Media being used to create confusion, division and fear within the Nagas: NSCN-IM
Guwahati: As "informal talks" on the Naga political issue taking place in Delhi between the NSCN-IM and the government of India representatives, the NSCN-IM in a latest statement said that the "media has been pulled in to pressure" them.
The group has also termed Delhi University teacher Deepika Singh, senior journalist Shekhar Gupta and others as "nothing more than malicious mischief mongers".
"There is a very bemusing phenomenon taking place behind the informal talks going on in Delhi, on day to day basis between the Government of India represented by the IB team and the NSCN. The media has been pulled in to put pressure on NSCN by writing baseless but tormenting things about Naga Chief Negotiator Mr. Th. Muivah and other abhorrent things about the Naga solution," an official statement from the group said.
According to the rebel group, the truth "shall never simply run away" although it hard. NSCN has time and again setting the record straight and sending shockwaves across," it said.
The group claimed that it was "compelled to unleashed blistering attack against Mr. RN Ravi for his mischief on the Framework Agreement and other misdoings".
Shortly after informal talks began, it said that known and unknown "professional figures in the media" has "changed color to sell themselves doing the bidding of the intelligence agency that have something to grind against NSCN".
The NSCN-IM said that the "media market" is floated with "distorted and manipulated stories and articles" on the Naga issue targeting NSCN and its chief negotiator Th Muivah. "The truth, however, cannot be sacrificed at the altar of misinformation campaign launched against NSCN," it added.
"Deepika Singh who teaches political science in Delhi University is using the media platform such as News18.com to write on Naga issue but burnt her fingers when she went for the issue that is too big for her to handle. She was reckless from the word go as she went hammer and tongs against the NSCN general secretary and Naga chief negotiator Mr Th Muivah accusing him for playing tribal card to scuttle any peace deal following the talks that took place after the First Indo-Naga ceasefire in September 4, 1964," the statement read.
According to the group, it is beyond an iota of doubt that Deepika Singh simply went for the Naga issue without knowing the facts. "But she will go nowhere if she desperately tried to magnify her professional image by using the Naga issue to score points. But what provoked indignation was when she went far enough to arrogate herself to touch on Naga issue for the pleasure of malicious fabrications," it added.
The statement also named Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of The Print, who is not new to the Naga political struggle. "But he proved himself as a senior journalist who knows which side of the bread is buttered," said NSCN-IM.
Citing an article which called Muivah as a “past master at scuttling Naga peace deals” on tribal line, the NSCN-IM said that Gupta was also "grounded as his writing finds no historical records" to support the "accusations" against Muivah.
The NSCN-IM said, "All these baseless accusations against Mr. Th. Muivah is nothing but malicious falsehood to further confuse the Naga people at this critical stage". It said that both Singh and Gupta "proved themselves as nothing more than malicious mischief mongers".
"Propaganda is also manufactured that NSCN leaders are simply using the flag and constitution issues to derail and delay the solution for the Naga issue. Flag and constitution are the heart and soul of the Naga political movement. Flag is the political identity of the Naga people and constitution tells of the Naga people as a nation and shows the way forward as a distinct people who would not give up their land in lieu of anything," said NSCN-IM.
On the "wild media speculation that NSCN’s Chinese government connection is forcing the NSCN to go slow in negotiating with the Government of India", it said that the "unfounded allegations" targeting NSCN is seen in the social media".
It recalled the "same unpleasant situation created by Ravi last year" when the October 31 deadline was made to "seal the deal", being propagated by the media wherein it is mentioned that the "deal may have to be signed by September 2020, even without NSCN".
"Such an unhealthy manner of conducting talks between two entities is against the spirit of Indo-Naga political peace process that has travails 23 years where mutual respect and consent has carried the talks all along. It is the settlement of the pending issues that matters and not the deadline that need not be in tearing hurry. This is rather interpreted as testing the nerve of NSCN as prodded by vested interests when informal talks are going on day to day basis with the IB team to smoothen the competencies," the NSCN-IM said.
The group said that "given the timing selected by the propagandist targeting Th Muivah and NSCN, there is coordinated attempt in collusion with the Indian intelligence agencies and the Home ministry officials to create confusion, division and create fear psychosis and threat perception within the Nagas".
"Going beyond this, the propagandists wanted to create insecurity feeling, hatred and bigotry. However, the Naga people are no longer naive to this kind of manipulated media onslaught launched with venomous and divisive sting," it concluded.