As the negotiating parties; Government of India (GoI) and National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) come closer to signing the final deal, the people are fragmented by diverse opinions with assorted apprehensions. The intellectuals, CSO leaders, political leaders, religious leaders, etc, have started to sing the song of solution with different genre, changing the original lyrics bit by bit, according to one’s convenience, nonetheless with the same song title to fool the listeners.
From the beginning of any known civilisation, we are made to understand that the world has differences in opinions for every topic, that is the reason why learned political scientist have coined the word ‘school of thoughts.’ There were differences in political thoughts from the initial period of Naga national movement; visionary and opportunist. History has clearly taught us that the opportunists always have an upper hand but that is only for a short duration. The Naga movement has witnessed some disastrous political ventures by opportunist leaders, setting a classic example of ‘failed’ policy for other struggling nations. A lesson the government of India and some opportunist leader miserably failed to learn. The Naga People’s Convention (NPC) created by the Indians through a process of enticing some few Naga youths and elders bore futile result. While, the undeniable historic Naga plebiscite of 1951 was a clarion call and the principle still stands today. The legacy of the NNC and its struggle was cheaply sold out for the advantage of few by the so called convention. Little did they know that the struggle wouldn’t end right there.
Many leaders took the baton of Naga sovereignty and marched forward under the banner of NSCN in 1980, after the infamous Shillong Accord. Seeing the rapid progress of the Nagas in the international platform and realising the futility of having hostile Nagas and having understood that Nagas cannot be crashed by arms, the NSCN was formally approach by the government of India for peace-talk. The talk aimed to end all conflicts and peace to prevail. The NSCN signed the ceasefire agreement with GoI in 1997 after repeated request from the GoI. Fast forward to 2015, the NSCN and GoI again signed the historic Framework Agreement (FA). Four years have gone, yet Nagas are anticipating for the implementation of FA, for better future and just future.
While earnestly waiting for the implementation of FA, we are witnessing a situation where many people are popping out from nowhere, thereby claiming to be the so called ‘intellectuals’ of the society. It is no detective work but if we go beyond their cosmetic name tags, we know that almost all the recent wannabes are; corrupted retired Indian civil servants, non-Nagas with a Naga name, failed activists, failed politicians, failed candidates of competitive examinations, and some just keyboard warriors. Co-incidentally, they all have a similar ideology, the most dangerous element in every people’s movement: opportunist. They are journeying as the contemporary NPC. NNC was taken down, now will it be NSCN? There are untold truths from Ministry of Home Affairs of GoI and Home department of the Government of Nagaland that some of them are fancily paid by the GoI as honorarium. In the same manner NPC was formed but revealing the truth with evidence will be too costly for the people working under the colonial regime. Lo, the devil resurrects.
In the mid of 2000’s, new factions were born, born out of disobedience, hatred, jealousy and again the opportunist nature. The achievement of these factions clubbed together for the Nagas as a whole would be almost nil comparing to the mother factions of NSCN which is IM & K. The GoI found a fortune from the garbage and used these factions to disintegrate the Naga people. It is an open secret that the GoI has sponsored these people to operate in order to play their favourite song, ‘divide and rule.’ It is very intriguing to see these people gathered all their courage to drop the fundamental objective of the Naga movement, yet claimed to be a freedom fighter. The convener of the Working Committee of Naga National Political Groups in the year 2015 said that they oppose the Peace Accord signed by GoI and NSCN,thereby demanded a separate solution for the Nagas of Nagaland. However, today he is making a fool of himself by shedding the crocodile tears for the Nagas living in Arunachal and Manipur, while not mentioning about Nagas in Myanmar and Assam. Such comment only shows the true colour of oneself, Life without principles.
The remarkable part of the breakdown is the leaders of civil societies. Some refused to identify the authenticity of the movement, whereby colluding with defected splinter groups either for businesses or family ‘ism.’ Some even try to break the mother organisations just because they could not find a suiting position, they wish for. In one of the news article, the correspondent asked why the Naga civil society organisations do not try to unite the factions, an unnamed person replied, “No, there is no point. We cannot stop somebody from expressing their views.”
How long will this blame game go? Haven’t we had enough? Are we not tired of reading the media wars everyday? What is that pragmatic solution some speak about? Is compromising the only pragmatic solution? Imagine once and for all if we come together as one, leaving all the differences and the hatred behind. don’t you think we’d be the strongest force India will ever face? Why are we losing the faith? As a Christian, shouldn’t we be even stronger than any other people, because the bible says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
We all want solution, we all want peace but not at the price of denying flag and constitution, which is a legitimate right for every sovereign nation. Without these two main components, peaceful solution is a farce. We are only going to make things worse. So then, why should we repeat the same mistake done in the past? Should our generation also leave another legacy of self defeat against money? What will we tell our grandchildren when they asked why we surrendered our rights? No doubt, the road ahead of us will be complicated; it will never be an easy road. Nevertheless, it would be a great pride for us to share to the little ones that “we all came together and fought.” The age old heritage of; honesty, perseverance, daring, courage and humanity should be the guiding force for posterity. We will never be able to walk down the streets with our heads held high if we compromise on the flag and constitution. The soul of those who laid down their lives for the nation would cry in pain if we fail to stand firm. As NinguloKrome, Secretary General of Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) has rightly said, “I would rather die with dignity than live in shame.”