TODAY -

Modi must announce finality of Naga political pacts signed in his presence : S C Jamir

Nirendra Dev *



(In a brief telephonic and Whatsapp interview, veteran Naga leader Dr S C Jamir shares his views on just concluded Lok Sabha elections and return of the Modi government to power with a reduced mandate. As usual Jamir makes candid observations on the centre's predicament vis-a-vis the vexed Naga issue.)

# Your friend and a former Chief Minister when you were Gujarat Governor -- Narendra Modi has returned to power with a reduced mandate. How would you sum up the mandate and future of Indian democracy?

Jamir: I was a Governor in Gujarat only for five months. Narendra Modi could read people's pulse well. I can say I found Narendra Modi as a horse for the longer race. But he should open his first account by announcing the finality of the Naga political agreements signed in his presence .

As stated earlier for the success of Act East policy, and to usher in a permanent peace in the region, the problem of Manipur deserves more careful handling along with early solution of Naga political issues.

# What is the Big Picture political message you draw from the mandate 2024 ?

Jamir: Whatever may be the character of the present Lok Sabha election, to his credit Narendra Modi is again the Prime Minister for the third term. But democracy is all about numbers and the BJP is now dependent on allies and partners such as TDP of N Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumarís JD-U. Both are senior leaders and so let us see how things move forward.

I knew the Prime Minister from a close range when he was Chief Minister and I was the Gujarat Governor. He has certain qualities many leaders of his age and era do not have. But one thing more, the mandate 2024 will have a long term, medium term and short term impact in Indian politics.

Muslims deserted Congress some years back in northern states. In 2024, they came back in some states. What happens to minorities in India? Himanta Biswas Sharma, the Chief Minister of Assam by his stance against the minority especially Christians in the northeast had antagonized the people of the Northeast in several states....as a sequel to his attitude the people have demonstrated during the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections by defeating all the BJP and alliance candidates in three states.

# Is Congress on a revival journey? In Nagaland, Supongmeren Jamir could defeat a coalition backed by 60 MLAs and a Chief Minister who is in power for long?

Jamir: Of course, the Congress has done well but the credit should go to the electorates of Nagaland who have demonstrated that the power lies only with the people in a democratic society. There is still scope and needs to improve performance. I need not analyse things in so much detail.

It is also true that the people had shown their strong resentment towards the opposition-less government in Nagaland - which is totally against democratic principles. All elected members have decided to be on the same bandwagon just for a joyride when the entire system of governance is in a terrible mess.

The defeat of 60 MLAs in the recent Lok Sabha election is a clear signal to the ruling elite that the people are not with them. With regard to the revival of the Congress in the country, it is too early to predict but this time the party had done fairly well.

# Why could opposition parties not take full advantage of Modiís lapses and so much unhappiness about jobs ?

Jamir:- In a simple sense, I will say sheer negativity cannot work in a big way. Modi has been in power for a decade. The BJP is a well organized party. To beat Modi you have to know the 'Modi phenomenon' better.

# What are your hopes on the Naga issue? Do you foresee Solution coming sooner than later?

Jamir: Without mincing any word I would say that the political and Constitutional sanctity attached to the political agreements signed in the presence of the Prime Minister and Home Minister should be honoured and implemented with dignity.

After more than 20 years of protracted political negotiations between the Govt of India and the Naga underground groups the agreements were made, after thorough discussions and deliberations, hence, the Govt of India should demonstrate its commitments.

# After all these years, do you see the Peace process has been mishandled by Delhi as well ?

Jamir: I would rather say that both the Govt of India and the Naga leaders have tried their best to restore peace in the Naga areas but so far permanent peace could not be restored due to non-solution of the Naga political problem.

Now that two political agreements had been signed between the Naga underground groups and the Govt of India based on the current political realities, elected members of Nagaland assembly should also pass a unanimous resolution supporting the agreements made between the Govt of India and the representatives of the Underground organizations.

The people of Nagaland expect that the signatories to the said political agreement should be true to their solemn commitment to embark on a new vista of political arrangement in Nagaland. It is hoped that the Indian Prime Minister, who is powerful enough to male everyone perform, should now put his promise into action with regard to the Final Solution of the Naga political problem.

Neither the Government of India nor the state government can allow multiple factions of the underground to have their heydays at the cost of the Naga people for too long. Nagas want to live in peace.


* Nirendra Dev wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be reached at nirendev1(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on June 14 2024.



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