TODAY -

Sowing the seeds of Greater Lim : Spade work started decades back
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: August 02 2018 -



The Lim divide is deep, very deep.

Even as New Delhi has repeatedly said that the territorial integrity of States neighbouring Nagaland will not be compromised as an outcome of the peace talks with the NSCN (IM), it has not stopped the IM group and others from talking or demanding Naga integration.

And so it is that even as the 24 hours bandh called by AMUCO, UCM and CCSK against any design to dilute the understanding of Manipur via arrangements such as Article 371(A) was yet to come into force, came the Naga integration call from the Naga Students’ Federation.

The call of the student body follows the stand of the NSCN (IM) which made it clear that Naga integration is still on the talk agenda on July 21.

Article 371 (A) and the ‘renewed’ demand for Naga integration can be understood in the backdrop of the information provided by Interlocutor to the peace talk RN Ravi to the Joint Parliamentary Committee that special arrangements may be made for Naga inhabited areas under Article 371 (A).

Difficult to say how the final deal will be inked, but whatever the outcome, Manipur can expect to see stormy days ahead.

The 24 hours bandh currently underway may just be the precursor of things to come clearly reflecting the deep divide amongst the people who are otherwise indigenous folks of the land.

The Lim divide or rather the deep division between the people is not a new development. The divide or rather the feeling of ‘we and them’ existed long before the NSCN (IM) signed the ceasefire agreement with the Government of India on August 1, 1997.

Looking back, perhaps it may not be off the mark to observe that the seeds of division-the overwhelming feeling that the destiny of the different groups are different or will be different- were sown decades back.

A look at the reality should be more than enough to underscore this point.

No Naga student from Manipur identify himself/herself with the Manipur students associations/unions anywhere in other parts of the country.

This is all that more palpable when one looks at universities which have a sizeable number of students from Manipur, say Delhi University, for example.

From the 80s of the last century, no Naga students from Manipur were members of the Manipur Students’ Association, Delhi (MSAD) but preferred to align themselves with Naga Students’ Union, Delhi.

The case continues even to this day and it is the same in other cities such as Chandigarh, Chennai, Bangalore, JNU etc.

And all Naga student organisations, in any part of the country or under any university are affiliated to the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), based at Kohima.

A case of the Nagas asserting that they identify themselves as Nagas only, irrespective of the geo-political reality such as Manipur, Nagaland, Assam or Arunachal Pradesh. In short the move to bring all Nagas under one umbrella started much before the peace dialogue between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India started.

A case of the NSCN (IM) leadership being very, very far sighted.

This is the reality that everyone in Manipur should be aware of to be able to deal with the current reality and in the days ahead.



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