Time to read between the lines
Study all possibilities
Read between the lines. Not the time to take everything at face value. The circumstances demand it, the politics at play demands it. Study all possibilities. It can be more than a rant and this is how Manipur should take the outburst of the NSCN (IM) against the 16 Point Agreement that led to the creation of Nagaland State as part of the Union of India. Even as the NSCN (IM) made known its stand to the public via the media on November 30, 2020 and went ballistic against Governor of Nagaland RN Ravi, it did not take long for the Governor to assert that there cannot be a separate flag and Constitution as demanded by the NSCN (IM). More words may be expected from the NSCN (IM) and one cannot rule out the possibility of the ongoing political dialogue getting clouded by the smoke billowing out of stand off between RN Ravi and the NSCN (IM). This is what Manipur should be on guard against. Clouding the ongoing dialogue can mean so many things to so many people but what Manipur and her people must be wary of is the possibility of the finer points of the dialogue getting clouded and not visible to the people here. This is what the people should be on guard against. This is what the BJP led Government at Imphal too should be aware of. Given the far sightedness of a leader like Thuingaleng Muivah, the CSOs of Manipur which have been batting for the political reality called Manipur should be on guard to not be caught on the wrong foot. And setting up a decoy has always been a sure shot formula to catch the adversary or someone standing in the way of one’s pursuit, on the wrong foot. Now what could that decoy be to lull the people into a sense of complacency, is the question that Manipur, the BJP led Government at Imphal and the various CSOs should concentrate on, sit together and pool in their thoughts.
The very creation of Nagaland State was a treacherous act as it led to the fragmentation of ‘Indian occupied Naga territories’ into different administrative set ups such as Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. This was the NSCN (IM) in the statement issued to the media on November 30. Implicit and yet at the same time explicit in this observation is the stand that people who identify themselves as Nagas and settled in the three neighbouring States should come together under one administrative set up. Nagalim or Greater Nagaland has for long been one of the major demands of the NSCN (IM) and even in the recent interview given by Thuingaleng Muivah to Karan Thapar in The Wire, the NSCN (IM) leader had made it clear that the demand is still there though its realisation may come about later. A sure shot technique of first taking the 25 paise or 50 paise and then going for the one rupee later. This is where the far sightedness of Thuingaleng Muivah becomes evident. The important question is whether the present political leaders of Manipur are mentally geared up to read, study and understand the steps being charted out by the general secretary of the NSCN (IM). The same question may also be posed to the numerous civil society leaders of Manipur. The seeds for a Greater Lim of Nagalim were sown a long time back, much before the NSCN (IM) agreed to come to the negotiating table and those who were in college in the 80s and the 90s will surely remember the composition of any student bodies with the name Manipur in any cities of India, such as Delhi, Bangalore, Chandigarh etc.