Dr. Asangba Tzüdir
‘Final Agreement Could be Signed Tomorrow’
At a time when the pursuit of a ‘Naga Political Solution’ seems to have gained momentum, the Naga Hoho, NMA and NSF boycotted the recent meeting with the GoI Interlocutor questioning the political will and intent of the GoI in prolonging the Indo-Naga peace talk with no solution in sight. According to reports the meeting was said to be ‘interactive’ wherein the Interlocutor dwelt on the ‘progress’ of the talks. But any progress of it was dismissed through reports that it was the “same old song without specifics” which in one way shows that the case for boycotting is not unfounded in context.
In a recent exclusive interview with Nagaland Post, R.N. Ravi as if in justification to the blame put on the GoI as lacking ‘political will’ have responded by saying that the “delay for solution (is) not with GoI,” thereby putting the ‘blame’ back on the Nagas. Considering the reality at home, it is also partly true because at the heart of ‘Naga political solution’ lies the need for Naga reconciliation first, then push for a solution that is honourable and acceptable to all.
However, R.N Ravi’s have stood that the “final agreement could be signed ‘tomorrow’ if the Naga negotiators reciprocate with pragmatic flexibilities” saying that the GoI is now ready with what it plans to consider – a Naga Flag for Pan Naga cultural body and to term the final agreement as Naga “Yehzabo.” Twenty one years of negotiations for a Naga political solution has narrowed down to a separate Naga Flag for Pan Naga cultural body which definitely will have a huge bearing on the “Yehzabo.”
Under such circumstances it can be safely concluded that the pursuit of a Naga political solution is at a deadlock nestled within a rhetorical dialectic that “Final Agreement Could be signed tomorrow.” Added to this, the interlocutor said that the Naga peace talk is at a concluding stage. Now what does it mean for the Naga political solution to be at a concluding stage? The interlocutor has responded by saying that “political parameters of settlement and the specifics of various competencies to be shared between the Naga people and the government of India” have been resolved and that “all issues have been mutually understood and agreed.” If it is the case why should a settlement or an agreement on a separate flag and a Naga Yehzabo have issues of acceptance, since it follows automatically if “all issues have been mutually understood and agreed” as was said by the interlocutor.
Further, a dialogue or peace process cannot be considered to be at a concluding stage unless it can arrive to a certain understanding among all the negotiating parties across a table. This is within the spirit of what he said that there will be only one Naga Peace Process and the fact that, the inclusion of the 6 NNPGs, he admitted, has not only widened the “spectrum of Naga Political talks” but the challenge that still remains is bringing all the Naga political groups to one negotiating table sitting together.
Finally, responding to the issue of boycott of his meeting with CSO’s moved by Naga Hoho, NMA and NSF, he said that the public has every right to show their impatience since they are not aware of the specifics of the negotiations and the progress made. Whatever the case may be, the public as stakeholders will only grow impatient if every meeting revolves around the ‘same old song without specifics.’ Under such circumstances, a conditional statement saying that a “final agreement could be signed tomorrow if the Naga negotiators reciprocate with pragmatic flexibilities” seems to be just another cover up for the blame put on GoI as lacking political will.
Even after “all issues have been mutually understood and agreed” one may still wonder what it means to be ‘pragmatically flexible.’ Besides being misleading, R.N Ravi armed with his dialectical skills have taken Nagas for a ride.
Yet, on the whole, the reality of the final agreement is not simply a problem of conditional wherein the blame is put on the Naga negotiators, but it is a problem of bi-conditional – of reconciliation and solution.
(Dr. Asangba Tzudir contributes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to email@example.com.)