By Rh Raising
Convenor of Steering Committee, NSCN (IM)
Respected Chairman, JLF, honorable Chief Minister and his council of Ministers, opposition leader, MPs and MLAs, and my dear colleagues present here.
I am honored to speak on the Naga political issue in this Joint Consultative Meeting.
Ours is a principle-based politics, which calls for a principle-based solution and that, any kind of solution that betrays the principle is viewed as a roadblock.
Therefore, we have been looking for the genuine and lasting solution that can protect our sovereign right, our territories, our identity and our future.
In order to materialize solution, the Naga people fight the enemies through four-pronged strategy.
Our people confronted the Indian and the Burmese aggressions for decades through NSCN. They are now talking with the government of India through it.
b. Civil Societies:
Our people shout for the cause in the streets through civil societies. They express their views on issues in the form of memorandums and representations.
c. Elected MLAs and MPs:
Our people speak in the Assembly and Parliament through their elected MLAs and MPs. You are mandated not only for developmental works, but also to advocate for the rights of the people. We appreciate the role you have taken in the past and the present.
d. The Churches:
Our people pray for the cause through the Churches. Churches are part of the people and the movement.
Through this four-pronged strategy, all sections of the Naga people except a few collaborators fight and speak for the cause with high spirit of nationalism.
2. We invested enough time and energy; we invested our wisdom and resources for creating a conducive atmosphere for talks, but sadly, the past talks or accords could not solve the problem.
3. Our people rejected the 16-point agreement and the Shillong Accord because they could not deliver the goods to the people.
4. We know agreement that betrays the issue of the Nagas never solves the problem because ours is an issue-based politics.
5. The Naga people consider a state built at the expense of their unique history as high treason.
6. Fighting against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is a battle for an amendment of a portion of Indian constitution. It is a fight within the box. It is true that if the flood gate is open to the immigrants, they will over-swarm the people in the North East within a few years or decades.
7. However, ours is a fight for an Agreement on issue between India and the Nagas. We are looking for an Agreement that can protect our future, an agreement built on the foundation of unique history of the Nagas. By unique history, it means – Nagas have the history of independence. They have never been a part of the union of India or that of Burma.
8. Politics is naturally rooted in history. Every nation is the child of history. The day we sell out our unique history everything that belongs to us will depart from us.
9. The Government of India tried to murder the history of the Nagas through the so-called 16-point agreement. But our people rejected it.
10. Had there not been NSCN and its leadership who saved the future of the Nagas from the treacherous Shillong accord, we would be having the history of shame and humiliation today.
11. Dangers that threaten our future:
I. Influx of illegal immigrants in Naga country is a matter of great concern for all of us. How do we deal with this menace? Humanitarian ground has to be looked into, but the political aspect of the immigrants should also be viewed seriously. We should not forget that they are carrying with them the seed of colonialism.
II. Tribalism, divisionism, factionalism and sectarianism are viruses that eat into the vitality of Naga politics.
III. Looking the Naga national issue from the Indian perspective and speaking of Naga politics in the language of Indian constitution will never give us the correct answer to the problem rather they will magnify the problem.
IV. Illegal immigrants for votes: entitling right to vote to the illegal immigrants should be viewed as a national crime.
V. Exchange of land for money. Some people value money more than land forgetting that land is the mother of all resources. Land is the root of our history and politics.
VI. History for position and power is a dangerous philosophy.
VII. Christ for foreign gods has started taking root in the Christian mind of our younger generations today.
VIII. The statement of ‘Solution for Nagas of Nagaland state.’ Do our people believe in the concept of building a sovereign state from a broken part of Nagalim? I don’t think so.
IX. The concept of ‘16-point Agreement is final’ should be viewed as the anti-thesis of Naga national politics.
X. We should beware of the malicious talk of ‘Solution without integration and sovereignty.’ That statement is injurious to the principle of Naga politics.
XI. We are strongly opposed to the notion of developmental package at the expense of national history.
XII. ‘Piece meal solution’ is perceived as a political bait.
XIII. The slogan of unification or reconciliation without solid foundation is just a hypothesis. We cannot build a house in the air or on the water. It needs a firm foundation.
Solution is the rallying point:
The Indian authorities of both civil and military set ups admitted the fact that ‘military solution is not possible.’ It is not law and order problem of India. The Indo-Naga problem is a political problem which calls for a political solution.
The government of India (GoI) and NSCN embarked upon negotiations and finally signed the historic Framework Agreement. The Framework Agreement is based on the recognized unique history of the Nagas. GoI has recognized the sovereignty of the Nagas stating that sovereignty of the Nagas lies with the Naga people and sovereignty of India lies with the Indian people. It has recognized the territories of the Nagas affirming that Nagas are the owner of their land and mineral resources beneath the land and on the surface of land. It has also recognized the identity of the Nagas.
However, it further says Nagas and Indians will coexist as two entities sharing sovereign power. I think ‘co-existence of the two entities and shared sovereignty’ are self-explanatory.
All subsequent discussions are based on the Framework Agreement. Except a few points for final touch, we have covered almost all points. We believe this Framework Agreement solves not only the political problem of the Nagas, but also the security problem of the Indian sub-continent as well.
We can say that this Framework Agreement is the rally point for the Nagas. All Nagas unite in it.
Speech of delivered at the Joint Consultative Meeting with MLAs & MPs, at Rhododendron Hall, Chümoukedima on February 27, 2019.