In 1952 under the leadership of Phizo ‘ the Naga (NNC) boycotted the Indian election, which was quite successfully. The general election in 1952 was totally boycotted in Naga areas; not a single nomination was filled in the Naga areas; not a single vote was cast. The Nagas also stayed away from the District Councils. The school teachers and other govt. employers resigned their jobs and the people refused to pay taxes. Let’s also try to examine the cooperation, unity and capability to convince and mobilize of the present Naga leaders who boycotted the Indian election and commenced to involve in so called Indian election.
In last 13th Lok Sabha election ‘ the NSCN-IM again boycotted Indian election in Nagalim as they don’t want to come under the constitution of India. In this election ‘ the Outer Manipur seat was won by Kim Gangte (a non Naga candidate) as the Naga people boycotted the Lok Sabha election and other communities selected her unanimously.
The strategy and the policy of the Naga underground changed in 14th Lok Sabha election; the Naga underground wanted to have their own candidate who will represent in Indian parliament for the Naga people in Delhi. In this election ‘ Mani Cheranamei (an Independent MP candidate) was chosen by the NSCN-IM faction for the Naga people and he was elected in last election. However many villagers and leaders said that NSCN-IM compelled them to vote for Mani only. When we studied the Naga political history it is observed that the Naga underground did not want the Naga people to involve so called in Indian election and boycotted twice. However the Indian politicians (leaders) want the Naga to be the part of the India and participate in every Indian election. Now the policy of the underground is just reversed and the thinkers and the people who are interested on Naga issue may be abstruse to comprehend this reversal policy.
In this 15th Lok Sabha election ‘ the Naga underground wants MP Mani Cheranamei to represent again for the Naga people in Delhi. However they did not stopped any other Naga candidate to nominate and it is strange that after nomination ‘ the people were not allowed to cast their votes for other candidates except for Mani. Why don’t they make understand and stop the aspiring MP candidates before their nomination is done? There were some round of talks between the village leaders and other leaders with the NSCN-IM leaders in Senapati and its periphery areas. However the NSCN-IM could not convinced and mobilized the public leaders and ultimately the voting day arrived. In Poumai Naga areas ‘ the NSCN-IM once again commenced to threaten the village leaders to vote for Mani Cheranamei only. On the day of election ‘ most of the underground went to their own villages and started to woo the villagers to vote for their candidate but the villagers were not convinced without any muscle power.
Many villagers were forcefully voted for Mani and this news spread like the wild fire in all the villages and in the periphery of Senapati areas as they have now better communication due to cell phone revolution. Learning the news about the booth capturing by the underground ‘ the public or mass of the people got irritated and started to gather around Karong and Senapati areas and the annoyed mass of the people commenced to pelt stones to the vehicles coming from Mao and Poumai areas polling stations. Unfortunately, one of the NSCN-IM Kilonser’s Bolero (vehicle) was coming from Poumai area side and the aggravated mass of the people stoned the vehicle and almost crushed into piece but the NSCN-IM Kilonser and the others travelling in that Bolero were safe with some injuries in their bodies. On 22nd April, the alleged two leaders of the people who were involved in pelting stone to NSCNN-IM Kilonser’s Bolero were taken into Hebron, Dimapur ‘ the NSCN-IM head quarter for further interrogation. There was meeting between the Naga leaders from Senapati District and the NSCN-IM leaders in Hebron camp on 23rd April till late evening. On 24th April the two alleged were bailed out by the Naga leaders from Senapati. Kudos goes to the NSCN-IM for releasing the two alleged leaders who were alleged to lead the group in stoning the Bolero.
It is also difficult to understand why the underground could not convince and mobilize the gullible villagers to vote for their candidate? Why they made the public irritated and brought such kind of consequences? It is also interesting to note that there was not news report in Manipur or Nagaland news paper about the pelting of stone and injury of the NSCN-IM Kilonser near Senapati H. Quarter. But one of the simple reasons may be that there is not a single local news reporter available in Senapati and the freelancers may be afraid or unworthy to get the price of reporting for such kind of report as it may bring heavy price on them for reporting such kind of ground reality and fact report to the newspaper.
With this kind of consequences through election problems in Nagalim may bring more bitter relationship between the public and the Naga underground. Not only the relationship between the underground and the public but the relationship among the people also will be affected enormously. The Naga leaders and everyone from Senapati would definitely appreciate the NSCN-IM for solving the problems amicably with prayers and mutual understanding. Disunity and bitter relationship may be the sadness to one community but it may be happiness to other communities and the leaders of every community may need to understand and bring good relationship and unity amongst their community.
By Thohe Pou – April 25, 2009