TODAY -

Mass sit-in protest, 24 hours bandh : How about Nagaland ?
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: July 28 2018 -



Mass sit in protest on July 28. Twenty four hours bandh from midnight of July 31.

Looking at the issue, one may safely conclude that this will be something much more than a trailer and this is an extremely uncomfortable thought.

MU crisis yet to be resolved and add to this, the growing apprehension of the people over the Framework Agreement signed between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India on August 3, 2015 and surely the BJP led Government at Imphal must be sitting uncomfortably in their seat of power.

From territorial integrity the focus of the people has now shifted to Article 371 (A), which is currently in force in Nagaland and which may be extended to Naga inhabited areas on Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh if and when the final accord is signed. Article 371 (A) in short is a privilege conferred on Nagaland and extending it to the Naga inhabited areas of the said neighbouring States would mean bypassing the respective State Governments.

A sort of a separate administrative set up and this is what many civil society organisations of Manipur are up against.

This is just the start and once certain specified areas of the State come under such a set up, then the way would have been paved for these areas to secede from Manipur, is the line of argument taken up by the civil society organisations spearheaded by AMUCO, CCSK and UCM. The Congress has not been far behind, having already made its stand clear that they are against any design that could pave the way for a Greater Lim in the future.

The important and interesting question is, what is the stand of the BJP led Government at Imphal on this count ?

Will it be satisfied as long as the territorial integrity of Manipur is respected and not some administrative arrangement that seeks to give a certain degree of autonomy along ethnic lines ?

Naga integration, greater Lim, Nagalim, Pan Naga cultural body.

These are the terms that have been associated with the ongoing political dialogue between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) after the truce pact was inked on August 1, 1997 and while no one seems to know what the final outcome will be, Manipur has been consistent in its stand that it will not brook any challenges to its territory as well as any sort of dual administration that may be imposed.

This is the stand of Manipur including Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and it is interesting to note that all the three States are under the BJP, much like New Delhi.

How will the outcome of the talk impact on the political equation in these three States vis-a-vis the Congress is the interesting question that follows.

It is also interesting to note that ever since the peace parleys started, the focus of the people and the talk seems to have centred around the Naga inhabited areas of the State neighbouring Nagaland and not the Nagas of Nagaland.

Is this by design or is it a case of what happens to Nagaland being of not much consequence ?

So was the struggle taken up in the first place with only the Nagas in the neighbouring States of Nagaland in mind ?

If it is Article 371 (A) for Naga inhabited areas, then what about Nagaland ?

Remember Nagas of Nagaland already enjoy the status accorded by Article 371 (A).

So what is there for them after the final outcome of the talk ?

An answer to this would be interesting.



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