The Forum for Naga Reconciliation has finally and boldly spelled out the core problem that also undermines a final solution to the protracted Naga political issue that have witnessed its share of internecine violence both within and without. At a stage where many hope for a final logical conclusion in the form of another political settlement, the FNR stated that exclusivity is the ultimate betrayal of Naga identity. The FNR has indeed touched the heart of the matter by spelling it out.
The Oxford English Dictionary states that exclusivity means ‘the practice of excluding or not admitting other things’. The other related meanings of the word are all similar with the root word being ‘exclude’ that is derived from Latin words of ‘out’ and ‘to shut’. One related meaning of the word is the inability to exist or be true if something else exists. The other related meaning according to OED will be the ‘restriction to a particular person, group, or area’.
The Naga political issue has its own share of exclusivity which was quite distinct nearly 90 years ago when the Naga representation was submitted to the Simon Commission in 1929. A representation that was simple but strong in resolve outlining the very distinct nature of the Nagas in comparison with the neighbours. However over the years the sense of exclusivity have seeped into the minds of the Nagas in almost all sphere of the society and has instead become the biggest stumbling block to have a common Naga consensus. Consequently the Naga movement instead slowly became the vehicle to further other underlying interests over the years.
The Naga social setup has different strata of associations and groups that closely work together for the betterment of the village as a whole. The age group will be the most basic of groups in a typical Naga village. Then comes the others like the Morung groups, clans, khels, and the village. Except when conflicts become unavoidable all these groups work together for the betterment of the village. With modernity came more distinct associations of regions based on geographical areas and then the tribe associations. However, owever H
the differences within and between the different layers of the social setup became more defined and catastrophic with the coming newer system of governance and more varied ways of life. At the top level the tribal rivalries started to rear its ugly head that slowly got intermingled with the electoral processes and also the Naga nationalist movements. The division of the Nagas into different administrative zones and countries just added more fuel to the fire. However every actor play with their perceived good intentions of unity of their group or kind. The work unity has become most misused word among the Nagas. Therefore at present, in a very ironic way no individual or group is working against anybody but working for the benefit of the many different social and administrative setups and its associated people that one is a part of.
It is praiseworthy that the FNR has decided to tackle and finally try to cure the Nagas of this particular ailment that is slowly corroding the Naga society as a whole. The Convenor of FNR, Dr. Wati Aier stated, “Nagas must come to an urgent realisation and act that we are basically at war with ourselves. The ultimate betrayal of Naga identity is not in acting competitively that should be discouraged but in the search for exclusion and exclusivity”. The time has arrived to lend a hand and remove this threat from the Naga society.