On Khekiye Sema’s review
The emergence of multiple National Governments has become a bane to the Naga struggle where the common Nagas are caught in a strangle hold. In the beginning of the Naga struggle, the nominal taxes were raised in order to meet minimum need of the movement, basically to procure weapons, ammunitions and frugal food supplies for the fighting Naga Army.The taxes were also raised in order to prove politically that,Nagas do not subscribe to the rule of India but runs our own self-sustained administration. If we recall the taxation clauses in the earlier Indian abrogated agreements with the Nagas, the NNC has been authorised to levy certain percentages of tax in order to enable it to manage it’s administrative/political affairs.
Taxation is thus inevitable to sustain the struggle for sovereignty and sovereignty is raised not to sustain taxation regime as exponents like Khekiye Sema so desperately tries to make it manifest.The issue thus we face is simple and plain “ How do we reduce the burden of excessive taxation” by NPGs, so that Sovereignty struggle may continue unhindered and in a manner less burdensome to the people or to completely stop paying taxes for sovereignty as ACAUT is trying to enforce by issuing directives to all the HOD’s and business establishments.
To address this issue, let us be very clear about the ideologies of each NPGs upon which taxes are being raised. Except for NSCN/GPRN under SS.Khaplang, other NPGs no longer seem to uphold sovereignty as the core issue of the struggle. In such a situation as we are presently, should not the Nagas decide and stop giving taxes or even voluntary contributions to such NPG that does not subscribe to sovereignty or even those NPG upholding sovereignty? I believe this is the crux of the issue where Nagas are caught hesitant and in dilemma.
It is indeed a relief to learn that ACAUT or for the matter Khekiye Sema acknowledges that, they do not profess against sovereignty but hose NPG taking undue advantage of sovereignty. Thus having discussed explicitly, let us entrust ourselves with the task of identifying the NPGs which may still claim the legitimacy of raising nominal taxes again (nominal) purely for sustenance of the struggle and not otherwise. Or, should Nagas continue to pay taxes to other NPGs too, since they are in the peace process even though it is obvious that “Sovereignty” no longer is an issue in discussion or for solution.
“Yes, every Naga worth his/her salt is directly or indirectly aspiring for a life free of domination from within and without” as commented by Khekiye Sema, likewise Sovereignty is the premise on which the Naga struggle subsists and no to be perpetrated. Therefore to holistically treat the sickness, the symptomatic therapy alone will not prove durable. The “ebola” disease cannot be contained fully by stop giving taxes to NPGs or unifying them but must take into account the unresolved sovereignty struggle and sovereignty based reconciliation and unification.
Therefore to keep the sovereignty movement alive and undiluted, the Nagas may sift sovereignty and non-sovereignty NPGs and accordingly initiate authoritative public mechanism to monitor and ensure appropriate inflow of only minimum required funds instead of attempting to completely fore-go sovereignty struggle.
To be just, the NPGs alone should not be blamed for the worsening plight of the Nagas, instead every responsible agencies either public or private having potential to affect the Naga masses one way or the other should be judiciously scrutinised and held accountable.
It may also be espoused that, unless the ever widening economic and social disparity being perpetrated especially by those public authority is put to an end and the gap bridged, the only valve of releasing frustration of thousands of both educated and under-educated Naga youths, embarrassingly the NPGs probably would somewhat become the only available avenue and the possible swell in the numbers and ranks would only worsen the conditions. The NPGs and Sovereignty, thus sadly again becomes perpetrator as well as the perpetrated. The pragmatic approach to the whole issue thus lay not only in trying to disown/discredit the NPGs but to view the issue from the whole new humane and just politico-socio-economic inter-dependent perspective.