One step down from Greater Lim ? Pan Naga Hoho

One step down from Greater Lim or Greater Nagalim and one step up from ‘confined within Nagaland’. This is what may be read into the much tom tommed, Pan Naga Hoho, a model espoused by the NSCN (IM) and underlined yet again by its chief of army staff Anthony Ningkhan Shimray while addressing a workshop/conclave on ‘The Role of Youths in Nation Building’ at Ukhrul Town Hall on May 18. Manipur has heard about the Pan Naga Hoho and significant to note that this is one such model that has returned as a workable solution ahead of the  final pact. This is as far as the NSCN (IM) is concerned but significant to note that it is such a model which will pique the interest of the people of Manipur and the Government at Imphal. The significant question is whether the State Government is in the loop or whether it has received any hints from the Centre on the agreed terms that may actually be signed with the IM group of the NSCN. So far nothing much has been coming from Imphal on this count, but one may look at the said point from different perspectives. If the State Government is left out of the loop, then it may mean that any final pact inked with the NSCN (IM) will not affect the interests of Manipur in any way. On the other hand it could mean that the talk should remain strictly with the outfit and there is no reason to involve a third party, which in this case could mean Imphal. Certainly dicey it is, but as Anthony Ningkhan Shimray pointed out, Pan Naga Hoho envisages a model wherein it is a statutory body with executive authority, budgetary and negotiating powers and more importantly will not be bound by geography. Meaning the function of the Pan Naga Hoho will extend to all Naga inhabited areas and one does not need to go back to the map of Nagalim to verify what are the areas that may come under the Pan Naga Hoho model.  Nothing from New Delhi so far, but it is nonetheless important to question whether such a model would be acceptable to Manipur. Territory intact, but with the rider that administration or governance could by pass Imphal on certain key points such as finance, and large parts of the State could come under the governance of the Pan Naga Hoho. A sort of an administrative arrangement where the writ of Imphal may not extend to the Naga inhabited areas on certain points. Not everything is in black and white and for instance it is hard to understand what is actually meant by the term ‘negotiating powers’.
Pana Naga Hoho-This is apart from the Flag and Constitution demand put up by the NSCN (IM). The interesting part is while New Delhi has come out with a firm No to the separate Constitution and Flag demand, nothing much is heard about its position on the Pan Naga Hoho demand. No to Naga integration, no to Flag and Constitution and not clear on where New Delhi stands on the Pan Naga Hoho point and clearly Manipur would need to be on her toes to ensure that her interests are not compromised with. However it also stands that something will have to be given to the NSCN (IM) after all these years of negotiation and it is more than right that civil society organisations start studying what may be acceptable to Manipur. The same thing goes to the BJP led Government at Imphal. This is about Manipur and how she must brace up before the final pact is signed and even at this point, it is more than clear that pressure has been mounted on the NSCN (IM) to come onboard and sign the final pact without further ado. It is not without reason why Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader of Nagaland Yanthungo Patton should single out the Flag and Constitution demand of the NSCN (IM) as the hurdle standing in the way of a final pact. The situation is indeed interesting. From an outfit which paved the way for engaging with the Government of India in a political dialogue to work out a solution, the NSCN (IM) is today being seen in some quarters as the hurdle to a final agreement. This point must have registered in the consciousness of the NSCN (IM) leadership too and most significantly amongst the Nagas of Manipur, and the interesting question still stands, ‘Can a final pact sans the NSCN (IM) be complete?’