Despite of we, the Nagas, being impatient for Political Solution for years, we still seem to have two varied opinions on whether we like to have solution or not to have it. Some insists that so long as Naga solution is without Sovereignty and Integration based on Plebiscite of 1951, such solution bereft of the principle aspirations is not acceptable. Yes, the NNC started Naga National movement for the Nagas to remain sovereign under a single political roof. And whatever investments we have made on the movement, be it life or wealth, those were for our sovereignty and one nationhood. It is therefore right for anyone to assert and insist on sovereignty and integration.
The Naga political pioneers made impressive beginning of the movement which earned even International recognition and support of both moral and physical from few friendly quarters. However, our objective could not be achieved during their time and the onus was passed down to us to nurture and take it to its logical conclusion.
Meanwhile, we have discord, distrust, suspicion and factional egos as our priorities over the national aspiration called sovereignty. Pride, arrogance and vindictiveness have blurred our political vision and eroded the political foundation founded under NNC led by A.Z. Phizo and comrades. These ground realities had immensely disappointed our sympathizers who made sincere attempts to give positive impetus for molding a secured future for us. Thus, we have denied sovereignty and integration to ourselves for the obvious reason that we opted for self-defeat. Yet, Nagas have high tendencies to blame GOI for what mess we have created for ourselves rather than admission and realization.
This being the factual position, if the Nagas are to insist that no other alternative arrangement will be acceptable till we achieved sovereignty, it definitely means to keep the prevailing situation in status quo. In other words, we have to continue living under 10 governments indefinitely. And I do not need to waste the pages with the highlights of those ills inflicted upon Nagaland State and by which it has remained retrogressive for years.
The other section of Nagas aspires for that alternative political solution. This section of Nagas of pro-solution perhaps have the following beliefs: a) The existing 9 Naga National Political Groups(NNPGs) are too divided to land the Nagas into a sovereign nation. b) The existing batch of top leaders of 9 NNPGs may be short of people’s expectation, and yet, there is no guarantee that these aged leaders would be succeeded by more capable, more honest, more committed and actionable successors. Naga image may be bad now under their leaderships and yet, by God’s grace, the GOI has been in negotiation with 7 NNPGs although one cannot be over confident of the end result. c) After the death of these aged leaders of NNPGs, no wonder if NNPGs turn into total disarray which will definitely fail to attract the attention of GOI for political negotiation as of now. d) The GOI is found sincere to have political solution at this very moment, and if we miss the opportunity only God knows when we can get such chance again. e) Better opt for a solution provided such is promotional one and not a demotion although without sovereignty and integration.
In the event of negotiators attaining logical conclusions, there is likelihood of those NNPGs backed by the second section to be blamed by the first section of our people on the plea that the former has deviated from the original political principle of the Nagas. There may be tendency to blame the negotiators that it has betrayed the Nagas to the extent of mortgaging our rights for personal gains. Also, that solution was brought, if at all, without the consent of the Nagas.
Nevertheless, what I understand the prevailing Naga political imbroglio is comparable to that of the Nagas are sandwiched between the devil and the deep, deep sea. Failing to get sovereignty and integration is the devil and to perpetuate living under the bondage of taxation to 10 governments is the sea. At this rate, we can never have a progressive society for the basic reason that our economy is collectively strangulated. As long as we have 9 governments, the 10th Govt., i.e., the State Govt., no matter how efficient it may be, cannot sweep clean the floor of governance. Therefore, one remedy for Naga ailments is how to minimize the number of governments in Nagaland. Thus, the only answer is solution to political problem which, I believe, will be contributory towards our aspiration in the long run. We have to therefore support the ongoing process of negotiation. The relaxation of the degree of aspiration is necessitated for survival.
What I believe: Not that I know but what I believe the ongoing negotiation can possibly evolve is State-wise solution. This arrangement is necessitated by the strong posture of GOI that Naga integration is not possible. Therefore, when our Naga areas are not amalgamated, it will not be feasible for us to have a single solution as though we can live under one political umbrella. Political packages to Nagas in each State may become the result of the negotiations. Under such arrangements, Nagas have to be contended with respective States in status quo topped with packages.
Meanwhile, certain section of Nagas are found fond of putting across their high profile felicitation activities of John the Baptist’s mission in the media from time to time laced with much apprehension of post solution violence. I tend to differ with those apprehensions that as though Naga world will tumble down post solution. To picture that violence and bloodshed will be the backlash of post solution is with negative motive towards negotiation. Those who have tendencies to paint the post solution scenario bleak may have other motive to thwart the progressive negotiation towards State-wise solution.
Nagas of today are found to be fond of relaxing in the gallery watching the ongoing games in the pitch and have the temerity to give ‘holier than thou’ comments and make passing remarks on the performances of the performers. Taking the advantage of the modern technology, there are many social media Solomons and face-book/twitter lions on any given issue projecting self-righteousness and undermining the practical actors all the time. Whereas, these Solomons and lions will like to take back seat and doze off when issues of common concern arises needing practical contribution from everyone. For instance, hardly anyone lauded it when the recent Court’s directive for CBI inquiry into Kohima High Court project scam was spilled in the media. The silence on such issue implies that we are not against corruption in reality. As and when solution arrives, particularly this section of people will prowl on it and even can get it racked up to the extent of misguiding the common man.
To say that nothing below sovereignty and integration is as easy as inhaling oxygen, but to practically achieve it requires sacrifices from everyone. Let us hope that Nagas will have realization one day and unite to pursue what we deserve to have.