Ball is in Indian government’s court to end Naga movement: Muivah

NTIMES 18OCT: Ball is in Indian government‘s court to end Naga movement: Muivah

Dimapur (Nagaland), Oct 18 (IANS) Veteran Naga secessionist leader Thuingaleng Muivah Thursday said that it is now up to the Indian government to work a way out to end the six-decade-long Naga separatist movement.

“The ball is now in the court of the Indian government to decide on the Indo-Naga issue and we are hope

Muivah (NSCN-IM)

ful that something honourable will be achieved,” Muivah, the general secretary of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), told journalists in this Nagaland town.

Muivah, along with his outfit’s chairman Isak Chishi Swu arrived in Dimapur, the commercial hub of Nagaland, from New Delhi for wide consultations with various civil society groups, including Naga intellectuals on the progress of their peace talks with the Indian government.

“There is a progress in the peace talks and the Indian government is also more serious on the issue,” he said.

Asked to comment on Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde‘s statement saying that the Naga political issue would be settled by March next year, Muivah said: “I cannot say the time but let us wait and see and one cannot ‘comprehensively’ say anything now about the solution.”

The NSCN-IM has been fighting for an independent Nagaland for over six decades.
It however later demanded a “Greater Nagaland” by slicing off parts of three neighbouring states – Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh – to unite 1.2 million Nagas.
Shinde had told journalists that he has been talking to Manipur and Arunchal Pradesh Chief Ministers Okram Ibobi Singh and Nabam Tuki respectively for a consensus on steps relating to the welfare of tribal Nagas residing in both the states.

Admitting that Shinde had sought his assistance to put to an end to Naga separatist movement, the Manipur chief minister said that he was not in a position to oblige, since the exact points of agreement between the NSCN-IM and the Indian government is not known to his government.

New Delhi and the NSCN-IM entered into a ceasefire in August 1997.

The two have held more than 50 rounds of peace talks to end one of South Asia’s longest-running insurgencies that has killed 25,000 people since 1947. There have been reports that the NSCN-IM had decided to accept the Indian constitution and drop the demand for a Greater Nagaland.

New Delhi’s main interlocutor R.S. Pandey, a former petroleum and natural gas secretary, did not comment on the news report but maintained that the peace process remained on track.

“The peace process is on the right direction. I have held several meetings with them (NSCN-IM) but at the moment things are yet to concretise,” Pandey told IANS.
During earlier talks, the NSCN-IM had proposed “a special federal arrangement” to enable the Nagas self-governance, but the negotiations ended inconclusively.

The NSCN-IM wants a special federal relationship with India, with a separate Naga constitution, and would like the guerrillas to jointly guard the international borders alongside Indian security forces

Only one more step to Naga Political Solution

Nagas Rally for early Naga political solution

It is quite inspiring and encouraging when the opposition party under the leadership of Dr.SC Jamir is now leading and working together with the ruling party in Nagaland and supporting the present peace talks in Delhi. If he and his party would have been with the Nagas from before to solve the Naga problem, the process of peace talks in Delhi would have been speed up much faster. However, now as they have joined together in one spirit with same Naga political aspiration, one can have more hope and vision for our future Naga people.
JLF is laudable:

It is quite relieving and giving new hope as the Joint Legislators’ Forum (JLF) consisting 60 MLAs went to Delhi to support the peace talks and bringing early solution to the Naga political problem. It is good to learn that the Joint Legislators’ Forum (JLF) is again proposed to visit to Delhi on October 14 to meet Union Home minister in order to bring early solution to the Naga political problem. The opposition parties in Nagaland joining together with the ruling party and underground leaders to solve the Naga political problem have moved a step higher. However, we need one more step to Naga political solution. In this crucial stage of negotiation, every Naga soul needs to support to bring an early solution to the long pending Naga political problem. It is encouraging that Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has talked to the chief ministers of Arunachal and Manipur and trying to reach a consensus with the people in their states. This clearly shows that the GOI is also working to solve this complicated issue.

Why Peace-talks are still going on?

War is life or death, win or lost in the battle within a week or month. But since we all want peace and a peaceful solution; this peaceful solution through negotiation and dialogue would obviously take time to bring a solution. Nagas have every right to self-determination but it goes through a long procedure to negotiate and dialogue. In the process of peace-talks, some people may loss the hope and patient. But it is worth to wait even more than two decades if we are going to get an honorable solution that will be acceptable to all the Naga people.

If we are going to accept whatever the GOI has proposed, the present peace-talks would have been finished within a year or two. However, since the negotiation and dialogues are on the wishes of the Naga people, it may take more time than we have been expected. In fact, the peace-talks going is on strong for more than a decade and this clearly shows that the Naga leaders are strong enough and not giving up their demand to bring an honorable solution. It is not about pessimism, but one should not expect Moon and Stars in the negotiation and dialogues as there are some practical and technical problem involves. Our Naga people have lots of expectation from the present peace-talks, and due to this high expectation, some people might have accused our leaders for their slow process in their peace-talks and questioning the incapability of our leaders. But we cannot expect everyone to be the same. Here some of the problems are briefly highlighted below:

First, it is a peaceful negotiation and dialogue and not a war and we cannot expect an instant result. The Govt. of India not zealously and sincerely working toward the solution can be one of the main reasons for prolonging the peace-talks. In every negotiation and dialogue, both the parties need to be sincere and faithful otherwise one party cannot make unilateral decision.

Second, another problem can be the “Only Expectation” from our leaders without the mass movement and participation from our Naga people. Unless, the whole Nagas move together, the GOI may not consider the issue seriously. Almost all the Nagas are sitting at home comfortably except the Naga civil society leaders. We want sovereignty, we want an honorable solution and we want an early solution sitting at home. But sitting at home and criticizing our leaders may not bring any good fruit.

Third, both the GOI and NSCN may be sincere enough in their peace-talks but the issue itself is a complicated issue. Demanding sovereignty or shared sovereignty is a complicate issue. The issue becomes more complicated as the Naga leaders continue to stand on their demands. When we study and analyze the problem and issue more deeply, one can understand why the present peace-talks is dragging on more than a decade. In fact, it is a very complicated issue and one cannot expect to solve the problem within a year or two.

Why the GOI-NSCN-IM does not confide the progress of their peace-talks?

Yes, every Naga should know what the NSCN-IM is demanding and the progress of their peace-talks with the GOI. But as mentioned above, it is a very complicated issue as it involved some States of India and Mynamar in their peace-talks. As it is observed and have experienced earlier some incidents about the extending of Ceasefire to outside present Nagaland State and the news on Supra-state body, there can be some technical problems to share with the public about the progress of their peace-talks. It is not that only the Naga leaders are not revealing the progress of the peace-talks but the GOI also do not share the progress of their peace-talks in detail. With the GOI keeping the secret of their peace-talks with the NSCN-IM, one may be convinced that it has some technical problem to confide the details of their peace-talks. It is observed and it is quite possible that if the progress of peace-talks is shared with the public in details, there can be more messed within the Naga people and also with the neighboring states. However, the final solution to Naga political problem should be shared, discussed and be acceptable by all the Naga people to bring an everlasting solution.

Other political leaders need to join with JLF:

The JLF, Nagaland is on the move, but it seems to be incomplete without joining all the Naga political leaders and other leaders. Why the Naga politicians from Manipur and other States are not joining together with the Joint Legislators’ Forum (JLF), Nagaland?  It would be good if our veteran politician Rishang Keishing also become the part of the Naga leaders and support the on-going peace-talks in Delhi to bring early solution of the Naga political solution. A veteran politician like him may be a great influence too if he becomes the part of the Naga leaders and with other Naga leaders. It is time now that we all join together and pressurize the GOI instead of sitting at home and criticizing our leaders for taking so long to bring our Naga political solution.

Constructive criticism and not criticisms

We have read many articles in the paper on our present leaders’ weaknesses, but hardly anyone writes to the GOI and shares our genuine Naga problem or in appreciation of our leaders. It is observed that our neighbor communities have many underground factions too and they may not be better than our Naga underground. But our neighbor intellectuals and writers know the limitation of their underground and give only constructive criticism. Whereas, our Naga intellectual and educated people mostly write only the weaknesses of our leaders without any giving suggestion to improve it. Constructive criticism should be welcomed by our leaders but direct accusation and criticisms lead nowhere except hurting each other and making worse the situation.


Final touch to Naga political solution:

Now, the only one more steps to Naga political solution may require the Naga mass participation and support, reconciliation and unification of all the Naga factions. Today, every Naga soul needs to support or suggest openly the on-going peace-talks in Delhi to bring an early and honorable solution. If we do not support or give suggestion, and keep waiting for our leaders to negotiate and dialogue – we should be responsible and accept whatever our Naga leaders bring the solution for the Naga people. It is observed that with the mass participation and support, we can have more hope and vision for our future Naga people. Instead of watching and waiting to tell, “My prediction comes true”. It would be better if we all voice together, work together unitedly to bring an honorable solution that will be acceptable by every Naga factions and Naga soul.

@ Dr. Thohe Pou