An Abridged Naga Saga

A brief thought after omitting the inevitable truth, also by overcoming some reservations fostered by the fragile ethnic relationship, which we share in and around our town

Naga civil bodies charted out agitation strategy for the release of UNC functionaries
Source: Imphal Times, 29 November 2016

Imphal, Nov 29: Five major Naga civil society bodies had charted out strategy for launching series of agitation to release UNC President Gaidon Kamei and Publicity Secretary Sankhui Stephen Lamkang who were arrested by Manipur police on November 25. The five Naga civil society bodies – (the) Naga Forum Delhi, Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (Delhi Sector), Naga Lawyers Guild Delhi, Naga Students’ Union Delhi, Forum for Understanding the Naga-India Conflict & Human Rights and the Naga People’s Union for Civil Liberties after a marathon meeting held at Nagaland House New Delhi has decided to take the matter at the street of Delhi.

If we go by reason or political will of the leadership at the state and national levels, the Nagas in one of the eastern frontiers of India should have found an amicable solution to their issues with India a long time ago. However, as things stand today, their pending concern has not only repeatedly tested the patience of their neighbours but also produced a few grave consequences. One of such outcomes is the cold animosity that the Nagas have developed with other ethnic groups living in the neighbouring areas of the so-called Naga nation. Ethically, it would be more appropriate for an oppressed group to sympathise with another group but over the last couple of decades, it has become too naïve to remain as a liberal well-wisher.

The Nagas’ claim for a greater Naga homeland is as contentious as their complaints against the governments, again at both the state and national levels. Here, the issue is between them and the government and for the sake of argument, they can do anything as they want, provided it is aimed against their antagonists. After all we live in the biggest democracy, though it sounds very funny. However, in their rush to find a solution, their action plan has become too incoherent as evident from the action of one of the frontal organisations, the United Naga Council—some say it is 100%ly NSCN IM now as the latter has been dissolved after merging with the Government Democratic Republic of Nagaland/NNC (N/A)—to take up any kind of measure as a part of their extreme political campaigns.

Today it is the UNC, and it could have anyone: the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ironically with a ‘Manipur’ in its name) or the Naga Students’ Federation. Tomorrow it can be the five ‘civil’ bodies mentioned in the Imphal Times’ report.

If truth be told, considering Manipur was directly connected to New Delhi, the five groups would have imposed an economic blockade instead of their claim to employ bland street politics to raise their demands. Why, because, they never know how confronting the government is entirely different from holding the masses to ransom by blocking the highways. Suppose that they are now living in the 21st century then—as they have been appropriating the modern concepts of nation-states and self-determination—they ought to know what crimes against humanity consist of. Significantly, one’s idea of happiness can never be at the cost of another’s misfortune.

There’s another matter that we can hardly ignore. The animosity has been increasing ever since the Government of India started talking to the NSCN IM formally. Alternatively, if this was the game plan of the Indian strategists and policy makers they are doing a great job. Narendra Modi should give them some suitcases full of the new Rs 2000 and 500 currency notes. For the emerging experts, this write-up could be as well counted amongst the narratives of people hating each other, people blaming each other, people accusing other and what not—while they fool the people all over the world that they are the largest democracy in the world and that they are the Samaritans—while the specialists study minutely for better governance, for administrative purposes and for smoother postcolonial diktats.   

It should be noted that this argument is not from the perspective of any kind of government. A chunk of people in the Imphal valley, in fact, hates the governments more than the politically motivated Nagas do. Still they will not go to the hills and cause ruckus out there; and they “don’t” does not mean that they “cannot”. All the blockades and attacking a visiting minister are just an alibi for these inspiring Naga groups—with members who are still referred to as ‘dummy’ Nagas in ‘real’ Naga territory—to further their political ends. So, instead of being a sadist, it will do a world of good to come out and deal with the issues with whoever they have a grievance against instead of tickling the asses of people for whom a pathetic state government has been claiming to represent to. 

-- Concluded.

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