Why Keep Concealing the Contents of Framework?
FOR academic interest: The Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang gave a clarion call to Nagas to appreciate the 3rd August 2015 Framework in his address to participants at Tsungremmong festival at Mokokchung on 2nd August 2016. As the speech was published in local papers on 3rd August 2016, the CM added that ‘what India can provide to Nagas should be accepted’ by the Nagas. This is the question. What is or are the offer or offers India is ready to give to the Nagas out of the Framework? Out of the offer or offers, what are the facilities earmarked for the State of Nagaland? What is more silly than asking the people to accept an offer of which an iota is not known? Unless one who knows the merits of the Framework, how one will appreciate it imaginatively and hypothetically except for those sycophants?
What I know about the Framework and I do not doubt about it is that NSCN(IM) had agreed to frame such agreement under the Constitution of India, and therefore that agreement under Framework will be without Naga integration and sovereignty. My assertion is based on what the GOI had reiterated publicly that the issues of integration and sovereignty are not negotiable. The logic is therefore obvious that had the group insisted on cessation from India, meaning Independence and amalgamation of all Naga contiguous areas, GOI would not have agreed to have the framework on 3rd August 2015.
The DAN Govt. headed by CM TR Zeliang has the knowledge of the contents of the Framework as the Interlocutor Sri. RN Ravi claimed. Ravi’s press interview was published in Nagaland Post on 15.7.2016 in which Ravi stated that the contents of Framework were shared with 60 Legislators on 27th August 2015 at the Legislature complex (perhaps at Kohima). Quote ‘I am grateful to the Hon’ble Speaker, Nagaland Assembly and Hon’ble Chief Minister, Nagaland for acceding to my request for arranging a briefing of the legislators on the contents of the Framework agreement soon after it was signed. I am also grateful to all the Nagaland legislators for actively participating in an about our (4) hours long briefing session….I explained, at length, the contents of the framework Agreement and clarified specific queries and doubts of the legislators. The briefing session concluded only after there was no more questions from the legislators’. Unquote. What more explicit evidence I require to convince myself that the present 60 MLAs have full knowledge about each clause of the Framework.
Ravi continued. Quote. ‘I also collectively invited all the Tribal Hohos and briefed them in an over four(4) hours long session on December 8, 2015 at Kohima…..I explained, bit by bit, the contents of the Framework Agreement and responded to their queries till they had no more question to ask. How can it be said that the contents are secret?’ Unquote. The Tribal Hohos headed by Naga Hoho are in the know of the contents of Framework as per Ravi ‘s disclosure.
See the differences of the reactions of Nagas in respective States. Our Naga brothers in Manipur celebrated the signing of the Framework Accord on the 3rd August 2015 evening with candle lit. Again, they had just celebrated the one year anniversary of the same Accord. Whereas, we, the Nagas of Nagaland came to know about the same from TV news. We also had to pass off the 3rd August 2016 in usual silence.
Ravi has kicked the ball to the court of 60 MLAs. Since Ravi had disclosed everything pertaining to Framework to 60 MLAs, it is their bounden duty to share it with the electorates to whom they are accountable. A year has passed since they came to know about the contents, and they continued to keep it as sacred and secret whereby their people are kept in suspense. In other words, it is the MLAs who are withholding the disclosure of the contents, and are therefore responsible for keeping the Nagas of Nagaland in the dark. Therefore, for DAN ministry, instead of giving blind altar call to the Nagas of Nagaland to accept or to appreciate it, disclose those contents for general consumption. The contents are required to be examined, analysed and understood collectively by those who are going to be affected directly or indirectly.
What motive the 60 MLAs have? Do they stand for the Nagas of Nagaland? Do they care for the welfare of the Nagas of Nagaland? While the present Govt is so immersed and obsessed with the Framework, the condition of Nagaland is deteriorating. Look at the protective laws of Nagaland which are abused and ignored. Look at how the established system of governance is placed in haywire. Look at the roads under your ministry. Look at the Schools and health centres.
Look at the Govt. lands which are being rampantly seized by private parties. Look at the Govt. quarters which are privatized by their occupants. Look at how the politicians and bureaucrats are competitively frantic after commissions and kickbacks against every project and deduction of percentage of salary of poor employees. Look at the plight of your employees who are not getting salary for months together. Look at how you have reduced the only investigative authority in Nagaland as Vigilance Commission to a mere show piece. The list can go on.
The business beyond academic interest is: I was one of the delegates of NTC to meet Ravi at 6 pm at Japfu Hotel, Kohima on 8th December, 2015 which lasted for two hours. The principle message we conveyed to Ravi was to have inclusive negotiation for the sake of lasting peace. And therefore when we asked for inclusion of all NNPGs and stakeholders in the negotiation, the only response from him was that when the agreement with NSCN(IM) is finalised it will be disclosed to public. Such is nothing but imposition which is not acceptable.
What I understand and believe the negotiation in question is, the Nagas of Nagaland, being the pioneers of Naga National Movement and have been spearheading the struggle as rightly and factually asserted by NTC, should not have become the second fiddle and forced to accept the subservient role. The Nagas of Nagaland are not supposed to become so helpless and implores upon the negotiating parties to share what is in the offing brewed in camera while the chief stakeholder is locked out of the room as unwanted. We have been fighting as equal partners and should be treated so in negotiation too. Rather, the Nagas of Nagaland deserve to play the reversed role as per the sacrifices invested.
Whoever becomes or is the Chief Minister of Nagaland, his priority is the welfare of the citizens of Nagaland. Whereas, at a very given opportunity, the Chief Minister talks about the importance of Framework as if the rests on ground are ok. As much as the CM tries to give attention to Framework, equal importance should be given to the welfare of the people of Nagaland. The Framework’s importance depends on the merits of the contents which he knows. Therefore, convince the Nagas of Nagaland that by any clause of the Framework, the status of the State will be enhanced beyond Art 371(A).
Rather than playing hide and seek game, better become transparent and make the task at hand to be a collective responsibility so as to have the end result acceptable to all.