Giving a fresh push to the Lim debate?
Talking in different tongues
No change in the territory of Manipur-this is the repeated assurance of the Government of India. The boundary and integrity of Manipur will remain intact-this is Chief Minister N Biren, obviously taking a cue from the repeated assurance of the Government of India. Working Group of the Naga National Political Groups strongly opposes any move to change the political map of Nagaland-this is Kitovi Zhimomi, convenor of the NNPGs recently. Government of India has officially recognised the ‘legitimate right of the Nagas to the integration of all Naga areas’-this is the latest statement from the NSCN (IM). All conflicting claims and counter-claims and there is the inherent danger that the casualty in such a scenario can only be the truth. That the statement of the NSCN (IM) came as some sort of a rebuttal to the claim of the NNPGs is something which cannot be written off for here is a case of a Naga group brushing aside the demand for a Greater Lim and this is something which the NSCN (IM) cannot be expected to take lightly. The new developments have obviously drawn much interest in Manipur, for the peace talk between New Delhi and the NSCN (IM) is reportedly at its final stage and the deal may be inked any time soon. In such a scenario it is not unexpected for some tall claims to do the round and the question of who is taking the people for a ride will only be known when the final deal is inked. The important question however is, whether issuing such powerful statements on the question of Naga integration is advisable at this stage or not. If the case happens to be something else, wouldn’t this amount to taking the people for a ride ? And in such a situation who will be the loser ?
The latest statement and claim of the NSCN (IM) must have surely goaded the numerous civil society organisations of Manipur to up their ante and while this is something which the Naga rebel group must have expected it would do good for the others to wise up to the possibility that this could be another ploy to ruffle feather the wrong way. The politics of the peace talk or the Lim Politics can take mischievous and dangerous turns and this is something which everyone must be wary of. One important point which everyone must note but which has always been conveniently overlooked is the fact that in as much as the peace process between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India has been on since 1997, it also stands that the moment the ceasefire came into force on August 1, 1997, the All Manipur United Clubs Organisation (AMUCO) organised the then biggest ever rally in Manipur pledging to protect the integrity of Manipur on August 4, 1997. The inking of the ceasefire was indeed historic but so was the integrity rally of August 4, 1997. This is a fact which should not blow over the heads of anyone and is a sure reflection of the far sightedness of the leaders who were at the helm of AMUCO back then. Let the peace talk draw to its logical conclusion but in the process let no one be disturbed else it can have the potential to distort the understanding of an amicable solution.