Speaking via its mouthpieceLong walk to final pact
Via the Nagalim Voice, the NSCN (IM) has spoken. And one understands why it has deemed it fit to urge the Narendra Modi Government to take the ongoing political dialogue to its logical conclusion without further delay. 22 years is a long time. It was on August 1, 1997 that the NSCN (IM) signed the ceasefire pact and since then the peace process has been on with some minor skirmishes, especially in places where the ceasefire is official not extended. To understand how long the peace process has travelled, just take into consideration the fact that a child born back in 1997 would now be 22 years old, a major. A child born back then would probably have finished her graduation or is pursuing higher studies. Some could have settled down to a life of their own. In the process, the I of the IM passed away on June 28, 2016, leaving a void in the top hierarchy of the outfit with Thuingaleng Muivah having to shoulder the responsibility without his associate Isak Chisi Swu. It stands that after the Narendra Modi led BJP Government came to power in 2014, a renewed thrust to the ongoing peace process could be seen, highlighted prominently by the August 3, 2015 Framework Agreement. No one knows the details of the Framework Agreement and it did send ripples throughout the States neighbouring Nagaland, particularly Manipur. The pact continues to be shrouded under a veil of mystery but this has been taken to mean a significant forward step in the peace process. Forget about from 1997 to 2019, but so far there is nothing much to indicate that the Framework Agreement of 2015 has given the much needed boost to the ongoing peace process.
Seen in this context, the push given by the mouthpiece of the NSCN (IM), the Nagalim Voice gains credence. In fact so urgent is the need for a final agreement felt that the slogan, ‘solution before election’ became the calling card of many when Nagaland went for its Assembly elections in the early part of 2018. The Assembly elections did pass off peacefully but a final pact is yet to be inked, adding to the sense of urgency amongst various Naga civil society organisations. Perhaps this is one of those rare moments that the NSCN (IM) through its mouthpiece has deemed it fit to urge the Narendra Modi led Government to take the ongoing peace process to its logical conclusion without further delay. At the final stage is the oft repeated line that one has heard but what are the factors slowing down the peace process ? A multi-million dollar question it could be, but remember the NSCN (IM) has repeatedly said that it has not forsaken its demand for the unification of all Naga inhabited areas under one administrative unit. This is what has been opposed strongly by the three neighbouring States of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and the June 18 Great Uprising and Unity Day function held on June 18 just a few days back should answer where the people of Manipur stand. Maybe it is the Lim divide that continues to pose the hurdle and it remains to be seen how New Delhi manage to walk the fine line and come to a final deal without rubbing Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam the wrong way.