Touch stance with look at past ‘mistakes’
The bloody past !
It has not been spelt out explicitly but in asserting that the Government of India should not commit the ‘mistake’ of the Shillong Accord and the 16 Points Agreement, the NSCN (IM) has more than indicated that any ‘half baked’ accord cannot be accepted. It could possibly mean any final ‘Naga accord’ sans a separate Constitution and a Naga flag will not be anything short of a sell out. And to all those who have been closely following the peace process between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India and between New Delhi and the NNPGs, it should be clear that the ‘warning shot’ has been fired at any accord without the separate Constitution and a Naga flag. These two demands have been the bone of contention between the outfit and New Delhi for long, but to the NNPGs these two issues can be discussed later and the final accord may be signed anytime. It is against any such move that the NSCN (IM) had issued the statement to the media on March 23. Difficult to say how the Government would have taken the warning shot from the NSCN (IM), but it should be more than clear that any final agreement sans the NSCN (IM) can see a repeat of what happened after the Shillong Accord was signed in 1975. Guns boomed and many so called Accordists were eliminated, but this time round the picture can be different. If any lesson has been learnt from the past, then obviously the NNPGs would not be caught off guard and in such a situation, one can expect the guns booming in the hills of not only Nagaland but even Manipur. Not that the NNPGs may have any sympathisers from amongst the Nagas of Manipur, but yet one cannot write off any possibility and to be sure the intelligence network of the Government of India must have already done the spadework to identify who can become the likely target. The NNPGs too must have already rolled up their sleeves to face any eventuality especially after it went ahead and announced that it is ready to sign the final pact, which concerns only the Nagas of Nagaland !
This is about Nagaland and the different stands adopted by the NSCN (IM) and the NNPGs but what is of concern to Manipur is how a final pact will or can impact on Manipur. The Government of Manipur and numerous Manipur based CSOs have made their stand clear on more than one occasion. Any solution should not dilute the understanding of Manipur as a geo-political reality, is the stand adopted by the different CSOs and by this one should understand it as a stand that is strongly opposed to any compromise on the territorial integrity of Manipur and any step taken up to bypass the duly elected Government of Manipur in the name of any particular community. That this stand has not been acknowledged by the NSCN (IM) and the Naga CSOs should be clear to all, but ultimately what will matter is how New Delhi respond to the demand put up by the NSCN (IM). In the BJP led regime at Imphal, the State now has a Government which is no longer the ‘communal Government of Manipur,’ a line coined by the United Naga Council and which went well with the line, ‘so called Government of Manipur.’ The interesting question is whether this change in the understanding of the Government of Manipur has come about with the change in the political party in power at Imphal or whether it is due to any change in the goal post of the peace talk. Only time may be able to give the answer, but the NSCN (IM) has already made its stand clear and this is what is significant.