Nagas in Manipur celebrating its 73rd Independence Day at Katomei, Senapati in 2019 Credit: File image

Imphal: The United Naga Council (UNC), an apex Naga body based in Manipur, said that every people’s struggle for a rightful place has a history and Nagas history is less than any others.

In a press statement issued on Tuesday, its president S Kho John said that Naga people had made their tryst with destiny a long time ago and the Naga struggles have seen thousands of lives been sacrificed not without a cause.

“It is the resoluteness and the indomitable spirit of the leaders that have brought the movement so far, never ever putting aside the trust in God’s faithfulness and His promises and care to His people,” said Kho John of the Naga apex body in Manipur.

For over 23 years, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has been in talks with the Government of India for an inclusive, honourable and long lasting Naga peace accord with over 100 rounds of negotiations but no substantial result has come out of such talks till date.

Equally stressing on the core demands of NSCN-IM during the ongoing Indo-Naga political talks with the Center, UNC said that the Naga national flag and constitution are ‘the soul and spirit’ of the Naga identity and nationhood.

“Our own identity and future, identity that comes with dignity and future that comes with security has been the guiding spirit and is the cornerstone of our movement since the very beginning,” added Kho John.

While stating that Nagas are at a crucial stage, UNC further said that Zoramthanga, a former rebel and now the chief minister of Mizoram, was once a ‘key player’ in the Naga peace process.

As per the UNC statement, Zoramthanga had once addressed a big Naga delegation gathering in one of the sessions of the ‘Third Naga Consultative Meet’ in the presence of Th Muivah and Late Isak Chishi Swu in 2002, in Bangkok.

“Naga people are fortunate to have these two great leaders still leading you the movement and that Nagas must learn a lesson from the mistakes of the Mizos, the Mizo people have plucked the fruit before it is ripened,” UNC quoted as Zoramthanga saying.

Also Read: Nagas without borders call for ‘unity’ urges everyone to shun enmity among the tribes

“This piece of avowal coming from a rebel leader himself and who later became a chief minister of an Indian state, with varied experiences, was a big lesson for the Nagas to learn,” the UNC maintained.

Earlier, Nagas living in various regions and states called for unity to find common ground for the protracted Naga political issue. It also appealed for cooperation with each other and not defects to work against each other.

Nagas have seen ups and downs in these long years of struggle and there has been “turmoil and turbulence, follies and foibles, deceptions and deceits, agreements and disagreements, both within and without, said the UNC.

It also said Nagas had dealings with great Indian leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Jaya Prakash Narayan, India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Nehru, eight Indian Prime Ministers and now Prime Minster Modi, over Indo-Naga political issue. “And in Modi 1.0, the historic Indo-Naga Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 in New Delhi for an early logical conclusion based on the unique history and situation of the Nagas,” UNC added.

While asserting that it is the vulnerable within factor that would destroy the Nagas, UNC also appealed the Naga people to do away with the conception or misconception of ‘takeable’ or ‘giveable,’.

“Nagas are at a very critical juncture, at the threshold of entering a new era passing by our chequered history and in the event of signing the ‘final’ agreement without the “indispensable manifestation of our identity and our future (read: flag and constitution), we will be wrong to say that our situation and history have been unique,” said the Naga body.

“Future generations would wish this should have never been done. It is not about arrogance. It is about resilience,” it added.

Also Read: CNC appeals for special prayers for recognition of Naga flag, Constitution

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