Nagas’ demand of unification is legitimate

Many attempts were made by the Indian Govt. for the last sixty years to suppress the Naga freedom movement through military means but never borne fruit. This futile attempt made them realize now that the Naga problem is a political one and therefore it can never be solved militarily. This has brought the two sides to come together to initiate a dialogue at the highest level. Though slow, the wheel of peace process is moving forward. Results are not expected overnight since it is a complex issue. Today, the uniqueness of Naga History has been acknowledged by the govt. and based on this premise an honorable solution is at sight.

In the process of the Naga struggle for a lasting political solution they have passed through untold miseries but the mindset of the Nagas is still, “No retreat, no surrender”. Decades of blood and tears have left an indelible imprint on the minds of the Nagas and today the Nagas desire a real peace. But to achieve this cherished goal the unification of the Nagas is a key issue. Solution without integration is no solution at all. Therefore, lasting peace and unification are inter-related. It must be understood that talks and agreements in the past had failed because of this key factor. This mistake must not be allowed to be repeated and if the Indian govt. is sincere and genuine enough in its approach, it must understand that integration of the Naga areas is pre-requisite to the Naga solution.

The Naga apex social organization’s call for affiliation of all private schools in Naga areas in Manipur to NBSE is a positive step. It is a step to fulfill the Nagas’ desire to dwell together. Integration should be an instrument ushering in an atmosphere of reunion among all sections of Naga society. There cannot be a true integration without bringing the students community together. Besides, the NBSE syllabus is simpler and according to the standard of the student. The BSEM has become an avenue where the educationists demonstrated their skills in setting questions forgetting which class they were setting them for! The poor tribal students who could not afford to go for an extra tuition were left with no choice but to struggle with their might for just a simple pass. This attitude of the BSEM made the poor tribal students in Manipur helpless and frustrated.

In the context of our neighbours, the Nagas harbour only goodwill and forbearance. Nagas’ outlook requires that all live and continue to live peacefully as good neighbours. Age-old socio-economic and traditional ties among the neighbours must not break but must continue even if the boundary lines are redrawn. The Nagas seek to unify only those areas which they have been living in since time immemorial and not an inch more. The desire of a divided people to live together is nothing wrong but a natural basic human instinct as the Psalmist says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!...” Psalm 134. To live together under one administrative unit has been a fervent prayer of all the Nagas for centuries. It is everyone’s desire to live freely without any exploitation from any corner. There must be a mutual respect for each other and the aspirations of one’s neighbour should not be suppressed unjustly. The demand of unification is legitimate as the Nagas were living in their own ancestral land and never covet any land of its neighbours. Therefore, the aspiration of the Nagas must be understood and respected.

At this crucial juncture, as a social worker, I am fully in support of the integration of all Naga areas under one administrative unit and pledge to work towards strengthening the peace process and to find a lasting solution.

N. Awangbow
Intending Candidate
9th Manipur General Assembly Election
From 52 A/C Tamei