Dialogue Mode

The visit of the NSCN (IM) Collective Leadership to Nagaland after a gap of two years should provide an opportunity for Naga civil society to encourage the undertaking of a dialogue process to deal with the spate of factional killings taking place. Unless there is an immediate stop to such killings, the emerging situation will only awaken further feelings of anger and reprisal. Whether it is the killing of an NSCN (K) or NSCN (IM) of FGN cadre, for ordinary Nagas, the hurt and sense of despair is felt in equal measure. That fratricidal killing is taking place amongst those who took up arms for a common political struggle and the fact that more Nagas are being killed in the last few years at the hands of fellow Nagas questions the very aim of the struggle itself. 

Given the desire of a majority of Nagas for peace and unity, initiative for mediation has to quickly come from somewhere, whether it is the Naga Hoho, NBCC or any other organization capable of mustering enough courage to address what is now a complex disorder. However in the current context of the lingering impasse that has stalled the efforts of the Naga Hoho to take the issue upfront, it is suggested that track-two diplomacy like the one initiated by the Konyak Union and Sumi Hoho under the Joint Tribes Tribunal some few years back be egged on as it has better chances of succeeding in breaking the current impasse. Although that particular process itself collapsed due to the intransigence of UG leaders, tribal Hohos are also in the best position to play a mediating role because of their grass root proximity. Once a network of tribal hohos decides to jointly establish contacts with the warring factions, effort must be made to work on a formal appeal to the factions that would in a united way call for a suspension of hostilities (cease-fire). 

On their part, the Naga national groups must realize that the government of India would prefer the status quo and allow Nagas to destroy each other through the age old policy of divide and rule. The factions should understand that the government of India is smarter than all of them and New Delhi would want enough room to maneuver in this situation. The UG leadership must well realize that the continuing political intransigence on their part will not help the cause of the Naga people in anyway. UG leaders who are in responsible positions of authority must use their God given wisdom to stop hostilities and allow a favorable climate to set in for exploring efforts towards peace and reconciliation. 

What is urgently required in the present situation of hate and mistrust is an environment that is conducive for discussion to take place, and to give the factions the opportunity to develop contacts, exchange views, explore differences, and search for common ground on common issues. Respecting one another is the first positive step in building a relationship and relationships are central to conflict transformation. And it is for this reason that a process of dialogue must begin soon.