The Need Of The Hour - Eastern Mirror
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Editorial

The Need of the Hour

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Sep 04, 2020 12:53 am

There was commotion, disquiet and fear, as well as optimism and hope in the air around this time last year, after the government of India set a three-month deadline to conclude the peace talks with various Naga political groups, including the NSCN (IM) and the Working Committee of NNPG with whom India had signed the “historic” Framework Agreement in 2015 and the Agreed Position or Preamble in 2017 respectively. After much-anticipation, it was announced on October 31, the day the deadline expired, that the Naga peace talk had “successfully” concluded on a positive note. It was an anti-climax, as the public expected much more significance than what was announced after three rhetoric-filled months. It appears like history is repeating itself as Naga political issue has once again taken the centre stage almost a year after the conclusion of Naga peace talk was announced. It is also reported that like last year, the government of India is said to have set a September deadline to seal the final Naga peace deal. And the bone of contention is again disagreement over the demand for a separate Naga flag and constitution. Amid these striking similarities, the visible discord between the NSCN (IM) and the Indian government’s interlocutor RN Ravi that surfaced over the last few weeks is a matter of worry, a development that could further delay the final settlement or even derail the talks. Apart from that, several civil society organisations have been resorting to paper war in their quest to find a solution to the decades-old Naga political issue.

It is very clear that everybody — Naga political groups, Indian government, interlocutor, civil societies and public – wants amicable settlement of the protracted Naga political issue. All the parties involved in the negotiation have been working towards a common goal – solution – but it has been elusive all these years due to the failure to reach a consensus. What appeared so near at one point of time seems to be so far away today, but there is hope. The parties involved in the negotiation should build on the progress made from several rounds of talks during the last 23 years. It will be much easier to find a meeting point by continuing from where they had left than to start all over again from scratch. The distrust that seems to have developed between leaders and parties should be replaced by sincerity and genuine mutual respect during the talks. Besides the government of India and the Naga political groups, civil society organisations should play a constructive role – together – towards finding a permanent solution. If there are any differences, they should sit down across the table and solve them; they share more common values and goals than the differences. Political parties too should not try to score some brownie points from the Naga issue or resort to blame game but bury all their differences and work together. This is the need of the hour. If the Nagas speak in one voice and the government of India has the political will, a solution that is inclusive, acceptable and honourable can surely be hammered out.

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Sep 04, 2020 12:53:37 am
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