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Nagaland is at the heart of Naga political struggle, says N Kitovi Zhimomi

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By EMN Updated: Oct 20, 2020 7:55 pm
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Dimapur, Oct. 20 (EMN): The convener of working committee, NNPG, N Kitovi Zhimomi, has said that Nagaland is the heart of Naga political struggle “and if it stops beating, the Naga political aspiration, be it in Myanmar, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh or Assam will die a slow painful death”.

In a lengthy statement issued on Tuesday, Zhimomi maintained that the ‘futility of endless political talks’ is felt first by the tribes in Nagaland. “The practical and progressive thinkers have made up their minds that a three year negotiation with transparency and a defined political roadmap for Nagas everywhere, agreed by GoI and WC (working committee) is more acceptable than a disturbing twenty three year undeclared talks.

“In the three years of negotiations with the GoI, the WC, NNPG has completely blown the lid off the perpetual secrecy and mystery of the Indo-Naga negotiations with the unrivalled ‘agreed position’ from whence the first step was taken, with GoI recognising that Nagas have political and historical right to self determine their future in consonance with their distinct identity. The principle of enduring peaceful co-existence with due regard to contemporary political realities allows the Nagas to entrench the relationship while exercising absolute sovereign rights over Naga subject matters,” read the statement.

According to him, after twenty-three years of political talks, when a negotiator declares that Nagas do not accept the union of India or the Indian constitution, it could only mean political dialogue was a circus exercise for personal gains. He was referring to NSCN (IM) leader Th Muivah’s recent statement in an interview to a news portal.

“The much touted ‘framework agreement’ of 2015, by the very utterance, becomes invalid. Whether an emotional outburst or otherwise, the organisation owes an explanation to the Naga people. It reeks despotic, incoherent, unreliable and anti-people character and mind. With such inconsistent political ideas being blurted out at crucial moments, the WC, believes that the reconciliation efforts of the Church, Naga tribes, the JLF and PAM, peace mediators too are wasted since the foundation is constantly shaken and uprooted at crucial moments. Leaders must read the pulse of the people of each generation, one’s perceived philosophy may work at one period of time, the same may not work on another,” he said.

Zhimomi also observed that after a brief lull, there is a visible recurrence of toxic political expletives in the lexicon of political statements and interviews. “What is most alarming and unprecedented is the labelling of apex Naga tribal bodies and civil societies as ‘anti-Naga’ and ‘traitors’ without any compunction.

“Naga movement survives on the untainted existence of powerful tribal institutions and millions of Nagas who are at the attention, standing right behind their own tribal authorities and civil societies. No Naga political leader till now has dared to call 14 Naga tribes or sub-tribes, GBs or other civil societies as ‘anti-Naga’ or ‘traitors’ for demanding early Indo-Naga political solution, honourable and acceptable to Nagas everywhere. To tag or question the wisdom of Naga tribes and civil societies at this hour is very unfortunate…Naga history reserves the right to determine who masterminded divisions, gave genocidal ideas, put them into action and interpreted covert tribal supremacy as ‘national principle’ or ‘Naga nationalism’. Therefore the labels ‘anti Naga’ or ‘traitors’ are best left to future generations to determine who lived and died as one,” the statement read.

Also, Zhimomi stated that ‘post the FNR’s reconciliation and unity initiatives’, the seven Naga political groups — ‘once sworn enemies’—  had sat at the behest of Nagaland Tribes Council and GB Federation through peace mediation committee and came together under the platform of working committee, NNPG.

“The 14 tribes and sub tribes of Nagaland, NGBF, NTC, CNTC, the church and other civil societies were taken into confidence to chalk out what is best for the Nagas at a given period. Despite the most absurd and outright insult by both opponents and critics through incessant and damning propaganda machinery, the endeavour of WC, NNPG till date has been to prove to the Naga tribes, the church, Naga village custodians, civil societies and people at a grassroots level, that warring groups, despite their differences, can forge a United front if each leader accepts the other as an equal,” he said.

In reference to the ‘agreed position’, Zhimomi said that the working committee has had multiple consultations with all Naga tribes and stakeholders, elected representatives of Nagaland, past and present. “After decades, communications with Naga neighbours have been restored. Clear understanding of the negotiated points has been made. It is an accepted fact that there will always be elements who do not see reason.

“Our hope is that Nagas have crossed a stage of violence and bloodshed however, history says the people must be prepared for any eventuality at all times. There is a massive expectation of the Naga people in the ‘agreed position’ between GoI and WC, NNPG and it clearly offers the Naga people opportunity to chart their destiny as a people in consonance with their distinct history and identity while maintaining enduring, inclusive peaceful co-existence with GoI. All political and administrative structures have been prepared to this end. In essence, the spirit of August 14, 1947 and 1951 Naga plebiscite is proudly carried forward,” read the statement.

Further, Zhimomi maintained that “as per the desire of the Naga people”, the committee will prepare itself to find an acceptable and honourable political solution with firm commitment that all unresolved matters shall be pursued through democratic and political process subsequent to the agreement with GoI.

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By EMN Updated: Oct 20, 2020 7:55:07 pm