Nagas and India will remain two separate entities : Thuingaleng Muivah-V
This chapter will be of immense interest to the people of Manipur as Muivah here talks about the demand for a Nagalim which according to him is the final goal.
KT : Okay, I’ve understood that. Let’s then come-
TM : We cannot. Whether it is here on Earth or there in heaven, we will not surrender. Ours is ours, yours is yours, but the issue is – if you are going to respect the right of the Nagas, Nagas will respect the right of the Indians and how to come closer to each other-
KT : You’re talking about respecting each other’s rights and coming closer to each other, but that is different from joining the Indian Union ?
TM : No, no according to the agreement, respecting each other, respecting each other’s rights, peaceful coexistence of the two must be there.
KT : Peaceful co-existence of two entities. So, you’ll remain two entities? You won’t become one entity?
TM : No, no, no, no. Two entities, peaceful co-existence.
KT : Of two entities ?
TM : Yes
KT : Okay. I’ve understood that. Let’s come to the third issue. Your demand that all areas that are Naga inhabited, but are presently outside the borders of Nagaland, must be merged and brought together, what you call Nagalim. But I put it to you, if the Indian Government were to agree, it would create turmoil in Assam, in Manipur, in Arunachal Pradesh. It would create turmoil, you know that.
TM : But, you know, from that perspective you cannot argue with us. Why ? Because our history, our lands are clear. The history is clear. We were never under the Assamese, we were never under anyone.
KT : So you are insisting that Nagalim must be created by bringing together all Naga areas outside Nagaland ?
TM : You’re right, who divided us ? By the Nagas ourselves ? No. No, by the British.
KT : But, but you insist that all Naga areas must be brought together?
TM : Yes. You respect our right, Nagas will have to have their land right, we will also respect yours.
KT : Now, RN Ravi, the Interlocutor and also now Governor of Nagaland, in an interview in February to Nagaland Post said that the Government is willing to consider, and I’m quoting him, “A pan-Naga Hoho, which is a cultural body with no political role or executive authority.” Secondly, he said, “The Government would consider Naga regional territorial councils for Naga inhabited areas of Manipur and Arunachal, and these territorial councils would be part of the Sixth Cchedule of the Indian Constitution.” Is that acceptable to you ?
TM : That is in the transitional period. Step by step to reach the final goal, final settlement. We have to try to take steps. So, these are the steps in the transitional period.
KT : You’re saying a very important thing and, in saying it, you are echoing what you said to me in an interview for the BBC program ‘HardTalk India’ in 2005, i.e, fifteen years ago. In 2005 you said you insist on Nagalim, the Government must agree in principle but you’re prepared to give them time for implementation. Today, you’re saying the proposals by Ravi, in that interview to Nagaland Post, as a transition – as a first step – are okay, but it is only a transitional measure. Eventually, there has to be Nagalim bringing all Naga areas together.
TM : You are right, you are right because we cannot leave behind other Naga areas. We cannot. You know, Nagas happen to be now, in some part of Assam, by themselves, of their own accord? No. (To be contd)