A Solution Must Be Found
Message on the 57th Indo-Naga Ceasefire Day by Gen (Retd) Thinoselie M Keyho, President of Naga National Council
My dear Countrymen,
At the very outset, I thank God the Almighty who in His great loving kindness has enabled us to arrive at the very threshold of the historic 57th year of the Indo-Naga Ceasefire. I also extend my most sincere greetings to each and every fellowman, woman and child alike.
It is truly one marvellously gigantic achievement, that the Naga National Movement for regaining our freedom and independence from foreign occupation; began from zero and quickly gathered momentum and substance most steadily and on September 6, 1964 entered into the Ceasefire Agreement with the mighty Government of India. This deed of history goes to most directly prove beyond any doubt that the Government of India (GOI) had recognised the legal and ethical identity of the Federal Republic Government of Nagaland (FGN). The political status of the Nagas’ had thereby been permanently installed in the rightful honourable position forever; creating un-erasable History and immutable Record, the fact of which can never be argued away by any whatever ways and/or means.
Why then was not the matter resolved then and there only? Why ever was the Peace Talk allowed to fail at all?
Well, it all had been (and is) because of GOI, who in all her greatness chooses to pursue the path of extreme degree of pride, arrogance and domineering with nefarious twists galore. She never treated Nagas to be equal homo sapiens; but as material fit only to be rudely squashed, crushed and trampled upon with utter impunity. Perhaps for this very obnoxious trait of hers; the Omniscient and Omnipotent God has blinded her eyes and dulled her hearts.
In all sensibility, natural law demands that India must surely deal directly with NNC/FGN who is the prime factor in this epic conflict, pitted against her. But since she nurtures absolute disdain, she not only detested but completely abhorred our very presence; so she instead, most illogically dealt with her own illegitimately birthed and groomed child; a group of quasi-Nagas, entered into one 16 points agreement with and granted them the State of Nagaland.
Is there any Universal Law where a dispute stands supposedly resolved without involving the rightful “owner”? Hasn’t this ill-conceived, irrational political manoeuvre proved to the sane world the amateurishness of India’s statesmanship aplenty?
For a start, the Naga National Affairs were absolutely free of and from the Constitution of India; but most unfortunately she had chosen to get herself encumbered with them. She now has ensnared and entangled herself most hopelessly. She has absolutely misplaced her priority altogether.
Here is but one glaring instance: only after creating the State of Nagaland she came seeking to talk with the NNC/FGN in the exact allegory of “putting the cart before the horse” byword.
Albeit the obvious eccentricity; the NNC/FGN undertook the process of ceasefire and Peace Talks in the hopeful belief that India had come to some realisation of her mistakes and was ready to make amends in some ways or the other.
Yours faithfully had been most fortunate to be a member of the Naga Delegation in this Peace Talk. We were 3 of us, but both of my senior colleagues Mr Zashei Huire and Mr Isak C Swu had gone over to glory.
So I will avail the greatest of honours to disclose and declare my version in humble articulation:
The GOI in her wisdom made Mr Y D Gundevia, the majestic Foreign Secretary of India as the Indian Chief Delegate most prestigious. But very unfortunately; he had not been a politician, a diplomat neither a seasoned veteran of any profound conflict resolution. He must surely have been one of the very best bureaucrats with impeccable records. He might even have been exceptionally intelligent, having a mighty vast ocean of experience in his field. But to be involved in the ‘Talk’ with the Nagas; he had been the worst ever possible choice – ‘wrong person’ written all over.
Bear with me through some of the “language” of this gentleman. Mark his language, would you please. When the Naga delegation tried to impress upon him about the blatant violation of the Ceasefire Agreement by the Indian Armed Forces, he categorically declared that any armed action taken outside the ceasefire area is perfectly legal. So, as per his statement the Naga Army undertook some exemplary disabling of Railway tracks and bridges in Assam. This led to the unintentional undermining the position of Mr B P Chaliha, Chief Minister of Assam; who had also been an honourable member of the Naga Peace Mission, compelling him to resign from the Peace Mission thereby most effectively dismantling the same most unfortunately premature.
On another occasion, Mr Gundevia addressed the Naga Delegation most derogatorily as, “What a section of the people across the table want?” Being irrevocably provoked by such demeaning utterance besides plenty more of unpleasant body language and despicable gesticulations; the FGN had to resort to dispatching people to our own Kinsfolk, our very own Elder Brother China.
We are in desperate need of some solid answers here. Exactly for what purpose had Mr Gundevia been sent; to mend things or tear asunder whatever little there was? Was he sent to hurt the feelings and sentiments, provoking them to frenzy heights just for fun in order to amuse certain sick minds out there? It was all because of him that the Peace Talk failed miserably and the Peace Mission’s Proposal went barren.
Although the Talk had technically failed and got hopelessly deadlocked; in order to accord it a dignified send off, the same was “upgraded” to the Prime Ministerial level and met its natural death.
If the GOI in all honesty would rightly recognise the Naga Issue to be actually “political” in nature and essence; wise and seasoned politicians and/ or veteran statesmen must surely be deputed and appointed to tackle the matter. Bureaucrats of any cadre and calibre are most singularly unsuitable for the job on hand.
There are plenty much more of hurdles than ladders for bureaucratic realms and reach for to arrive at an amicable solution to the grand and unique Naga Issue; no offence meant.
The way ahead sure is a long one yet. For a start, India needs to honestly and sincerely right all the multitudinous wrongs she had blundered on from the very beginning; and then adopt and pursue the right attitude – that’s the one and only possible ‘starting point’.
Here are but just a few differences in our policies: Nagas – Right is Right but GOI says Might is Right. GOI dreams of a solution, ‘any solution’ within the Constitution of India; but the Nagas are most resolute that we have absolutely nothing to do with the Indian Constitution. GOI thinks and acts that Nagaland means the Indian made Nagaland State; but for the Nagas it means all the Naga inhabited area divine. Even in our spirituality, the Indians say India for Hinduism whereas for us it is Nagaland for Christ most definite.
As matters stand now, there simply is no meeting point. But a solution must surely be found and successfully arrived at. Ruminate most thoroughly, hard and deep; and may the Omniscient God of all Ages help and bless us all, friends and foes alike. Amen.
Thank you. KUKNALIM.
Gen (Retd) Thinoselie
M Keyho, President of Naga National Council