Raising the Greater Lim call again Beyond the Flag, Constitution demand

It is unfortunate but true-the Lim ghost is yet to be exorcised. Not that the NSCN (IM), the mastermind in coining the term Nagalim, had ever hinted that it had stepped down a rung or two from the Lim demand, but it is more than clear that in recent years its focus has been on a separate Constitution and Flag for the Nagas. Maybe it is the ‘silence’ on the Lim part from the NSCN (IM) that has goaded organisations like the Manipur based United Naga Council (UNC) to carry on the Lim flag and raise it when the occasion demands or is deemed by them to be right. And which better platform than to bring up this point than at the G20 summit at Nagaland and try to bring the ‘Naga integration’ issue to the international forum ? Like it or not, it is significant to note that the UNC seems to know when to blow the horn and this is exactly what it sought to do when representatives from the G20 countries were gathered at Kohima. Tough to say how the very act of raising the Lim bogey at the moment would have gone down with the votaries of a united Manipur but this should be more than an indication that nothing can be taken for granted. As stated in this column many times, Manipur would need to look beyond the separate Constitution and Flag demand raised by the NSCN (IM) at this juncture of the peace process. What if this demand is raised as a bargaining chip to be used by the NSCN (IM), all in the name of bringing ‘something substantive’ for the Naga people but would invite more trouble in the region ? This poser is not a shot in the dark, for remember in Thuingaleng Muivah, the NSCN (IM) has a far sighted leader, a person who has on more than one occasion shown that he is ready to stick by the line of ‘Siki hanna loushi, lupaduna konna lakchani‘ (take the 25 paise first and then rupee one will come later at a more opportune time). Has any leader from Manipur read between the line of the ‘separate Constitution and Flag’ demand ? Or is any attempt being made to read between the line of this demand ? As stated earlier, nothing can or should be left to chance and Manipur should always try to look at any demand raised by the  NSCN (IM) and championed by organisations like the UNC against the backdrop of the Lim issue championed so vocally by the outfit earlier. Demands are typically raised as a bargaining chip and with so much at stake no demand of the NSCN (IM) can or should be brushed aside and Manipur should always be alert to this point.
It is also significant to note that at least four Nagaland based civil society organisations also took the opportunity of the international focus on Nagaland during the G20 Summit and raised the call that the Indo-Naga issue cannot be resolved militarily, while pointing the fingers of accusations at New Delhi. Equally significant too is the fact that the Naga Hoho, Naga Mothers’ Association, Naga Students’ Federation and the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights, in its lengthy statement to the media did not raise the integration call, but instead focused on the need to resolve the issue along the Framework Agreement inked between the NSCN (IM) and the Government on August 3, 2015. The silence on the Naga integration call should also be studied minutely to get a better understanding of the finer points of the political reality at Nagaland, given that the NNPGs is ready to ink the final deal without touching on Naga integration and separate Constitution and Flag-issues which have been championed and sought by the NSCN (IM) with so much fervour. The Lim demand continues to cast its long shadow and this reality will continue until a final pact is inked between New Delhi and the NSCN (IM) and this is precisely the reason why Manipur cannot let other issues cloud its understanding of the reality staring at the place and her people. Let it also be clear that the Lim demand can come in different avatars and the head count during the 2001 Census is a case in point. A far sighted vision guiding these points should not be missed and this is where Manipur also needs a far sighted vision.