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Why do the Naga want a separate flag?


Thepfulhouvi Solo


BK. Nehru unilaterally revoked the Ceasefire Agreement between the GoI and the Federal Government of Nagaland and made any future political Talk with the Naga would be done “only Under the Constitution” of India.


Most Naga took this as the Firmament above which the Naga could not go up higher, however, the Government of India agreed to have Political Talk with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland “without any pre-conditions” and entered into the 3 August 2015 Framework Agreement. This 3 August Agreement is historic if for no other reason than it is India’s rare wisdom.    


The Naga appreciates GoI’s wisdom for the wise decision and the Writer truly appreciates the National Socialist Council of Nagaland for opening the symbolic Talk with the GoI India.


Yet, the NSCN [IM] strictly kept their Talk secret for 22 years from the knowledge of the Naga Public. This attracts many questions.


Only now, on 12 September 2019, the [MIP] of the IM reportedly published a Statement with somewhat regrettable unkind reflections on the Working Committee [WC] of the 7 Naga National Political Groups [NNPG] the GoI is talking with. However, the insistence of the IM for demand of the:


i. Naga Flag, [not of NSCN IM nor of Nagalim] is correct. 


The MIP of the WC of the 7 NNPG gave a more detailed background of the principles they seemed to have finalized and made their penultimate draft of their proposed possible political settlement with the GoI.


And if I understand anything in between the lines of their Statements, it appears they might be agreeable for an “EMBLEM” or “INSIGNIA” or “TOTEM” for the Naga Flag.


The ‘Naga Flag’ represents the sum total of the Naga values of life and ethos; words like EMBLEM, INSIGNIA or TOTEM comes nowhere near the value of the Naga Flag to the Naga.


The Naga everywhere have more similarities in their guiding belief, distinctive character, sentiment, moral nature, and their institutions are distinctly different from people of the Gangetic Civilization. The Naga and the Gangetic civilization people had no national or historical connections or social or religious contacts between them in the past.


In their guiding Ethos of life, [love of liberty, equality, pure democracy],  their Nature, [eye for eye: tooth for tooth, exile in lieu of capital punishment, [only the tested for their leader], their Food, [free choice], their Organizations of life [no kings, no castes, complete freedom of life] and their guiding belief Systems [taboo System –eg [taboo of worship of Man]; the Naga ethos are historically distinctive from that of the Indo-gangetic Plain. The GoI has acknowledged the distinctive history of the Naga.        


 The national Flag of a people represents the value of ethos of life distinctive of a People and the NNPGs WC possibility to equate the value of the Naga Flag with Emblem, Insignia or Totem falls short of the value to which the Naga attach to the Naga Flag.


The Naga Flag cannot be a Flag of the Pan Naga Cultural Hoho, nor can it be equated with the of Symbol of the Cultural jurisdiction of the Nagalim which has no Territory and the Naga Flag cannot be a cultural emblem.  


 Those others who are exposed to the Naga best attest the Naga, as distinct and different from the Hindus of India. Those, say, All India Service Officers posted to Nagaland; Traders from outside in Nagaland, laborers from outside in contact with Nagas and those who come in contact with Naga Students studying in Universities of India, Foreigners and Indian Tourists to India and to Nagaland are the best to attest the differences of the Naga from others.


Let me cite an example of a Farewell Speech an AIS Officers from India to Nagaland Cadre, a woman, marrying another IPS in UP and joining her husband’s Cadre in accordance with Service Rule. I quote some of her classic unforgettable farewell Statement she said:


“You all are the finest people that I have ever seen and will ever see. Your society is so graceful and dignified and I have learned so much from you all that I will have no doubt I will ever see a finest place and that is why it is so difficult for me to leave because I know I am saying goodbye to a treasure. This place and the society have adopted me so well from the day I landed. This society have loved me so much”


“This place is so different from the system that I come from but I feel a sense of familiarity and that is why I feel I have a connection with Nagaland which goes very far back and who knows may be I was from here and this connection will never go. I have lots of plans and I plan to be deeply connected with Nagaland” [end of Quotation]


People say only an Independent Sovereign State can have National Flag and that Nagaland is not a Sovereign Country. That may be, however, there are instances of Countries not sovereign independent but have their distinctive national Flag. Scotland is not Sovereign Independent State, but it has its own distinctive national Flag, its own Parliament and has its Prime Minister own. Indigenous People in Arctic Regions States and in Australia have their own Flag and different States of the USA have each State their own Flag. Jersey Island in the English Channel is of UK but it has separate Currency from the UK.


Nagaland had distinctive system of social organization and polity of purest democracy from the Hindu civilization of the Gangetic plain that Vrinda Shukla IPS [RR-14] mentioned magnificently: “This place is so different from the system that I come” in her farewell speech. Nagaland was not integral part of India before and during the colonial Period, it did not take part in the political history of modern India.


If India would deal the Northeast Hill People magnanimously, honestly, strongly and wisely, she need not fear the trouble of the Northwestern Frontier trouble of India during Churchill’s days or of Pakistan today and of India today, if not there may be climate-change trouble in the Northeast in future.   


The Naga wants a National Flag because they are a distinctive People in India.

 

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