Finally, a settlement to the long drawn Indo-Naga political issue which had persisted for more than 60 years is now imminent. That is what the Naga people are told, and that is what the Naga people believe and are hopeful of. Leaders from the national level, the state and NGOs have repeatedly been talking about an inclusive ‘final settlement’ to the issue.
The peace process has been going on for more than 20 years and the 3rd August 2015 ‘peace accord’, more popularly termed the ‘framework agreement’, more than two years. We cannot be hasty in making decisions for a matter that is of national importance, however, the Indo-Naga issue has been stretched for too long. When we talk about an inclusive solution, an inclusive political settlement, reconciliation has to be the keyword, then come power sharing, security and peace.
Naga people are placed in two countries- India and Myanmar, and across four states in India- Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. How much of these, will the ‘framework agreement’ cover? Any solution or settlement that comes, it cannot be conclusive or final if it does not cover all the Nagas.
The words that our leaders us about the peace process are almost becoming hackneyed and rhetoric: ‘inclusive, honourable and acceptable’, unless it includes Nagas from both the countries.
We are talking about peace, but are we at peace amongst ourselves? That is one question the Naga people should be asking at this juncture.
There is so much of squabbling within ourselves and we can go on forever swapping accusations and harbouring bitterness but we must take care not to distort the facts, the Naga history and the true Naga aspiration. We must strike a balance between our past and our future.
Talks of a final settlement have been going on, with many leaders saying solution is very near, the President of India joining the chorus on Dec. 1 while gracing the inaugural function of this year’s edition of the Hornbill Festival in Kisama. However, no one has given surety on a timeframe so far, and people continue to prepare for the state assembly election, due in February 2018.
It is clear that a settlement is looming but things are still uncertain and we can only be hopeful for normalcy, for a normal life post-settlement. With the year coming to an end, we wish for a fresh curry, and a more consistent House, should solution to the Indo-Naga issue prolong.
Let us bury all our blames, accusations, complaints, problems and bitterness, and hope for the best.