An Appeal To The Churches To Pray For The Indo-Naga Political Talks - Eastern Mirror
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Op-Ed

An Appeal to The Churches to Pray for The Indo-Naga Political Talks

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By EMN Updated: May 11, 2024 12:07 am

Greetings to all brothers and sisters in Christ in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

At the very outset, we would like to give a short historical background of the Nagas:

History has it that the Nagas have been a free people from time immemorial. Of course, there were sporadic fightings between the Nagas and their neighbouring peoples and nations. But at no point of time has the Nagas ever been subjugated by any regional power. Free Nagalim is the history and foundation of the Naga politics.

The British imperialist forces intruded into Naga territory in 1832, to which the Naga people put up strong resistance for fifty years. Subsequently, the British forces could occupy only a part of the Naga territories leaving the rest part, which they called ‘Free Naga area’ remains as free as ever.

In the meantime, American Missionaries namely Rev. Dr E. W. Clark brought the good news to the AoNagas in 1872; Rev C.D. King established Kohima Baptist Church in 1883 and Rev. William Pettigrew, brought the message of good news to the TangkhulNagas in 1896. The word of God opened the eyes of the Nagas spiritually and intellectually that they took a U-turn from their old perception of life to the new one and from darkness to light. Indeed, the word of God transformed them into new beings.

It was followed by social and political enlightenments. On the eve of the British departure from the Indian subcontinent, the Nagas in the British occupied area declared their independence on 14th August 1947 on the basis of their national right and principle.

After the lapse of British power, the Indian Constituent Assembly invited the Naga people in 1950 to join the Union of India, but the Naga people said NO to it. The Nagas are not a party to the Union of Burma, neither to the Union of India. That historic decision saved the future of the Nagas.

From 1946 to 1955, Nagas had done their utmost to solve the Indo-Naga political issue through peaceful negotiation across the table, but the Government of India sent thousands of its armed forces for forcible occupation of Nagalim, where tens of thousands Nagas including innocent children and old people were butchered; women were raped and some others were burnt alive.

In 1963, the Government of India offered an autonomous Nagaland state within the parameter of Indian constitution with an eye to hook the Nagas with that bait, but it was rejected by the Naga People. Realising the futility of seeking military solution, the Government of India proposed a cease-fire agreement to the then Federal Government of Nagaland in 1964 for political talks at the Prime Minister level. The negotiations

however, ended in dead-lock on account of colonial policy of the Government of India.

In it’s another attempt to subdue the Nagas, the Government of India imposed the infamous Shillong Accord in 1975 within the ambit of Indian constitution.

The accord was rejected outright by the Naga National Assembly. Indeed, that historic decision saved the future of the Naga nation once again.

The Nagas are also a sovereign people by right. They have been living in their own country for centuries under their political system of sovereign village-states. They are one people who come from a common historical root. They practise common culture and profess the same faith. They are one in a common political will. There is no Indian Nagas or Burmese Nagas. There is no Nagaland Nagas, Manipur Nagas, Assam Nagas or Arunachal Nagas as propagated by the enemies. They are one because God created the Nagas with Naga materials and that no Naga can stay apart from his/her national identity. The Nagas have never accepted the Indian constitution and Union of India at any point in time. The declaration of Naga independence on the 14th August 1947 and the plebiscite conducted on the 16th May 1951 where 99.9% Naga people voted in favour of sovereign independent Nagalim are strong cases in point. The world community and many sympathiser countries have acknowledged the fact that the issue of the Nagas is a legitimate case that demands no further question other than that of national independence, not that of secession.

Mahatma Gandhiji, the father of India said, “The Nagas have every right to be independent.” Many prominent Indian leaders had stated: “We don’t believe in forced union or forced marriage.” Mr Jayaprakash Narayan, a Member of the Indian Parliament had said, “It is far better to have friendly Nagas on our frontier rather than unfriendly and discontented kept forcibly within India.”

Above all, the name of the Lord is with the Naga people. The word of the Lord is the foundation of Naga nationhood that inspires and guides the Nagas and has brought them thus far. It is their source of strength they can never part with. The Nagas are national issue-oriented people. They have been fighting for their cause with full conviction and commitment since the movement started. They know they will surely perish the day they give up their national right and depart from the Lord.

After decades of confrontations, the Government of India (GoI) and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) finally resumed political talks in 1997 culminating in the signing of the historic ‘Framework Agreement’ on August 3, 2015. Our honourable AtoKilonser (Prime Minister), Mr Th. Muivah reiterated the stand of the Nagas in the talks time and again, stating that ‘the Nagas have neither been a part of the Union of India nor that of Burma either by conquest or by consent. It is a case of resistance against invasion by India and Myanmar, pure and simple.’ The Nagas were compelled to fight back the aggressor states in defence of their land, their national right and future.

In the signed Framework Agreement, acknowledging the independent nature of the Naga people, the Government of India officially recognised the uniqueness of Naga history.

Basing on the universal principle of democracy, the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) concur that sovereignty is with the people and therefore, sovereignty of the Nagas is with the Naga people. It is generally understood that land, government, constitution and flag of a people are components of sovereignty. We cannot talk of sovereignty apart from these basic ingredients. The Government of India has recognised the land of the Nagas and their legitimate right to integrate all their ancestral domains under one political roof.

Coexistence of the two entities (Nagas and Indians) sharing sovereign power has also been agreed upon.

In spite of all these commitments and agreements, the Government of India is trying to backtrack and disown the Framework Agreement by creating situations through the agencies of its surrogate Naga factions, opportunists and the neighbouring peoples who are hostile to the cause of the Nagas. The Government of India is playing time. But the Naga people under the banner of National Socialist Council of Nagalim stand firm on the historic Framework Agreement signed on the 3rd August, 2015.

Nagas believe that this Framework Agreement will certainly bring a durable peace in the land and a lasting relationship of the two peoples. It will also guarantee the security of India and the future of the Nagas. All rational people of both parties fear that betrayal of the Framework Agreement will amount to murder of peace and progress in the region, which they feel will be too costly.

In the event of failure of the current talks we are apprehensive that horrible human right situation will return in Nagalim. The Naga people are convinced that this prolonged Indo-Naga political talks should be concluded honourably.

Therefore, we appeal to all Churches to pray for the Indo-Naga political talks and also for the peace of Nagalim.

May God bless you all!

National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN)

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By EMN Updated: May 11, 2024 12:07:37 am
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