A high-level delegation of the Working Committee (WC) of the NNPGs meeting interlocutor and Nagaland governor RN Ravi in New Delhi on February 24 Credit: File image

Kohima: At a time when the Naga political issue is said to be in “crucial moments”, convener of the Working Committee of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) Kitovi Zhimomi on Tuesday said that labelling the apex Naga tribal bodies and civil society organizations (CSOs) as “Anti-Nagas” and “traitors” is “alarming” and “unfortunate”.

According to Zhimomi, there “is a visible recurrence of toxic political expletives” where the tribal bodies and CSOs are labelled as Anti-Naga and traitors “without any compunction”. “Naga movement survives on the untainted existence of powerful tribal institutions and millions of Nagas who are at the attention, standing right behind their own tribal authorities and civil societies,” he said.

He said that so far, no Naga political leader till now has dared to call the 14 Naga tribes or sub-tribes, the GBs or other civil societies as ‘Anti-Naga’ or ‘Traitors’ for demanding early Indo-Naga political solution that is “honorable and acceptable to Nagas everywhere”.

Zhimomi added saying “To tag or question the wisdom of Naga tribes and civil societies at this hour is very unfortunate. Logically, one or few Naga leaders calling apex tribal bodies and civil societies under whom millions of Nagas share blood allegiance and lineage as ‘traitors’ will not change the narrative. Naga history reserves the right to determine who masterminded divisions, gave genocidal ideas, put them into action and interpreted covert tribal supremacy as ‘National Principle’ or ‘Naga nationalism’. Therefore the labels ‘Anti Naga’ or ‘Traitors’ are best left to future generations to determine who lived and died as one”.

Post the FNR’s Naga reconciliation and unity initiatives, seven Naga political groups, who were once sworn enemies, sat at the behest of Nagaland Tribes Council and GB Federation through peace mediation committee and came together under the platform of WC, NNPGs, he said.

He said that the WC had multiple consultations with all Naga tribes and stakeholders, elected representatives of Nagaland state– both in the past and the present and communications with the Naga neighbors have been restored after decades and that a clear understanding of the negotiated points have been made.

“It is an accepted fact that there will always be elements who do not see reason. Our hope is that Nagas have crossed a stage of violence and bloodshed however, history says the people must be prepared for any eventuality at all times,” said Zhimomi.

The Agreed Position between GOI and WC, NNPGs, he said clearly offers the Naga people an opportunity to “chart their destiny as a people in consonance with their distinct history and identity while maintaining enduring, inclusive peaceful co-existence with GOI. All political and administrative structures have been prepared to this end. In essence, the spirit of 14th Aug. 1947 and 1951 Naga plebiscite is proudly carried forward”.

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Agreed position blows the lid off the perpetual secrecy and mystery of the Indo-Naga negotiations

Zhimomi said that in the three years of negotiations with the centre, the WC, NNPGs has “completely blown the lid off the perpetual secrecy and mystery of the Indo-Naga negotiations” through the “Agreed Position”. This first step, according to him when the GoI recognized the political and historical rights of the Nagas “to self determine their future in consonance with their distinct identity”.

“The principle of enduring peaceful co-existence with due regard to contemporary political realities allows the Nagas to entrench the relationship while exercising absolute sovereign rights over Naga subject matters,” he said.

Commenting on the 23 year-long negotiation between the centre and the NSCN-IM, Zhimomi said that some “obselete minds” consider it “as some sort of achievement”.

“Anarchists, pseudo nationalists and profiteers have looted and embezzled Nagaland’s wealth to the bone. They do not wish to alter this status,” he said further adding that “Nagaland is the heart of Naga political struggle”.

He goes on to say that if this heart stops beating, the Naga political aspiration in Myanmar, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh or Assam will “die a slow painful death” and the Naga culture and identity will disappear and assimilate with the alien culture.

He added “The futility of the endless political talks is felt first by tribes in Nagaland. The practical and progressive thinkers have made up their minds that a three year negotiations with transparency and a defined political roadmap for Nagas everywhere, agreed by GOI and WC is more acceptable than a disturbing twenty three year undeclared talks”.

After twenty three years of political talks, when a negotiator declare that Nagas do not accept the union of India or the Indian constitution, it could only mean political dialogue was a circus exercise for personal gains, he sai further adding that the “much touted FA agreement of 2015” becomes “invalid”.

In this regard, he said that the organization “owes an explanation to the Naga people” as it “reeks despotic, incoherent, unreliable and anti-people character and mind”. With these inconsistent political ideas, he said the WC believes that the reconciliation efforts of the Church, Naga tribes, the JLF and PAM, peace mediators are “wasted since the foundation is constantly shaken and uprooted at crucial moments”.

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WC, NNPGs to find an acceptable and honorable political solution with firm commitmen

Saying that leaders must read the pulse of the people of each generation, he said that one’s perceived philosophy may work at one period of time, and the same may not work on another.

“As per the desire of the Naga people, WC, NNPGs will prepare itself to find an acceptable and honorable political solution with firm commitment that all unresolved matters shall be pursued through democratic and political process subsequent to the Agreement with GOI. This aspiration of the Naga people must given due space, time and respect by all entities who wish to stay away from impending solution,” he concluded.

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