United We Must Stand
So much has been talked and written about the Indo-Naga peace talks over the last few weeks after the government of India’s interlocutor RN Ravi made it clear that the Indian government wanted to solve the Naga political issue within three months, which ended on Thursday. Sadly, few weeks leading up to this “deadline” saw social media being bombarded with rumours and many, both young and old resorted to war of words. Government officials had to ask the public to not spread rumours as it was getting out of hand, causing fear psychosis among the public. The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, was forced to issue a clarification on the Naga settlement issue after social media was flooded with talks that India would announce the final settlement on Thursday. “It has come to notice of the Government that lots of rumours and misinformation is being spread in media including social media that final Naga settlement has been arrived at and will be announced soon. This is creating anxiety and concern in some parts of the country,” read the statement, saying that all stakeholders including states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh would be consulted before any settlement is arrived at with Naga groups. It went on to say that “no credence needs to be given to such rumours and incorrect information.” And no official announcement on the much-awaited final settlement was made at 8 pm on Thursday, as claimed by several posts making rounds in social media. Just like the near-panic situation in the region over the past few days being evaporated into nothingness, talks of final Naga solution announcement too turned into just another piece of rumour. This calls for the need to authenticate content and avoid spreading incorrect information.
In the meantime, the talks between the government of India’s interlocutor for Naga peace talk RN Ravi and the negotiators of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) is said to have had a positive outcome. Rigorous talks between the two parties over the last few days seemed to have paid off as a reliable source has informed that they have reached a meeting point on the demand for a separate flag and constitution. Even as we wait for the official announcement, the effort made by the Indian government to solve the seven-decade old insurgency issue with all seriousness is praise-worthy; more so because it brought all the major groups – NSCN (IM) and NNGPs – and civil society organisations on board, clearing the fear of many that another blunder could be made like in the past by leaving out some groups. India has manifested its maturity as a nation by sticking to the principle of using dialogue and mutual trust to solve international and domestic issues. Now that the talks have come this far, the parties involved should work together with all sincerity and not derail it. Public should stop spreading hate messages and rumours on social media but unite, speak in one voice and pave the way for a peaceful, respectable and honourable settlement to the protracted political issue.