This is the voice of one of the “retired and worn out Indian government officers” who had participated in the Dimapur ACAUT rally of 31st October 2013. There were only two of us who fit that bill: Khekiye K. Sema IAS (Rtd) and T. Solo IFS (Rtd). It is true, we are retired and also worn out by all the ‘topsy-turvy’ injustices that is being perpetuated against the Nagas by the Nagas. I would have considered it more manly and honourable if my name had been taken straight on rather than hedge around the bush with derogatory insinuations like… “Agents of Indian Intelligent wing”… what the hell is that supposed to mean anyway?
Does speaking the truth make one a member of Indian intelligent wing? If so, it would be my fervent prayer that there still are some members of the ‘Indian Intelligence wing’ within the NSCN (IM) left who would be prepared to listen to truth and reason. I would also appreciate if the IM can point out to me what untruth I have uttered during the rally and I am more than prepared to humbly render my apology to them in public. In the name of the Almighty God I declare without any doubt or fear in my mind and in my heart that I have tried as best I can to remain a true and faithful Naga with all my short comings, maintaining a sincere concern about the plight of our Naga people. UNBIASED TRUTH as I honestly understand it is all I would prefer to represent as a Naga rather than be silenced by ill intended irrational allegations or be cowed down by guns of injustice.
The break of silence by the NSCN (IM) is taken as a welcomed development. It allows the people of Nagaland to assess their vision and put their rationality to test. Let us candidly put our perspectives on the table and “Let the people judge it”…this I endorse full heartedly.
Truth No.1: No matter how deviously the Government of Indian plays its ‘divide and rule’ games in the psychological and financial fronts, the common citizens of Nagaland have never deviated from the original call for freedom. They still believe that it is their God given right to fight for their freedom against foreign yoke. I too am one of them. Note: There is no crack, no division within the Naga civilian population in this belief. None! They have faithfully been paying their taxes on demand thus far, however unjustified. Can we say the same thing about our freedom fighters? Look at fragmented state of our NPGs overwhelmingly dictated by GREED, nothing more nothing less. As Christians, can they put their hands on the Bible and honestly say this is not a fact? The word UNITY does not exist in their dictionary. “Sovereignty” is just another excuse to sustain their individual greed at the cost of the people. Their kind of ‘sovereignty’ would probably be better described as “Mafia” on ground reality situation.
The GOI has well and truly succeeded in every front breaking the backs of the Nagas. They watch their creation with contemptuous glee as all the cold blooded Frankensteins with reckless pride, uncompromising egos and insatiable greed in the form of Factional Leaders structure a serious irreconcilable rift between themselves, having totally lost sight of their original goal. The Indian Armies clap their hands, raise their glass and toast on ‘one less Naga to kill’, every time our Factional ‘National Workers’ butcher one another for turf control. Yes, turf control… for what?…TAX COLLECTION for the NATION of course! Here again it has become extremely difficult to define the word “Nation” because everyone and anyone with a little bit of authority within their respective cadres has become a ‘nation’ unto himself for which tax is extorted. Who is at fault here…the public for crying out loud in pain against all the excesses being imposed on them year after year for all eternity?
Truth No.2: No matter what the NSCN (IM) may say, at this point the public is not quite concerned with which Faction is mandated and legitimate and which is not, even as they do acknowledge the fact that NSCN (IM) is the only group which has doggedly been engaging the GOI for a negotiated settlement. At least here the majority of the people salute them for their efforts. Despite this fact, the public is helplessly afraid of all the factional guns that are pointed at them. For all practical purpose the factions have us in their cross-hair and has made us the enemy instead. A comical satire at its best. So when a ‘nation’ from every cadre comes a knocking at the door to collect their individual national taxes the public pay because they want to at least live an extra day. The issue here therefore simply boils down to “SURVIVAL” and they can hardly be bothered about their factional politics and differences. Can NSCN (IM) understand this? As the only true Supreme Commander of the National Movement being claimed by them, how is it that they allow so many factions to exist then and tax its people beyond their capabilities? How is it that they have failed to protect their tax payers and yet tell them to shut up when they cry out from under this heavy load saying enough is enough… we cannot continue to lift this impossible burden any longer.
Such a painful exclamation of the people is dubbed as “Anti-National”, “Anti Naga”, “Anti Everything”. When has the desire to want to stay alive become ‘anti-national? Is that the verdict of the NSCN(IM)? Would NSCN(IM) not equally be guilty in that case because they also want to live I would presume? By what standard is ACAUT ‘anti- national’? Because it is fronting this voice which every Naga has on his lips and is fed up of…the multiple unabated taxation? This much I would definitely agree, they are ‘anti-bottomless pockets’ of the factions. There is a good possibility that those living in the upstairs may not clearly be aware of what is going on downstairs. Therefore the word ‘unabated’ may be allergic to NSCN (IM) but that is the reality being faced by the common man which is causing this upheaval. Rather than accuse every Tom, Dick and Harry of hidden agenda it would be the right thing to wisely check their worms in the grass. As long as this is not done the upstairs will never understand this word. No parent would want to see their children as beggars in the open street. No child would want to lead a life of a beggar either. This is precisely our kind of society poised on becoming. Yet when the parents plead for a fair chance to see their children through towards their fair destiny by requesting the National workers to sensibly systematize their tax collecting regime, such a plea is ‘anti-national’. To the best of my knowledge, ACAUT has only afforded a platform for the multitude to express their anguish without any other hidden agenda or ulterior motive. Are the (IM) deaf?
Are they blind? Has the gray matter deserted them? The proposition of “one tax for one Naga National Government” is a call for all the freedom fighters to unite. It is not an issue of who has the legitimacy to claim this one tax. The NSCN(IM)as the ‘Commander-in-Chief’ of this National Movement is expected to exercise its position with maturity, compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation if they want to define their status as such. That’s what an intelligent father would do to bring his house to order. From their point of view all the other factions are ‘pretenders’. Should they all be wipe out then? This is neither practicable nor desirable; therefore they have just one clear option: welcome all the other factions into their fold with an honourable responsibility afforded to them unconditionally, without uncompromisingly expecting them to confess their past misdeeds and ask for forgiveness first, as long as each is prepared to pledge solidarity for the cause thenceforth. After all everyone has committed a mistake or two along the way including them. This supreme sacrifice from all the National Workers is the only key and the only price that has to be paid to lift the burden from the masses. Most of all it would also make the adversary sit up and take the Nagas seriously.
It is downright irresponsible to accuse ACAUT of having had a “militarized rally”. In the first instance NSCN(IM) should have had better senses not to try and still the voice of the people by threats and listened instead. The rally was against all factions and not NSCN (IM) specifically. It was because of their threat that the ACAUT had passed the responsibility of public security to the State Government. Blame the State Govt. if they must but it makes no sense to be pointing an accusatory finger at ACAUT for their concern shown for public safety. Without their threats, public security would not have been an issue. Without an issue the rally would have been just another rally without “militarized” environ as IM puts it. In this who is the real defaulter? And what was the message of this rally? The Indians are rejoicing the disunity within the ranks of the National Workers and I’m sure each national worker knows this but with greed flowing in their veins instead of blood, unity becomes a strange word. The message of “one tax for one Naga National Government” therefore in simple terms meant: Unite, revive your strength and face the aggressors as one not as 8 factions fighting and killing each other instead. How can such a suggestion be branded as treacherous or anti-national? Where is the hidden agenda in this? Who are the ones compromising the National priority with greed and ego problems? Who are the real traitors to the cause then? Let the people decide.
Truth No.3: According to my assessment, ACAUT has maintained a balanced and fair focus on relevant issues. In their annoyance the NSCN (IM) seemed to have lost their intellectual capability to read that ACAUT has also made a pointed reference to corruption within the Government of Nagaland and the need for them to clean up their mess. Theirs is as damning as the factions’ misdeeds. It is unreasonable to segregate and abridge the Faction segment only as a target group focused upon and take offence. The primary factor of concern for the people is that the common man is reeling under unfair system in both these fronts, the Govt. of Nagaland and the Factions, and appealing to them to clean up their act. The people have the right to ask for this. Unless they are partners in crime why should NSCN (IM) singularly display such an affront on State Government’s behalf?
Truth No.4: It would take time to organise and execute an all Nagaland rally to register our solidarity towards self determination and express our resentment against the Government of India’s apathy towards the settlement of the Naga issue. The rally registered its resentment against the GOI for taking the Nagas for granted for much too long a period and felt that it is about time for the people of Nagaland to chip in and raise our voices against this ruthless indifference since the State political parties will not go any further than to debate their ‘equi-distant’ and ‘equi-closeness’. The NSCN (IM) seemed to have entirely overlooked this stand of ACAUT in their haste to dub everything that comes their way as “anti-national”. It is obvious that the NSCN (IM) under-cover representatives present in the rally were unable to assimilate the proceedings of this rally in its entirety and must have taken half-baked, lopsided feedback to their bosses for them to react as they have. In future we would recommend that they detail personals with a modicum of intelligence to avoid hazardous conclusions based on half information, on their part.
Pray tell me is ACAUT resolution No.2 an act of anti-nationalism? True, the people of Nagaland has overwhelmingly condemned the excesses of the Factions and the State Government which had prompted resolution No.1 and 3 and have appealed for a sensible streamlining. But did the NSCN (IM) notice that the people at the same time have equally overwhelmingly voiced their resentment against GOI and have expressed their unwavering solidarity and support for the national Workers in their pursuit for solution (minus their excesses of course)? I quite don’t see from which cesspool they have dug up the hidden agenda tag against ACAUT. In the end it would be in the interest of all concerned that NSCN (IM) load their think tank with reasoning rather than load their guns and point it at those who want truth to prevail. There are many more truths beyond this but we will deal with each as we go along.
This is a tired, retired worn out Indian government officer signing off. God bless us all… including NSCN (IM).