Sep 07, 2011

Nagalim: Three Main Naga Political Organisations Assert Commitment to United Government

NSCN/GPRN, GPRN/NSCN and NNC/FGN work beyond differences towards a shared future.

Below is an article published in The Morung Express:

With the signing of “Naga Concordant” by the three major Naga political organizations (NSCN/GPRN, GPRN/NSCN and NNC/FGN) and agreeing in principle to form ‘One Naga Government’, the internal dynamics of Naga political movement has taken a new turn. The present agreement can be considered as the realization of ‘political reconciliation’  in its fullest term, taking the giant leap towards lasting peace in Naga society, which will be free from internecine conflicts and needless bloodshed. With the strokes of their pen and broadest understanding in their conscience, the Naga leaders have reversed the fission process in Naga politics, and directed the political course towards fusion of different ideologies and organization.  For Naga activist and social workers engaged with the movement for ‘Naga Reconciliation’, it must have been an ‘answered prayer’, which they have been waiting for a long time. However, for some scant observers of Naga politics, the new direction must have come as a surprise move, hitherto unexpected in Naga politics. 

The agreement also heralds the populist demands coming to determine the course of Naga political movement over the radical idea that thrives on organizational principles and ideology. So far, the Naga public has not directly participated in the internal structure and activities of Naga revolutionary organizations. The FNR’s intervention into ending factionalism and merger has paved the way for larger role for Naga public in the functioning of Naga revolutionary organizations. One cannot dismissed the fact that current Ceasefire Agreement between Indian Govt. and Naga political organizations have provided the situation where interactions between the general public and revolutionaries have become less troublesome, though the activities of FNR have been kept under constant surveillance by Indian security forces. Over the years, Naga public has raised its voice on various issues, and made their wishes known to Naga leaders who are heading the political organizations. The public demand for an end to internecine feuds and factionalism has been one of the major wishes of the people. It is really a milestone for Naga political movement that the public and revolutionaries are coming closer and working in tandem with each other. 

To put the agreed terms into action and create the real structure may take some time and radical adjustments for Naga national workers. Given the expansion of structure in every Naga political organizations in recent times, the restructuring process may take some courageous measures and accommodation of leaders and cadres in every organization. In plain words, setting up of ‘One Government’ would mean merging of three major political organizations, not only civil authorities but also military power, into a single administrative unit. After the split in NNC, Naga organizations have not been able to unite and come together under a single organizational structure. Therefore, the present agreement is going to be a game changer for every cadre involve in Naga political movement.  Given the fact that Naga leaders have agreed on certain crucial political principles like ‘Historical and political rights’ of the Nagas, ‘any interim arrangement of the political rights of the Nagas shall be outside of the purview of the Indian Constitution per se” and other issues after numerous deliberations, the restructuring of their organizations can be considered as a logical step to materialize their political consensus. However, the challenges ahead would lie in power sharing and streamlining of the activities of their cadre in the new organizational set-up. In the past, the clashes between arm cadres of different factions after the signing of ‘peace accords’ had demean the whole exercise of FNR and Naga leaders. It will be too lame if these hard earned political steps are continuously jeopardized by the stray incidents of clashes by arm cadres.   

Elsewhere in Manipur, although six Meitei revolutionary groups have come together under a single platform of MPLF (Manipur People’s Liberation Front), the organizational units are functioning on its own, having their organizational head and functions. The clashes amongst the Meitei revolutionary groups have come down considerably with the formation of MPLF, and there was no major pressure from civil societies. For the Naga political organizations, the situational base for creating conducive environment to come together as one has been created through the platform of Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR). Being a people based movement, and representing all the apex Naga public organizations, the FNR has walked the extra miles and turned the hostile situation into cordial relations of trust and brotherhood. The movement for ‘Naga Reconciliation’ has also experience numerous challenges and setbacks.  Now, it is up-to the Naga leaders to turn their promises into real action, and make the formation of ‘One Naga Government’ a reality. 

The only straw missing in this new direction is that there are some Naga political organizations which have not come into the fray of ‘Naga Reconciliation’ process. The non-participation of NSCN faction led by S.S. Khaplang remains to be a factor, which may hamper the emergence of cordial environment and establishment of ‘One Naga Government’ to its full extent and meaning. There are also numerous splinter groups, which are recently established with few cadres and followers. However, they have also been functioning more or less like any other Naga revolutionary organizations, with their own army and civil authority. Although, these splintered groups may not be a big factor in Naga politics, it will be good if such organizations are also brought within the purview of ‘Naga Reconciliation’. The Naga public should continue to work and put pressure on these splintered groups and other Naga political organizations to embrace the new direction that has come to determine Naga political movement. The future lies in confluence of varied ideas and organizations into a single stream, rather than paving separate ways and means to achieve the same goal. 

The formation of ‘One Naga Government’ is also likely to have a significant impact on the on-going Indo-Naga political negotiation. Although, numerous rounds of talks have been held between NSCN (I-M) and GoI, other groups have remained un-involved with the political talks. The agreement on ‘Naga Concordant’ will pave way for every Naga political organization to get involved with the Indo-Naga talks, as the leaders have reached consensus on various political principles pertaining to Naga political cause it may not be a problem now to involved every leader from the three parties. The need for involving every political organization in the political negotiation has also been one of the long standing demands of Naga civil societies.  

With these important changes taking place in Naga political movement, the common Naga people can also hope that the pain of losing their near and dear ones to internecine conflict will become a past. One can also see the coming of brighter future for Nagas, where Naga public can live in peace and harmony with each other, free from internecine bloodshed and fear. Let us expect a new era in our history and welcome the bold initiatives that have been taken by FNR and applaud our leaders for taking the great step forward.