Shadow of Greater Lim or Nagalim
Flag and Constitution ?
Greater Lim or Nagalim. This was/is one of the major demands of the NSCN (IM), under Thuingaleng Muivah. Not hard to understand why such a demand was raised and why Manipur burned for days after the words ‘without territorial limits’ were inserted in the ceasefire pact between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) in 2001. Now that the NSCN (IM) has gone ahead and made public the much vaunted Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015 and gone hammer and tongs against RN Ravi, the Interlocutor to the peace talk and Governor of Nagaland, speculations are rife that the final pact may be signed without the NSCN (IM). Getting the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) on board the dialogue table may be said to be a master stroke on the part of RN Ravi for this gives the Government of India the handle to pile the pressure on the NSCN (IM) to come on board on the way to the final deal. Along with this there have been pressures of different kinds on the NSCN (IM) to stay in line for the final deal and this is something which can be discerned by the selective reports leaked to the media through ‘sources’. The NSCN (IM) too has not been lagging behind for they too have been keeping up with the ‘media war’ issuing one statement after the other. October 31, 2019 was the deadline that was ostensibly agreed upon to come to a final agreement and this too has come out in the open only now, that is in 2020. Wonder how many Naga people, especially Nagas of Manipur were privy to this deadline. Or were they merely parroting whatever was issued from Camp Hebron or New Delhi ? This is the step where the negotiation seems to have gone wrong for remember the NSCN (IM) is in dialogue with the Government of India on behalf of the people and if the people are not taken into confidence then it says something profoundly disturbing.
On the other hand, the Government of India would need to seriously think over the selective news or information that have been leaked to the media so far. Final deal without the NSCN (IM) will sound like the Government taking a tough posture and an agenda to finalise a deal for which a talk has been going on for the last 23 years. But seriously can any final pact without the NSCN (IM) be seen as a pact on behalf of the Naga people ? This is a question that merits the attention of all concerned. At the moment the NSCN (IM) is sticking to its gun for a separate flag and a Constitution and this is being portrayed as the stumbling block to a final deal. The people of Manipur too seem to have bitten this bait. Flag and Constitution are highly unlikely given that the Government of India had abolished the same arrangement in Jammu and Kashmir some time back. This point would not have blown over the heads of the NSCN (IM) leadership, and here it becomes important for the people of Manipur to look beyond the demand of flag and Constitution. What if the flag and Constitution demand is dropped and the question of bringing all ‘Naga inhabited’ areas under one administrative unit is raised in place of flag and Constitution at this crucial juncture ? ‘Okay don’t give us flag and Constitution but give us Naga dominated areas under Nagalim’ could be another proposal that may be raised.