TODAY -

Nothing wrong with special status, here's why!

Ningreikhan Wungkhai *

A rally for peace 'Expedite Framework Agreement' from Phalee to Somdal :: 14th August 2018 .
A rally for peace 'Expedite Framework Agreement' from Phalee to Somdal on 14 August 2018 :: Pix - Oken Luwang



While the valley dwellers might not have the slightest knowledge about the continuous oppresive practice meted towards the Naga communities in Manipur through variety of exploitations and political apathy, the Nagas are determined to not relinquish their rights for the state of any indifference. What led to Nagas as a whole aspired to sought for self determination can be traced back to that time Nagas realisation for sovereignty just before the British free India.

But for the Nagas in Manipur, to be freed from the exploitative bondage and political apathy also serve as a fitting reminder which only adds more weightage to the already concieved notion of 'Nagas Right to Self Determination' and 'Sovereignty'. At several occasions in the past, Nagas effort to settle the differences with India has been thwarted by the latter through arrogance and political underestimation.

GOI's miserable failure to give a frame of accomodation to Nagas aspiration at successive events had compelled the Nagas to resort to arms conflict. An effort was made by Jayaprakash Narayan during the mid-1960s to propitiate the Naga's agitation.

Under his able leadership, a peace mission was launched to appeal the Naga leaders to voluntarily accept Indian citizenship. Every Indian political stalwarts which has in the past held parleys with the Naga national leaders are conciously aware about the fact that even before the advent of the Europeans in India, Nagas are independent people. But the plain arrogance of the Indian Govt. will simply not accept such background.

However, the currency today portrays a viable accomodation for the Naga's aspiration and an altering testimony which will contradicts the long cried for sovereignty. Is it because the Nagas of today are now politically matured? Or, has the Nagas put a halt to its fight for sovereignty for the time-being?

Nevertheless, Naga national leaders have demonstrated political maturity of late. There is nothing wrong for the Naga communities in Manipur to solicit special status.

To all the sensitive readers, the ongoing arrangement (Framework Agreement) is constructed not to devide but to meet democratic urges and for better facilitation of political, economy, and cultural identities.

The Naga communities in Manipur have endured prolong subjugation and negligence economy, development, rural industralisation- all because of political apathy and communal antagonism. Better facilitation of political, economy, development, and participation in decision making will surely enhance national unity.

Now what comes under question is, why would Manipur expressly hold reservation against FA as no territorial alteration will be provided with? Why would Manipur so enraged by FA whilst both the GOI and NSCN-IM are in the process of settling terms through peaceful participations to enhance national unity?

It has nowhere mentioned in Art 371 (A) that the Nagas will have their fair share of territorial sovereignty. This arrangement need not disintegrate Manipur but to secure resources and other economy entities and also to summarised the tangible relation between the Centre and the Nagas aspiration.

To rephrase Ravi's statement: "Art 371 A of the Constitution makes it clear that they (Nagas) are special and a special status has been accorded to them." He further remarked that "no boundaries of the neighbouring States will be touched and some special arrangement will be made for the Nagas, wherever they are.

"Failure to contemplate the cause of Nagas in Manipur is not because of the limitations of the Nagas philosophy but the reflection of arrogance of the valley dwellers. Just so the Manipur Nagas and Meitei had political differences, why would we invite further aversion? That is a big "No No".

Communal disharmony will only hasten territorial fragmentation and lead to warlike situation and internal tension. One example is the Yugoslav war which resulted in the fagmentation of Yugoslavia in 1999. These are fast becoming a centralise issues.

While the Nagas are not abandoning home with Art 371 A in their portmanteau, some Meitei brethrens are already too concern about state territorial integrity.

It is widely speculated that the NSCN-IM have dropped its demand for sovereignty. Not an iota of territories from the neighbouring states will be disturb, then where are our discernment gone?


* Ningreikhan Wungkhai wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The author is a Delhi based freelance writer and former journalist at IndiaToday and The Statesman Delhi
This article was webcasted on August 27, 2018.



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