By Neingulo Krome
India – who is not only a signatory country of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also made important contributions in drafting the UDHR, has time and again proved itself unreliable to its own agreed principles in the courses of the peace discourses with the Naga National Movement which is born out of the inherent, legitimate and expressed will of the Nagas. And while India may take pride for its efficient ability to deceive the Nagas the world must not any longer remain silent for consideration of the Indian market and must muster the moral authority to prevail upon India to be truthful and in earnest resolve one of the world’s longest political conflicts, the Indo – Naga political impasse.
One is reminded that when the 9 – Point Agreement, also called the Air Akbar Hydari Agreement was proposed, India in no time went back on its own words. The first Indo-Naga Ceasefire, which was agreed upon in 1964 with the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN), was also unilaterally abrogated by the Government of India, which needs no explanation. And war was waged to which the innocent civilians, women and children were the worst sufferer.
Ultimately, India admitted that this is political and not a law and order problem and cannot be solved militarily. So when Indian leaders sought political solution with leaders of the Naga National movement, Nagas again were not found wanting. And the second Indo-Naga Ceasefire was declared on July 25, which comes into effect from the 1st of August 1997, between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim – IM.
It is more than two decades now since political negotiations have taken place and many hurdles have been overcome, with India coming to terms with some of issues that are dear to the Nagas, without which Nagas will also be unable to come to terms with the needs of India.
However, at various stages of the dialogue, the GoI has attempted and is still attempting to undo its very own agreed principles. This was again proven when India wanted to push for a solution within its convenient parameters if Nagas wants “solution and not election”.
On the other hand, in spite of the very difficult differences amongst Nagas that has come to play in the course of the Naga National movement, and which has been the excuse for GoI to keep delaying the political settlement, the coming together of the 6 Naga National Political Groups, the various tribal hohos and civil society organizations, including the different Indian state political parties and groups, along with the NSCN-IM which has been holding talks for the last more than 20 years, asking GoI for Solution not election at this point in time, the finest opportunity to settle the Naga issue was provided. But not surprisingly, GoI chooses to seek another delay tactic, an understandable tactic, which has caused many losses to the Nagas both physically and psychologically including those of tiring out both people in the national movement and the Naga public.
However, it will be mutually beneficial and India too will be doing itself a big favor if the Naga issue is settled honorably as per the understanding that have been reached, on the broad-based laid down parameters from that of respecting the unique history and situation of the Nagas towards a Peaceful Co-existence between Indians and Nagas as two entities at the earliest possible time.
Neingulo Krome is Secretary General, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights, Kohima