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.

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A Critical Analysis of NPF’s performance in Manipur Assembly Election – Part 2 –

A Critical Analysis of NPF’s performance in Manipur Assembly Election
– Part 2 –

NTIMES Facebook *

Nephiu Rio campaigning for NPF candidates in Manipur's Hill districts :: January 21, 2012
Nephiu Rio campaigning for NPF candidates in Manipur’s Hill districts :: January 21, 2012

Somipam Vashum writes, “The inception of NPF was actually the steps towards united Nagas, though we the Nagas were scattered in four states, we can be united through politically in one platform, which is provided by NPF. Many Nagas couldn’t realize that far in the recently conducted election, which is also one of the reasons why NPF failed. It was not wrong to say that the NSCN plays a big role for NPF which was not that favourable because they snatched away the rights of NPF in choosing their candidates. The NSCN leaders chose their choice and at the same time those candidates were not the public choice.

The interference of NSCN frustrated the public as their rights to vote were again going to be denied. Naga people were not ignorance anymore they were exposed to the dynamic world of changed, guns can’t convinced them anymore, they were frustrated by the constant violence created by NSCN. Moreover, the Congress candidates were far more competent as compared to NPF candidates. Therefore in the years to come let NSCN gives freedom to the NPF to choose their candidates, which is competent and energetic not an aging people”

Athing Khamrang writes “Many good points have been shared to this thread. For the Nagas- the recently concluded 10th Manipur Assembly Election was not just an election for electing a representative to the Assembly but it was an election to prove the Unity of the Nagas and to show that we the Nagas in Manipur wants to be integrated with the Nagas living in other parts of the world. In my opinion, the reason why NPF failed in the recent election were:
1. Nagas are more concerned for their own self rather than for the Naga Nation.
2. Today, many younger generations do not understand the values of our identity. If we do really have a concern for our genuine cause and understand the value of our identity, I don’t think a single Naga will vote for any Indian/ Manipur state political party.”

Jeremiah A V Duomai writes, “Some other reasons are given below:
1. The candidates were not the best ones available.
2. The Manipur Naga voters did not simply understand the motive of UNC.
3. Congress party/candidate has so much more money than NPF party/candidate.

Somipam Vashum writes, “The sense of patriotism has lost in the heart of Nagas, we need to build and inculcates the sense of nationalism. We’ve been living under oppression and suppression for too long therefore we’re adapted to it and now we felt contended under the oppressor hand. This is unfortunate, because one day if the Manipur Land Reform Act is passed, we’ll be landless, homeless, refugees and minority in our own land”

Chipen Patt writes, “Here is my view: The NPF made an entry into Manipur at the wrong time considering the geo-political imbroglio that Nagaland and Manipur have. The entry of NPF into Manipur sent shockwaves across Manipur and it awakened the sense of fear in the people out there, the sense of losing their land (districts inhabited by Nagas) to Nagaland and that made the people work against NPF. To sum it up, the NPF should have studied the ground realities thoroughly before venturing into the Manipur election. It all comes down to wrong timing but now that they have taken the first step, let’s hope they fare better next time”

Pips Ningshen writes, “Politics is money making time for larger part of the segment in any society speaking in general politics and money go hand in hand and we cannot deny this fact. Politics without money is a cripple politics now with reference to the above status many have already gone into deep analysis and already knows the cause and effect. NPF cannot make it because they don’t have enough to spend in simple term. Our people politics end up with few Gandhi’s notes and gathering and eating and drinking for that few days before the election at the candidate’s house. This is what we are mostly no matter how they spread our ideology for the cause, remember they are dealing with our village people with village mental set up who can be easily woo with money because who on earth don’t want money. If the opponent spends hundred they should be ready to spend thousand than only they will win. About the Ug’s, if they really want to help, let them not help with force and guns with but suitcase full of fat currency notes.”

Soreingam Kashung writes, “Public are not united; we do not have clear picture about our struggle. We are short sighted and that gives our Brothers and Sisters in Arms a hard time. It makes India Govt. confused about our real intentions and demands. Political candidates took the advantage of this confusion for their personal gain, money, power and prestige. We (Naga Public) failed miserably in our assessment about our struggle. We are confused between rights and short term developments, mindset limited to individual gain instead of society”

Elow Fuzeh writes as, “1. NPF lost because they ambushed Manipur politics suddenly.
2. Public were not aware of what they are to follow.
3. Seeing the unawareness of the public, other candidate beside NPF started bribing the voters.
4. NPF uses UG power to defeat other candidate.
5. Money power rule over the gun; thus NPF fall off”

Shem Shpunii Koh writes, “First, selection of candidates were not democratically done as promised by them; it seems that wealth of a candidate was given prior importance to the quality.
Secondly, pre-poll plan and activities were very poorly planned. They did too little to convince the public, rather they rely more on the muscle power of some UGs. This alienated some of the public from supporting the party.
Thirdly, NPF couldn’t provide a clear cut feasible steps to future course of action but some decorative phrases without judging its implementabilities vis-a-vis Manipur.
Mostly importantly, people were apprehensive that NPF being elected can do much for the Nagas outside Nagaland”

Ephrii Pfoze writes, “TIME FACTOR: To spread the message of oneness and unity and to make the people aware of the policies and agendas in all the Nag a inhabited areas by setting up youth and women wings etc would boost the party but almost the entire public were caught unaware leading to chaos. People failed to see the difference between this election and the previous election. NPF also failed to convince the people.

Leadership crisis: Choosing the right candidate who understands and listen to the sufferings of the common people and work efficiently with the party workers is important. Inefficient leaders and lacking proper mobilization could able to win only 4 seats.

Organisation: Unity between the different organisations is needed for a revolution but we failed because of the loopholes; differences cropped up between the leaders of many organisations misleading the already confused minds of the masses.

POLITICAL LEADERS: Visionless leaders who go against the aspiration and wishes of the Naga cause took the confused minds of the masses as an opportunity for their selfish gains and their lust for power forbids them to gracefully step down and pave the way for the bolder and more passionate people willing to sacrifice more for the cause. We all failed because of those political leaders.

NAGA PUBLIC: Divide and rule policy of the communal Govt. has made the people to live Hand to Mouth. We have been long suppressed and subjugated to unjust ruling and tremendous discrimination by the ruling class, this long suffering make the people to search for immediate relief and survival. Short sightedness and lack of patience among the masses have failed us altogether.

Reconciliation and unity among the public, national workers, political leaders, intellectuals, organisations is the need of the hour to bring forward our cause because everybody has an equal share to contribute to our cause. When the valley people unite together for integrity, we failed to unite ourselves for integration. Our cause will go on and we must learn to correct the mistakes because where there is unity everything is possible”

Some of the common reasons given by NTIMES members:

1. Improper selection of the NPF candidates
2. Weak foundation (lack of preparation) of NPF and too sudden entry into Manipur
3. Use of muscle power by NPF supporters gave a negative impression to the public
4. Gullible villagers were easily influenced by money power
5. NPF campaigners could not convince the public in short time
6. Candidate was weak, and not the party
7. Money is more effective than muscle power in politics
8. The public could not understand the main points of NPF’s manifesto
9. Lack of participation by Naga intellectual in Naga politics
10. Lack of understanding on the part of the people regarding the Naga cause and/or the aim of political unity through a political platform like NPF

In conclusion, we would like to quote one of the members, Adi Vemai, who writes, “NPF have got a very big task ahead. The candidates need to work very hard for the people. NPF entering was one of the reasons why the Congress did very well in all the valley areas”

Concluded … 

Pic: Courtesy: e-paonet

Edited by:
Dr. Thohe Pou, Admin. of Nagalim Times group in facebook.com

A Critical Analysis of NPF’s performance in Manipur Assembly Election (Part I)

A Critical Analysis of NPF’s performance in Manipur Assembly Election
– Part 1 –

NTIMES Facebook *

Nephiu Rio campaigning for NPF candidates in Manipur's Hill districts :: January 21, 2012
Nephiu Rio campaigning for NPF candidates in Manipur’s Hill districts :: January 21, 2012

Nagalim Times (NTIMES) group members in Facebook, the social networking site, gives their comments on NPF winning only 4 out of 12 seats contested in the 10th Manipur Assembly election in 2012. Many expected the party to win most of the seats it contested and therefore winning only 4 seats was argued by many as a failure.

Given below are some of the views shared by the members. We are unable to include all views due to lack of space. Given at the end is a summation of common reasons put forth by members.

Ahem Tuithung writes, “One of the reasons why we failed is because many prominent people lost interest in politics. Most of the voters are villagers and easily tempted with money. I dont see change in the near future because many of the so called “educated Naga youngsters are not interested in politics”

Raymond Ronamai writes, “Our society has changed. People are tired of violence and our Christian values discourages even thinking ill of another person, forget about bloodshed. So, when the insurgents indulged in violent tactics including shooting, kidnapping and beating up civilians, who supported the Congress, the general public was not happy. The outcome of this year’s elections is there for all to see.

Today’s youngsters are exposed to global politics. The scenario will be very different 5 years from now with the young generation taking up the leadership. If the Social Workers resort to violence in the next, it can lead to mass revolution like in the present Arab countries because the educated Naga youngsters may not give in violent tactics easily”

Daniel Yunii writes, “The maiden entrance of NPF into Manipur and their Naga centric agenda makes the meeteis to unite and that is how our congress won”

Christina Panmei writes, “We should not equate NPF with the Nagas of Manipur. The failure of NPF is not the failure of Manipur Nagas. NPF is just a political party like any other political party with its aims and objectives. 1. Its foundation is very weak in Manipur. 2. Its level of campaign is low comparing to other parties. 3. Its entry is quite late in Manipur”

Bishung George Maram writes, “Actually some of our leaders work for our right and they even introduced NPF in Manipur, to let others know what Nagas are. But we Nagas have lots of misunderstanding among ourselves, regarding our Naga issue. NPF failed not because of Party but because of the individual candidates. Our leaders didn’t choose the right candidate; they only run after money.

They never took the views of public; candidates were chosen by just 1or 2 leaders with their own interest. The public do not like forcing to vote and that is one of the main reason some people moved to congress. If the leaders/NSCN and public would have proper discussions before the election about the issue, I believe that 12 out of 12 seats could have been won”

Dipandimmang Kahmei also writes, “Nagas in Manipur are, in fact, candidate-oriented and not party-oriented” Albert Daiho writes, “NPF failed because they were misinformed. Choosing of candidates should have been done properly”

Dominic Kojing Shilshi, writes, “NPF may work out in Nagaland but not in Manipur.
(1) NPF by definition is limited to Nagas
(2) All tribal in Manipur are not Nagas, therefore, NPF further divides the tribes in the state rather than playing inclusive politics. Surely the other tribes in the state will be uncomfortable with their presence, not only the meiteis. In such situation, failure is inevitable. But I must say that they got what they have and they cannot expect more out of nothing”

Thohe Pou writes, ”
1. NPF launched in Manipur too late.
2. NPF campaigners could not convince the village leaders.
3. UNC past mistakes is one of the most important factors for some leaders for not supporting the NPF
4. The villagers do not know the main purposes of launching NPF in Manipur.
5. Many educated people are shortsighted, ignorant and impatient about the Naga cause.
6. The villagers do not see beyond their Candidate.
7. UNC and the NPF leaders could not choose some of the Right Candidates, which has created some misunderstanding and divide the votes.
8. NPF is a threat to Manipur integration for the non-Nagas.
9. Some of the NPF supporters using muscle power, violence and threat created the atmosphere very bad in some villages/towns, which led to go against the NPF party.
10. Money plays a very important role in election but the NPF candidates are too poor to compete with the Congress leaders who are well settled and took the position in well advance”

Christina Panmei writes, “To say NPF does not have good muscle power is too lame. Infact it is due to their excess muscle power some people move away from the party. No one wants to be forced that is the nature of human. If they were to do lots of campaign at the village level well instead of having faith in the power of gun, they would have done much better with the kind of aims they have for Nagas of Manipur. Let’s learn from this mistake and do better next time. As a politician they need to beg the voter and earn their vote instead of forcing them”

Mel Naga writes, “NPF candidates relied too much on muscle power. They thought muscle power with gun will do all the work to put them on the throne, on the other hand, some of the leaders were busy minting money from the congress candidates”

Sanchiyuk Thongam writes, “why NPF fail because no one like communal based politics, no one like to go on threaten as it encroach upon the pride of individual, it’ will be better to remember that Feudalism has died long time ago”

Somipam Vashum writes, “NSCN over look to the people interest, they thought that their judgment are the best which is never true, and I too support when we say that NPF didn’t have time for campaign. The policies and manifesto of NPF is the best for Nagas but sending the wrong person to the right place turns the outcome into looser”

Reis Vashum writes, “Fielding candidates on their personal grounds by few IM sympathizers, relatives of higher commands and forcing, threatening, and physical abuse by the cadres of IM with orders from regional/higher commands makes most of the public to opt to vote for INC and other parties. Instead of begging the public like the other successful political party does; they should understand that we are living in the age where brain n computers work but not Gun and muscle power”

Ephrii Pfoze writes, “People failed to understand that congress will never fight for the rights of the Nagas” Thonii Rozhemai writes, “NPF fail in Manipur because there is no leader to lead them, NPF fail because they are waiting orders”

Albert Daiho writes, “From my 1:1 interaction with the voters, I have found some major factors in Poumai and Mao areas viz: personal gain possibility in the future, buying votes, use of muscle power, village factor, Naga Issue, personal Issues, inter-village factor, relatives factor, policies of the candidate (if the candidate had contested before or is/was in power), capability of the candidate, development. All the factors are not mutually exclusive”

Canaan Kasar writes, “Meities hates Ibobi but because of Manipur integration, they voted him in power. Naga people talks about Naga politics but in reality they know not. Had they understood Naga politics, they would have voted for NPF. Naga people take their decision and not basing on political objective and vision. There is no future for those people who takes decision out of hate, confusion and pride”

Reishang Muinao writes, “As a matter of fact, money can buy the will and choice of most villagers! So it’s not only force that changed the scenario”

Fischer Mimin Haokip writes, ” Whether NPF failed or not, it is laudable that you guys got a political party”

Maya Angkang writes, “Winning 4 seats Out of 12 is not bad in terms of percentage but in terms of FACT its worst. The fact is that if NSCN (I-M) did not involve NPF will not get a single seat. All this 4 seats credit should go to our underground so call freedom fighter. If they dont force the public and threat, NPF will be zero. And instead of realizing their mistakes NPF is so happy and celebrating for their 4 seats. Only God can help NPF. NPF (Need Prayer & Fasting)”

Chenithung Humtsoe writes “The choice lies with our Naga brothers and sisters from Manipur. Take it or leave it, you alone can do it”

Luikham Naga writes,
1. Use of excessive forces by NSCN IM cadres thinking this is the last bus/option.
2. Many educated Nagas who could help mobilize and help win the hearts and understanding of many who are confined in the villages / jungles are away from far home. Just like me and you whose votes are not even cast.
3. Lack of political wills and consciences of our leaders/people.
4. We uses forces, gun and muscles to get votes while they use power, tactics, money and brain to draw peoples attentions to win peoples support/vote.
5. Re-poll and Re-poll was also one of the main factors, which has reduce the expected numbers. Most importantly we’ve failed to understand among ourselves and also failed to acknowledge & controlled the situations. Good that we’ve realised all these. Eventually, let’s wish all the best, support to those 4 elected and keep hoping for the best for the future.

To be continued … 

Photo Courtesy: e-pao.net

Edited by:
Dr. Thohe Pou, Admin. of Nagalim Times group in facebook.com

The Unending Uncertainty of the Manipur Nagas – Part I –

Tahamzam (Senapati) a politically centred district (at least for the Naga Community with the active existence of the United Naga Council (UNC), All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM), Naga Peoples’ Organisation (NPO), Naga Women’s Union, Manipur (NWUM), Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR-South) and most importantly, the Naga Peoples’ Convention (NPC), of course the highest authority of the Naga people) in Manipur.

Their prowess is unquestionably respected and honored with a high tune. Nevertheless, the uncertain future of the Tahamzam is: Would the Tahamzam, one of the Nagas’ political hubs churn out to be a historically patriotic dwelling, or would it only, only yield to the perennial and consequential combat zone of the epoch? Organizational history is fair enough to enlighten that many organizational workers dream to model themselves to political professionalism sooner or later. But take a look at and reflect the pain and thrashing on the front-runners of the UNC and the ANSAM, an atrocious treatment meted out to them, dated 7th June 2010, wherein, arrest warrants were issued against them by the Government of Manipur giving a price label to their arrest.

 

The Declaration (Tahamzam), 1st July, 2010 in the 3rd Naga Peoples’ Convention, by its first point reads as; “… there shall be a total political non-cooperation movement against it (Manipur).” While by another Declaration dated 18th June 2010, (Kohima) point No.1 reads “The meeting endorsed the United Naga Council’s decision to declare the imposed District Council Elections in the Naga areas of Manipur as ‘null and void.” Point No. 6 of the same Declaration reads “It was also decided that the agitation program of the people will be continued in different forms and at different levels till the Aspiration of the Naga People is fulfilled.” (held at Kohima represented by the Naga Hoho, UNC, NSF, ANSAM, NPMHR (South), Naga Women’s Union, Manipur, the entire yet the highest ranking Naga personages. More than the above, the unceasing and multifarious gossips by the Naga people as well as the non-Nagas on the pro-people services and sacrifices of the highly spirited flag-bearers of the UNC in particular, cannot go unrecorded. However, eschewing to the fact, a few non-fictional evidences transpired in the recent past, whereby any perceptive observer or a third eye cannot miss to read may be necessarily briefed herein.

 

In the year 1999, the Naga Community boycotted the Parliamentary (Lok Sabha) elections. In 2004, the Naga Community as a whole mandated and represented a member of parliament to the Lok Sabha. Instantaneously, after two years, the frontal Naga organizations i.e., the UNC and the ANSAM acted deadly against the national political parties particularly, the Indian National Congress (INC) in the Manipur state assembly elections held in 2007. Nonetheless, by the next immediate year i.e., 2008 during the trust-vote motion at the Parliament, the lone Naga representative voted in favour of the Congress and its allies in the Nuclear-Deal Issue. Yet to people’s surprise in 2009, during the Lok Sabha elections, all over again, the Naga pinnacle bodies were in tooth and nail hostile to the INC.

 

What made the worst was that the Autonomous District Councils (ADC) elections were conducted in a dreaded manner in the midst of the demands for necessary amendments in the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (3rd Amendment) Act, 2008 were then energetically underway. In other words, after yearningly necessitated for long 20 years expecting to acquire the Sixth Schedule status, and before accomplishing the mission, both the demand for the 6th Schedule and the demand for amendments were aborted at the eleventh hour. Because, many hungry political workers more visibly the INC twisted to believe the philosophy, “A living dog is better than a dead lion”, rather than believing that “Every dog is a tiger in its home.” Additionally justifying that through participating in the constitutional empowered decision-making-body, they would raise the issue and secure the aggrieved tribal people. And the INC did subdue others with its edge of rulings both at the Centre as well as the State.

 

Neither any space nor any option has been left for the next progeny, but only to eat the humble pie of the divided Nagas based on Factions and Political cards will minimally remain as victims of the predecessors’ legacy. Very sadly today, a Naga sees another Naga as a black Naga and vice-versa which is like the ‘pot calling a kettle black.’ It is pertinent to note, the Hoi polloi of the Naga Community are perplexed beyond comprehension to make out who is / are the true leader/s of the Nagas? Moreover, several unanswerable questions have cropped up with the new financial year, when the incumbent ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) under the aegis of the Naga Peoples’ Front a total pro-Naga political party has gifted a political seed of the Nagas by the Nagas, and for the Nagas, which is still an undecipherable written on the wall, has emerged to have engraved another feature of unrest in the political history of Manipur.

 

Prior to the up-coming state assembly elections, some simplest but incredibly indispensable and obligatory answers to the public are instantly and exigently awaited from whomsoever.

 

Who / What decides the political fate of the Naga Community; whether to participate or not to participate in Indian electoral politics?

Will / Can the UNC and the ANSAM unseat the ADC elects by hook or crook to retain their credibility? Keeping in view of: “Ceaser’s wife should be beyond doubt.”

Or will the UNC and the ANSAM be able to condone the ADC elects as brethren and start afresh in all prospects? What should be expected for the people, by the people from the policy making organizations of the people? Will the sacrifices (service, time, energy, money, career, etc.) of those Nagas who had filed the nominations for Autonomous District Councils (ADC) elections but withdrew in obedience to uphold the interest of the Nagas as a whole be left unrewarded and forgotten? Will the new regional party NPF nurture the young but dynamic political party called the Peoples’ Democratic Alliance (PDA) or will it hamper the growth of the PDA?

 

Who are likely to be their loyalists both in short and long term? Since both these political parties tend to manifest and address the Nagas’ grievances holistically. What are the opinions / compliments / aspirations of those thousands of Nagas settled in metros, cosmopolitans and abroad on the issue of ‘Sovereignty and Integrity of the Naga Community’ who appear to convert their genext to global netizens?

 

A serious issue which is left unattended, unheard, unrecognized, and undiscovered. What guarantees the UNC and the ANSAM to have general public mandate and legitimacy while manifesting capital declarations? Or could they demean the history of these prestigious organizations? Will the UNC be a taker in the upcoming assembly elections of Manipur for the Naga Community’s interests? Doesn’t Nagas’ participation in every Indian Electoral Politics give birth to faction-ridden effect more than uniting the Nagas? By the end of this decade, what effects would be caused by the tentative Indian Electoral Politics viz: Lok Sabha elections of 2014, Autonomous District Elections of 2015, State Assembly elections of 2017 and … if the present trends continue? Remembering a few words expressed by the ADC’s elects before they were elected, they campaigned that if they were elected to power, they would initiate a rightful fight against the Government of Manipur for the necessary amendments of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (3rd Amendment) Act, 2008).

 

How far have they proven to their words? Today they are the busy-bees for him or for them. What suitable actions would be acted upon the ADC’s elected Nagas by the UNC, is merely an issue to be waited and watched upon. For the truth is Nagas are pitted against Nagas by the Nagas, wherein, the primary opposing people are not the non-Nagas but exclusively, just the Nagas. At this conflicting juncture, the fray is between the opportunists and the so called non-opportunists. More than the above, an open secret if not many yet a very few Nagas could be doing their home-works to partake in the upcoming Manipur assembly elections. If timely stoppage is not meted out to them before political temperature rises up, could it cause to reinforce the anti-Naga political bug? Besides the prevailing different factions, Nagas political groups trigger the embittered relations amongst the politically aspiring Nagas.

 

One of the most sterling factors for the up-coming elections according to a commonly and frequently uttered could be: Naga Issue/s Vs Jobs + Bread and Butter + Benefits + Political Enmity amongst the Nagas. One needs to remember, If multi-political party system is to be idolized by the Nagas, its beauty has come to test the taste from the general public of the Naga population today. The PDA which is waving the Flag of the Nagas for the Nagas has been sprouting up gradually is suddenly put to speechless circumstance. Yet, did the NPF authentically foresee the productivity of the NPF to give a helping hand to withstand all the hurdles in Fulfillment of the aspirations of the Naga Community or has the NPF lorded over the PDA and thus shows the interest to overtake the latter by acting as better, smarter and more efficient approach politically?

 

The explanation is still unending and unproven, if and whether the Nagas are thoroughly in need of another political party at all, purely for the Nagas. Tomorrow, if the third political party XYZ comes up with the banner ‘For the Nagas’ who will follow whom? For instances in the present day, any Naga political animal who dislikes INC might stand for PDA but if he / she still does not like both the INC and the PDA he / she is compelled to join the NPF and reversely. An apolitical Naga God-fearing Nagas only prays that Nagas are united in all fields and no exception to politics. So it is prayed that the PDA and the NPF be merged to one. Another commendable chapter to address is regarding the ‘Tripartite Talk’. Isn’t it more than provocative to read that both the central and the state governments’ promulgating statements that the demands of the UNC for Alternative Arrangement is not Clear? Who has become the laughing stock amongst the three? Is it the Manipur government or the Central government or the UNC?

 

It once more stands uninterpreted. While Manipur media are allegedly called the communally paid news, there still lies the long inconsistent and unending notion of one community calling another communal. Could the postponement of the tripartite talk aggravate the issue out of fire into a frying pan? What does UNC mean by Alternative Arrangement? Point No. 2 of June 18th Declaration, (Kohima) reads “…the meeting demanded that the government of immediately make alternative arrangement for the Nagas in the present state of Manipur.” Specified definition / elaboration is yet to be available to the general public some days if not today. The HYPOTHESIS that Manipur government in consultation with the Central government will grant the Alternative Arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur state, is yet to be proved or disproved. Only keep finger crossed and…to be continued.

 

(This is only individual opinion of the writer, a student of Mass Communication based in Tamil Nadu)

by Danii Hiikhani ( Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu)

 

NPF launch hits Manipur roadblock

27 May: Plans for expansion of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Manipur with the proposed launch by Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio and NPF Working President Dr Shürhozelie at Senapati has come up against a road block with the Manipur cabinet having decided to advise the Nagaland chief minister and his team against visiting Senapati on May 28.
It was learnt that the Manipur cabinet has faxed the message to the state chief minister through the state cabinet secretary, advising the state chief minister Neiphiu Rio to either not attend or even postpone the scheduled launch of the NPF Manipur unit at Senapati.
Nagaland Home Minister Imkong L.Imchen Thursday confirmed the receipt of the fax to this correspondent.
Mr Imkong Imchen was however determined that the NPF was not going to go by the advice of the Manipur cabinet and that chief minister Neiphiu Rio was firm that he and NPF functionaries were going to attend the scheduled launch of the NPF Manipur state unit.
“It is a party affair and nobody can stop any political party from launching their party anywhere in the country” Imkong shot back. He went on to cite the example of the INC and BJP which have their respective headquarters in New Delhi but are spread across the country.
Imkong sought the views and opinions from the Nagas in Manipur and the United Naga Council (UNC) regarding the advice of the Manipur state cabinet to the chief minister of Nagaland.
On the other hand, there are apprehensions that the simmering tension between the two states could even lead to a serious law and order situation if both sides did not resolve the issue.
This was seen in the light of how the fragile law and order situation took the form of a conflict between the two communities- Nagas and Meities- during the May 2010 incidents at Mao gate. It was feared there could be a situation if the Manipur government resorted to any force to prevent the chief minister of Nagaland from visiting Senapati and the latter equally determined to visit Senapati to launch the NPF Manipur unit.
Manipur seek PM,
HM intervention
Against the backdrop of the decision to launch the Naga People’s Front Manipur unit in Senapati, an emergency meeting of the Manipur SPF cabinet was convened Thursday where it was decided to seek intervention of the Prime Minister and Union home minister in deferring Nagaland chief minister, Neiphiu Rio’s visit to Senapati on May 28.
The cabinet meeting was followed by an all-party meeting.
The cabinet meeting chaired by Manipur chief minister, O Ibobi Singh discussed the pros and cons of the law and order situation of the state, particularly in Senapati district where the launch of the NPF Manipur unit was scheduled.
Members of the cabinet pointed out that the proposed visit of Rio to launch NPF Manipur unit, coincided with the preparations for hosting the third round of tripartite talks with the United Naga Council (UNC). The cabinet expressed apprehension that the visit by Nagaland chief minister and NPF entourage would have an adverse affect resulting in deterioration of law and order of in the state.
According to an official source quoting the minutes of the cabinet meeting, it was decided to entrust Manipur chief minister O.Ibobi to seek the interventions of the Prime Minister and home minister to advise the Nagaland chief minister to defer his proposed visit to Senapati considering the fragile law and order situation in the state.
The cabinet also directed Manipur chief secretary to contact OSD to Nagaland chief minister to relay the decision of the SPF government cabinet for necessary action. The chief secretary was also asked to contact the PMO and Union home minister’s office on the developing law and order situation in the state.
The cabinet further agreed to meet again on Friday at 9.30 a.m.
Mention may be made, that the BJP Manipur unit had earlier cautioned against the proposed visit of the Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio if there was any hidden agenda behind the proposed launching of Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Manipur.
“We welcome the opening of its (NPF) unit in Manipur as a political party, but if it is to be opened with a hidden agenda of disintegrating Manipur, we would not remain silent,” BJP vice president Prof Tikendrajit cautioned.
Briefing reporters here Thursday, Tikendrajit stressed on the need for checking the activities of the NPF if it opened its unit in the state, by hinting that “they would have certain hidden agenda other than political activities”.
On March 31, the Nagaland chief minister formally declared formation of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh units with the appointment of adhoc office bearers. On the occasion Neiphiu Rio had said the party after a thorough deliberation, decided to form NPF units in states of the north east inhabited by Nagas particularly in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
Rio had asserted the main intention to expand beyond Nagaland should not be misunderstood as it was only to create harmony with other regional political parties, while taking interest of the Naga political issue.  NPN

Dimapur 28 May 2011: Another standoff between the state governments of Manipur and Nagaland appears to be in the offing over the proposed launch of the Naga People’s Front by Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio at Senapati on May 28 with both heads of states determined to implement their respective decisions.
According to an official source here, it was learnt that the Manipur government has already deployed several companies of Manipur Police Commandos to prevent the entry of Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, other ministers and party officials while on this side, companies of the IRB have also been deployed at the border with Manipur. The union home minister has also been apprised of the respective stands of both the state governments.

Chief minister Neiphiu Rio in a faxed message Friday reminded Ibobi that his office had relayed information of his plan to visit to Senapati on May 26. He also said “substantial expenditures” have been made to enable dignitaries to visit Senapati. He requested Manipur chief minister Ibobi to understand the “peaceful and goodwill intention of the event” and instead to extend cooperation for the visit.

Rio also faxed a message to union home minister P. Chidambaram requesting the latter to “prevail upon the government of Manipur not to have any apprehension about the nature and purpose” of his visit and “not to create any obstacle to the smooth conduct of the party function at Senapati.”
The two chief secretaries of both Manipur and Nagaland have also exchanged fax messages over the stand of their respective chief ministers.

Earlier, Nagaland chief secretary Lalthara in a faxed message to Manipur chief secretary with copies to the home secretary, joint secretary (MHA) and DGPs of both state acknowledged his counterpart’s message dated May 25. Lalthara in the reply said after taking due consideration of the request of the Manipur government, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio “intends to attend the function” to fulfill a prior commitment “irrespective of whether the Manipur government can provide the necessary security entitled to him as chief minister, and as a VIP under Z-Plus category” Lalthara disclosed that chief minister Neiphiu Rio would take his own security entourage during the tour. Lalthara also clarified that following the change in nomenclature from Nagaland People’s Front to Naga People’s Front, ArticleA(i) of the party constitution was also amended that any citizen of the “country” (and not “Nagaland”) can be members of the NPF.

In response to Lathara’s faxed message, Manipur chief secretary D.S.Poonia disclosed that the Manipur cabinet at its meeting on Friday expressed serious concern over the decision of Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio to visit Senapati, despite the Manipur government’s strong reservations about security concerns.

Further, Poonia said no consultation was made with the DGP Manipur over the decision of the Nagaland chief minister to take Nagaland Police security entourage along to Senapati as required in order to avoid any conflict between the two state police forces.

Poonia also said as per the assessment of the Manipur DGP, it was concluded that the visit was bound to create a serious law and order situation in Manipur particularly just a few weeks ahead of the observance of “Great June Uprising Day” by the UCM and the “Unity Day” by AMUCO when 18 persons were killed on June 18, 2001 during protests against extension of the “Indo-Naga ceasefire” beyond Nagaland.

He also said the launch of the NPF office at Senapati would worsen the already volatile situation in Senapati which could “likely to lead to another stand-off between the law enforcement agencies and NGOs in some hill districts.
Poonia citing an assessment of the district administration at Senapati, said owing to limited availability of police, it would be difficult for the district administration provide full proof security in case of any small incident during the May 28 function resulting to breach of peace. He said this concern was relayed to the Nagaland chief minister who is placed under Z-Plus Security.

Further, he said the Manipur cabinet which took note of the assessment of the DGP Manipur and the overstretched police, was apprehensive that any disturbance on May 28 “will definitely jeopardize” the tripartite talks with the United Naga Council on May 30. In view of the concerns, he said the Manipur cabinet “once again” resolved to ask the Nagaland government to “categorically reconsider their rigid stand and defer the proposed visit” by Nagaland chief minister to Senapati.

The Manipur cabinet also expressed serious concern that taking the Nagaland Police escort to Senapati could have far reaching ramifications on the relations between the two states.
Poonia urged the Nagaland chief minister reconsider the request to postpone his visit and that any later date may be decided in consultation with the Manipur government.

He also informed Lalthara to relay the request to Nagaland chief minister and that the NPF be advised to defer the proposed launch at a later date in view of the scheduled talks with the UNC on May 30.  NPN

Naga People Front (NPF) to launch Manipur Unit

Dimapur 24May 2011: Naga People’s Front (NPF) Manipur state unit would be formally launched May 28 at Senapati headquarters, Manipur. NPF president Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu would formally launch the party in presence of Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio. Significantly, Manipur, which has 60 assembly seats, is heading for the next state general elections in February or March 2012. NPN