Indian interlocutor RN Ravi, of the Indo-NSCN-IM peace talk is setting out for a final step to conclude the decades old issues. Newspapers report say he is meeting with some of the senior citizens of the state perhaps for a final round.
After the president of India Ram Nath Kovind had assured a solution to the issue while delivering speech on the inaugural day of the Hornbill Festival, the meeting of the three chief ministers of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh with the Union Home Minister Rajnath recently signals a possible conclusion to the issue.
Not just the things seen in the government side but also the way the NSCN-IM and its frontal body are gearing up for a new journey showed that, the long standing demand is yet to be fulfilled. NSCN-IM had replaced a new army chief and it had reorganized its administrative units by appointing CAOs. Source said that hectic preparation is on in the organization of the NSCN-IM to take charge for administration of their proposed demand in whatever way the government of India granted. The NSCN-IM now has no worries for a separate greater Nagaland state neither a sovereign Nagaland.
So far so good, the supporters of NSCN-IM seem to be happy with the agreed points between RN Ravi and Th. Muivah. The Chief Ministers of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam seem to be relaxed with the kind of settlement that the Government of India is going to bring. Even as no one of the Chief Ministers of the three states were let known the contents of the agreement, the three showed signed of relieve after meeting with the Union Home Minister some few days back.
Already, the Prime Minister and Home Minister of India had assured that there will be no disturbance to the territorial boundary of any North Eastern states while solving the vex Naga issue and the solution will sorted out only under the framework of the constitution of India.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh kicked start his political journey riding the issue of the Indo-NSCN-IM peace talk in the late 90s standing firm for the protection of the territorial integrity of the state. Until he became the Chief Minister of Manipur, he had shown his firm stands for the integrity of the state in his own way even by criticizing the political party he belongs too. After becoming the chief minister in March this year he has been taking up every possible task to bridge the differences among the various ethnic people of the state. From an editor of a local daily he is now in the top post of the state who can take decision. And he is well aware of any kind of separation that might disintegrate the state by any other arrangement like a separate administration. On the issue of 6th scheduled, it is irrelevant with the state of Manipur as the constitution of India has already incorporated Article 371 (C).
It is for sure that the final solution will be definitely under the framework of the Indian Constitution. And as per the Indian constitution any agreement which incorporate amendment of the constitution should be table in the floor of the parliament under article 368 of the Indian constitution.
This showed that whatever agreement that is to be inked between the interlocutor RN Ravi and Th. Muivah under the Framework agreement is not going to be final if it contents agreement that need amendment of the Indian Constitution.
As this column has earlier stated that a greater autonomy similar to that Article 35 (A) would mean creation of another Kashmir in the North East region. This would not be encouraged by Prime Minister Modi and the BJP. And the government of India would definitely not want any complication in solving the issues of the NSCN-IM. Which mean that the solution is likely under the purview of the already existed contents of the constitution of India.
A more autonomy to local bodies of Hill district, a special package for the NSCN-IM and some sort of integration base on culture and traditions by accepting a platform not at the government level is what may comes as a solution.
If the condition of agreement is in the way that is speculated, people of Manipur need to support the solution. After all empowering of local bodies like ADCs and Panchayat is a long standing demand for every citizen of the state.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.