TODAY -

Peace talk reportedly at final stage: Need to be far sighted
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: September 17 2019 -



By October-This is the time frame that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is believed to have given Governor of Nagaland and Interlocutor to the peace talk, RN Ravi to wrap up the peace talks with the NSCN (IM).

Again it is amid this that reports have come in that the Government of India is not particularly keen on the idea of the demand for a separate flag and Constitution put forth by the NSCN (IM) and backed by different organisations such as the United Naga Council.

Not clear how things will unfold in the coming days but significant to note that RN Ravi had earlier stated that major issues have been resolved and the only points that need some ironing out were symbolic in nature.

The question therefore is, whether a separate flag and Constitution are just symbolic issues or whether this will carry more substance once the final deal is inked.

If the Government of India is not so keen on the separate flag and Constitution then will this offer a sort of bargaining chip to the NSCN (IM) to demand something else in their place ?

This is just a poser at the moment, but nevertheless an important question that needs to be raised.

And if yes then what other demands can the NSCN (IM) raise ?

These are questions which must have started stirring the civil society organisations of Manipur, now that the peace talk is reportedly at its final stage.

More importantly how exactly does the BJP led Government at Imphal intend to present the case of Manipur in such a way that the interests of Manipur are not compromised in any way when the final pact is inked ?

It should be clear that the BJP led Government here cannot rest easy on verbal assurances that nothing that impinges on the interests of Manipur will be part of the final deal.

It will need to take the various Manipur based CSOs along with them and earn their confidence.

How the State Government intends to go along this line is not yet clear but it should start sending feelers and studying the line of thinking of the various CSOs of the State.

Something will have to be given, but it is a given that the NSCN (IM) will be a tough nut to crack and its demand for a separate flag and Constitution may just be another political move to lay their final cards on the table.

More than 20 years of negotiation and in Th Muivah the Nagas and the NSCN (IM) have a leader who seem to have mastered the art of negotiation and this is something which the Government of Manipur cannot afford to take easily.

First acknowledge the political far sightedness of the leaders of the NSCN (IM) and then act accordingly.

This is a point which has been touched upon many times.

First ask for 25 paise before getting one rupee is a strategy that the NSCN (IM) leaders may well adopt and this is something which can be tackled only when the political leaders and leaders of different CSOs can also look beyond the immediate and think how the situation may be twenty, thirty years down the line.

This will need much more than merely uttering ‘no to sowing seeds which may result in the disintegration of Manipur.’



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