If a definite Naga political solution that is ‘acceptable and honorable’ to all is being collectively mapped and based on which, the demand of ‘solution and not election’ is pressed upon the Government of India, then the coming state Assembly election is neither a necessity nor desired. It demands the entire public to come together to even boycott the election and push for such a ‘solution.’
In such a context, it also sounds logical to demand for imposition of President’s Rule in the state and during which the ongoing negotiations on the Naga political issue can be pushed for coming to a final settlement.
The call for ‘solution and not election’ has made headlines over the past couple of months even as news of the preparation for the state general Assembly election takes centre stage. It has now taken a more heightened tone, at least in paper, with the Nagaland Civil Society’s call for solution over election stating that the “state elections will create chaos, confusion and disorder.”
Is their assessment fully justified? One may pause and think about the impending situation in case of a political settlement that is neither honorable nor acceptable to all. As of now, there is a whole lot of uncertainty over the kind of solution that is being sought and the so called ‘final settlement’ may create violence. If the state election is said to “create chaos, confusion and disorder” one can imagine the kind of situation that will arise in the event of a political solution which is not only clearly defined but also uncertain.
Civil society organization may claim to represent the voice of the people but it is a contentious ‘claim’ and will be so if it does not hold the consensus of all Nagas especially on an issue as sensitive as the Naga political issue. Further, this raises serious questions of accountability – Will the civil society hold themselves accountable?
Further, the call for solution over election requires a concrete basis and not on any uncertain pretext though it has been said that the “solution is closer than never before.” But the reality is that the dialogue towards a Naga political settlement has only begun. With the inclusion of the 6 NNPGs, the interlocutor to the Indo-Naga political talks, RN Ravi has stated that the “spectrum of Naga Political talks has now become larger.” This may even necessitate for ‘reframing’ the framework of the ‘Framework Agreement’ signed between GOI and NSCN (IM) so that the ‘contents’ (or principles of negotiation) to initiate an agreement can be worked out in the larger interest of the political solution being “honorable” and “acceptable” to all.
Thus, the pursuit of a solution will be time consuming and therefore, the call for solution over election will only work to the advantage of the current state legislators. The circumstances, however, have reached to such a compelling state that an open debate in the public domain is imperative to critically analyze and address the issues surrounding ‘solution’ and ‘election’ or more seriously, to seek an answer to what Nagas want?
For now, the demand for an uncertain solution over election has put the Naga identity under serious chaos and disorder. It is high time to sincerely and critically analyze the uncertain issues, rather than blind demands based on uncertainty.