‘Manipulation and destruction of social bonding will end emotional brotherhood’

Media Cell

Once more WC, NNPGs reiterate that irrespective of factional affiliations, artificial boundary or ideologies, it is very clear that all Nagas are one by stock, race, early history and cultural identity. In the interim, however, all Naga tribes and communities, be it in Myanmar, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam must have clear-cut understanding and perspective towards necessary social, cultural, historical and geographical dynamics of different Naga tribes scattered into different states. The existence of artificial boundaries and different political and administrative areas, at this point of our existence, is a fact. Manipulation and destruction of social bonding will end emotional brotherhood. 

PT Barnum (1810-1891), an American entertainer, showman and a businessman once said, “A fool is born every minute in the United States of America, if the Americans wanna be fooled then I am here”. He then started his business. Are the Naga people, particularly in Nagaland, allowing themselves to be fooled for too long?

Manipur Nagas in IM are not letting Nagaland state government count the number of babies born since Nagaland attained statehood! In a simplest way this is how opposition to Registration of Indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) can be described. An insult to the people of Nagaland really. It is as though they co-own the CM chair and most of Cabinet chairs. Who is running Nagaland state government? On 23/08/23 at a regional authority meeting among IM, Manipur Naga leaders said RIIN is against social political interest of Nagas and therefore its implementation will not be allowed. Such intrusive statements destroy people to people bonding. The audacity of non-indigenous Nagas sheltering in Nagaland for few decades, uttering a word against RIIN implementation is not their business. It is against Naga tradition to comment on another family or clan's decision on land and membership. Let them question their own 8 Manipur Naga MLAs demanding NRC along with the Meiteis. On 9th August 2023, forty Meitei and 8 Naga legislators of Manipur wrote to Prime Minister of India seeking, besides others, strengthening of Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in Manipur and Hill Area Councils (HACs). This letter to the Indian PM has buried Naga integration, along with it a host of other superficial demands. Let IM leaders handle Manipur Naga problem, Nagaland can take care of itself. Nagas in Myanmar, Arunachal, Assam and Nagaland do not object to the demand a of Manipur Nagas because they are the masters over their land. Anything good for Nagas in Manipur or anywhere, WC, NNPGs will extend all support and solidarity. The same courtesy is expected.

Strikingly, the abject slave mentality and yes-men mindset of indigenous Nagaland Nagas within NSCN IM fold is truly perplexing. On 14th January 2023, the NSCN IM Chairman, Inno Q. Tuccu and Vice Chairman, Inno Tongmeth Wangnao met WC, NNPGs under the aegis of Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR). The two leaders and WC, NNPGs Convener N. Kitovi Zhimomi signed a joint declaration, “NAGAS ARE MOVING AHEAD”, announcing to collectorate basing on respective agreements. This was a follow-up of September 14, 2022, “SEPTEMBER CONCORDANT” declaration to form, “COUNCIL OF NAGA RELATIONSHIPS AND CO-OPERATION”. Shockingly, on 18th January 2023, the propaganda ministry declared the signed declaration of its Chairman and Vice Chairman as null and void as they recognised only FA and no other agreement. They took out the document from historical file and threw straight into the dust bin! Where in the world do one finds a government's ministry overruling the President and Vice President's signed political document with other entities?

Few other points Naga people must take note why Naga integration is a gimmick.

1. As per media statement on 13th June, 2023, the Federation of Haomee (Tangkhul Elders) resolved to retrace Tangkhul-Meitei ancestral ties; to jointly defend the territorial integrity of Manipur state at all cost. These sort of inter community meetings having historical and cultural interest would never be held without the consent of Manipur Nagas in Hebron camp. This is treachery to the common objective yet no statement of substance. There was clear understanding by all parties.

2. On July 10, 2023, five persons including an IM official was arrested while transporting stolen Nagaland police arms and ammo to Manipur. How many un-intercepted vehicles have made their way to Manipur? The arrested accused is a mere sub inspector who cannot be more than an armoury key keeper. Who are the higher ranked police officers involved in this heinous crime of looting government arms? 

3. In a recent viral video, an IM cadre confessed to being a part of a group assigned to transport arms and ammunition to Meiteis and also fight alongside PREPAK against another community. A subsequent dismissal video was made but the overall structural policy was unmistakable.

4. The 8 elected Manipuri Naga MLAs along with 28 Meitei MLAs in their 9th August written appeal to the Indian Prime Minister had sought implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Manipur including Naga districts. The camaraderie between UNC and COCOMI is being forged out of common hatred for Kukis. Here the UNC has lost the plot. It signals the death and burial of separate political administration for Nagas in Manipur, let alone integration with Nagaland state. UNC and 8 Naga MLAs have simply spelled out “WE DO NOT WANT NAGA INTEGRATION”. The 8 Naga MLAs and UNC are all remote controlled by IM, they have colluded and sold Naga integration formula to Kuki people and now Kuki MLAs are demanding from Government of India (GoI) a completely separate political administration for Kukis.

5. The Meiteis under COCOMI, Nagas under UNC and as declared by 8 MLAs in written, with the consent of NSCN IM have expressed their inseparable political and administrative future under Manipur state. Should Nagaland state government remain under siege by Nagas of Manipur even after they made their intention crystal clear? The indigenous tribes of Nagaland too must wake up from prolonged reverie. 

Even among Nagas if one mistreats the other, trespass or take decision secretly behind the back of indigenous inhabitant, in the name of national principle, crisis will naturally arise. After all, land is inseparable from both individual point of view and community's. Naga tradition is decisive and far reaching because the real owner has every right to seal off his own land. A sheltering man will be considered as intruder by his unruly actions.

All NE state Chief Ministers have made their stand very clear on critical issues. The leaders have stood solidly behind their people. Manipur CM Biren Singh is very clear that state boundary will remain unchanged. No separate administration for any community. Mizoram CM,Zoramthanga stands tall and protects the state of Mizoram. Zoramthanga has passed a resolution in the assembly against Forest Conservation amendment 2023. Assam CM Himanta Biswas Sarma is doing what is good for the state of Assam, Meghalaya state CM Conrad Sangma is not afraid to send state forces to defend state territory against neighbours casting evil eyes. 

WC, NNPGs believes Nagaland CM should not remain a prisoner in his own paradise. A practical, transparent, honorable Indo-Naga political solution as elucidated in the negotiated STATUS PAPER through AGREED POSITION would ensure his political legacy. It is time brush aside the impractical narrative and stamp his authority on issue his grandfather and many others aspired for. Nagaland Chief Minister must know that history worships visionary political leaders only. Short term business leaders are not remembered beyond a generation. It demands a true leader of grit to differentiate between idealism and realism. WC, NNPGs can only hope that the incumbent Nagaland CM will leave a positive footprint for future generation Nagas.