Reaching out to SC Jamir Politics of peace
The politics of peace must have surely proven to be much more dicey than the bush war that the NSCN (IM) waged against the Government of India for decades and the latest move of New Delhi to seek the ‘opinions and suggestions’ of former Chief Minister of Nagaland, SC Jamir will surely fall into the understanding of the ‘politics of peace’ at least to the NSCN (IM). Things must rather be clear to the people by now. The Working Committee of the NNPGs, a conglomerate of different armed groups which were/are active in Nagaland, is ready to ink the final pact with the Government of India and it appears that it is only the NSCN (IM) which is still keeping the card close to its chest. A separate Flag and Constitution as demanded by the NSCN (IM), seems to be the stumbling block to the final pact, but to the NNPGs these are non issues and hence they are ready to go ahead and sign the final deal, probably in line with the Agreement inked in 2017. It is precisely this politics of negotiations and the politics of peace that must be stretching the NSCN (IM) and it was somewhat a foregone conclusion that the NSCN (IM) would not take it lightly the moment the Centre reached out to Jamir in connection with the ongoing negotiations. The politics of differences between the Naga outfit and the former Chief Minister of Nagaland will surely not be known well outside Nagaland and the Naga people, but there is definitely no love lost between them, amply demonstrated by the three bids on his (Jamir’s) life. It is also well known that the former Nagaland Chief Minister had always stood by his belief that all Naga armed groups must be taken on board to come to a definitive conclusion. It is obvious that such a line of thought would not have gone down well with the NSCN (IM) and this is where the very decision of New Delhi to reach out to SC Jamir gains prominence. Is this in any way a muted signal to the NSCN (IM), that it must come on board now to sign the final pact without sticking to the separate Flag and Constitution demand or else...? Or is this also an indication that the Centre is loath to view or understand the NSCN (IM) as the only organisation representing the Naga people ? This poser is important for remember that the NNPGs is today an important player in the peace dialogue with the Government of India.
Bringing in the NNPGs to the negotiating table. Reaching out to SC Jamir. And clearly it should be obvious that New Delhi has flung its net wide and far to ink the final pact. The only question, however is whether any pact without the NSCN (IM) can be total. Any final pact with the NNPGs sans the NSCN (IM) will obviously find no takers amongst the Nagas of Manipur. This much is a given, for in the rank of the NSCN (IM) there are many from Manipur. This is a point which must have also registered in the consciousness of New Delhi and surely no one would want a repeat of the Shillong Accord. Yet at the same time it also stands that the NSCN (IM) cannot go on forever with the peace process. Thuingaleng Muivah is already in the winter of his life and while second rung leaders must have been groomed to take over anytime, it remains that the outfit would never be complete without the man from Somdal village. It is against this reality that the peace process is proceeding with its fair share of politics and this is something which Thuingaleng Muivah and his men will have to make their way through else the more than 20 years of political negotiations and the long years of waging a bush war against the Government of India will come to nought. As for Manipur, nothing can be left to chance and in as much as the NSCN (IM) will have to cope with the politics of peace, the Government of Manipur too will have to see how it can go about putting its best foot forward, even as the peace process proceeds towards the final pact. The politics of peace can sure be dicey and prove to be much more complicated than waging a bush war.