How will the Naga CSOs respond ?
Challenges before final pact
It is getting more and more interesting and what was once thought unthinkable seems to be staring everyone in the face today. This of course does not mean the last word has been said. Just a few days after the Government made it known that the final deal may be signed with the NNPGs and other groups concerned to bring to an end the Naga issue, the Nagaland Gaon Bura Federation has come out and openly stated that the demand of the NSCN (IM) that Interlocutor to the peace talk RN Ravi should be changed goes against the spirit of the grain, now that the peace process is at the stage of winding up. The position of the NNPGs must be known to everyone. Made up of 6 groups which never did see eye to eye with the NSCN (IM), the NNPGs managed to float its own Working Committee and join the political dialogue as yet another important player only as late as 2017, but their position seems to go down well with the Government of India and hence the story that the final deal may be signed sans the NSCN (IM). Anything can happen and while many in the know have had their say with even former DGP of Assam Police and the BSF Prakash Singh advocating “End NSCN-IM’s dadagiri in North East. Nagaland deserves peace” in the widely respected ThePrint, it would be naive to draw any conclusion at this point of time, afterall the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India have been engaged in a political negotiation for the last 23 years. Maybe it would be too premature to suggest that a peace talk that has been on since 1997 will be abrogated, even if the differences may seem insurmountable at the moment.
The NSCN (IM) too has not been keeping quiet with their latest salvo coming in the form of “Nagas ready for fresh war,” and in between many observations and comments have been made in different newspapers in the last few days. Obvious that the ‘war’ today needs to be taken out from the classical understanding of the bush war and see it in its different settings and this is something which the NSCN (IM), NNPGs and in fact all other armed groups active in the North East region know and practise with a finesse. The Nagaland Gaon Bura Federation has spelt out its mind and this is where it will be interesting to see how the other Naga civil society organisations, which otherwise had been very vocal earlier respond to the unfolding scenario. If at all a final pact is signed sans the NSCN (IM) and confined to the State of Nagaland, how will the Naga Hoho respond ? How about the Naga CSOs in Manipur, especially the United Naga Council and the numerous other groups such as the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur, Tangkhul Naga Long, Senapati District Students’ Association, Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong etc ? What is their stand on the issue, as things stand today ? Not expecting an answer at the moment, but nonetheless questions which can be raised. Also important to remember that there is the Naga Women Union which once had Manipur as a suffix but which today stands only as NWU ? Their response to the unfolding scenario will also be extremely interesting. As for AMUCO, UCM, COCOMI and others their stand on the matter has already been made known.