The novelty of the term new
Serious charge from NSCN (IM)
Something novel about the word or term new here and the inclusion or rather exclusion of this word has obviously taken the strained ties between the NSCN (IM) and Interlocutor to the peace talks and Governor of Nagaland RN Ravi to a new low. The allegation is also serious, very serious, for it is all about doctoring a pact that was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. More than the new low between RN Ravi and the outfit is also the question on the very significance of the Framework Agreement which was signed amid much brouhaha back on August 3, 2015. Five years down the line and what exactly is the status quo ? No one seems to know, but significant to note that along with accusing the Nagaland Governor of tweaking the Framework Agreement, the NSCN (IM) has also been of late demanding a change in the Interlocutor. Difficult to say when the seeds of the present stand off were sown, but that things may not be altogether right started emerging when the NSCN (IM) started making it known, that it has not taken kindly to the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), a conglomerate of different Naga armed groups, too joining the bandwagon and starting its own political dialogue with the Government of India. To make things more uncomfortable to the NSCN (IM) is the stand of the NNPGs which went on record to state that a final pact for them concerns only the Nagas of Nagaland. Moreover the NSCN (IM) has also gone on record to accusingly say that RN Ravi had given an ‘unethical deadline to sign the Naga agreement on or before 31st October, 2019.’
It is also significant to note that the latest accusation of doctoring the Framework Agreement has come just some time after RN Ravi, in his capacity as the Governor of Nagaland, had asked the Government of the neighbouring State to crack down hard on the alleged rampant extortions carried out by the NSCN (IM). More than word play here and the very act of accusing the Interlocutor of deleting a key word in the Framework Agreement may be seen in the larger context of the two sides refusing to see eye to eye on many key points in the ongoing political dialogue that has dragged on since 1997. No one knows how true is the accusation of the NSCN (IM) that a key word in the Framework Agreement has been deleted, for the fact stands that no one has seen the original document, with the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) treating it like a classified information. Early days yet, but the point that the latest round of accusation from the NSCN (IM) has come at this point of time may suggest that there are still crucial agendas to be discussed and agreed upon, thereby giving a lie to the much vaunted belief that a final pact may be signed any day now. To Thuingaleng Muivah and many of his peers in the NSCN (IM), political negotiations may just be as treacherous as the days they spent in the jungles waging a bush war against the Indian security forces, but it would be a tragedy if the serious charges they have levelled against RN Ravi is unfounded and no one knows how true this is.