demand, but thoughts should be spared to reduce its overall impact …generate the force of public opinion.

What is however well within the power of the Government is to control the rampage of the overground organizations that are rampantly replicating the taxation regime of the Factions. There is a whole lot of truth when the Factions point their fingers at the Government and say that they alone are not the reason for price escalation. Not that the Government is not aware, but start with the eye sore sector of all the Police check gates raising transit tax from all the commercial vehicles flagrantly and openly without a care. Clamp down on all the fraudulent Unions, Associations and unnecessary syndicates operating in the commercial centers for every conceivable goods and services, not only in Dimapur but in all the Districts. The District Administration is not blind to it but just won’t raise a finger unless ordered to act. So order it with an accountability tag for a change and mean it. I think it is about time we stop passing the buck.

A question to MIP GPRN/NSCN (I-M)

by: Kaka D. Iralu

1 Jul. 2013

To be guilty of “high treason against the nation” by indulging in “anti-national crimes against the nation” is to be guilty for capital punishment. Such criminal acts against one’s own nation are crimes that deserve death before a firing squad. In your article “To set the matter Straight: NSCN (IM),” dated June 26, 2013, you have accused me of being guilty of such crimes against our Naga nation. You have also added that such crimes “will no longer be tolerated” and that you “will not remain a silent spectator” anymore. Therefore in the light of such serious charges against me, allow me to state the following:

1. I am not trying to justify or defend the Shillong Accord of 1975. As any reader of my article “Some hard facts about the Shillong Accord and its aftermath” (May 4, 2013) would have noted, I have simply recounted the factual historical events that led to the signing of the Accord. I also did add some of my own personal views but did not in any way tried to impose those views on anybody. So you can accept or reject my own personal views. But to impose your own views on those of mine and threaten me with dire consequences is a most undignified and ignoble act on your part as a Government.

2. You may agree or disagree with me that the Nagaland Peace Council members did a heroic job of searching out the last remnants of the NNC and FGN members at the risk of their own lives. These people were not some traitorous young Nagas under the Indian Government’s pay roll but elderly Reverends who risked their lives to save our leaders as well as the curfew bound starving villagers of the then Nagaland. To call these revered Church elders as “misguided’ and brokers of traitorous acts is to insult the Nagaland Baptist Council of Churches and brand it as the enemy of the Naga people.

3. In my writings of over 1000 pages defending our national cause over a span of 16 years, I had never argued that some of our “NNC leaders escaped to Eastern Nagaland for fear of Indian military operations”. In fact in my book The Naga Saga, in the story “A trip to China that ended in an Indian prison” pp. 309-328, I had specifically mentioned that Th. Muivah and Isak Swu were sent to China in November 1974 along with 140 Naga soldiers to procure more arms to carry on the fight- p.312. In that story I had recounted their heroic attempt where out of 140; only 13 of them were able to slip into China. Seventy of those soldiers were finally captured while the rest perished in the attempt. Dear fellow Nagas of the NSCN/IM, I was born on March 3, 1956 amidst the sound of gunfire, bomb blast and burning of villages. I was a political prisoner at the age of 7 months along with my father, mother and grandfather. And for all my life, I and my family members have lived under the shadow of Indian threat to our lives. Now in the “afternoon” of my life on earth, I am not going to live under the shadow of another threat from my own fellow Nagas. If I am indeed guilty of treason to the nation, then let God and the Naga people be our judge.