Trudge of Naga Political Aspiration vis-a-vis Framework Agreement
We (Nagas), as a People are those- whose dignity and inherent rights to live together as a free people-Nation has been stripped, oppressed and exploited militarily and politically by worldly powers; putting our constituent identity, traditions and cultural heritage at risk of being dwindled into obscurity in the generations that is to come. Thus, our ancestors took the pledge to fight against any intruders into our realm, thenceforth we have been endeavouring to reclaim our sovereignty- snatched and confiscated by the invaders all this while.
As an oppressed people, we all want to have our oppressors set us free to determine our own destiny ourselves. We have long aspired for a complete Independence which evokes the sense of patriotism and nationalism in us and it is so dear to even imagine to have a free and sovereign-Naga Nation. Perhaps it is the sweetest dream anyone would have ever wanted to realize and witness in one’s lifetime! But grievously, almost a century have gone by since the inception of our nationalism; many sons and daughters of our nation have fallen to the predicaments of our own makings and faded away into oblivion as unsung heroes. Bloods of the brethren never runs dry across the terrains of our beloved motherland. Sweats, tears, fidelity and honours of our parents and sisters remain un-wiped, un-embraced and un-soothed while everyone keeps dreaming and talking boldly, without realizing the need to walk the talk; and without uniting to fight the real fight to the real foes when we all know that unity is paramount, the only way out in this giant fight. Bothers keep defying and skirmishing brothers over legitimacy of the cause and on petty matters, forgetting our ultimate goal (freedom) that they loves to acclaim at every opportunity that suits their own interests.
Furthermore, harbouring and collaborating with the oppressors just to weaken another brothers for supremacy and for mere self gratifications, paving ways for our adversaries to exploiting our rights further and to humiliates us all without remorse. Seemingly, no one is as serious or even realizes the fact that, we owe nothing to the external powers besides our liabilities of preserving and protecting the legacy of our enforced fatherland. Instead of collectively safeguarding and dying for our God given realm and legitimate cause against the external forces we bled for the cause of adversaries fighting among ourselves. Consequently, we end up sowing more than the cost of heaven battling, for our oppressors’ amelioration, notwithstanding our own lands and identity, jeopardizing our bestowed- indisputable sovereignty.
When will our people realize that we are in a situation where the grips of our oppressors over (us) has been becoming ever stronger and tighter each passing time as we keep fighting among ourselves on the pretext of ideological difference? We all have been left far behind the time and master-plan of our foes while we were living in delusional fantasy world! How do we help ourselves to catch up with the lost time and get off the clutches of these potent despots with this fractional approach? Our ultimate goal is Complete Sovereignty, for which we have bled profusely and still bleeding, but have we ever introspect and retrospect our strengths and incompetence? Have we ever evaluated and inferred our circumstances and inability to tackle or coup with the predicaments we are being plagued with within and without? Will complete sovereignty come by at once through illusions and fanaticism without exerting what we have been literally and openly asserting, affirming or patronizing among ourselves for over a century? We are loosing our footings steadily as we live in the idiosyncratic optimism; that we can unshackle our envisioned goal just by talking, without the amalgamation of our ethos, thoughts and actions as a people!
Social, economic and political revolutions are natural phenomenon of a progressive society or a group of people, and as long as the world exist and Nagas civilization don’t extinct, revolutions and reformations are indispensable. Our lands, our identity and sovereignty belonged to us so long as we strives and live together as an organized group of people. In the course of time and in the race of social, political and economic developments in this progressive world, we must not let any opportunity that comes as a pathway for our upliftment slips off our reach if it does not undermines our fundamental rights and principles.
Coming to the Naga political talks, The Framework Agreement signed between NSCN IM and Government of India on 3rd August 2015 have been doing the rounds all over the social media, public gatherings and group’s discussion with lots of doubts and speculations without much of constructive and pragmatic inputs nor affirmation from the Naga’s general public as well as the other communities of our neighbouring States, because the contents of the FA is yet to be divulged and everybody is being sceptical and fearful of the uncertain outcomes and changes. Meanwhile, amidst observations and much against the wishes and inclinations of the people, the negotiation between the two entities subsists at the National Capital and now it is said to have entered in the final stage. At this juncture the concern Nagas’ are left with just the hope that the collective leadership of NSCN IM and GoI must have taken into account the voices of the people pertaining the various issues confronting within and without. Despite all the NPGs are yet to be taken on-board, which is one of the major concern and anxiety of the Naga people; albeit, the talks has to go on, since that those NPG factions are not just someone to be taken on-board at their whims or wishes without them coming forward. In this situations should the NSCN IM, allegedly, the most influential organization negotiating with the GoI for Nagas, takes some pause and approach the other factions through soft and open arms policy as a brotherly gesture, it is certain that they would have reciprocated and all our apprehensions would have been eased, paving way for safe landing of Framework Agreement. It has been proven from ages in human civilizations that dialogue is the only way to resolve any issue/ conflict. If human approach a human to discuss any issue with the intents to resolve the problems diplomatically, no matter how deep and awful the wounds be, broken relations can be restored.
My outlook and supposition on the Framework Agreement is that, this FA is far behind our delusional dreams of becoming a free Naga nation, and integration of all Naga inhabited areas may not come as a complete ‘ready made’ in the accord- package. However I am least bothered about them as long as the solution is inclusively for all the Nagas’ and it is not being called the ‘final solution’, because nothing is final and permanent in this world. God forbids, Nagas’ do not end up fighting among ourselves once again as if throwing bones among-st a group of dogs.
In my limited opinion, this FA is not as bad as some would make it out to be… The solution through this FA would likely enable the Nagas to have a distinct entity based on the uniqueness of Nagas’ history; a statutory body to look after the social, cultural, customary and economic welfare of all the Nagas irrespective of the arbitrarily bifurcated boundaries. This arrangement would be covered at least for the Nagas of Indian side without emphasizing or underscoring the alteration of States boundaries instantly, so as to tranquilize the opposing states or communities. As I see it, this is a well calculated concept to evade the adverse ramification in the event of declaration and implementation of the Accord. In this context, we (Nagas) needs to be very insightful; sagaciously coherent and rationally pragmatic to deal with the outcome instead of being pessimistic and antipathetic only to impair ourselves. We must anticipate the upshot of this political negotiation with the constructive mindset and envisage what and how we can make the best out of it, rather than loitering with a negative, destructive and antagonistic mindset. There are times and circumstances when and where we are to shoulder change and transformation with ultimatum as a striving people whether we like it or not. Yet nothing to fear, we just need to stay united and look at the situation or circumstance in a broader perspective, giving it a more positive or insightful spin to give a chance for configuration in all aspects and to make the most out of the opportunity.
The fear psychosis of some people that; Nagas from different Naga inhabited areas will flock into the present Nagaland State and occupy, absorb and hegemonize all the lands, resources, jobs, economy or people etc. is a spineless and undeveloped notion and presumption. Non of the Naga tribe is a refugee, we have got our own inherent domain, indigenous and undisputed, so there is no question of snatching or occupying somebody’s domain or share unethically or unofficially. There is no dictum that the epicenter of Nagas civilization or development must start from the Center, East, West, North or South and so the implementation of the FA or Solution. We can choose any potential and convenient place throughout the Nagas’ territories to make our business hub or cities where any Naga citizen can come, buy lands- properties and settle down free of will, so that various tribes of Nagas will mingle up and do away with the regionalism, tribalism and cultism issues in the long run to give more emphasis on our identity (Nagas).
Although, we may not be able to get complete sovereignty as of now because of our discord and incompetence (not to be blamed anybody), once and when our distinct identity as Nagas is being recognized, make integrated as one entity and passed it as constitutional act/ law in the Indian constitution, we (Nagas) will have supreme rights and power over our customary, cultural and traditional way of living and so is our land, because people and their lands are inseparable. We have to be insightful, flexible and creative to re-amend our way of traditional administration and functioning. Decision is ours, because, neither Indian Government nor any other authorities may not have the legal rights to be interfering and giving us directives to do their ways in matters of our cultural, traditional and customary institutions. I strongly believed that NSCN-IM have been bargaining for such authoritative powers and rights from the GoI, despite full independence is not feasible or unattainable at the moment. And if NSCN-IM can achieve such powers and rights for all the Nagas through the so called Framework Agreement, we must appreciate and welcome the solution. It is a step forward if taken positively without being reluctantly faltering in the dept. of indecisiveness and daydreaming. Once the accord is signed and provided the above specified points are attained, Nagas will have a hectic time deliberating ideas and views on how to; shape and reshape, amend and re-amend or adopt new policies for cultural and political institutions of our Nation.
I therefore, frantically urge all the educated young minds to free and clear your minds from hatred, criticism, jealousy and all the negative thinking and attitudes. Stay prepared to contribute your brilliant ideas and inputs for shaping our future generations we envisaged to see or have after us. May God bless all the Nagas with wisdom and good health to be able to overcome the impending hurdles, and to proclaim His gracious Name.
Markson V. Luikham, New Delhi.