A desert mirage is perfect metaphor for Naga political issue settlement which has remained elusive for decades now. Reports keep coming about possible sealing of final deal, especially after the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) signed the “historic” peace accord, a framework agreement to end the protracted Naga issue, on August 3, 2015. At one point, it appeared as though the elusive solution was within the grasp of the two entities and that peace would finally befall on the region that has a history smeared with blood and violence. But solution never came.
Amid growing impatience among the Nagas, the Narendra Modi government infused fresh optimism by expressing its will to solve the Naga political issue. Nagaland governor and Indian government’s interlocutor for Indo-Naga peace talks RN Ravi had said in the first week of August this year that the Centre wanted to solve the issue once and for all within three months. With the deadline inching closer, people are once again curious if solution will actually come or it will evaporate into a bleak nothingness like in the past.
Well, over six decades of struggle for self determination is a long time and there is a reason for the people to lost trust in peace talks between the Government of India and Naga insurgency groups that have been going on for more than two decades. This trust deficit, which is an outcome of repeated deceit, needs to be bridged and the negotiators should engage in serious talks to end this issue that is affecting both the Nagas and India in many ways. One encouraging development about the peace talks of late is the will of the Modi government to solve the problem. If there’s will, there will surely be a way to break the impasse. Nagas have been yearning for peace and there may not be a single soul who doesn’t want solution. Naga civil society organisations have urged the negotiators to expedite the talks. Most insurgency groups have joined the negotiating table and are ready to pave the way for peace. The government of India too has expressed its eagerness to solve the country’s oldest insurgency. So, what is stopping from solving the protracted issue when there is will from all parties?
There may be some who create confusion among the public by casting doubts and spreading speculations instead of working for a common goal but no society enjoys complete consensus over any issue. India would have never got her independence from the British if complete consensus was the criteria for granting sovereignty. Decision has to be taken for common good. Now that all major Naga tribes and apex bodies are backing the move to seal the final deal, there is no reason for the government of India to hold back the “solution” that the negotiators have been working for years.