Kohima: On Naga ‘Republic Day’, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) appealed the leaders of all the Naga political groups to “shed aside their ego, mistrust and everything that is preventing them from coming together as one entity”. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the NSCN-IM had earlier called off the Naga Republic Day celebrations on March 21, saying that it will observe the day with a prayer which will be followed by the presidential address.
The NSF through a statement issued by its media on Saturday saluted the visionary wisdom, contribution and sacrifices of the founding fathers and paid “deepest homage to all who had laid down their lives in the service of the [Naga] nation”.
“However, [NSF] is deeply saddened to see the ever-widening divide in our Naga society today,” it said. While appreciating the NSCN -IM and the NNPGs and all political groups’ for contributing towards the Naga cause, it said, “The palpable differences in ideology and approach between the groups have been doing the Naga society much harm than good despite all that they’ve achieved on different negotiating tables.”
Expressing collective aspiration of the Naga youth and the student community for both negotiating groups to shed their differences, it urged them to come on a common platform and find the best possible path and solution for the Nagas in the present political circumstances, without losing the unique political history of the Nagas and for lasting peace in the region.
Appealing the political groups to sincerely forge a unified front in the interest of those who will inherit the outcome of the political negotiation, it said that the “future of the Naga society cannot be subjected to the nefarious whims of those seeking to divide and fragment us, but focus on confidence building measures to enhance brotherhood and camaraderie”.
It also appealed the leaders of all the Naga political groups to “shed aside their ego, mistrust and everything that is preventing them from coming together as one entity” saying that the time has come for both the negotiating teams to “bring whatever has been agreed upon and mutually accepted in one table, carry out deep dive study, compare and contrast to deliberate the ones which will best serve the interest of the Naga people”.
“They should be ably assisted by panel of Naga experts who have proven track record in the field of politics, administration, finance, education, constitutional, developmental etc. In order to ensure and cater to the socio-economic imbalances in all Naga inhabited areas, as non-inclusive policy adopted would only make the entire process shallow”, it added.
It said that the solution to the Naga issue will “aloof” Nagas “unless this [peace] process is initiated and carried out in the true spirit of Naga unity and Naga public aspiration for permanent peace in all Naga inhabited areas”. It added that the guiding principle should uncompromisingly remain “one issue , one solution” which is possible only if “there is clear political clarity on post accord arrangements and deep political understanding of the subject and not flimsy assumptions”.
The NSF also appealed the Government of India (GoI) to conclude the vexed Naga political issue and refrain from any divide and rule policy. It said that the GoI should instead change its approach “based on its true merit and create a bonhomie environment to facilitate the process for early solution based on whatever has been agreed, as any reversion would only delay the process”.
Saying that the Nagas “bank on the sincerity of GOI”, it hoped that “a solution that is “inclusive, honourable and acceptable as per the legitimate right of the Nagas” will be given. The federation further appealed all Nagas to remain united and forge towards the ultimate goal of a logical conclusion.