As the flip-flops and reversals in the statements in support of opposition to the conduct of assembly elections increases by every minute, the very united stand of all the Naga civil and tribe organisations seems not so within just few days. An indicator by the ruling BJP and its various party spokespersons in the region that elections will go on as scheduled put the spanner in the works of the core committee opposing the polls. In spite of the coming together of the Naga political groups and also all the civil organisations and the semi-political tribes organisations, no one wants a repeat of the 1998 scenario. The public has almost lost trust in the current government in the state. Just a year back the huge mobilisation by the tribe organisations against the current government’s decision to go ahead with the Urban Local Bodies election indicates the distrust that the people has for the current government. Any wrong move now which gives an opportunity to any of those unpopular sitting MLAs for another term is not the desire at ground level.
The Naga people never looked so united, however the people are also used to the many false promises over the last seven decades. If the much publicised almost ready solution does not come along soon, the people might not want the present set of leaders to continue in the state. The bungling probably happened right from the top including the President of India and the Prime Minister. The chorus of ‘solution is near, solution is one the way, talks almost done’ now seem were more like an attempt by the ruling party at the Centre to better the party’s prospects in the state. With hardly a month left the BJP is yet to come out in the clear about its alliance with the regional parties in the state. The BJP has swept the country resulting in very few non BJP or non BJP alliance states left. The party may have thought that with its developmental agenda and the impetus it has given to the peace talks, its poll prospects might improve in Nagaland.
Sadly for the BJP, Nagaland also has its own share of Naga right wingers and a unique conservatism where the Naga traditions and customs are entwined with Christianity especially the Baptists. At this age, when Nagas are trying their best to be global citizens such ideologies are unnecessary and also not to be celebrated but the fact remains that it exists in the Naga society. It was only recently that many other sects or denominations of Christianity also could make inroads in this majority Naga Baptist populated state. The people completely understand the benefits of an alliance with the rulers of the country but a situation that indicates the coming of the BJP in a big way will ring the alarm bells, in spite of the candidates being all Naga Christians. The BJP’s expectations might just have been farfetched because such a scenario would suddenly awaken the religious card, especially when its rivals are only too eager to use it against them. Unless tackled properly, the BJP will come out as the villain from this whole episode.