TODAY -

Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio calls R N Ravi a 'genuine' man
outgoing Governor gifts hostel in Dimapur

Nirendra Dev *



All that ends well is good end.

Even as the Naga peace accord could not be fructified yet due to a plethora of reasons, at the time of parting ways, the Naga politicians and outgoing Governor R N Ravi has buried the hatchet and state leaders were eulogizing Ravi at his farewell party at the Kohima Banquet Hall.

These developments in Nagaland could have impact in Manipur also which goes to the polls early 2022. Naga militant groups and leaders engaged in peace talks have considerable support base in hilly region of Manipur too. A former Intelligence Bureau sleuth, Ravi has been now appointed as the new Governor of Tamil Nadu.

Ravi, who took charge as Nagaland Governor on August 1, 2019, was also functioning as the peace Interlocutor to the two-decade old Naga peace parley since 2014. During his stint came the August 3, 2015 Framework Agreement with NSCN (IM) and also another, the Preamble pact with NNPGs on Nov 17, 2017.

However, lately Ravi has developed differences with NSCN (IM) and also chief minister Neiphiu Rio over several issues including the "extortion" issue and also corruption. The NSCN (IM) has been demanding replacement of Ravi as the peace Interlocutor.

Nevertheless, the farewell function at Kohima on Sept 14 went off well. In his brief speech, Chief Minister Rio said in times to come, it will be remembered that Mr Ravi tried his best both as Governor and an Interlocutor, to bring a solution to the Naga political issue.

He described Ravi as a "genuine and a down to earth person". Rio agreed that Ravi had a style of his own and acted what he thought was right without "any fear". For his part, the outgoing Governor said he has immensely benefited by the inherent love and affection of the people of Nagaland. Ravi said he acted Where he thought he should with the intention to bring some good results for the people.

Ravi also said as the Interlocutor he tried to bring back the Naga peace talks from abroad to the land and the people where it actually belonged. Lately, the NSCN (IM) leadership was not quite happy with him and even declined formal meeting.

Earlier in the day, as a virtual parting gift to the state, the Governor said he has tried to ensure setting up of a 100 room patients hostel facility in Dimapur. A Raj Bhawan statement said, Union Power Minister R K Singh, a friend of Ravi, has also agreed to meet "the cost of this project".

At the dinner party, among others Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton, a BJP legislator, also lauded Ravi for passionate understanding of the core issues concerning the developmental works. NPF leader and Leader of the Opposition, TR Zeliang said Ravi's name is synonymous with the Indo-Naga political issue.

He expressed hope that Ravi will continue to support the Naga people for an amicable solution to the Naga political issue. The incumbent Assam Governor and Delhi-based politician Jagdish Mukhi has been given the additional charge of Nagaland.

The Modi government has been showing keenness to ensure signing of a peace pact to resolve long pending Naga political problem. The first peace parleys started in August 1997 between the centre and NSCN (IM) during the prime ministership of IK Gujral.

Last December, Governor R N Ravi said on the eve of the Nagaland Statehood Day, - "Since 1980, the people of Nagaland have suffered enormously by the guns of people from outside the state, inspired by Maoist ideology and tactics."

The NSCN was floated in 1980 and Muivah hails from Tangkhul Naga tribe from the hilly region of Manipur and was thus left out of the 'statehood process'.

Ravi also had said: "In pursuance of their new found political ideology (pro-Left and pro-Chinese philosophy tilt of NSCN-IM), which was antithetical to the inherent ethos, values and customary systems of Naga society, unleashed a cultural genocide , akin to the Cultural Revolution in our neighbouring country." Differences were bound to grow manifold.

It may be mentioned here that the first Interlocutor Swaraj Kaushal also had certain issues with the Naga militant group as he was accused of trying to solve the Naga problem through a Mizoram prism.


* Nirendra Dev wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is a New Delhi based journalist and has penned books on northeast India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and can be contacted at nirendev1(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on September 15 2021 .



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