Dr. Asangba Tzüdir
The ‘tussle’ between ‘solution’ and ‘election’ has reached such a point of unpredictability and uncertainty, where it has chances of going both ways though neither one is confirmed as bound to happen. Even as the call for ‘solution’ gets louder, intending candidates continue to make declaration for the NLA election.
The emergence of a core committee headed by Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations (CCNTHCO) with renewed vigor to the call of ‘solution’ has led to political parties agreeing to forgo elections. However, tuning in to their riposte of ‘Election for Solution’, central BJP sources confirmed that the signatory made by two members of the state BJP was not authorized.
The CCNTHCO in the 29th January joint declaration has adopted certain resolutions detailing a course of action including a state-wide bandh on 1st February in the event of ECI going ahead with its 31st January election notification. As such a lot depends on the Election Commission of India. Question is whether ECI will be forced to rethink?
Though the word ‘boycott’ is missing, the resolutions adopted by the CCNTHCO is working towards it. Further, terminologically the usage “Solution before Election” rather than “Solution, not Election” in their resolution also sounds like there will be ‘election’ after ‘solution’, or like pursuing ‘solution’ before ‘election’ which is immature considering the circumstances. The question is – What is the ‘solution’ that is being pursued over election?
Reading into the resolutions, a likely state-wide bandh is called for in the event of ECI going ahead with the election notification. There is a silent majority who are fed-up of this bandh culture in Nagaland. It seems convenient to declare bandhs but in the current context, also reflecting on the bandh imposed during the proposed ULB elections, the tussle between ‘solution’ and ‘election’ is such that negative repercussions may outweigh the positives, if at all. Is there no other means than bandh? Sadly, a bandh is most likely to be imposed in the pursuit of an ‘uncertain end.’
Further, another resolution also reads as reported, “Any candidate or political parties defying the call of solution before election, or violating the January 29 Joint Declaration shall be treated as anti-Nagas.” Now, this resolution sounds threatening more than being called an ‘anti-Naga.’ “The CCNTHCO publicly urges the NNPGs to reign in their cadres, if any, participating in the electioneering process.” One can imagine the worst in case of such contingency.
In all probability, Nagas are not against ‘solution’ and nor is it a question of preferring ‘election’ over ‘solution’ but it is a question of what is the ‘solution’ and the process involved that is contentious.
Coming to the issue of ‘solution’ or an ‘honorable and acceptable political settlement’, the push for such ‘solution’ could have been done through such a resolution that calls for immediate dissolution of the present Nagaland Legislative Assembly and be replaced by a kind of ‘Interim Body’ with proper representation including even the centre’s interlocutor R.N. Ravi to start the real process of negotiation between Nagas and the government of India. This could have restored the trust of the general people especially the silent majority sensing sincerity on the struggle for an honorable solution. This is where the resolutions adopted by the CCNTHCO also finds misplaced.
For now, the ‘clash’ between ‘solution’ and ‘election’ has taken a new dimension that whatever the outcome, the accountability will be upon CCNTHCO.
(Dr. Asangba Tzüdir contributes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to email@example.com)