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Views & Reviews

Define the Role of Facilitator

By EMN Updated: Dec 18, 2018 11:22 pm

It may be bitter to chew the cud or to swallow it by way of reminding of what indeed has become very unique with Naga National movement of today. The Nagas have become very potent in disintegrating ourselves into groups and within a span of 40 years, we have 10 Presidents and 10 Prime Ministers running 10 Naga National Governments including the latest group. Of the 10 Governments, 9 have its HQs in Nagaland. Over and above, we have the State Government. Thus, as of now, we have 10 Governments solely dependent on one Govt. financially. Our Naga world has therefore been in shambles for decades. The Naga social fabric has collapsed. We have placed our communities in total disarray. There is so much sense of insecurity in the life of the Nagas, be it tribe, be it organisation or be it an individual. The prevailing situation compels people to look for refuge for self defence. In other words, syndicates mushroomed in the name of organisations of which some are in the greater interest of our people and the rest are ultra vires. When we talk about the disunity of the Nagas, one tends to blame particularly NNPGs, and yet, we, the Naga civilians, are equally responsible for all the haywires.

Whereas, 10 Governments or more in near future, those are by no other than the Nagas and therefore those will remain inalienable part of the Nagas. And as long as we, irrespective of our professions, uphold the political aspirations of sovereignty and integration, those NNPGs will remain to be the symbolic bearers of these principles. On the strength of the symbolic representation, the NNPGs are deemed fit to be nurtured by the public. And as we proceed with the future uncertainties, the potential rate of further disintegration and formation of bigger number of governments is very high. The Naga future is therefore grim for the reason that the wider is the chasm, the bigger is the threat to our survival.

Whereas, even at the very moment, there is no ambiguity as far as the opinion of the general public on nurturing the NNPGs is concerned. The people are tired and angry with unabated taxation. The formation of ACAUT and the recent bandh called by NCD in Dimapur and the subsequent dismay expressed by ASTD and Tuensang traders are indicative enough. I am sure, beside the realization of taxes by NNPGs from State Govt. Departments, from Govt. employees and from traders, unscrupulous anti-people and pseudo elements are having their heyday taking advantage of the prevailing situation. I am also sure the taxpayers have been having harrowing time to discern the deserved from the undeserved. The ground reality is that many Govt. officials are unable to work in their respective offices due to incessant harassments by tax collectors. Whereas, the situation is in favour of the opportunists. The Nagas have now placed ourselves in between the devil and the deep sea.

Whereas, vices of all hue and falsehood have been our oxygen, our food and drink. Dishonesty, selfishness and sycophancy are the chief elements in the character of a people inhabiting that area of land so declared to be for Christ 71 years ago by NNC with the prayer ‘Thy Kingdom come to Nagaland’. In that land of Christ, truths are usually sandwiched and reduced to penult under the weight of the forces of the rich and the powerful. Under such an environment, in my rudimentary opinion, the Nagas are today sectioned into three segments: two extreme groups and a neutral segment. Of the two extreme segments, one always fights and stands for the truth, be it social, political or religion. The other extreme segment remains vibrant in propagating and abetting falsehood and distortions prompted by selfishness with its major task of running the errand. Whereas, the neutral segment is found to be the most timid laced with opportunism, and I rate this group to be ‘a people of let it be’. The first segment which protects truth cannot rely on ‘people of let it be’ despite their potentiality because anytime they can pull the carpet. Therefore, in time of need, the ‘people of let it be’ becomes the strength of the sycophantic lot. Thus, our land is fertile for the growth of falsehood than for truth. Just as there was drought for three and half years in Samaria during King Ahab’s rule according to the prayer of prophet Elijah , Nagas have not been having rain of truth for more than three and half years.

Nevertheless, one may not be necessarily pessimistic with the thought that our situation has gone beyond reparability. The Augean Stable can be cleaned with collective effort. Yet, if one has the belief that nothing is better than something, it implies the preference to perpetuate the prevailing situation. I believe in the principle of something is better than nothing. The Nagas have to look for remedy to the existing imbroglios.

Whereas, the Nagas have the opportunity to mitigate the developed self-destructive systems through the ongoing political negotiations. We all know what the Government of India (GOI) has declared its stand to the Naga negotiators that Sovereignty and Integration are not negotiable now. Knowing it fully, one Naga group has been at the table of negotiation for more than 2 decades and the other has now completed one year of negotiation. It is therefore obvious that any solution that is logically reached, will have shortfall of Naga aspirations. And here comes the argument of whether nothing is better than something or something is better than nothing. A solution at the moment will possibly reduce the number of governments drastically and ultimately that will be the major austerity measure ever stirred. Such solution is the only panacea that can be thought of at the moment. No elaboration is required.

In this venture, the role of State Government is imperative. Whereas, all through these years, the successive Governments under the different leaderships declared to be the facilitator for political negotiations. And whereas, as I find the meaning of facilitation in my Franklin dictionary which goes: (i) The meaning of facilitation (noun) is the lowering of the threshold for reflex conduction along a particular neutral pathway especially from repeated use of that pathway. (ii) The increasing of the ease or intensity of a response by repeated stimulation. The meaning of Facilitator (noun) is the one that helps to bring about an outcome by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance or supervision.

Whereas, the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) resolution on Naga Integration adopted in its last Session on 20th September, 2018 was one of the Naga political agenda. Whereas, it is legal for the negotiator to scrutinize, present and talk about political agenda. Therefore, if the NLA or for that matter, be it JLF, NPF or PDA desires to push through its political agenda on its own, then it has to become part of the negotiator and participate freely as negotiator in view of the political negotiations are in progress at the very moment. Any stakeholder has liberty to take a stand on the given issue, but it is also expected to be transparent at this crucial juncture. Whereas, be it the NLA or any political party, its policy decisions were made public that it would only facilitate the political negotiations between GOI and the Naga negotiators. Therefore, any Facilitator is not expected to act as Facilitator-cum-Negotiator and also not to have double talk. Such resolution can also be read as implying that if solution without Naga integration is not acceptable.

Meanwhile, the local papers dated 15.12.2018 carried the story of what was conveyed to P.M. of India by the honourable Chief Minister N. Rio as the latter urges the GOI to expedite the negotiations to its logical conclusion. Also, the Opposition Party NPF, a participant of 20th September, 2018 NLA session and a member of JLF, urges upon the GOI to resolve the Naga political issue out of the ongoing negotiations before 2019 LokSabha elections as published in local papers on 16.12.2018. These actions of the Chief Minister of Nagaland and the NPF respectively are facilitations in action in its true sense. Can these latest statements of the leader of PDA and of NPF be taken as the official status of both the parties in supersession respectively?

Z. Lohe

By EMN Updated: Dec 18, 2018 11:22:38 pm