No love lost between Jamir and NSCN (IM) Meaningful words
There is obviously no love lost between them and this is where the choice of words becomes very interesting and could be significant too. Former Chief Minister of Nagaland and veteran political figure of the North East, SC Jamir minced no words in asserting that the ‘demonic force should be removed’, with reference to what is now generally understood as the Indo-Naga peace process. The former Chief Minister of Nagaland did not stop with the ‘demonic forces must be removed’ observation but went on to elaborate that there was ‘neither sovereignty, nor integration, nor Flag nor Constitution’ in the Framework Agreement signed between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India on August 3, 2015. SC Jamir went on to qualify his assertion with the observation, ‘On the day of the signing the agreement, they have not raised any other issue except for clapping and shaking hands. Therefore, I believe that whatever they have done, they might have carefully examined word by word, line by line, and they might have come to the conclusion that is in the best interest of the people of Nagaland and also the Government of India..’ Note the stress on the words given in italics by The Sangai Express and it becomes pregnant with meaning. One still remembers the day information of the signing of the Framework Agreement reached the newsroom of this newspaper. The mobile phones of all the senior reporters rang non-stop, with friends and acquaintances and even interested family members inquiring about the Framework Agreement. The answer to all such queries was the same, ‘Nothing clear.’ On the other hand, the NSCN (IM) on more than one occasion has claimed that the Framework Agreement is the only pact that has promised the Nagas their rightful dues and by extension this meant, a Greater Lim and the demand put forth for a separate Flag and Constitution. How things develop in the coming days will only be known when everything is spelt out in black and white but this is the time for all to acknowledge that so much confusion as well as contrasting interpretation has been given to the content of the Framework Agreement for the pact was treated like a top State secret with no one really knowing what it was all about after it was signed. Even today not everything seems to be very clear with the then Governor RN Ravi and the NSCN (IM) giving different takes on what the Framework Agreement is all about. This ‘problem’ has arisen mostly on account of the people not really knowing what the Framework Agreement was all about though it was ironically signed on behalf of the people who the NSCN (IM) claim to represent.
Keeping the people informed and taking them into confidence. This is lesson number one which either side should acknowledge and an agreement which was inked on behalf of the people should have been put in the public domain. Then surely the stand off over the content of the pact would not have arisen today, for it would have been out in the public domain. The NSCN (IM) too has not been keeping quiet for just one day after SC Jamir came out with his ‘demonic force’ and ‘people of Nagaland’ observation, the NSCN (IM) came out with the accusation that the Government of India is trying to push through an edited version of the 16-Point Agreement. This observation is important for remember SC Jamir is the only living signatory of the 16-Point Agreement, the others having passed away earlier. Clear that in SC Jamir, the NSCN (IM) sees a mole planted by the Government of India and the line, ‘Government of India pushing edited version of 16-Point Agreement’ is a direct reference to SC Jamir. Clearly the run up to the final deal between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India has not been a smooth ride and the important question for the people of Manipur to ponder over is whether there is something more than just the Flag and Constitution demand of the NSCN (IM). What if these demands are just decoys to pursue another demand such as Naga integration at the cost of the neighbouring States ? Will this poser be dismissed as firing in the dark or does it deserve some attention ? Only time can tell.