A Common Approach

Killing and violence continue to be used as a legitimate instrument by both the State and non-state actors. This is a dangerous culture and if we look at the long term, it achieves nothing but rather it only creates more trouble and conflict, which becomes difficult to heal. Naga history is a good case in point about how killing and violence has contributed to the anger and bitterness of the present from which we are trying to heal the wounds of our past action. The latest incident of assassination attempt on the life of one Naga MLA Wungnaoshang Keising at Ukhrul’s Riha village has led to the death of eight people. Such killings could have been avoided. Dialogue and persuasion could have been used if at all there were any differences in goals and agenda. At the same time, it is important for all Nagas led by the respective frontal organizations and also public representatives to realize that we are at an important juncture of our history where we need to seek God’s wisdom in making our future. Any false step will be extremely costly from which we may never recover to seek the change we want to see.
Today the Nagas in Manipur as well as in Nagaland are confronted with internal problems or agendas. For instance, there is a demand for an ‘Alternate Arrangement’ for the Nagas in Manipur. This is being spearheaded by the apex Naga body in Manipur the United Naga Council (UNC). Then we have the demand for a separate district of Phungyar to be bi-furcated out of present Ukhrul district. A proposal was also put up to make Ukhrul the summer capital of Manipur, although this has now been put aside. In this side of Nagaland we have now a demand made by the eastern Nagas calling for a separate Nagaland Frontier State to be carved out of present day Nagaland. Then in there are other demands for separate districts by bifurcating existing ones etc. All these agendas have cropped up in the very recent past and how we deal with them will require God’s wisdom.
It brings us to the two processes, which we need to focus on through a collective approach. One is the political talks with the Government of India, which appears to have reached an end point with only a final decision required. Then the more important process for the Nagas is reconciliation i.e. the journey of common hope being piloted by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR). Nagas can do well for our shared future if we can pray and work for the coming together of our political groups in a common platform from where the current dialogue which has so far being ably managed by the NSCN/GPRN can be taken to its logical conclusion i.e. an honorable, permanent political solution. The urgency of reaching the twin goals of reconciliation and political solution cannot be taken lightly anymore if Nagas are to resolve all other internal and domestic issues confronting our people. Let us reconcile ourselves to the common interest of the Naga people i.e. the historical and political rights. We need to work with a single minded purpose and be guided and led by a common approach. Is anyone listening?