Naga Republic News
Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh despite the opportunity to inform the Naga public were silent on the Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015 between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) and the prospect of a Naga peace accord that was expected to be signed soon.
On the occasion of Nagaland’s 55th statehood day that was observed on 1st December 2018, Modi took to twitter to wish the people of Nagaland but made no mention of the ongoing peace process with the Naga Political Groups.
“Statehood Day greetings to the people of Nagaland. I pray that Nagaland scales new heights of development and the aspirations of the state’s citizens are fulfilled”, Modi wrote in his twitter handle. The Indian Prime Minister is currently in Argentina attending the G-20 summit of world leaders.
Statehood Day greetings to the people of Nagaland. I pray that Nagaland scales new heights of development and the aspirations of the state’s citizens are fulfilled.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 1, 2018
Surprisingly his number 2 in the Union Government, Rajnath Singh, who was present in the State Capital Kohima for the inauguration of the Hornbill Festival, failed to mention anything about the 20 year old Indo-Naga peace process only heightening speculation that the much talked about ‘Naga peace accord and the Framework Agreement’ have been put into cold storage by the BJP government in Delhi.
Even the Nagaland Governor and Chief Minister refrained from talking on the topic of an impending ‘solution’ although Neiphiu Rio in his statehood day speech mentioned about the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) who are engaged in peace talks as well as those who are coming forward to ensure that peace prevails.
Rio mentioned about the initiative taken on 11th May 2018 when the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) along with PDA legislators had a joint consultative meeting with Naga tribal Hohos and civil society organisations and resolved to urge all Naga political groups to join the peace talks in order to achieve an inclusive solution.
The Nagaland Chief Minister during the 55th statehood day made the oft repeated remark of the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government committing to facilitate for an early solution of the Indo Naga Political issue through negotiated agreement.
Likewise the enthusiasm of Nagaland Governor PB Acharya, who had earlier in March 2018 said that the decades-old vexed Naga political issue would be resolved within the next six months, has now become more cautious in tone.
In a message on the eve of Nagaland’s 55th Statehood Day the Governor only “expressed optimism that the on-going dialogue would result in a final resolution with the support of all sections of society”.
The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh while addressing the gathering at the 19th Hornbill Festival instead advocated that “Hornbill Festival is a glimpse of the Indian spirit of the happy, peaceful coexistence of the multiplicities”. He also said that the demonstration of unity and diversity is what India is all about in the true spirit of “Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat”.
While making no mention at all of the Naga peace process that is now more than 20 years old, the Union Home Minister instead focused on integration with mainland India and about economic development and funding from Delhi.
In this regard, he mentioned about Nagaland’s first medical college for which the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sanctioned Rs. 300 Crores. He also spoke about the North East Council that has funded setting up of a North East Regional Multi Disciplinary Paramedical Institute, Dimapur at a cost of Rs. 4981.31 lakhs.
Mentioning Nagaland as “geographically located at a vantage point”, he said that the Government of India was determined to build and improve “connectivity and engagement with South-East Asia” and Nagaland “acts as the gateway to South—East Asia”.
While acknowledging that Nagaland has suffered for a long time, he called upon the State “to take long strides for the rapid economic growth in the Country as well as the State and be contributors in making India a world power”.
Others who spoke at the inaugural function of the Hornbill Festival were Guest of Honour, the US Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster, Governor PB Acharya and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. Invocation was pronounced by the General Secretary NBCC, Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho, traditional blessings by Village chief, Shikuto Zalipu and the Rattle & Hum Music society performed at the inaugural function.
With inputs from DIPR