By Oken Jeet Sandham
KOHIMA, Nov 21 (NEPS): Minister for Forest and Environment MC Konyak said the State’s legislators under the banner of the Joint Legislature Forum (JLF) gave their best by meeting various Central leaders—the Ruling and the Opposition leaders alike and pressed upon them to expedite the on-going Indo-Naga peace process for an early settlement.
Talking to NEPS here on Wednesday, the senior DAN Minister, however, explained that the talks were between the Government of India and the Naga underground people and the so-called JLF was not a party to it. “Therefore, unless the parties in talks extend invitation to us to come and share our thoughts and ideas, we can’t simply interfere into,” he stated.
Konyak also expressed regrets that many Naga leaders were still in habit of indulging in mud-slinging each other with regard to the Naga political issue. “We are still living in the world of blame game,” he said asking, “Whether indulging in blame-gaming is really helping to the process.” “It is absolutely not helping, rather threatening the process,” he warned.
He called upon the Naga leaders to do some retrospection of their past Naga political sequences. Starting from the 1929, the Naga leaders submitted their memorandum to the Simon Commission, the declaration of the Naga Independence on August 14, 1947, the Naga Plebiscite of 1951, the first ever ceasefire between the Government of India and the Naga underground people in 1964 followed by political talks, the Shillong Accord of 1975, the ceasefire with the NSCN (IM) in 1997 and the last Ceasefire with the NSCN (K) in 2001. The last two ceasefires in 1997 and 2001 are still in operation. These sequences are the manifestations that there are political issues between the Government of India and the Naga people yet to be resolved, Konyak said.
The Minister praised late AZ Phizo, the towering leader of the NNC, as “wonderful” for he was a great political philosopher, though he was condemned for not condemning the Shillong Accord of 1975. Phizo made mistake as many leaders in this world. “But if we had positive attitude, we would not have seen so much fragmentations among the Nagas as of today” Konyak pointed out. “If we have positive attitude even now, it is never too late for finding solution to our longstanding Naga political issue.”
The Minister further called upon the Naga people that it was high time for them to stop the habit of blaming each other with regard to the Naga issue. “Everyone—be it in the Government or in the Opposition or national Workers or anyone—should rather contribute in whatever capacity they have at this crucial juncture towards finding solution to the Naga political issue,” he explained saying, “Our future lies on our coming together and not by blaming each other.”
The Minister also expressed his unhappiness on the then Indian leaders’ lacking wisdom that on many occasions, they could have resolved the Naga political issue without much struggle. Unfortunately many leaders then took the Naga issue so lightly that was responsible for today’s situation. And because of this unresolved Naga political issue, the insurgency movements in other parts of the region also cropped up, he explained. “Today, the Naga issue has not only become a national issue but also more complicated,” he said.
“As a politician, I also do know that the Government of India has to take a decision on the Naga issue that would be “a challenging task.” “But they have to take a decision somewhere, someday,” Konyak said adding, “You can’t keep things like that.”