Nagas and India will remain two separate entities : Thuingaleng Muivah-VIII
The readers must have read the news of this interview on October 17 and many would have seen the interview (recorded or live on October 16) of the interview. Nevertheless the full transcript of the interview which is long, very long, is being reproduced here courtesy The Wire. The interview will be serialised and we hope the readers enjoy it and gain an insight on the subject.
On October 16, in an interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire, the general secretary of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) Thuingaleng Muivah revealed that there are still sharp differences that are separating the NSCN from the Indian government. He repeatedly and forcefully said that the Nagas will never be part of the Indian Union nor will they accept India’s constitution. He said there could be no compromise on the NSCN’s insistence on a Naga flag and Naga Constitution. “We have stood our ground on these two non-negotiable issues and we shall continue to stand till the last man standing”, he said. Muivah added that Naga organisations like the Naga National Political Groups or several civil society organisations, who are not insisting on a separate flag and Constitution, are “traitors”.
In a 55-minute interview, the 86-year-old Muivah also sharply criticised RN Ravi, the Interlocutor and Nagaland Governor. He says Ravi has “betrayed” the NSCN. He said “he has thrown us away” and that he was acting at the behest of the Home Ministry.
The following is a transcript of the interview.
TM : Okay, if Nagas are to go on saying “yes, yes, yes” to whatever Ravi says, is that the way? To our solution? Yes, come on.
KT : So, if Ravi does not change his position, you will walk out of the talks?
TM : No, we are compelled. We are compelled. You are imposing on us.
KT : So, you will be compelled to walk away ? You will be compelled to walk away ?
TM : Yes. What we cannot eat, what we cannot swallow, if you compel us to do that well, we’ll have to vomit it out. So, do you want to blame-
KT : The blame, you say, will be on the Indian side?
TM : See, see your imposition is wrong.
KT : Let me put this to you, is there a danger, if the NSCN walks away, that the Government will do a deal with the other Naga groups – the NNPGs, the civil society organisations, the Naga Hoho, the apex body of Naga tribes ? Are you worried that if you walk away, the Government will do a deal with the others and your group will be the odd one left out ?
TM : Remember, remember what we have told the Prime Minister, and Ravi, and the Indian polities also. You know, we have clearly stated, to them, again and again, “Since history is this, since our right are this, and since your position is also this.” Yes, yes, yes, they have come.
KT : Let me ask you this-
TM : No. You know, yes, yes they have come. But now where are they? When did three months time [to complete the agreement come] ? You have to-
KT : Let me ask you this. You have said that if the Indian side does not start accepting your requirements and your demands, you will be compelled to walk away. How much time do you give the talks? Are you prepared to carry on for another four months, five months, a year? Is there a time limit?
TM : How long, how long you are prepared to agree [with] or to respect the right of the Nagas?
KT : But, but you’re losing patience. How long more are you prepared to continue the talks before you feel, “We have to go”? How much more time do you give the talks?
TM : You know, within this time, you know, we have to finish this-
(To be contd)