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IFS Retd (RR -68)
Retd Principal Secretary, Nagaland
Some of us say Nagaland is an Illegitimate State. We must make a paradigm shift from this Idea. The description is perhaps too narrowly strong a term to describe the very source of the overwhelming majority of the Naga people has their being and life. We can say the State is not the best of what we want, we can say it is sub-standard, has fallen far short of our expectations; we can even say it has become downright Corrupt and contemptible, if not despicable.
Yet to say what the overwhelming majority of our Family members, our Clan, our Khel, our Village, our Tribe and many of our trusted Friends have voted for, as Illegitimate. Such a notion may be hypocritical though a very minute percentage of the Population might not have participated in the Voting on Principle.
The thousands upon thousands of our roundly educated Children, boys and girls repeatedly every year, sit in the Selection Tests of Nagaland Public Service Commission for a few posh Government Jobs testify the importance of the State.
The very identity of us the People, our Land Patta in the Cities and Towns, the University certificates our Children have, the certificate of our Gun License, our Car Number and License, even the Foreign Travel documents our so-called ‘Undergrounds’ have are from the State.
EVERYONE, Traitor or self-proclaimed Patriot in Nagaland, directly or indirectly, maintain their Body and Soul together in One Piece because of the State.
The creation of Nagaland State with Special Constitutional Provisions considering the LAND’S historical past and continuing political problem was not illegitimate at worst.
Nagaland, with Patriots and Traitors, is neither ILLEGITIMATE nor its Creators TRAITOR.
The State was born out of the declared marriage of the Good Will of the Rulers and the Church as the Voice of the people at an impossibly difficult period of the People, forced into Fenced concentration Villages, prevented from Agriculture, without food and means of livelihood, at the hand of the Army and the Police.
The NNC, the Naga National Council holds on to the Ceasefire but not the political Part of the Shillong Accord; the GoI abrogated the Ceasefire but holds on to the other part of the Shillong Accord as valid.
Whatever Party holds whichever Part of the controversial Shillong Accord, the present State of Nagaland is not the final political Messiah for the Naga, the State is, like John the Baptist is the Forerunner to the One which is to come, to make its Way, the Curved one Straight, the Pot holes filled up, the Drains made and the gradient easy for traffic.
Rightly or wrongly, the King of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession of the Kingdom to India was at the right time: the Nagaland Case is different. It is different from the Case of Jammu and Kashmir.
Well before the British Colonial Power left India:
I. Naga Hills, in 1929, recorded its desire to live a separate life of their own,
II. Reiterated it in 9-Point Agreement 1946,
III. Reiterated it in the 14th August 1947 declaration,
IV. Reiterated by Dissociating from India’s Constituent Assembly,
V. Confirmed their resolve in 1951 Plebiscite,
VI. Completely boycotted India’s Ist 1952 and 2nd 1957 Elections.
VII. And carried on a Guerilla fight when India started using force on the Naga.
Some Naga hold on the view that they have nothing to discuss with India, and that they are not asking India to give them Sovereignty; technically it may be true, yet in real life, a People incarcerated under the Sovereign domination of another has no Sovereignty. To say they have, would be like an Ostrich unable to escape its pursuer buries its head in the Sand and pretend out of danger.
Sovereignty in practice is actually the Recognition by other Nations and formally by the UN.
India Union may have reasons to fear accommodation with the Naga would land itself into an untenable political position with other Separatist Elements elsewhere in India demanding similar accommodations with them.. That fear is unfounded, INDIA can say:
“THE NAGA CASE IS DIFFERENT, IT IS PRE-INDIAN INDEPENDENCE, NOT POST INDEPENDENCE SEPARATISTS”.
India and Nagaland have strong Moral imperative to make a Final Political Settlement mutually between them.