Views & Reviews
IM’s national principle not bigger than Naga people
As the dust settles, the Government of India (GOI) and its various agencies may have viewed the siege and destruction of IM Camp at Mukalimi Village by thousands of Sumi Volunteers during the 28-30 of December 2013 as a reflection of Naga People’s anti-political struggle or opposition against Naga National Workers. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The GPRN/NSCN will clarify one aspect which is crystal clear: The Indo-Naga political struggle will continue until and unless an acceptable solution is arrived at, between Nagas and the Indian Government.
From the dawn of the Naga political movement to the present, the Sumi Nagas remain one of the most passionately involved tribes in the Indo-Naga political struggle. Did young Sumi men and women become such cheap dispensable commodity in the eyes of the IM leadership that a firing order was issued? Did they not remember the days in the late 80’s and in the 90’s when Sumi people shared their modest meals with escaped and starved men and women from eastern Nagaland? The bones and marrows still contain Sumi food!
The action of the Sumi Volunteers was not against the Naga political struggle. It was simply a displeasure shown against a particular group, a remorseless kind, for crossing all limits of tolerance; for being insensitive to the fact that the molested victims could have been Issac’s or Muivah’s daughter, granddaughter or niece; that a Naga woman be it a mother, sister or a daughter should be treated with dignity and respect at all times. The ordeal of the helpless victims, the just demand of the Sumi volunteers, the lukewarm response of IM leadership and subsequent killing and injury of volunteers suggests a preconceived mindset and flawed policy at play. Like the rest of the Nagas, Sumis are staunch nationalists and they will continue to fiercely support the Naga political struggle yet when their mothers, sisters or daughters are humiliated physically and verbally as on 21st December, the unbearable insult, pain and anger turn into aggressive quest for justice. The astonishingly negative wisdom displayed by IM leadership in the aftermath in not handing over the culprits despite a written assurance to do so is incomprehensible. How could a leadership, claiming to be fighting for Nagaland open fire at ten thousand sons and daughters of Nagaland?
It was about calming a traumatized and agitated tribe nursing festering wounds, requiring prompt dialogue and soul searching steps to restore trust. They chose confrontation citing party principle. ‘…a tribe cannot dictate a Nation’ or ‘why should a nation bow down to a single tribe?’ These utterances flow forth from the so-called party principle bluntly suppress people’s will. It was neither about a tribe against a Nation nor a tribe dictating or demanding to be worshipped. It was about right and wrong. Standing atop their group’s principle, the next firing order could be issued against Ao, Angami, Konyak, Lotha, Yimchunger, Chakhesang and other Naga tribe volunteers if, God forbid, such animal behavior is exhibited by their cadres again and another public anger arises. Vague idea such as the ‘National Principle’ in decades has wiped out a cream of Naga intellectuals. It is unfortunate that Mr. Kraibo Chawang of IM, instead of going back to the drawing board and advising his leaders that the people cannot be fooled or threatened, chose to implicate GPRN/NSCN and others to save face. He failed to realize the difference between a paper boat and Noah’s Ark.
The local dailies on 8th January issued by Sumi Hoho, announced the decision of the Sumi people against IM ceasing all co-operation. It implied that Sumi participation in the Naga political movement would continue but would be people based. On the same day Mr. Isak Chishi Swu sent a message to Sumi people. And the people, both Sumis and non-Sumis could sum up whether the message was an extension of olive branch to Sumis or a dire threat against Sumi leaders. Ten thousand or more volunteers mobilized by the Sumi Hoho, Sumi Totimi Hoho (STH), Sumi Students Union (SKK) and Sumi GB hoho cannot be called a mob. Those were enlightened folks defending the prestige and honors of their women. Nagas have come a long way and all leaders must abandon me, me, and me attitude.
Having Mukalimi camp destroyed by Sumi volunteers is nothing since many similar camps could be erected yet seldom has any Naga leader at any era of our struggle, given order to open fire at Naga volunteers. This unsavory incident is not related to Indo-Naga Political issue but a serious violation of human rights by the perpetrators and equally by the organization to which they are affiliated to. The people have greater knowledge now though unarmed. Whether it was lack of wisdom, arrogance or plain hatred for a tribe, in the end it was not Sumi volunteers but resilient Naga spirit that triumphed.
Ministry of Information & Publicity,