Pushes for an ‘honourable solution’ Reading between the lines
Final settlement, qualified with the term ‘honourable solution’ and this is what is encouraging to note. More than obvious that it is now no longer the NSCN (IM) and the NNPGs which are looking forward to the day when the final deal will be inked with the Government of India, but also the numerous Naga civil society organisations and the positive inputs from the different such organisations is something to be noted. The Forum for Naga Reconciliation is one such body which can be hugely credited for bringing together the NSCN (IM) and the NNPGs under one roof, all with the stated objective of working out a final settlement which will directly impact on the Naga people. There is a lesson to be learnt here for all concerned for this is an example of a civil society organisation taking the lead in bringing two groups together, all in the interest of the Naga people and it is important to note that there has been no report of any civil society organisations or even student bodies splitting or going against each other when the NSCN split into NSCN (IM), NSCN (K), NSCN (R) and numerous other groups. Complementing the task taken up by the armed groups to work out a solution and it is along this line that one can see the Global Naga Forum (GNF) going ahead and urging President of India, Droupadi Murmu, to use her good office to speed up the peace dialogue between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) and NNPGs. A mature approach this is and a clear case of a voluntary organisation talking in the interest of the Naga people and not just one group of the negotiating parties. The GNF did not represent either the NSCN (IM) or the NNPGs but spoke in the interest of the Naga people and this is something laudable. Here it is also important to note the fine print in the memorandum submitted to the President of India and the stress on the words ‘indigenous Naga groups/tribes totalling 67 who live in four States in North East India and a province in Myanmar.’ More than obvious and as the name Global Naga Forum suggests, its memorandum was submitted on behalf of all the Nagas living in different parts of the world, particularly the Nagas who live in the States of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Naga homeland is the term used by the GNF and this is most likely to pique the interests of the people in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, more particularly those who like to read between the lines.
Not explicitly stated, but it is the unstated and the implicit that can pique people’s interest and the memorandum submitted by the GNF to President Murmu lives up to this understanding. With the NNPGs and the NSCN (IM) having agreed to work under one common platform, the internal contradictions within the big Naga family may be said to have been addressed to a satisfactory extent, but one hopes no major differences crop up in the coming days. The peace process between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) is now a little over 25 years and a union between a man and a woman would have been celebrated as the silver jubilee of their marriage in this period. Citing an example to underline how long the peace talk has dragged on and in between the NSCN has lost the I in its namesake NSCN (IM). Only right that the long years of negotiation should proceed to its logical conclusion and in a way it is imperative to note that any solution should not impede on the interests of the other communities or States. An ‘honourable solution’ should be understood not only within the context of the negotiating parties but also how honourable it is to the neighbouring people. The understanding of peace or a solution will stand defeated if in the process the interests of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are compromised in any manner. A point which should not be overlooked while working out the final deal. The deal should be final and it should not mean sowing the seeds of discontent in other States of North East and the people of these States.