Khekiye K Sema IAS (Retd)
Fellow Nagas…isn’t it about time that we really wake to the diabolical events that are happening all around us? Can we not honestly read the writing on the wall staring back at us? The ethnic cleansing exercise in Manipur is but a small RSS experiment that will eventually usher in a colossal nationwide Hindutva tsunami in the years to come… in the like manner Hitler did to Germany…and it is bound to have a direct crippling impact on the future of the Naga Christian minority in various critical ways…with a final ultimatum…become a Hindu or else face the consequences!!!!!!! With the death toll still mounting…the total collapse of Manipur Government machinery clearly warrants imposition of President’s Rule…if we were really living in a Democratic Country. This however is not about to happen for a very obvious reason: Manipur is a BJP run State and therefore everything that has transpired has the tacit blessings of the BJP Center. In this damning scenario there is yet another aspect of behavior of some of our Naga brothers of Manipur…so let’s take a closer look at the events that have taken place a step at a time.
On 3rd May 2023 a simultaneous comprehensive Solidarity March involving all the Tribal folks took place in the entire Tribal Districts of Manipur against the possible grant of ST status to the Meeteis…which included ‘our very own’ Tangkhul brothers. Thereafter, the audacious silence and inaction by all the other Tribal people of Manipur was palpable when the Kukis had to suffer the full brunt of the brutal backlash from the well organized, well armed, preplanned frenzied Meitei mob. While most seems to be focusing on the job angle to the ST status being sought for by the Meiteis, the end objective is more sinister than meets the eye. Once the Meiteis obtain their ST status they would thenceforth be legally empowered to buy Tribal land without any restriction. No matter how much the tribals try and restrict their tribal people from selling land to the Meiteis…poverty has no sensibility or propriety…and therefore our poor tribal folks will eventually sell their land to the highest bidder which is more likely to be the Meiteis. This to my mind is the bottom-line threat not only to the Kukis’ land adjoining the Meitei’s valley but for all tribal land in the hills as well. With wealth concentrated in the Imphal valley it would not take too long for the Meiteis to overrun the landscape and a day will come when the Meiteis will take command of most of the viable land in the hills as well. Despite such ruthless hatred plainly being displayed by the Meiteis right before their very eyes against a tribal brother, the utter indifference and lack of unity amongst the tribals of Manipur is clearly unimaginable. The original plan of ethnic cleansing has now slowly shifted gear into a Hindu Christian slugfest where hundreds of Christian Churches have been looted and torched with the Manipuri BJP Government complacently stocking the fire from the shadows. Meanwhile, what happened to the NSCN (IM) with their oft proclaimed “Nagaland for Christ”? I suppose this slogan is only applicable to the State of Nagaland…but obviously not relevant in Manipur! To add salt to the wound, it appears that our Tangkhul brothers have finally shown their true character by openly joining hands with the Meiteis in a time like this… vowing to jointly safeguard Manipur’s territorial integrity according to “The Sangai Express”. Are the Nagas of Nagaland awake to this recent development? For all practical purpose the NSCN (IM) is a Tangkhul outfit with some Naga tribes of Nagaland (including the Sumis) tamely following them as their superficial Naga window dressing! Having said this…now let’s revisit the history of our Naga National Movement. The Tangkhuls, as a people, refused to join the Naga National Movement when it first began. This is a fact of history. It was a time when their mass involvement was desperately needed during the worst period of a horrific genocide being inflicted upon the Nagas of Nagaland by the Indian Army. That a few stray cases of an individual Tangkhul or two having joined the Movement is of no real consequence. Finally, under advisement of one farsighted gentleman named Mr. Suisa, the godfather of a few people like Ramiyo and Muivah, they too joined the movement only in 1965 after cease fire was in place and when the environment was relatively less dangerous. Today, through various devious political maneuvers and ruthless exterminations of opposition, they have overpowered and usurped the Naga National Movement (that they refused to join) through the power of their guns and merciless taxation and are now dictating the terms of negotiation with the GoI…presumably for the Nagas. Their arrogant audacity lays in the fact that the NSCN (IM) have refused to transparently share their ‘Competency Clauses’ to the stake holders…that’s predominantly concerning US…the Nagas of Nagaland! The Tangkhul brothers in the NSCN (IM)…lead by their unquestioned all mighty Muivah…are playing a treacherous game with the lives and the future of the Nagas of Nagaland with half-truths and sinister questionable motivations. Their definition of “Shared Sovereignty” is a sham… just to save face...knowing very well that Mr. Muivah had himself publically proclaimed in 2012 that “Sovereignty” and “Integration” was no longer on the negotiation table. While “Sovereignty” might have understandably been an impossible ask, the ease with which our Tangkhul negotiating brothers were willing to forego the issue of “Integration” can now be discerned more vividly. On the one hand, it’s no wonder then that this so-called Southern brother has now very willingly and voluntarily joined hands with the Meiteis to safeguard the territorial integrity of Manipur while the rest of the tribal folks, including the Kukis, are being forced to live in fear. On the other hand the NSCN (IM) wants to declare the State of Nagaland as a “Naga Nation” for obvious reason. While enjoying their independent exclusive privileges within their own “Autonomous Regional Territorial Council” that they have salvaged for themselves from the GoI, they want to also enjoy equal privileges as citizens of this so-called “Naga Nation” after pretentiously negotiating for and giving up on the ‘geographical integration’ of the Naga contiguous territories in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh…thus putting in place their unambiguous policy of “mine is mine…yours is ours”. The ‘end game’ of our scheming Southern brother does not end here. They want to ensure that GoI concedes to their demand for PAN NAGA HOHO…for what purpose? Is emotional integration their true purpose? The real reason in their scheme of things is to continue controlling the Nagas of Nagaland even in the post-solution era. The Tangkhul brothers envisages a Bi-cameral setup…Upper House- Lower House ( Rajaya Sabha/ Lok Sabha equivalent) for their so-called ‘Naga Nation’ where the ‘Lower House’ will house the Elected Representatives while the ‘Upper House’ would consist of Members nominated by the PAN NAGA HOHO that they will control in the like manner of their redundant ‘Naga Haha’ of today. The working dynamics so craftily designed in this set up is that no matter what Bills are proposed by the ‘Lower House’, such Bills cannot become an ACT/ LAW without the approval of the ‘Upper House’ which would consist of puppet members nominated by PAN NAGA HOHO. This diabolic plan of wanting to control the lives of the Nagas of Nagaland in the post solution era is a firsthand knowledge acquired from one of the Tangkhul king pins in the NSCN (IM) set up. This is a real plan of our Tangkhul brothers in the NSCN (IM)…and believe me…this is not a joke!!! I dare NSCN (IM) to deny this fact! Is it not clearly apparent to the Nagas of Nagaland as to why NSCN (IM) is extremely reluctant to transparently disclose their “COMPETENCEY CLAUSES” that they have been negotiating with the GoI all this while???? Is the present Naga generation of Nagaland so desperately devoid of courage to perceive and collectively stand up for what we believe to be the right thing to do…rather than succumb to the dictates of one single human being called Muivah who had publically disavowed “Sovereignty” and “Integration” but now demanding “Naga Flag” and “Naga Yezahbo” for the Naga Nation? I have said this before and I am saying it again…NO INDEPENDENT NATION SEEKS PERMISSION FROM ANOTHER INDEPENDENT NATIONS FOR THEIR NATIONAL FLAG AND THEIR CONSTITUTION! The ‘Flag’ and the ‘Constitution’ is a natural independent protocol of an Independent Nation that does not require any permission from any other Nation. Period! Yet here we are…the so-called “Sovereignty” of the NSCN (IM) requires the permission of the GoI to have a “Naga Flag” and a “Naga Yezahbo”…for their delusional “Sovereign Naga Nation”…for which the talks has run into a road block…and we the fearful stakeholders have nothing to say.
In all of this…it is getting clearer by the day that both Mr. Rio and Mr. Muivah do not want the final solution to happen. In the case of Mr. Muivah, who probably perceives himself to be the “Father of the Nation”, will find no place in his so-called “Naga Nation” without Integration and therefore the only other place he could go is that small little hole called the “Autonomous Regional Territorial Council” in the hills of Manipur…that is if his own people would accept him after he is ‘gun-less’, and that too without the commensurate unquestioned authority that he commands today. It seems obvious that he would rather prefer to die in harness with all the pomp and authority that he enjoys at this point in time rather than fade into oblivion in the post solution era. As for Mr. Rio….he too seems to be head over heels in love with the Chief Minister’s Chair for obvious intent…but would have to part with it if the post solution period begins. So why hurry huh? Otherwise…with the anti-Constitutional issue of “Sovereignty” out of the equation…if he had a true honest intent of wanting a solution… he has the full Government machinery at his command to build up a real united public opinion and momentum for the GoI to sit up and take notice…a long time ago…rather than conveniently hide behind the “role of a facilitator, facilitating nothing”.
Finally, in the case of our gun toting Southern brothers, perhaps they should seriously consider the possibility that taking the Nagas of Nagaland for granted so persistently for so long with all their demonic secrecy could be counterproductive. A time could very well come when push comes to a shove, history could repeat itself where ‘quit notice’ could well be served to them once again for their lack of trust and transparency in dealing with our future…giving them the liberty to implement their competency clauses in their own territory in Manipur…but not in Nagaland.
Anyway, fellow Nagas tighten your seat belts…we are in for a loooooong haul because all of us have misplaced our courage to stand up for our rights! We the Nagas have been trying to go forward on a back gear and perhaps we are soon about to reach the station called: “Solution? What Solution?”