Views & Reviews
Against Naga Culture
The Naga Hoho could not react to my first article carried by local papers dated 5.8.2020 through which I questioned as to whether the Hoho stands for the Naga political solution or for procrastination of the political negotiations between the GoI and the two groups of the Naga negotiators with reference to the Hoho’s representation to the PM of India dated 28.7.2020 that appeared in local papers dated 30.7.2020 by which the Naga Hoho demanded the removal of the present Interlocutor Mr. R.N. Ravi, the Honourable Governor of Nagaland as one cannot fail to discern the intention of the Hoho from the statement quoted herewith beside other controversial comments. In the Naga Hoho’s July 28, 2020 representation to PM of India and I quote “With the appointment of Sri. R.N. Ravi as the Governor, it was hoped to expedite the peace process. Instead, he is breaking the hard-earned trust and faith of the people and rendering the 23 years of negotiation meaningless by smearing the Naga history….” “We feel that peaceful settlement cannot be achieved with an Interlocutor (Mr. R.N. Ravi) without empathy and without understanding our people, our history and our aspiration.” Unquote. The quoted statements are the indictment of the Interlocutor so as to discredit him with the hope of disqualifying him from his continuance as the Interlocutor. Whoever is for early political solution would not even dream of replacement of the Interlocutor at the moment. Whereas, if at all the Hoho, in its smearing campaign, manages to convince the PMO for replacement of the present Interlocutor, there will be paradigm shift in the style of managing the nitty-gritty of the negotiations under the new dispensation. Such major shuffling at this crucial moment may even become the vibrant factor by which the progress of negotiations so far made is retrogressed. Having analysed the intention of the Naga Hoho, one cannot avoid concluding that it is nothing else but desperately attempting to thwart the early settlement of the Naga cause and prolong the negotiations indefinitely. Being critical with the Naga Hoho in view of its relentless efforts to sabotage the political solution as observed as above is never out of the blue. Had I not been compelled so, what do I gain from hating the Hoho?
Meanwhile, to my utter surprise, the Naga Hoho President made a complete U-turn statement in Hindustan Times on August 12, 2020 and I quote “We have no connection with NSCN(IM)’s statement and there is no question of favouring or not favouring removal of Ravi as Interlocutor from our side.” Unquote. This statement was reported by Utpal Parashar and edited by Sabir Hussain, Hindustan Times, Guwahati. In that article, how and what was the question so posed to the Hoho President was not published except the answer. Besides, the Communication Cell of Naga Hoho’s response to my article titled “Why Naga Hoho has backtracked?” dated 26.8.2020 which was published yesterday, the 5th September, 2020 by local papers in which it quoted its President’s statement as “we have no connection with NSCN(IM)’s statement of favouring or not favouring “Ravi” as Interlocutor from our side” is found incomplete. What the President, Naga Hoho stated was published in Hindustan Times dated 12.8.2020 and I had quoted it from the paper without mincing and not as evasively quoted by the Communication Cell, Naga Hoho as the words “and there is no question” after the word ‘statement’ and before the word ‘of favouring…’ were found omitted. If the quoted statement runs without the omitted words, the implication becomes less intensive, and perhaps the omission was intentional and not by inadvertent mistake.
Secondly, if Naga Hoho’s intention is “never to delay the Naga Political Solution but it is our solemn prayer to bring Indo-Naga settlement at the earliest possible time” I am to question the wisdom of the Hoho as to how the replacement of the present Interlocutor Mr. R.N. Ravi, the Honorable Governor of Nagaland would expedite the process of solution? If what was stated is the faith of Naga Hoho, why had Hoho undermined the 31.10.2019 meet at Kohima between the two Naga negotiating groups and the Interlocutor in which the parties had agreed to have solution as reportedly known by stating that “…nor is there any progress in the political talk” in its July 28’s representation to the PM of India? Is Naga Hoho scare of solution?
Yes, the original Motto of NSF was “For greater and glory of the Nagas”. We realised the absence of the predicate in the sentence. Five Shillong based Naga scholars were entrusted to find a correct version. Thus, the word ‘lim’ (land or country in Ao) was inserted. Nevertheless, by means of having NSF background I am not bound neither to subscribe to falsehood nor to uphold wrong philosophies. I am a sinful man and the most imperfect man and yet I do struggle to uphold what is real and practical. In my strong believe, the two foundation agreements, namely, the 3rd August, 2005 Framework Agreement of NSCN(IM) and the 17th November, 2017 Agreed Position/ Preamble of WC, NNPGs respectively with the GoI could evolve only after the Naga negotiators agreed to understand and appreciate the position of the GoI and vice versa. Therefore, my understanding of the ground realities is that out of the possible political solution, there will be no Sovereignty and no Naga Integration. In other words, the status quo remains, the Nagas in Manipur, the Nagas in Arunachal Pradesh, the Nagas in Assam and the Nagas of Nagaland will have to remain in our respective States. The signatories of the above basic agreements had already signed it in 2005 and 2017 respectively for the said status quo. The proposed solution will therefore be under the Constitution of India.
If Naga Hoho can manage to convince the GoI to upgrade the status of the agreement better than what the Naga negotiators have already done, every Naga will remain grateful to them. If Naga Hoho can have such solution outside the ambit of Indian Constitution and by which solution if the Naga inhabited areas are amalgamated, who will not appreciate Naga Hoho? Go ahead, but discontinue propagating falsehoods and confusions. Talking beyond the parameters of one’s ability and feasibility makes one farcical.
I do not oppose Naga Sovereignty or Naga Integration, and yet when it is not feasible today, then what is the best for me. The best is what is real is best. By sheer grace of God, the 16-Point Agreement delivered the Nagas of Nagaland from the status of a District in Assam at that time, some 57 years ago. The 16-Point Agreement beget the 16th State of Nagaland. Nagaland became a beautiful tree and I live by the fruits of this tree for which I am grateful to God. The Naga Hoho and those who talks ill of the 16-Point Agreement too are fond of the fruit but hate the tree. The Naga Hoho has the habit of cursing the mother of the tree but usually fights to get maximum share of its fruit. Whoever hates the tree, he is supposed to hate its fruit too. Have sense of shame.
It is good that the Naga Hoho has finally admitted that it has no more legal foothold in Nagaland. As the wearer of the shoes knows better how it pinches the foot, the Hoho leaders know how it decimated it into a controversial organisation by nobody else by itself. In fact, the legitimacy question arises as and when the Naga Hoho tries to impose its authority on Nagaland. I am therefore raising the issue of legitimacy as regard to Naga Hoho doing or speaking anything on behalf of Nagaland. Nevertheless, wherever the Nagas are, we will remain as Nagas and therefore having a proper common platform in future is imperative. This issue may be propped up at appropriate time.
The Hoho is accusing me that I “have been painting the activities of the Naga Hoho in a very bad taste misinterpreting the activities and intentions of Naga Hoho”. Well, my latest two articles on Naga Hoho published by local papers on 5.8.2020 & 26.8.2020 respectively were exactly within the parameters of your published statements and neither duplication of the painting nor wrong interpretation of the activities never arises since no unrelated ingredient was added to it. You, the Hoho, painted yourself and without an iota of alteration I exhibited your exact picture in the public domain which may not be to your taste and yet I did it for the common interest. Can the Hoho be specific about my misinterpretations of your activities and intentions? My reactions were specifically confined to the issues raised by the Hoho through press media. I simply reminded you of what you have done to our people.
The Nagas of Nagaland have been very magnanimous. For decades together, the Nagas of Nagaland have been feeding and caring for the Nagas as a whole. Whereas, in lieu of being grateful and appreciative, we are being blamed as parochial, regional and selfish. The Nagas of Nagaland do not grudge for not having a regional platform like UNC in Manipur but remained the biggest contributor to Naga Hoho till it pulled out from the present team. Having never raised the issue of NTC’s legitimacy by Naga Hoho is not the qualification of the Hoho. What locus standi Naga Hoho has to raise this question against the NTC? The Hoho when formed did not do so badly and the Hoho is the right platform to unify all the fragments of NNPGs in particular and all the Civil Social Organisations (CSOs) in general.
Unfortunately, as the years rolled by, it wasted its valuable decades in its sycophantic realm as it became puppetish by which it lost its mantle and its present status is the result of its sycophancy. Yet, the Hoho is trained to brag about Naga unity and integration though it could not unite even two NNPGs all through these years as compared to NTC which, by God’s grace, unified 7 NNPGs. The concluding sentence of the Communication Cell, Naga Hoho states “Hence any misadventure in the process of lasting solution should be own moral responsibility by those who works to divide the Naga family”.
Whether Naga Hoho considers exclusive political negotiation to be the better option to avert ‘misadventure’? Whether Naga Hoho is apprehensive of such ‘misadventure’ in the peace process because of the ongoing inclusive political negotiations? Who plays the divisive role whether the one who fights for exclusiveness or the other who works for inclusiveness? All these maneuverings and cunning manipulations are alien to the bona fide Naga culture.