Nagaland Must Stand On Solid Ground - Time To Forego Unrealistic Dreams - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland Must Stand On Solid Ground – Time To Forego Unrealistic Dreams

By EMN Updated: Jan 03, 2023 10:07 pm

By  Dr. S C Jamir, Former CM &Governor

It is a matter for great rejoicing that the dark age of imaginary dreams and visions in this beautiful land of the Nagas is slowly but surely disappearing. How grim and dismal was the time when this pristine land was enveloped in fanciful dreams and illusory chimera, the people readily swallowing even the most absurd possibilities which the fertile human imagination could contrive and present to the gullible!

As in the story of individuals, so in the history of the nations, ‘night’ is the time of sleep,- the time to rest and rejuvenate oneself with renewed energy and vision. Unfortunately it is also the time when people see strange, unrealistic dreams. The people of Nagaland were made to sleep for a pretty long time by dreadful circumstances, dreaming illusory dreams and seeing intangible visions,- detached from reality and flavoured with icings of falsehood. We know that night is the time when the magician waves his mysterious wand, fascinates and enthralls the sense with fantastic tricks. The ‘night’ of ignorance is indeed the time when the deceptive priests and hierophants hold the human soul in hapless intellectual bondage and spiritual servitude. Similarly, in the darkness of ignorance, for several decades, sadly, the Nagas were fed with all sorts of make-believe and fanciful pictures of the Naga future. They were thoroughly mesmerised by all the propagandas that except politics nothing mattered in the Naga collective life. Side by side, anti-social and anti-national elements through their gun culture had unleashed fear psychosis in the minds of the entire population of Nagaland and kept them enslaved. Even today, people by and large are afraid to speak out the truth. But the irrevocable arrival of dawn and daylight of sane understanding had to enable the Nagas to distinguish reality from mere dreams and sieve the truth from falsehood. Today’s younger generation of Nagas, as such can no longer be held captive in the night of dismal and hideous make-believe fantasies and ephemeral dreams.

Whatever the content of their dreams, the pioneering older generation of the Naga political movement committed themselves unselfishly and unreservedly to the cause they believed in, and together with the people, incalculable sacrifices were made. Paradoxically, today the late comers who joined the fray in more recent times are subsuming what they were never part of, and are making tall, unrealistic claims about deciding the fate of the Nagas of Nagaland without the people’s expressed mandate.

A glimpse of the Naga political scenario today indicates that the road map appears to be more realistic than before. The thought process of the people has been awakened to the stern and sacred realities of truth. The contemporary realities in all spheres of human activities have visibly impacted the Naga society as well. There is now a near universal realisation of the futility of being obsessed with past events. Why try to drag out dead bones from the grave and waste time and resources dreaming of giving them imaginary life again? This is not the time to soar into ethereal region of fairs dreams nor spin out romantic fables and myths under the influence of morbid sentimentalism. We should have our vision and dreams of our future based on the stern realities that are in tune with the contemporary world. With clear perception we need to envision the kind of world best suited to the people of Nagaland. And what indeed are the political and constitutional realities where Nagaland stands today?

Obviously, in the First Schedule of the Constitution of India, Nagaland is inserted as the 16th State of the Union of India. Article 371A as a special provision was provided in the Constitution specifically for Nagaland. Since 1964, the state of Nagaland is run by elected Members of the State. It would mean that territorially, politically and constitutionally, Nagaland is an integral part of India. The genesis of how and why Nagaland State was created is known to the entire people of the State. The phrase ‘uniqueness of Naga history’, was first coined and used in a press conference by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but this today has become a common political parlance especially among the underground leaders. Should we also not ask ourselves whether or not we have been making a ‘unique’ modern Naga history? Naga leaders who spearheaded the Naga political movement were true patriots and nationalists. The NNC was not only formed by the Nagas of Nagaland, but the greatest sacrifices for its cause were also made by Nagas of today’s Nagaland.

I have had the privilege of holding certain key positions in the government as an elected representative of the Naga people and one can vouch for the fact that the GOI leaders are well aware that much of the ‘mess’ in the Naga society has been created by ‘outsiders’ and ‘tenants’, as the NNPGs once tried to argue.

Nagas of Nagaland were unflinchingly committed to the cause of a separate homeland. In the initial years of the Naga political movement they lived in blood and sacrifice, and gave their all for the Naga cause. This movement propelled by the people’s aspiration for a greater, brighter  and better Naga future can be treated as unique in the true sense of the term. But as years rolled by ideological differences as well as selfish polity among the leaders divided and weakened the most cherished movement.  

Nagas started killing Nagas mostly on mere suspicions and thereby creating a wide cleavage in the Naga society. The ugly picture of the Naga movement today is factionalism, each trying for one-upmanship at the expense of the other. The multiplicity of extra-constitutional ‘independent governments and authorities’, is not only a source of great pain to the common people, but is a matter of huge embarrassment. Each group functions by the dictates of its own whims and fancies. From such a heterogeneous, conflicting armed conglomeration, to expect order and the rule of law is far-fetched. How can we blame others when in the name of the same cause we are at each other’s throat? Looking at ourselves in the light of the sacrifices of the Naga pioneers, the shallowness of conviction and superficiality of patriotism in today’s leaders become shamefully exposed. Sheer materialism appears to have enslaved today’s leaders across the board.  What sort of a utopian land are we trying to build for ourselves, when the entire people are made to groan under the weight of multiple extortions and rampant corruption in State governance? With socio-economic development at a stand-still, it is amazing that there are leaders who would like to continue with the status quo so that undeterred exploitation of Nagaland and its people could continue.

For them ‘no solution is solution’ so that they could continue to loot the State and its people. How could this impasse be broken? All the elected representatives of the Nagaland State Legislature, the tribal Hohos and Church leaders should with one voice demand that the GOI and the Underground leaders immediately finalise the agreements and usher in permanent peace in Nagaland. Time should not be wasted on interpretation of English words and phrases in their agreements that were signed. Since sovereignty and integration of Naga territories have been ruled out, other issues should not be allowed to confuse the general public.

It is high time that the GOI demarcate the political status of the agreements already signed and raise the final curtain on the Naga political issue. Let the people of Nagaland take care of their State and similarly let others confine to their own States. The public are fully aware of the Agreements of 3rd August 2015,  17th November 2017 and 31st October 2019, and  no further attempts to delay should be allowed for the final announcement.

It is our hope and prayer that as the new  year unfolds, the Hon’ble Prime Minister, in his political wisdom will redeem the people of Nagaland and other Naga areas from the present impasse and usher in an era of stability in this corner of India.

A peaceful Nagaland will ensure acceleration of a prosperous North-east and help realise Prime Minister Modi’s Act East policy.

“ Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth his law, happy is he. Solid vision keeps everyone on tract, chaos reigns  wherever the vision lapses.”

By EMN Updated: Jan 03, 2023 10:07:20 pm
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