Nagaland governor RN Ravi Credit: File Image

Kohima: The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has condemned the ‘shallow attempt’ by the governor of Nagaland and the Interlocutor for Naga peace talks RN Ravi to “mislead the Naga people through his greeting” on the occasion of the 58th statehood day.

Through its president Ninoto Awomi and general secretary Liremo Kikon, the federation said that it is appalled by Ravi’s “attempt to placate his alter-ego by glorifying the 16th Point charter of demands which had long been disowned by the Naga people.”

“There is no denying the fact that the creation of Nagaland did reap in monetary dividends for a section of the Naga people besides other tangible and intangible perks, it had only resulted in a more fractious Naga society and Governor’s claim that it has been the best thing to happen to the Naga people only reveals his shallow understanding of the Naga history and also the narrow walls within which he has been trying to solve the vexed Indo-Naga Political issue,” the student body said.

The NSF said that this only undermines and belittles the people that are assigned to have a political dialogue. The federation reminded Ravi that Nagas are spread across four Indian states and two international Countries, which was done without their consent.

The federation said that as an interlocutor, “his mandated role should be to find a common ground for all the Naga people and not instigate further division by patronizing an agreement brought about by declared ‘traitors’ of the Naga cause.”

It goes on to say that Nagas out-rightly rejected and disowned the theories forwarded in the “Bedrock of Naga society” and so any attempt by the Governor to legitimise the same “reeks of insensitivity and disregard for the aspirations of the Naga people”.

“With his patronising of the illegitimate 16th Point charter of demands, the current peace process becomes doubtful to be enduring if the real representatives of peoples’ resistance are isolated like the past misadventures,” it added.

Also Read: Nagaland Governor asks Nagas to reclaim state from violence on 58th statehood day

Even as they acknowledged that the entire stretch of Naga homeland has its own share of violence and bloodshed, the federation said that it is “only” so because of the centre’s “multiple attempts to undermine the might of the Naga people.”

While the Naga people’s assertion for self-determination is in line with the inherent ethos, values, and customary systems of the Naga society and not otherwise, it claimed that it is the policies of the government of India and their attempts to “muzzle the voices of Naga people through militarization that is causing much harm to the Naga society.”

The student body added saying, “The wishes of the Naga people for early conclusion of the peace process should in no way be construed as the Naga peoples’ willingness to accept anything and everything that is handed over to them. Instead, it is merely the desire of the Naga people that the subjugation and oppression by outside forces are brought to an end at the earliest thereby reigning in a new era of peace wherein the dignity of every Naga soul is respected.”

Further, the federation appealed Ravi to “rise up from his self-induced slumber and realise that the Naga People’s Convention (NPC) 16th point charter of demands was a total failure and that it only sowed the seed for further division and confusion.”

The failure of the impugned agreement to solve the Naga political issue led to the ceasefire and political dialogue with the Naga National Council (NNC) in 1964 and thereafter the endless political dialogue leading to this day, the federation reminded.

Furthermore, the federation appealed to Ravi to refrain from furthering the old ‘carrot and stick’ policy and adopt a more pragmatic approach in order to ensure that the interests of the two entities are upheld through the political solution.

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