Taking Kohima and Dispur on board The politics of peace
The political developments in Nagaland are interesting and central to this is the Oppositionless Government at Kohima. It is now more than clear that the Oppositionless Government at Nagaland will be a party to the ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) as well as the NNPGs. The Government of Assam too has been taken onboard the peace process and such a move from New Delhi is what has made things more interesting. Hope of a breakthrough in the decades old peace talks is the line that has greeted the new developments and this is something welcome. Thuingaleng Muivah is no longer a young man and he has definitely crossed the autumn of his years and it is only right that the Government of India too recognizes the fact that here is a process which has always seemed to be in a process beginning from 1997. A process has to come to a conclusion and this is what people of the region are expecting. In taking Nagaland and Assam onboard the Government of India has more than made it clear that it is ready to take everyone along and not make the peace negotiations strictly ‘secret’. As pointed out here in an earlier commentary, the Government of Manipur too would need to see how it can be kept in the loop and New Delhi will need to do more than just take Nagaland and Assam along. One can understand the move to take Kohima on board but the Government of Manipur too should need to know why Dispur has been taken on board and not Imphal. Or if it is a case of Manipur not going to be affected at all when the final deal is inked ? The only hitch is whether Imphal or the people of Manipur can rest satisfied with the oft repeated line that nothing would be done to adversely affect the interests of the State and the people here.
Longest running insurgency in the North East region. This is a line that goes along with the NSCN (IM). In the process the NSCN (IM) has been able to ‘stir’ others to launch their own movements. This much Thuingaleng Muivah, Isak Chisi Swu and earlier the late Phizo have managed to do but the question now is, is the outfit ready to deal with the politics of peace ? None will know this better than the man who is at the helm of the outfit and the politics of peace can be tricky too. How has the outfit been able to conduct itself with the politics of peace is a question that arises. Thingnam Kishan is dead and his battered body still continues to haunt the sensibilities of many especially those in the media here in Manipur. Same is the case with Athuan Abonmai and the images of his lifeless and battered body are still fresh, so vividly sketched in the 24 hours bandh called by the JAC Against the Brutal Murder of Athuan Abonmai. There have been cases earlier too like the Shirui killings when 17 villagers were brutally beaten leading to the death of 6 of them way back in 1991. Such brutalities cannot be equated with the idea of peace or even revolutions. These are some points which the leaders of the NSCN (IM) should ponder over.