Peace Efforts Naga Chapter-evaluated

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By RS Jassal
General
At present there are three Cease Fire agreements. Two of them are operative inside Nagaland, abstractly in Manipur too and third one in Nagaland – Arunachal & Myanmar (areas under control Khaplang). NSCN (K) {less Kholey-Khutovi group} with Govt. of India and Govt. of Burma bilateral both inked recently. Each has its own characteristics and impact on one or the other rather one another. It has become fodder for thought for political pundits. Internal Security analysts looking for out come of all these. Average Naga is yearning for peace and development and is steadfast to retain his human dignity which sovereignty advocates have made his thoughts and mind captive with tempting terminology of Sovereignty and Lands to be ensured for him. What this sovereignty is really, one really wonders. He is no more enthralled by old grandiose of Village-State syndrome. He is surprised to see prosperity with elected leaders, bureaucrats, UG leaders, contractors and antisocial leaders, all progressing well in possessing Boleros, big houses by controlling huge share of their resources  too in what so ever manner they can. Thus who-so-ever has advantage of strength in arms, muscle & money power is enjoying the fruits of freedom, and sovereignty under corruptions in competencies and false hood syndrome.

Premise

Nagas went to France during 1st World War without questioning the nature of duties they were to perform because they were asked by their Chiefs/ Lamboos to go. They also took part in war of Allied Forces and Japanese cum –INA during 2nd World War within the War doctrine of the British Indian regime. There however came a sudden change in attitudes from 1946 onwards when British gave indication that they would be leaving soon. The then DC Naga Hills had informed them that British Indian Empire would be divided into two sub continents, i.e. West Pakistan – East Pakistan as one unit, rest of India as second. Burmese territories were kept out of the purview of their choice to join either of these two sub continents and Burmese were granted independence almost eight months later. Hill peoples living in north western part of Burma (Heimis) and Noctes-Wanchoos of (ArP) did not raise any option to join Naga Hills which was then part of Assam (India).  AZ Phizo’s charisma was also in formative state of affairs and was limited to Naga Hills only. So first reflection of Naga nationalism appeared in shape of Four Point Agreement of 1946 as proposed by Naga club.

Four Points Agreement

It contained one most important point that Nagas did not want India Act 1935 to be applicable for Naga Hills because thus they would have come under   Taxation purview including other Assam state laws. Their lands could have been alienated. They wanted Naga Hills to be separated from administration of Bengal and to be tagged to Assam .This was agreed and other three points too.

Interpretation: Some very important Naga dignitaries like Dr Imkongliba Ao in those days close to Governor of Assam knew the speed of political winds which were to sweep British Indian Empire and the designs of Muslim League headed by Suhrawardy and Md Ali Jinnah. Sylhet, the origin of Muslim League, was to play a deciding role in partition of India was apprehended by those days Naga leaders /elite. They knew Bengal was to be divided into two parts and for Nagas to join Pakistan was not in their interest. This was the visionary act of the Naga leadership of those days.

However the visionary intellectual wing though engrossed in creating additional territories for Naga Hills to expand territorial jurisdiction to shape Nagaland (of their dreams) was overtaken by hard-wingers and NNC/FGN quick jumping in-to political arena. Four Points evolutionized in-to Nine points Agreement (known as Sir Akbar Hyadri agreement) to National Stand Still order to Sixteen points Agreement. culminating into creation of Nagaland as the Sixteenth State of Indian Union inaugurated on 1st Dec 1963. Jubilations came all-round but total Peace eluded as a few hardliners meddled with it. A tussle between hard-liners and moderates escalated amidst heavy bloodshed. Story is well known about Peace Commission consisting of Rev.Michael Scot, Sh BP Chaliha and Jai Prakash Narayan. Michael Scot was deported to London due his misendeavours of discreetly instigating the Naga nominees on negotiation panel. JP Narayan being Gandhian could not digest the frequent viscillating and changing versions of the Naga political demands. Remorsefully, he withdrew. Assassinations yelled up Sh.Y P Gundivia ICS has given vivid details on march of events in his book ‘War and Peace in Nagaland’. Voluntarily late Shree Bhupen Hazarika, the Assamese epoch singer and Late Dr. Longri Ao (later declared as man of peace by Nagaland Govt.) moved from village to village under flying bullets and they could assist the Governor of Assam in striking Suspension of Operations on 06 Sep 1964. Gradually situation improved and under seemingly settled conditions Shillong Accord -1975 came in-to force which was considered as final solution.   NNC/FGN one faction and moderate Nagas  were happy to create. Nagaland by merging Tuensang Frontier Division (TFD) into its fold  Hardliners went head long sending
NA (Naga Army) groups to Yunnan (China)through Khaplangregion(Burma) upto late seventies . S.S. Khaplang of Heimi tribe from Burma thus carved a strong  position for him in Indian Naga Politics.  He became nut and bolt of the wheel of the Naga movement on a totally modified  route. Th. Muiva, Issac Swu and SS Khaplang steergeared Naga insurgent history as the top notches, pushing their predecessors to back seat.

On the other hand in Nagaland the last and the fifth ‘China’ bound gang (1975) was badly mauled off and scattered here & there by Army and Assam Rifles in Phom & middle Konyak areas. With this NNC/FGN almost faded away to the extent AZ phizo was discarded and termed as a spent away force by this trio. New outfit grew into NSCN and remained so upto1980 till split into two, i.e. NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) with almost nil presence of Tangkhuls in NSCN (K) faction.108 cadres of Tangkhul origin were chased away by Khaplang men to Manipur and finished by chase & extermination. This report was published by NSCN (IM) in 1980 & widely circulated in Manipur. That was the most disastrous and heinous act committed by up-holders of the righteousness, against co-national workers of same ethnics.

Because of divergent reasons, socio- metric divides amongst Naga  tribal’s, NSCN (IM) had weakened its position  in Nagaland at the time of signing of 1997 cease fire but gained popularity in Manipur  because of vanguard leadership of Tangkhuls in new set up i.e. NSCN (IM). Govt. of Nagaland was ignored by MHA while signing of agreement. Probably at that juncture, the Govt. of India might have thought that NSCN (K), UNLF and ULFA will, all go ineffective once issues with NSCN (IM) were settled. But seeing the bullet battles between both these groups, Govt. declared CF with NSCN (K) too in 2001. (though without any talks so far).

Peace Efforts evaluated

Currently peace talks with NSCN (IM) are on. It is difficult to say which side talks are progressing. But one thing is clear Govt. of India has recognized unique history of Nagas and NSCN (IM) has appreciated the critical position of Govt. of India in conceding to their demand (s). Despite the difficulties faced and no way out to please all insurgent groups, the efforts of all concerned engaged in hammering out an honorable solution the peace efforts are highly valued and appreciable. But fallouts tumbling out of the trust and mistrust both are worrisome and worth revisiting, for the upcoming generations to take correct readings and set their minds to peace.

Fall outs
? No doubt fight & fire with state police (s) and the central SFs have come to a  considerably low but inter and intra groups it is on with scale up and down. Violence on civilians unarmed (Nagas mostly) has increased and this category of population is feeling more insecure.

? Last three State elections in Nagaland and Manipur have shown that UG groups are making full use of their potentials to get entry into state political corridors directly as well indirectly, for reasons quite obvious. Imagine what Akali DAL legislators with 100% hold in Punjab Assembly were going to do in the beginning of eighties. They were at the verge of passing resolution for independent Khalistan from India during Indira Gandhi regime which was met by clamping of emergency with post haste OP BLUESTAR and Punjab underwent President Rule for almost 8 years.

• Moderates and UG antis who were earlier dauntless, had a   voice of their own now feel unsafe and they are under constant fear of getting harassed, and intimise dated if opposed to UG dictats.

• Tax collections and extortions have reached optimum high.

• Inter Factional Fight for control over villages in Changlang-Khonsa despite the collective  Leadership in place & FNR drumming “No difference” is peace errosive.

• Recruitment to their cadres has gone easier sincere SFs cannot interfere & spread of their administration to the interiors has also become a reality withparallel goverence  now in place.

? Arsenals of UG’s are full of weapons & ammos at places out side the ‘designated camps’ & ‘camps also taken note of’. Violation of ground rules   has become order of the day. SFs  if intervene are charged with acting in bias   against them and social organizations/Human Right Activists spring up in action in their favour even if incident occurs miles away from their camp & even if some arrest occurs on foreign soil (Anthony Shimray in case) and  surprisingly media tilts the scales in their favour not out of respect for them but for fear of gun.

? Training of CPI (Maoist) & cadres of other UG groups is heard of being undertaken in addition to arrangements of arms for such category of Ugs.

?Each Accord has left massacre of natural resources: see,1960-1962 all jungles cleared between Amguri-Tuli axis, Disoi valley on Mariani axis and Lakhuti –Mera Pani axis. Who benefitted , only two tribes  Aos & Lothas ? 1975 Accord  story is also not different. Dhansiri forests  scissorically denuded are the  tales left behind. Beneficiaries ? were  other three to for tribes( say Sema, Mao, Angami & Zeliang).People who had clout in NNC/FGN generally drew maximum advantages to grab lands & jungles of Dimasas & Karbis,1997 CF has shown its axe fallen on vast jungles around the ‘designated camps’ & ‘camps also taken note of’. Results are on the ground for anyone to see.

? Ever brewing tension between NSCN (groups) with Karbis and Dimasas in disturbed areas belt (Nagaland/Assam) is fallout of the afforesaid.

? Designated camps have become safe places for security, planning & execution of domination syndrome activities in various forms.

Leaked out likely solutions for three groups

As widely circulated by media specially Seven Sisters Post Guwahati:

NSCN (IM) may accept Supra Body formula for Manipur which is said to be like the SGPC of the Sikhs. SGPC stands for Shrimoni Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee. SGPC is run by elected members from Sikhs by the Sikh & for the Sikhs just on the lines of State elections.

They attend to religious, linguistic, historical and cultural aspects, of the Sikhs and management of the Gurudwaras administration. They have no say in political affairs of the States. For that purpose one has to seek election through AKALI DAL and join State Assembly. This was suggested by me in my article “Naga Issue & The Truth” published in all dailies of Manipur & Nagaland during 2000. This SGPC formula is successful with the Sikhs because there is only one stream of religion. There are two districts each in Haryana (Ambala-Karnal), UP (Udham Singh Nagar)   and Rajasthan (Ganga Singh Nagar)   with Sikhs as majority in those districts but cannot be brought under one single unit of administration.i, e Panjab. Nagas are having Baptist, Catholic, Seven Day Adventist, American church & so on. So to run cultural affairs under one system may create some problems which Delhi must take note of. NSCN (IM) Collective leadership also need going into details if they are to consider this pattern. Their delegation may visit Amritsar to study their Constitution, Gurudwara Act and so on, before asking for SGPC system. Common language is also a must for it which Nagas are lacking region to region. With Burmese chapter opened in solution book it may add further gubbins, and gudgeons for the final solution.

NSCN (Khole Gp)

They desire solution for Nagas within Nagaland only but with solvents ‘to follow’. They assure no movement of armed groups from ULFA-UNLF/ PREPAK/ PLA etc will be allowed through their area. They claim they will block such movement with their armed strength in conjunction with State police manning the IB. Changlang and Tirrap is on their menu probably they are not showing much interest in Naga areas of Manipur at this stage, but have equal interest with ENPO for ‘Frontier Nagaland’. Highly ambiguous demand if it is so, leading to the same ‘drill square’ from where original squads of Naga leadership had passed out in 1946.

Political demands will however be clear later once talks start and agenda by this group is made open.

NSCN (K)  Multano, HK Sema, Lincoln, Wantin with SS Khaplang as head: They have signed with Govt of Myanmar and in turn got Ok to establish transit HQ at Hkamti (Myanmar). They have also signed with GOI after detailed deliberations probably with Tirrap-Changlang (Arunachal) in mind as their base somewhere and also to gain foothold somewhere in Sema region (Nagaland).

(a)   Assessment

(i) Till three Naga Public Conventions held at Kohima-Ungma & Khonsa  during 1957, the situation was volatile & violence dominated with moods of  hard coreUG’s hot iron red. However with intervention by Governors  emissary, Dr Imkongliba Ao and others from Shillong, the convention signed  the proceedings with over arching wordings “Within Constitution of India’  Maj Bob Khatting was put working Secretary of NPC. Refer to interview of  late Shri Vizol CM Nagaland published in the North East Herald a month or so before his death.

(ii)   Sixteen Point Agreement emerged out of NPC (three deliberations)  taking Nine Point Agreement forward also said ‘within Constitution of  India’.

(iii)   Shillong Accord 1975 came another document bearing signatures of  Naga leaders on Agreement with same words ‘within Constitution of  India’.

All the three facts indicate confirming acceptance of Constitution of India,  though overtly claiming sovereignty not to be compromised.

(b)   Khole group is in favour of creation of Frontier Nagaland since areas  under all the four Districts i.e. Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire and Longleng are  neglected for economic development. Though these Districts fall under BADF  economic sanction but why the Government, of Nagaland did not make full  use of this Fund is also perplexing.

(c)    UNC frontal organization of NSCN (IM) is likely to accept Supra Body status for four Districts of Manipur if offered.

(d)    Govt. of India’s in-fructuous clauses in the cease fire Agreement are also causing problems like ‘they will not resort to forced recruitment ` without giving defining line between ‘forced recruitment’ & ‘voluntary recruitment’. Who will check it? Perhaps nobody.

(e)  Permitting UG organizations to continue with tax collections and running of parallel Governments though apparently by mutual understanding.

(f)  Govt. of India did not ensure ample funds for UG National workers but gave liberal financial support to higher rung cadres. As a result  extortions and collection of money by threats, kidnappings multiplied  and it suits  many including the law enforcing authorities.

(g)  Good points of past Accords and scarifies of past leaders must be honoured & carried forward Extra territorial patronising of all other UG groups needs  to be discarded including Maoists if it is true as said by Tarun Gogoi. Govt of India need expanding team of interlocutor  to four or five by adding three  to four experts who understand the realities and tribes background inside Nagaland- Arunachal – Assam & Manipur- most importantly Manipur.

(h) Final settlement be holistic keeping those section of people in mind who keep themselves away from UG influence.

In view of above, and ground based realities, author is apprehensive that solution to the problem will remain elusive. There is need to hold the bull by horn, i.e. (problem) than by the tail. Economic development of Border Districts with IB are catered for under BADF. White papers from all the three states is needed, as to how much developmental activities have been undertaken under BADF so far which may satisfy the agitated minds of the Nagas and others.

In fine, Ceasefire is welcome. People need it. Solution can emerge if the UG cadres of Nagas accept all Nagas wherever they are as a Nation but as a State wherever they are & in which –so- ever State they reside like Sikhs. People are now tired. They want peace and development and life with dignity. They must take all steps to keep ‘red terror’ out of the Frontier Nagaland from the Eastern corridors of the border districts Remember Maoists are a highly clever body. Their network is as strong as Al Qaeda.

UG leadership must be appealed to end this stalemate and get engaged in developmental activities in under developed zones. Same can be divided in-to sub divisions and allotted to a group of 20 to 30 Under- ground families each with grants, soft loans and worked out projects in Horti culture, afforestation and the like to save our mother earth for posterity. Their monthly stipends be raised from Rs.3000/- to Rs.10, 000/- each till their projects fructify. Extortions will finish and social crimes will reduce.

Solution to their like may happen or may not happen, but Cease Fire will not break it is CERTAIN. Every Naga is a co sovereign like other Indians. Nagas from rest of the Indians under Constitution cannot/should not be separated because of shared social bonds, from century’s old experience of living together. God bless my country, my nation, my state.

 

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