Raising the call for a Greater Lim
Opening two fronts?
In transitional phase, prepared to give time to fulfil it, but it is the right of the Nagas to be integrated or to come under one administrative unit. This was Thuingaleng Muivah while speaking to Karan Thapar for The Wire on October 17. The topic here is Nagalim or Greater Nagaland. Not a coincidence that just two weeks later, the Mao Council came forward to vociferously bat for Nagalim on October 29 and as if on cue that they can’t be left behind the Tangkhul Naga Long too came out with a similar stand on October 30. For those who have been following the peace process between the NSCN (IM) and the Government down the years, it became more and more clear that the NSCN (IM) has for the moment pushed the demand for a Nagalim or a Greater Lim from the limelight instead focusing their eyes on a separate flag and a separate Constitution. No meeting point here, is the message that has been rung out loud and clear by New Delhi and interesting to note that while the NSCN (IM) has stuck to its demand for a separate flag and Constitution, not to speak of a Greater Lim, the Naga National Political Groups is all ready to sign the final deal sans a separate flag and Constitution, much less talk about a Greater Lim. Their focus is on Nagaland and not on any territory beyond the map of Nagaland, and much like what Thuingaleng Muivah Muivah had said, the question of Naga integration would be kept open and continued through democratic political process-this was N Kitovi convenor of the NNPGs. Amply clear that while the NNPGs is chiefly focused on Nagaland, the NSCN (IM) and other organisations which are deemed to be close to it have been toeing the line of Greater Lim with much vigour. And all these groups have their base outside the State of Nagaland, largely in Manipur. This is not surprising for they would feel left out if any deal exclusively for Nagaland would have left them out.
Not surprising then to see the United Committee, Manipur coming out strongly against any design to compromise with the idea of a Manipur as a distinct geo-political reality. The stand of the UCM and the people of Manipur is clear and simple. Let the peace process proceed to a logical conclusion but it should not in any way dilute the understanding of Manipur as a geo-political entity, thereby demonstrating a stand that does not contradict the stand of the NNPGs. With the NNPGs ready to sign the final pact, the Government of India too seems ready but the important question is whether any final pact sans the NSCN (IM) can be understood as a complete pact. The Government of India too must be bothered by this question, which is valid by any calculation, and perhaps it is the refusal of the NSCN (IM) to come on board the agreement table that is delaying the final pact. On the other hand, the Lim demand can also mean not only contradicting the stand of NNPGs but also the people of Manipur and opening two battle fronts may not exactly be what masters of duels would have recommended. Early days yet to forecast which way the peace process will proceed but Manipur cannot let her guard down and this point must be clear to the BJP led Government at Imphal too. The politics of peace has certainly thrown up different facets of the term peace and the long political negotiations between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India has underlined this point.