TODAY -

Question on Naga Hope

Sh. Ajit *



Many BJP spokespersons, at the election times, said that there was nothing to worry about in the Framework Agreement. Their statements were guided by loyalty to their party. Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh and many BJP national leaders expressed at election rallies that not even word, Manipur, was not in the Framework Agreement and promised Manipur’s integrity would not be compromised while finding out a Naga Solution.

The State leaders wanted to defend what national leaders said out of fear of losing Meitei and Kuki votes in the forthcoming Election. One of their spokespersons further added that Framework Agreement was just an agreement to draft an Agreement. That was election days and political logic was different from that of normal days.

The GOI’s recognition of History, Identity and Territory of the Naga in the Framework, if the claim by NSCN (IM) is true, is a direct threat to the very existence of India as a Nation. India, if it is a Nation, cannot recognize the unique history, identity and territory of particular groups of people. One can note here that NSCN (IM)’s words: If India wants to keep the Nagas under Indian Constitution, it would accept.

The special provisions in Indian Constitution like Art 371 are not for Naga or tribes of particular States have uniqueness in history and territoriality. I think the legal fiction of these provisions is that these areas are inhabited by ‘uncivilized’ peoples whose development requires special intention.

While BJP State leaders in Manipur tried to defend Modi, Rajnath or Kiren Rijiju’s statements in election rallies, the Party expressed of their commitment to Manipur’s integrity – both emotional and political.

However, in the post-election period, though they have a BJP-led government in the State Manipur , any State or National BJP leaders do not say anything to clarify the NSCN (IM) statements so far.

Even the UNC conditions in which the recognition of Naga’s ancestral land in Manipur is profound very much are not negated. They overlook the politics of recognizing ancestral land; instead, they try to draw public attention to the opening of National Highways by negotiating UNC, the previous Government wanted to declare unlawful organization.

The Chief Minister N. Biren was publicly asked to support the Naga Integration meaning Nagalim in Ukhrul. He took the memorandum which was, literarily, Death Sentence to the existence of Manipur.

During the Election, Manipur BJP candidates including present Chief Minister rebuked Okram Ibobi who had come back without taking action when a group of youths welcomed him with a banner saying “Welcome to South Nagaland.”

AMSU’s campaign for projection of historical and political identity of Manipur provoked the critical minds of the Manipuri intelligentsia. The discourse over the one-ness of Manipur and threat from Framework Agreement is suppressed by ongoing government’s endless announcement of doing this or that in the name of transparency, anti-corruption or “Go to the Hills.” The discourse is still needed in Manipur.

The people of Manipur, for that matter of India too, have to discuss on how India deals with violent struggle and the endless process of creating new tensions between the ethnic groups in one or another State.

Will Framework Agreement or any agreement deduced from it bring any change in Nagaland?

Is it a move to save its face, NSCN (IM) tries to gain a state within State of Manipur by defining ancestral land of the Nagas?

Will Naga poor families gain anything out of the agreement?


* Sh. Ajit wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was posted on July 23, 2018.


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