Looking back into history, we Nagas seems to be repeatedly missing the bus in our political journey. We have no doubt many a time taken the right decision at the right time - notably being the Memorandum to Simon Commission, meeting of Mahatma Gandhi and timely Declaration of Naga independence, Naga plebiscite etc. But one also cannot help feeling that some of the important misses were rejection of Coupland Plan, and more recently, missing the opportunity to seat across the table in Atlanta, premature dissolving of the Naga Reconciliation Commission set up by Naga Hoho etc.
Under this backdrop, many of our Naga brothers from Manipur reportedly missed the Naga Integration Rally at Kohima on 31.8.05 due to delays caused by Army frisking. This is the second bus they have missed. The first being during the Nagaland State creation, when they were left outside the present State boundary due to whatever reason. In this regard, it is not only the Nagas in Manipur, but all Nagas presently outside the State’s boundary. But let me confine myself to Nagas in Manipur.
I think the Meiteis were very smart in managing to foil the hundreds of Nagas from Manipur from reaching Kohima in time for the rally. Why should we blame the Indian Army or our enemies for our own failings? Many delegates and participants even from within Nagaland had reached a day ahead of the rally. Fully knowing the attitude of the Meities, why our Naga brothers from Manipur could not take some extra pain to have done the same? If accommodation was a problem, they could have camped in the local ground creating a festive atmosphere. Don’t music and sports fans camp overnight in front of ticket counters just for buying a ticket for a concert or a match? For such an important rally, why our Nagas were found wanting? Let us not blame India for our factionalism also. Why should they not take advantage of our own weaknesses and greed? Ask any wood cutter. Ask any stone cutter. Will they not hit the wood at the weakest spot in order the split the log? Will they not hit the stone at the fracture line to break it? Let us not blame anyone else for our failings. Let us not blame the Indian Govt. for the split of NNC, neither for the split of NSCN. We split them ourselves and were split by our greed, lack of trust, selfishness, leadership struggle and ego.
Why is TMPO refusing the join the Naga Hoho? Are they honest to themselves? While Naga Hoho as the larger body should be more sensitive and treat all constituents with equal respect, I feel TMPO should also not be oversensitive. To join the Naga Integration Rally, TMPO says they did not get a formal invitation.
Why should one wait for a formal letter or request to help one’s own brother in times of need? Is an anguished cry not sufficient? Who is affected the most and who will benefit the most from Naga integration? Is not TMPO equally affected and will they not be equally benefited? Let them also not miss the bus.
Coming back to the Nagas in Manipur, to reach the political goal of Integration, I feel that the third and the last bus is on the way. They cannot afford to miss this; otherwise, they may never reach their destination. The third bus will be in the form of action against or by the Naga MLAs/MPs in Manipur and Arunachal, as a result of the August Rally. If required, yes, let them all resign and don’t allow any candidate/party to fill the vacancy. Create a political vacuum of the Naga MLA/MP seats in Manipur/Arunachal Pradesh. This will be the final and the litmus test for Naga integration.
The NSCN, whether they are IM or K, think or claim that they are freedom fighters. But are they? They are now reduced to street hoodlums, hired gunmen, extortionist etc. This is sad because by the action of a few, the organization is blamed as the organization does not seem to take action against excesses committed by its cadres - including rape and murder. Since civilians cannot directly retaliate against them, they take it out indirectly by refusing to support even common issues such as Naga integration. Who is the loser? We all are. This generation shall not forgive the erring NSCN (either IM or K) cadres for damaging the cause and the leadership for not taking action. The NNC/FGN is a closed chapter.
NSCN (IM) has achieved much. They have saved the Naga resistance movement and is its backbone. But I fear, unless there is a genuine repentance and turning to God, all its achievement can overnight turn to zero and the present generation of NSCN (either 1M or K) shall not live to see an Indo-Naga solution. The NSCN may wither and God will allow only a new generation of Nagas to reach a solution. When God says “not by might nor by power but by my spirit”, the NSCN manifesto says, “Power flows from the barrel of the gun”. This is directly challenging God’s authority. This is also contradictory to “Nagaland for Christ” which even the NSCN holds, under its banner.
Under such circumstances, God shall harden the hearts of Indian leaders and even of our neighbors and the NSCN cannot bring a solution. God will not allow it. Let the NSCN publicly and formally acknowledge the supremacy of God over the barrel of the gun and over all affairs of the Naga Nation. Let the NSCN immediately discard its present manifesto and constitute a new one with the mandate of the people and bending to God’s will.
This will be a wonderful opportunity and will pave the way for an honorable solution. Please don’t miss this bus. We can’t afford it.
For repentance and to change course from man’s will to God’s will, may God’s grace, wisdom and understanding dawn upon our people.
M. Aier, Dimapur