Nagas Have To Accept Existing Political Agreements, Says SC Jamir - Eastern Mirror
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Nagas have to accept existing political agreements, says SC Jamir

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By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Apr 18, 2024 6:57 pm
SC Jamir
Dr. SC Jamir addressing the students of Immanuel College in Dimapur on Thursday. (EM Images)

DIMAPUR — Former Nagaland Chief Minister and Padma Bhushan recipient, Dr. SC Jamir, on Thursday said that Nagas have to embrace a new chapter of unity and accept the existing political agreements with the government of India.

He was speaking at Immanuel College in Dimapur on the occasion of World Heritage Day, which was focused on the theme ‘Perspectives on the Nagas’ struggle for self-determination’.

Jamir said that the two political agreements– the Framework Agreement of Aug. 3, 2015 with the NSCN (IM) and the Agreed Position of Nov. 17, 2017 with the Working Committee, Naga National Political Groups (EC-NNPG) — were signed with the government of India and received with enthusiasm and jubilation.

When asked what he thought was the ‘most favourable solution’ to the Naga political issue, the veteran politician noted that both the agreements were signed after decades of negotiation, and each party would have thoroughly discussed ‘every word, sentence and phrase, be it sovereignty, the plebiscite, the Simon Commission, the constitution, etc.’

Further, all negotiating parties, including the government, “have unanimously agreed to put down all these points in black and white in the form of political agreement, signed in the presence of the Prime Minister”.

“And I believe, on that day the Prime Minister said, this is the first time that the Naga underground have accepted to be in the mainstream of Indian national life,” he said.

In this context, Jamir asserted that the Naga people “have to give sanctity to the agreements”. “In the present circumstances, under the current political realities, whatever the NSCN (IM) has done, whatever the NNPG has done, these are the only possible ways, and therefore the people should accept this.”

According to Jamir, Article 371 (A) is the gist of the 16-Point Agreement that today is called “competencies,” and questioned the need to talk about flag and constitution when there is sovereignty. Flag and constitution are the attributes of a sovereign, independent country, he added.

While expressing his desire for the Nagaland Legislative Assembly to pass a unanimous resolution endorsing the agreements with the NSCN (IM) and WC-NNPG, he said the people have been slumbering for the last 60 years, because ‘they have been totally subjected and oppressed by the gun culture’.

Maintaining that many important issues in the state have been neglected, he called on the older generation to retrospect and introspect, and for the young people to take the state forward.

‘Only state formed through political agreement’

Elaborating on the provisions of Article 371 (A), Jamir said that all Indian states were created under recommendation of the State Reorganisation Commission, Nagaland was formed through political agreement and with a special provision — Article 371 (A) — which grants special socio-cultural provisions and protects the state’s land and natural resources, amongst others.

He also expounded on the evident division in ideology in Naga society and splintered groups, stating that the Naga movement started with only one Naga National Council. However, now “there are 24 cooks to cook one curry. They have spoiled the curry,” he rued.

Jamir went on to say that “is our making that we are suffering today”, as tribalism, vested interests, jealousy, and narrow-mindedness have divided Nagas into groups and factions, societies and hohos.

“If the Nagas are going to achieve as a people then we have to become one. The younger generation should cultivate a Naga mind, enlarge and enlighten your mind. In the name of sovereignty we have killed ourselves. Sovereignty was killed by us, not by others,” he said.

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By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Apr 18, 2024 6:57:44 pm
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