I failed to react to the rejoinder of NSCN (IM) on time due to preoccupation. The Framework Agreement (FA) of August 3, 2015 is not my anathema. Rather the misuse of the FA is my anathema as narrated here below.
The NSCN (IM)’s FA was welcomed with much fanfare by the Nagas of Manipur and by the Nagas of Nagaland almost in silence. Nevertheless, all the Nagas hoped that the political solution would follow suit as this language in the FA assured the Nagas so.
Quote “It is a matter of great satisfaction that dialogue between the Government of India and the NSCN has successfully concluded and we are confident, it will provide for an enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities” Unquote. The implication of the quoted sentence is vivid that the political business transactions and every nitty-gritty of the agenda between the GoI and the NSCN (IM) were completed and concluded. 8 years have passed since the FA was signed, and the NSCN (IM) is still tussling with its flag and constitution much to contrary to the quoted sentence as above. On 5th December, 2023, HM Amit Shah, while reacting to Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy, explicitly stated in Lok Sabha that there cannot be two flags and two constitutions in India. This message is not only for J&K but for the country as a whole. That being the ground reality, what would be the reaction of NSCN (IM) as to its demand for the same.
Quote “The crucial question that confronted the Nagas today is, how the Article 371(A) of Indian Constitution resolved the Indo-Naga political issue and in what manner?” Unquote. This implies as though I had stated that the Art 371(A) is the political solution for the Nagas in my press statement dated 16.11.2023. It is not. The opposition to the creation of the Statehood of Nagaland by both NNC and FGN resulted into the assassination of Dr Imkonglimba Ao, President of NPC. The non-resolution of the Naga political issue was recognized by GoI by means of the erstwhile undivided FGN entering into ceasefire with the GoI in 1964 plus the ongoing political negotiations with the Naga negotiating groups under ceasefire today have proved that Art 371(A) is neither a political solution nor a roadblock to ceasefire nor dialogue and solution. NSCN (IM) does not need to be so frustrated because of the Art 371(A) being an article in the Constitution of India as it had never debarred the Nagas from having ceasefire and political dialogues since 1963 till date. When so, is it not the Art 371(A) not “considered” but rather had it not been kept as the “stop-gap arrangement and a stepping stone towards greater height”? The FA is the mere ‘frame’ and what I used to convey my feeling is that NSCN (IM) must not go on bragging about the fame but rather fetch the substance within the frame which is of superior status to Art 371(A) by solution.
Whereas, in the event of having solution under the FA, if the political status is either of same or below the status of the Art 371(A), Nagaland will retain the same as the exclusive property of the State of Nagaland since it is not extendable to other Naga inhabited areas beyond Nagaland, and since the Naga integration figures no more in the agenda and therefore is ruled out in the present context. Whereas, branding Art 371(A) to be the road block to political solution is solely to camouflage the furtherance of the hidden agenda.
Whereas, as though the sole objective of NSCN (IM) having the FA is to use it as the propeller of hatred and condemnations against 16-Point Memorandum and Art 371(A). The pioneers of the Statehood of Nagaland had gut to translate the 16-Points Memorandum into bailing Nagaland out from Assam under Art 371(A), and allowed the tree of Nagaland Statehood to bear its fruits that has been sustaining the people of Nagaland including the cadres of NSCN (IM) for the last 60 years. On the contrary, what is the efficacy of the FA? The efficacy does not lie in the specious rhetoric on the FA. While self-praising the contents in the FA, quoting “No wonder, the intellectuals and scholars are saying this is the work of the invisible hand of God” Unquote. This sentence is embarrassing for the fact that there is dearth of substantial political language in the content comparatively speaking to say the least. The 6 points so elucidated on the contents of FA are much hackneyed. Apart from rhetoric, the NSCN (IM) has no gut to pave way for political solution under FA. No matter how potential and noble the FA may be, as per your subtle elucidation, so long as the FA is not translated into solution, it remains just the frame which is not more than a myth that can never bear fruit for the people since myth remains myth. Having used delaying tactics to derail the political solution and yet passing the buck to Art 371(A) and others is my anathema. I strongly believe that the Naga national interest can be pursued only in the fear of the Living God and with truth, but not through sophistic arguments.
The most contentious issue is the claim of NSCN (IM) that the FA is outside the purview of Indian Constitution. I believe this claim is false and misleading. How can one be convinced that the representative of the GoI had entered into such an agreement with NSCN (IM) outside the Constitution of India? Only the contents in the solution document, if at all evolves under FA, will prove the claim to be either true or false.
When NSCN (IM) strives solely to prolong the political dialogue and uses the FA as the legal license to tax the people of Nagaland, to impose illegal taxes on the contractors/suppliers, to strangulate the potential business people with endless taxation menace, to indulge in business syndicates, to lay hand on every developmental scheme, to extort, to sow the seed of wrangles in Nagaland, to propagate falsehood in the land and allergy to dissent are indeed my anathema. The diktat, the thanklessness, the luxury and the joy which are accrued by NSCN (IM) under the FA are the pain and agony of the common man and particularly of the poorer section of the bona fide citizens of Nagaland are my anathema.
The Memorandum to Simon Commission in 1929 signed by 20 people was for the Nagas as a whole. I strongly believe that the Naga National Council (NNC) so established was God anointed which made remarkable landmark achievements particularly the Declaration of the Naga Independence on 14th August, 1947, the Naga Plebiscite on 16th May, 1951 and the first Ceasefire between the erstwhile FGN and the GoI are the Magna Cartae of the Naga political history. Without NNC and its history, there is no Naga political history, and therefore indispensable. I am a believer that the Naga aspiration can be realized only through NNC for the reason that lest God blesses nothing worthwhile can be achieved. Indeed, I consider it is the greatest political blunder for late Isak Chishi Swu and Th Muivah to have split NNC by the formation of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) followed by further split is but history. Post Shillong Accord of 1975, there was discord amongst the Nagas. Nevertheless, whatever might be the magnitude of misunderstanding, there was no dearth of rooms under NNC for resolution according to the democratic system of the Nagas. No leader is indispensable but replaceable when found wanted. With fortitude, the situation should have been handled by the segments for the sake of the common interest. Weakening NNC brought tremendous boomerangs to the Nagas irrespective of claims and counter claims. Today, the Nagas have to inescapably eat the fruits of what seed of division was sown yesterday. As much as the unity, joy and laughter within a family living under one roof are natural and inevitable that much of the occasional discord, wrangle and clash are natural and unavoidable too. Yet, for a communication gap, if a member of the family resorts to burning down or dismantling the family house, it is nothing but treason. What a devastation and what a self-destruction!