Peace pact signed with the NDFB:
Talking peace via pacts
Peace pact. Political negotiations. This is obviously the mantra of the BJP led Government at the Centre and this is best exemplified by the pact signed between New Delhi and four armed groups of Assam, notably the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB). It is obvious that it has dawned on the Centre that the best way to win the hearts of those who have taken up the gun against New Delhi is not through guns and muscle power but via negotiations and this is where it has scored big. This is where the ongoing peace process between the Centre and the Naga nationalists becomes significant. True the peace pact between the NSCN (IM) and the Government was inked way back in 1997 but at the same time important to remember that it was the Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015 that has given a fillip to the ongoing peace negotiations. Again it was before the Modi Government came to power in 2014 that the Government of India managed to convince a group of ULFA to come to the negotiating table while the other group broke away. This is how the Paresh Baruah led group of ULFA came to be known as the ULFA (Independent). NSCN (IM), NNPGs, NDFB, ULFA, SoO groups now on the negotiating table and the efforts to address the armed movement in the North East region of the country is palpable. Taking off from the peace pact with the NDFB and others, the Centre has now extended the invite to the ULFA (I) group to hold a talk. This is interesting and this is something which will be watched with interest by all concerned.
Dialogue. And in agreeing to hold political negotiations with groups which had taken up the guns to fight against India, the Government may be said to have acknowledged that there are groups whose grievances are genuine and this is a message which the BJP led Government at Delhi has managed to convey so far. No one knows how the peace pacts will proceed, but yet at the same time New Delhi must have come to the realisation that any peace deal should be finalised in such a way that it does not rub the others the wrong way. A prime example here is the ongoing peace negotiations with the NSCN (IM). New Delhi may be firm in its stand that it will not entertain the demand for a separate flag and Constitution, a demand which was put up with so much vigour by the NSCN (IM), and it is this firmness which is expected from the Government when it comes to dealing with the sentiments and desires of the neighbouring communities. Same is the case with the ongoing dialogue with the groups under the SoO package. Let dialogue be the way forward but the politics of dialogue is such that both sides, meaning the armed group in question and New Delhi, should come to the realisation that any peace pact signed with any group should not give rise to more problems in the future. Th Muivah is a far sighted leader of the NSCN (IM) and here is hoping that this far sightedness covers the need to live peacefully with the neighbours or else the very essence of peace will stand defeated.