Dr. Asangba Tzüdir
“Solution before Election” & “Election for Solution”
Initially, the ‘opposition-less’ situation in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly was much celebrated within, but as the ‘game of thrones’ started, the unforeseen danger unfolded in the form of ‘opposition’ within the ‘opposition-less’ and it proved to be more destructive leading to their own downfall. This drama has not only angered the masses but it has created a huge trust deficit. It is against the backdrop of such state of affairs that Nagaland and the people are gearing up for another election.
Now with the election dates declared, so several things are happening in the midst of shifting ‘loyalties’ even as the call for ‘Solution before Election’ gets unnecessarily louder. Unknown of the ‘status’ of the ‘solution’, the Naga political issue sadly has more often been made into a “perfect alibi” either for ‘political leverage’ or ‘gaining mileage.’
In the latest development, pressing on the call for ‘Solution before Election,’ a “Co-ordination Committee of Naga Civil Societies” was formed at a consultative meeting of Naga Civil Societies and Tribal Bodies, and very surprisingly the meeting was convened by the Nagaland Joint Christian Forum (NJCF). The President of NJCF has said that it convened the meeting with the “responsibility of the Church to bring our people together…”
It will be interesting to see how this development further unfolds. Even if certain measures are adopted where candidates are asked not to contest the polls, or the more extreme of boycotting the election, realistically, solution may not happen before election or even in the near future. A lot of ‘requisites’ are yet to be put together in order to sincerely pursue the ‘honorable and acceptable solution.’
Now, contrary to the civil societies call for ‘Solution before Election,’ the BJP has also come out with their own riposte of advocating ‘Election for Solution’ with the justification that a “new government in tune with the centre would help conclude the Naga Peace Process” and only peace could bring development. This too will not escape the scanner.
The call for ‘peace’ is now more than 20 years which also injects a sense of urgency on the need for coming to a final Naga political settlement at the earliest and therefore, if at all the parties at the negotiating table and also the supporters of ‘solution’ are really sincere towards the push for a final settlement, then they could have always pushed for dissolution of the present government and be replaced by a kind of ‘interim body’ with proper representation to take charge of the state government and ensure a ‘smooth transition. This could have somehow restored the trust of the people sensing sincerity on their struggle for an honorable solution. This kind of arrangement could have expedited the peace process. And this is also where the Civil Societies pressing for a ‘Solution before Election’ have somehow failed.
(Dr. Asangba Tzüdir contributes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org)