‘Final solution likely very soon’ Noting the key words
The key words here are ’likely’ and ‘very soon’. Or at least this is how Swarajyamag which is a print magazine and news portal has reported. True to the general perception, the magazine and news portal seems to have tilted heavily in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailing him as the person to ‘likely achieve what no one before him has’ and that is solve the Naga issue and bring lasting peace in the North East region of the country. How far a final pact with the NSCN (IM) and the NNPGs will impact on the law and order situation is a matter of conjecture, for remember not all the armed groups in the region, particularly in Manipur are aligned with the NSCN (IM). On the other hand there could be a huge uproar should any pact with the NSCN (IM) compromise with the existence of Manipur as a geo-political entity. This is the reality and the BJP led NDA Government at New Delhi seems to have taken cognizance of this fact if the said report is anything to go by. It was for a reason why The Sangai Express had deemed it fitting to highlight the point where the report went on record to state that New Delhi had ‘firmly turned down’ the demand to ‘integrate all Naga inhabited areas of the neighbouring States of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh with Nagaland.’ After the ceasefire agreement between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India was signed on August 1, 1997, the All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) organised the first ever integrity rally on August 4 of the same year where it was laid down in clear cut terms that no pact with the NSCN (IM) should impinge on the territorial integrity of Manipur. It was on the back of this rally, dubbed as the biggest ever rally in Manipur by AMUCO, that the June 18 Uprising of 2001 against the Bangkok Declaration of June 14, 2001 should be understood. New Delhi seems to have noted this point if its position that integrating all Naga inhabited areas under one single administrative unit is not feasible. However this should not blind Manipur to the possibility of any surprise that may be sprung if and when the final pact is inked. At the moment, the attention of New Delhi and the NSCN (IM) seems to be drawn towards the demand for a Naga Flag and Constitution, and despite the reported novel move of the Centre to incorporate the Naga Constitution in the Constitution of India, Manipur cannot afford to let her guards down. The tough negotiator and far sighted leader that he is, what if Thuingaleng Muivah agrees to drop the separate Flag and separate Constitution demand for something else, such as a totally different administrative set up for the Naga dominated districts of Manipur, by-passing the State Government ?
This is a point which The Sangai Express had already raised on more than one occasion here and central to this observation is the point that the State of Manipur cannot afford to let her guards down. Perhaps this is the right time for Imphal to pitch in and assert their stand that Manipur also need to be taken into confidence ? If Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma can be in the thick of things as far as the political negotiation between the Naga armed groups and New Delhi is any indication, then the least that Manipur can try is to be kept informed of key moves or decisions that may be taken. ‘Likely’ and ‘very soon’-these are the key words at the moment and with the NSCN (IM) reportedly back at the negotiation table, one wonders whether the ‘likely very soon’ final solution will live up to its understanding or not. The final pact and in as much as the NSCN (IM), the people they claim to represent and New Delhi must be watching every development with expectations, Manipur too need to watch the development minutely. Remember there are loads of wisdom in the line, ‘if you cannot get one rupee now, take 25 or 50 paise first,’ and the significance of this observation should not be lost on Manipur. The possibility of the NSCN (IM) sticking to this line of thought should never be dismissed and all the more reason for Manipur to minutely study the development in the political negotiation.