‘Naga Collective Spirit’: One more landmark planted in the Naga journey
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Sep. 10: Altogether 14 Naga organisations including two political entities have signed a statement named the ‘Naga Collective Spirit,’ declaring their solidarity to the ‘Naga political and historical rights,’ on September 8 at the Nagaland Police Complex at Chumukedima in Dimapur. The meeting was convened by the Forum for Nagaland Reconciliation (FNR).
The accord contains four points one of which urges neighbours of Naga ancestral lands to partner with the Nagas to bring positive change and transformation in the region. “To embrace the common humanity we share with the various neighbours who border our Naga ancestral homeland. Honouring the Naga historical and political rights is not at the expense of our neighbours’ rights. Similarly, upholding our neighbours’ rights cannot be at the expense of Naga rights,” the statement read.
When asked about the content of the accord, the convener of FNR Rev. Dr. Wati Aier told Eastern Mirror: “We were not trying to stir what the present political framework should be. That’s not our concern.”
Clarifying further he said, “It’s clear that the historic political rights of the Nagas maybe unique but there are also other unique histories that we can’t undermine. While we are very passionate about the historic political rights of the Nagas. Let us not do it at the expense of others. The present political talks will continue and we are not against that. But at the same time we must also be reminded that we are living in a global context.”
On the reason why Nagas of Myanmar and Arunachal Pradesh were not signatories of the ‘accord,’ Aier cited distance as a predicament and said “distance is very important.” The convener added that they were in solidarity with the accord though. “The situation is such that, it is very touchy. But we are satisfied with whoever signed the accord,” Aier said.
The vice president of the United Naga Council, NG Lorho, said that organisations and bodies that were not present during the signing of the statement may sign it if they agree to it and added “anyone could sign.” He went on to say that the meeting was to “reason together” and sort out differences.
Other points in the statement included acceptance of the Naga people’s historical and political rights as the manifestation of their common hopes and dreams. It also decided to demonstrate statesmanship based on the principle of self-determination, and inclusive good governance that embraces a democratic vision, values of human rights, the rule of law and the inherent dignity of every human being as well as the collective dignity of all Nagas. Further, it resolved to “continue pursuing the path of reconciliation and justpeace (sic) through nonviolent means with greater resolve and commitment.”
The signatories to the statement included representatives from the Nagaland Joint Christian Forum; Naga Mothers’ Association; Naga Women Union, Manipur; Naga Hoho; Naga Students’ Federation; United Naga Council; All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur; Rengma Naga Peoples’ Council, Assam; Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights; Consultative Committee on Just Peace; Naga Shisha Hoho; Forum for Naga Reconciliation. Besides, two legislators representing the People’s Democratic Alliance and the Naga People’s Front also signed the agreement.