Nagalim Voice September 2023
NAGA’S JOURNEY FOR SOLUTION AND THE ESSENCE OF UNITY IN PRINCIPLE
Everybody talk and write about Naga unity. Many of our intellectuals and concern senior citizens appear to be showing genuine concern for Naga unity. However, many of them are not able to grasp the complexity of unity. Unity is a “sugar coated” word that we all long for. Significantly, the problem to achieve the elusive unity is to understand the problem and the forces responsible for creating the problem.
Unity, therefore, will be a far cry if we do not understand the devil that is responsible for the divisions. The GoI (Government of India) knew very well that if the Nagas are united, the Nagas will be too strong and Government of India will not be able to handle it, and will pose a security threats to the GoI. Therefore, Delhi will never allow the Nagas to be united unless the Nagas come to her term. Delhi knows too well that “Strength is always with unity”. But it will be a waste of time to talk about the Naga unity under the Indian constitution.
General Secretary Mr. Th. Muivah always says, “Leave the Nagas alone, thence Nagas can be united anytime”.
NEED A ROAD MAP FOR UNITY
No one talk about the roadmap for Naga unity. There must be a meeting point on certain issues which is a requisite demand for unity. It seems everyone is scared to spell out to remove those roadblocks to pave the way for the meeting point towards establishing unity.
What on earth that is against unity and reconciliation? Negative allegations do not stand anywhere but the problem is how to work it out.
We have to understand what unity is for. Is the unity to surrender together or to stand together to defend the rights of the Naga national movement? Or is the unity to protect the 16 points memorandum of 371 (A)? Or is it the unity to come together under the Indian constitution like that of the infamous Shillong Accord?
The irony behind unity is however very discouraging as it has taken an ugly turn. The essence of upholding the principle theme “unity based on historical and political rights,” was not explicitly defined to uphold and take forward by all concerns. It was left to common understanding without corrective measures and clear concept.
From here the individuals have taken their liberty to go with their own convenient explanation and self-justification. Some people went out of the track even to the extent of interpreting that the 16 points memorandum was unique history and political rights.
The FNR’s (Forum for Naga Reconciliation) initiative on unity and reconciliation started off with much fanfare and hope as it brought about complete cessation of killing among the Naga family. But unfortunately they could not accomplish their principle theme towards the desired results. No doubt, it was not an easy task considering from all accounts. Nevertheless, the FNR deserves appreciation from all walks of life for their sacrificial services.
It is difficult to deny that speaking out the truth may also spoil the process of reconciliation. It requires creating a congenial atmosphere to convince the people in the first place. But the ultimate goal is that the principle theme must prevail which should finally culminate in a cure for the disease that blocks the much desired political solution.
In short, while trying to accommodate everyone, FNR finds hard to hold the ground. FNR should have been more courageous to weight the merit/relevance of each political group before granting them the unqualified status, as Nagas cannot afford the luxury of accommodating them all in the name of reconciliation and unity at this pivotal point.
NAGA HOHO ON UNITY AND RECONCILIATION
In March 2001, the Naga Hoho gave a press statement that “Peace process cannot/shall not be pre-conditioned by unity and reconciliation. It has to be side by side till the final goal is achieved”. Accordingly, the Naga Hoho appealed to all the people to work on the same line, because whichever comes first, either unity or solution is for the good of the people.
ENPO (EASTERN NAGALAND PEOPLES ORGANIZATION) DECLARATION
Surprisingly, the ENPO comes out with their version of Naga solution “Unity first, solution next”, that stands in contrast to the stand taken by the Naga Hoho. The conflict resolution experts “Quaker”, a social peace working group commented “this apparently looks convincing but in the final analysis, it will be proven negative”
That means if there is no unity, no solution forever. Even if united, solution is not guaranteed unless the core issue is resolved with the other contending parties.
Prior to the Shillong Accord, there was only one party, yet no solution. In fact, resolving the conflicting principle issue can bring unity faster.
If the conflicting issues are resolved between the contending parties, solution can be easily achieved. Along the line of solution, unity can follow the principle issue to achieve the desired result. And this possibility should always be kept open.
The idea of ENPO declaration is therefore absurd in the final analysis. Unfortunately, most of our people are talking for unity in the wild tune of ENPO’s declaration. This simply reflects weakness of political insight.
NSCN’s EFFORT ON UNITY
In 1997, soon after the declaration of the Indo-Naga ceasefire for peace process, taking into consideration the larger interest of the Naga people and for smooth sailing of solution, “General Amnesty” was declared by His Excellency Yaruiwo, Mr. Isak Chishi Swu, in order to take all people on board for Naga political solution. This was done in the spirit of “forgive and forget”. Many came forward from NNC/FGN and Khaplang group but some refused to come.
In 2005 again, His Excellency Isak Chishi Swu gave a “clarion call” declaring forgiveness of their mistakes to all fellow comrades of other groups. At the same time appealed to forgive the mistakes of NSCN. The response from the other side was insignificant.
In the true spirit of unity & reconciliation, NSCN, in 2007, organized three days fasting in Hebron. In the same year it declared unity and reconciliation in the national principle. Unfortunately, a group of NSCN members led by Mr. Azheto Chophy, the then Kilo Kilonser broke out and formed NSCN (Unification).
This Azheto episode prompted us to raise the question seriously. Was it really for unity move that he abruptly left Hebron at odd hour, leaving aside the anointed national leaders Isak Chishi Swu and Th. Muivah at Camp Hebron who tirelessly worked for the Naga nation, took the Naga issue to international platform and brought the ceasefire for political dialogue? They sacrifice everything for the sovereign right of the Naga people.
Unfortunately, Mr. Azheto and his associates running away from the anointed leaders can never impress anyone to make true unification. This is far from patriotically motivated move.
(To be continued in the next issue)