What is the meaning of this?
Khekiye K. Sema
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or those focused on the Naga Political issues, the daily news of the last few days is throwing up a rather curious Agatha Christi kind of a mystery requiring Sherlock Holmes’ investigative prowess to find an answer to the great “Lenten Agreement” and its aftermath progression. It is getting to be a tiresome exercise for the FNR and the NPGs to raise the hopes of the Nagas to the zenith and having it dashed before the ink on the parchment is dry… without a noticeable lasting step being achieved. This thing about the travel restrictions on the NSCN(IM) by the GoI as the reason for the inability of the two supremos to attend this crucial meeting at Kolkata is a huge let down especially when the GoI has categorically refuted it to say no restrictions have been imposed on them. It smacks of excuse…excuse… nothing more than an excuse to shy away from a difficult task that could shape a definitive path for the future of the Nagas. Penning an agreement and then make excuses to avoid its implementation makes no sense at all! Sending lesser representatives, on a flimsy excuse, for this defining moment of a meeting, is a clear indication of the insincerity on the part of NSCN(IM). It is plane for all to see without a second guess. There must be more it than meets the eyes. Pray tell us what is the meaning of this? Everyone agrees with relief that the “Lenten Agreement” is an important landmark which could pave the way for a saner Nagaland. However, there is an elementary flaw in the approach being adopted…this mandatory fixated craze for foreign shores and out station location to discuss our Naga backyard problem needs a serious rethink. It has created more obstacle and burden than solve problems…as is obvious to all except FNR…giving space for one excuse or the other to be concocted and derailing this so-called “journey of common hope”. One also honestly fails to understand or appreciate the logic of FNR or the NGPs wanting to fix an out station venue when all the responsible Heads involved in this agreement are stationed in Nagaland. If there is an ill will, no stations on earth can be safe. On the other hand, where there is good will, the lowliest home of a poor Naga in a poor village would be as safe a place as anywhere else and so this persistent desire of wanting to move out from our ancestral home ground at every drop of a hat should be wound up permanently. FNR was understood to have had definite awareness of Mr. Isak and Mr. Th. Muivah not intending to attend this meeting beforehand but still went ahead with it, knowing full well that this would have been a futile exercise in their absence. This lack of sensitivity and pragmatism is unfortunate. A postponement for relocating /rescheduling of this meeting was more honourable an option rather than hurt the sentiment of the other leaders who made a sincere effort to be there. Somewhere along the line the divine purpose of reconciliation seems to be getting misdirected and misplaced. The business of “confidence building” as was reflected in the local press (May 4th 2014..The Sunday Mirror) is another area one fails to understand the significance. It is rather difficult to imagine that the “Lenten Agreement” was signed without confidence amongst the leaders of the warring factions that warrants further confidence building so, is this just another eyewash of an excuse to cover up a fruitless endeavour? FNR ought to be upholding a very strict principle of insisting that such an important meeting must be attended by all the Heads of the organization in order to be productive or not have it at all. Why keep fooling the people again and again?
Meanwhile, information are afloat that the NSCN(IM) and NSCN(KK) have now set up a joint tax collecting operation in coordination with one another. At this point in time, the “Lenten Agreement” seems to have had one positive result from the perspective of the Factions. It has paved the way for them to talk to one another and be able to sit together and collect their respective taxes without killing each other. According to the field information, joint tax collecting points have been established in several areas in Dimapur with a visible joint presence being noticed in (1) Brick factory areas; (2) Khushiabill Village area; (3) Showba Village Gate; (4) T. K. Service 2 1/2 Mile area; (5) Purana Bazar Tata Parking area (near Petrol pump station); (6) Dillai Gate; (7) Nagaland Gate (New field);etc… the list goes on…this is just an illustration. This spells doom for the masses now being exposed to face a more systematic and collective ruthlessness of the NGPs. What thoroughly sickens one’s mind is the picture of our own Police personals seriously involved in the same business of raising illegal tax, sitting side by side with the Factions instead of stopping them…adding salt and chilly on the terrible wounds of the public.
The Nagas are paying heavily for their folly of selling their votes to the unscrupulous politicians who now are totally engrossed in recouperating their election investments by raping the system in happy compliances of the well oiled bureaucratic machinery that knows which side their bread is buttered. It is perhaps too much to expect the present Government to establish a transparent rule of Law…”because of the cease-fire” and therefore ‘they’ are untouchable no matter what law ‘they’ violate. The equi-closeness policy reinforces this stand… after all, it is good for a coordinated business. The desperate picture is complete with all our NGOs and intellectuals choosing to remain indifferently silent as if it is someone else’s problem. So people of Nagaland…be happy… we are well and truly enjoying a Government we deserve! Sell your votes again next round as well and carry on enjoying this depraved situation all over again. Have a good day …if possible.
Khekiye K. Sema IAS (Rtd)
Forest colony, Kohima;