The Truth About Indo-Naga Relations
Nagas and Indians were strangers to each other. Nagas never knew Indians nor do the Indians knew the Nagas. It was because of the British who put the Nagas under the Indian state, which was without their consent. Taking advantage, Indians forcefully occupied the Naga Hills.
From time immemorial, Nagas were never a part of India or any other nation. Nagas were asked to join the Indian Union only after India got her independence. But, unlike other princely states, Nagas refused to be a part of Indian Union. Nagas are still committed to the 1951 plebiscite where 99.9% Nagas voted in favor of independence. Nagas cannot betray the wisdom of our forefathers who have taken the right decision at the right time.
Following the intense political struggle, the Nagas gave their mandate to NSCN to bring an honorable and acceptable solution. Ever since, we NSCN were never found lagging to meet Naga people’s expectation and the aspiration of the hundreds of thousands martyrs.
NSCN did its best in all fronts, be it military, diplomatic or political. We were successful in mobilizing for Naga’s cause across the five continents. We were given the privilege to speak in United Nations (UN) after we became a bona fide member of Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). In the military front, we proved ourselves as a force who fought to the last man standing, which ultimately made the Indian army generals to admit that military solution is not possible.
Henceforth, the Government of India (GoI) started exploring contact with NSCN to bring about political solution. Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narasimha Rao met NSCN Chairman, Mr. Isak Chishi Swu and General Secretary, Mr. Th. Muivah in Paris (France) in 1995 to start political dialogue.
This ultimately resulted in the declaration of Indo-Naga ceasefire on 1st August, 1997 with the following points of agreement:
1. Talk at the highest level
2. Talk without any pre-conditions &
3. Talk in a third country
Five years after the formal talks started, the hard negotiations began to show result when the Government of India gave recognition to the unique history of the Nagas and situation on 11th July, 2002 at the Amsterdam (Netherlands) meeting.
Having established a strong foundation after the agreement on unique history of the Nagas, the Government of India and NSCN finally signed the historic Framework Agreement on 3rd August, 2015 to form the basis for the solution of the Naga political issue. NSCN has stood by the spirit of the Framework Agreement till now.
The Government of India signed the Framework Agreement in recognition of the sovereign right of the Naga people and that solution will be based on the uniqueness of the Naga history as two entities (shared sovereignty).
At the crucial stage of the talks, the Government of India is now backtracking from the Framework Agreement in complicity with some few Nagas who are dancing to the tune of the GoI. These few Nagas have taken the abominable path to support the divisive policy of the Government of India simply for the fulfillment of their selfish and vested interest, and thus compromising the God given right of the Nagas. They have shown least concern for the hundreds of thousands Nagas who sacrificed their lives for the cause of free Nagalim. Such Nagas who support Indian policy to deny Naga’s legitimate rights will surely be cursed by the spirits of the hundreds of thousands who sacrificed for the Naga cause. The Government of India clearly knows the independent right of the Nagas but for the few Nagas who love money more than the right of the Naga people, India entered in collusion with this small groups.
Any political group who feel exhausted working for the Naga cause should have quietly left the field for others to carry on. But, to sell out Naga’s rights they have gone too far. How can we allow someone to stand in the way to Naga political salvation? Is it wise on the part of the Nagas to remain silent and allow selected few to freely betray the nation?
Hundreds and thousands of crores can never bring back the lives of half a million who sacrificed their lives for Naga’s political cause. Why should we put our younger generation to shame for the satisfaction of financial pleasure?
Our past leaders like AZ Phizo, Imkong Meren, Kughato Sukhai, Scato Swu, Isak Chishi Swu, Khodao Yanthan, General Mowu, General Kaito Sema, General Zuheto Swu, General Kholi Konyak, SS Khaplang and others never talk of independence or solution for the Nagas of Nagaland state only. The spirits of these leaders will surely haunt them for deviating from the national course set by them with blood, sweat and tears.
Thousands of Nagas from Burma, Manipur, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh have sacrificed their lives for the future of the whole Nagas and not for the Nagaland state alone. Their sacrifice is not for a particular tribe or community, but for the whole Nagas beyond artificial boundaries.
It is difficult to imagine how we Nagas should betray ourselves, and also betray our God who gave us this precious land and the right for self-determination. How can we proved ourselves to be so short-sighted?
I have no doubt that 99.9 % of the Nagas still support the 1951 plebiscite and stands for Naga independence. I am sure, in the deepest of their hearts they still vouch for Naga flag and constitution because it matters our relationship with God who gave us the flag more than seven decades ago. Today, how can we deny God by abandoning the flag? We better fear God than fear any power on earth.
My dear Naga brothers and sisters and my respected elders, Nagas are made by God to live as one family. We should not try to break the family God has made. It never pay a dividend to go against the will of God.
Maj. (Retd.) Hutovi Chishi,
Convener NSCN steering committee