Greater Lim versus Frontier Nagaland Can the twain meet ?

    06-Jan-2023
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 The irony in the story stands out prominently and from the ‘vision’ or dream of a  Greater Lim or Greater Nagaland, the ghost of which continues to haunt Manipur to a certain extent even today, has risen the story of a Frontier Nagaland so much so that this is a narrative which has reached the Union Home Ministry. And if one goes by what the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) has had to say then a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the demand for a Frontier Nagaland is scheduled to be held at Guwahati on January 5. Even as this observation is being penned down, the outcome or report of the scheduled meeting is being awaited and only time will tell how things pan out in the coming days. The legislature party leader of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) Azo Neinu has been quoted as stating that the demand for an Eastern Nagaland has been turned down by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. This however does not seem to have dampened the spirit of the ENPO with the Organisation rolling up its sleeves for the scheduled meeting with the Union Home Minister. Still not clear how well the demand for an Eastern Nagaland has gone down with the NSCN (IM) and the NNPGs but this certainly seems to go against the very demand for a Greater Lim pursued by the NSCN (IM). The outfit has till date not shown any indication that it has climbed a rung or two down from its demand for the unification of what it calls, ‘Naga areas’ but what has gone beyond the stage of indication is the demand for an Eastern Nagaland which must be haunting any entity that purports to hold the interest of the ‘great Naga family’ above anything else. How Delhi responds to the demand put forth by ENPO is again something which only time will tell, but it says something significant that such a time will come when the Greater Lim demand would be clouded by the demand for a Frontier Nagaland. To any observer, the demand for a Frontier Nagaland would run contrary to the demand for a Greater Lim and this is where the irony lies and this is again where the interesting story kicked up by an irony can rise. How New Delhi responds to the unravelling situation may be known after some time, but the very fact that the demand for a Frontier Nagaland has reached the office of the Union Home Ministry is significant and this is where ENPO may be said to have scored a point, a powerful point indeed.
ENPO also seems to know when to strike or give the much needed push to its demand. Staying away from the Hornbill Festival, perhaps the biggest festival hosted by the Government of Nagaland, has already delivered a powerful point and now its call to the people of eastern Nagaland to boycott the coming Assembly elections in the neighbouring State is another significant and powerful point being raised. As reports have clearly stated, ENPO is the apex organisation which controls six of the 16 districts of Nagaland and this figure itself should tell the story of how it has the potential to dilute the very understanding of an Assembly election in Nagaland. How many seats come under the six districts under the control of ENPO is not very clear, but it is more than obvious that it is influential. How the Government of India goes about appeasing the ENPO and the people of eastern Nagaland remains to be seen, but the more interesting question is how this demand has gone down with the leadership of the NSCN (IM) which has set its sight on a Greater Lim. So far the NSCN (IM) has not said anything on the demand raised by the ENPO, but what will develop in the coming days is anybody’s guess. To The Sangai Express the demand for a Frontier Nagaland is interesting for one cannot view it in isolation of the Greater Lim demand put up by the NSCN (IM) and how Delhi responds to the situation via the ongoing peace process would be interesting to wait and watch.