Public rally for early solution to Naga political issue ends; submits representation to PM Narendra Modi
Dimapur, Aug. 5 (EMN): Thousands of people participated in the public rally organised by the Nagaland People’s Action Committee (NPAC) for an early solution to the Naga political issue, at Supermarket in Dimapur on Friday.
People carrying placards that read: “We want solution not election”, “Political talks cannot be indefinite”, “No peace no progress”, “No political will, no solution”, “25 years of negotiation is a generation”, “Stop politicking solution”, etc. stood in the scorching sun during the rally that lasted for about two hours.
Speaking at the event, former president of Eastern Nagaland Peoples Organisation (ENPO), Kekongchim Yimkhiung told the gathering that the Naga issue is not for a particular tribe, region or group but it belongs to every Naga.
While maintaining that there may not be any Naga who doesn’t want an early solution, he said there is lot of division in the Naga society and urged the gathering to voice out together for solution.
Instead of fighting with the government of India in unison, Nagas are fighting among ourselves and creating confusions, he said, adding that every Naga must stand together, leaving aside their differences, in regard to Naga political issue.
Yimkhiung said that Nagas have been divided into two categories — rich and poor — as a result of the delay in resolving the Naga political issue. If this system continues, there will be a revolution among the Nagas between ‘haves and have-nots,’ he added.
He said that the Naga issue has become confusing and complex as people were not speaking the truth, while wondering why the Naga solution is being delayed despite declaring the conclusion of the talks.
Yimkhiung also said that Naga people must be clear about what they want; must not change their minds about what they stand for; and appeal to the government of India (GoI) to leave the Nagas alone if it cannot bring the Naga political issue to a logical conclusion, so that Nagas can decide their own future.
He added that it is high time the government of India fulfill what it had promised to the Nagas. Ao Senso Telongjem Dimapur (ASTD) President, Meren Nokpu said that people had gathered to send a strong message to the GoI for early solution to the Naga issue.
He said that the rally was not to criticise the NSCN (IM), WC-NNPG, or the government of Nagaland, but the people, as stakeholders, have every right to know what the GoI is giving to the Nagas because the solution belongs to all Nagas.
People want the GoI to follow through on what it had declared on October 31, 2019, that the Naga political negotiations had officially concluded, and therefore urged the Centre to declare and implemented it, he added.
Also speaking at the event, president of Naga Council Dimapur (NCD), Etsungmomo Kikon urged the NPAC to take the issue forward till it reaches its goal, adding that the people were longing for early solution that will bring peace and prosperity to the Naga people.
The representative of Naga Women Hoho Dimapur, Elizabeth, said that Naga women had been silently enduring the ugly side of what was then known as united struggle against the GoI across the length and breadth of Naga homeland.
Looking back from a mother’s point of view, they still long and pray for unity among Nagas brothers, both the Naga political groups and the public, but the bond which had brought the Nagas as one people is gradually dissipating, she lamented.
There was a time when all Naga people came together under one banner when faced with any adversity and this unity must be revived in the Naga society in order to march confidently towards the future, she added.
The Confederation of Nagaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Dr. Khekugha Muru said that Naga solution is bigger than the small issues among the communities. He urged the Naga people to rise above this small issue among themselves and make Naga solution a reality.
While stating that the negotiating parties — NSCN (IM) and WC-NNPG – had given their best efforts and come out with best possible solution for the Nagas, he appealed to conclude the negotiations at the earliest. He added that the public is ready to welcome and accept the solution.
He went on to say that it is time to give space to younger generation; let them forgot about taxation and talk about ideas, technology and start up so that they can move forward. This is possible only through solution, he added.
Sending out a message to the 60 legislators of the state, he said ‘power comes, chair goes but there is no better opportunity to script history’.
General Secretary of Nagaland GB Federation (NGBF) Shikuto Zalipu also delivered a short speech on the occasion.
Representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi
During the rally, Convenor of NPAC, Theja Therieh also declared the “Public representation for early Naga political solution” to be submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through the office of Nagaland Governor.
The representation said that the unending political negotiations between the GoI and the Naga negotiators over the past 25 years has adversely affected the lives of the people and taken a huge toll on the entire system of governance.
“The unresolved political issue has heralded in unimaginable cycle of corruption at all levels, crippling public health care, education and overall infrastructure developments which are in shambles for obvious reasons to say the least,” it read, adding that it has also “produced countless scoundrels and thieves”, disrupting the growth of the society through threats and intimidations in the name of political issue.
It said the future of educated unemployed and school dropouts are ruined due to the collapse of economic wellbeing in the absence of equitable welfare formula.
Maintaining that government projects are siphoned off through “percentage cuts and shares” and private businesses grossly extorted by armed groups, it said there is possibility of highly qualified angry people taking up arms “to challenge those stifling their growth” if the Naga political issue is not settled.
“Your promise to the Nagas has not been fulfilled as yet. Prime Minister Sir, is it not a betrayal to our people, considering that negotiations with Naga groups have officially concluded?” asked the representation.
Maintaining that “the ceasefire and the political negotiations under its peaceful atmosphere are all but a means to an end”, it said “if the means are to be nurtured as the end, it becomes more of a betrayal to the public of Nagaland”.
“We expect GoI to appreciate the patience of the citizens of Nagaland all these 25 years because the people yearn for genuine peace in the region which can be brought in by political solution alone.
“Allow us also to bring to their notice that in the year 2018 when the Civil Societies and all political parties including the BJP unequivocally demanded for solution before election, the BJP breached the trust of the people and had filed their nominations with a slogan ‘Election for Solution’, against the will and wishes of the people which is still fresh in our memory,” it added.
The representation concluded by saying that the rally on Friday was “a firm signal to the Government of India that the people of Nagaland will welcome the political solution and uphold it under any circumstances”.