In other words, Solution is possible — if we want it. If we do not find a ‘solution’ or solve the problem — well, let us keep changing the goal posts. Tomorrow, say the Centre agrees to all our demands — we may still say the agreement should be signed on a Sunday or on my birthday — otherwise it is not acceptable, then what happens? Today, nobody knows the fate of the Naga peace talk. The world is today discussing Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology and at the national level, the government is dreaming about 2047, about Moon Missions etc. But what are we stuck with? Nobody perhaps knows what we want.
I am stating all these as a bonafide Naga citizen and as an office bearer of my party, BJP. Most of it is personal opinion. But I am stating all these with a deep sense of hurt. At the same time, we all have made ourselves helpless. We have developed a belief that the Government of India is obliged to continue giving us financial grants; and at the same time we will keep behaving as if we have no responsibility.
Look at our neighbours. The developmental journey of Assam is a phenomenon. Other smaller states are not far behind. Before the ethnic conflicts started in Manipur, the state was doing well on multiple fronts. They will soon take corrective steps and march ahead; and yet we will be with our status quo. This status quo also means extortion by over a dozen legitimate groups and numerous others is the ‘new normal’.
At the same time, the Nagas of Nagaland find themselves betrayed by ‘themselves’ and their own leaders whom they love and adore. Yet, the Eastern Nagaland wants to go away from the mainstream. But where is our civil society? All of us are in a state of slumber. The year 2015 and the month of August and the third day (August 3, 2015) were an important milestone. NSCN-IM leaders shared the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Framework Agreement was announced.
In 2017, the Government of India and the then Governor R N Ravi did their best to open a crucial chapter bringing in the NNPG and the Agreed Position. But this inordinate delay with playing with people’s silence and the sense of discipline is ultimately killing all the goodness. It’s time we do soul searching. People’s movement is linked to People’s aspirations but today frustration has struck the Nagas of Nagaland state in particular.
In conclusion, I remember a German saying — Rumours are created by selfishness, spread by Fools and Haters, and accepted by Idiots. We are all three. Nagas have been forced to pay a heavy price. At the same time, security in and around Nagaland too has been jeopardised. We, the Nagas and Naga villagers will suspect army personnel and on the other hand, army officers and jawans will feel no Naga would trust them any longer. In other words, the entire security atmosphere is spoiled. Nagas are probably going back to the era of the 1970s when things had turned ugly.
We must remember, the Naga struggle has not remained the struggle of the Nagas alone. There is a foreign factor. Nagas do not like communism but there came a time we learned a lot from communist principles. Nagas adopted ‘Nagaland for Christ’ as a guiding theme, but the teachings of Jesus are hardly followed and implemented. Instead, I see a ‘Jinnah style’ of politics.
Late Jinnah had promised the moon to Indian Muslims and so Pakistan was created. Muslims actually lost the bigger battle to Hindus in every sense with the foundation of Pakistan. They pretended to have got the best of both worlds. And today they are ending up losing at every stage. They lost the 1965 war against India and then Pakistan was split and Bangladesh came into being in 1971.Even the present day Pakistan is afflicted with multiple crises.
In the Nagaland context back again, it pains me to see a large number of serious minded people patiently waiting for good and happy days. But our good days and happier times are linked to political solutions; and if so, why are we not working towards the same. This is my personal view.
(The writer is the National Vice President of BJP)