Intricacies of core issue in Naga insurgency

    08-Sep-2022
|
Sunil Thongam
Contd from previous issue
The NSCN (IM) has repeatedly said it would not accept the ‘Naga National Flag’ as a cultural flag as indicated by New Delhi.  It has vowed that it will not allow itself to be succumbed to 'political blackmail.'
On one hand, the Naga outfit is unlikely to sign the final deal unless the demand for a separate Flag and Constitution was met, but on the other hand the Government of India in light of abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir, is unlikely to think about the Naga outfit's demand.
It is very clear to the Government of India that a final solution to the protracted Naga problem will be the way to peace. The Centre needs a systematic approach and an open mind to end the decades-old insurgency. Prolonging the final political settlement wil continue to pose a challenge for the Government. The Centre has to create the conditions.
According to Shri EN Rammohan, IPS (Retd), it is in Manipur that the NSCN (IM) has played its biggest games. The Meitei from the valley and the Naga from the hills have not been well disposed to each other ever since the Naga insurgency started in 1955.
The Meiteis uneasily watched as the Nagas got a State in 1963, while they still remained a Union Territory. Later as the NSCN (IM) gained strength the Meiteis who had ruled over Manipur and a major part of Nagaland for hundreds of years, began to feel threatened. The Manipur valley and particularly Imphal was a rich ground for extortion.
Recently, Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Yanthungo Patton, who is also the BJP legislature party leader, allegedly said some “big leaders” of the Naga Nationalist groups do not want a solution to the Naga issue but continue reaping the fruits of tax collection and extortion. Patton's statement indicated intricacies of the core issue in Naga insurgency.  He gave nuances to the core issue.
The Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) in a recent statement said that the general public in Nagaland has been the ultimate victim of the unabated and multiple illegal taxations, all kinds of suppressive and anti-people activities of the selfish authorities and the armed elements alike under the signed ceasefires during the last 25 years that has virtually destroyed everything both in public and private sectors.
However, in May this year, the NSCN (IM) blamed New Delhi for increasing the burden of taxes on the people in Nagaland through several extremist factions.
The Naga rebel outfit made this accusation a day after the Nagaland Government ordered all “police check gates”, except those at the inter-State boundaries, to shut down to “curb illegal collection of money from the vehicles on roads”.
In a statement the publicity ‘ministry’ of the NSCN (I-M) had said taxations “can see the end” once the Naga solution materialises. “We understand the pressing situation where people are overburdened with multiple factions and taxations... Ironically, these factions are not created by Nagas themselves,” the outfit said.
The NSCN (IM) had said the Government of India created these factions to “burden the Naga public with the sinister design to pull down the Naga Nationalism”.
The factions referred to are at least seven constituents of the rival Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) that signed the Agreed Position with the Centre in 2017.
If there is no complete and unresolved support of the people,  insurgency just cannot have the chance of success. At the same time, the uprising of the Mizo National Front (MNF) finally collasped when they themselves came to power. The uprising was a revolt against the Government of India aimed at establishing a sovereign Nation State for the Mizo people. Coming to power resulted in the MNF collapse. The historic Mizoram Accord was signed between MNF and Government of India in 1986 ending two decades of insurgency in Mizoram. It also opened the way for the former insurgents headed by Laldenga to form the Government in Mizoram.