The 213th report of the Security Situation in the North Eastern States of India has been presented both in the upper and lower of the parliament. It is significant as the report reflects to bringing a final solution of the over two decade old political dialogue between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM. Understanding the fact that solving the issue of the NSCN-IM will not be a permanent solution for peace in the state of Nagaland as there are many other political bodies of the state, the Central government interlocutor to the peace talk RN Ravi have converted the NSCN-IM and GoI talk as Naga and GoI talk by constituting all the political groups of the state. A blow to the effort was the abrogation of the cease fire by the NSCN-K which perhaps is one of the largest insurgent group in the entire North eastern region including some part of neighbouring country Myanmar.
Recently the state assembly of Manipur had re-adopted the resolution for protection of the Territorial integrity of the state reaffirming that any solution that bring administrative division to the state of Manipur among the various ethnic communities of the state while solving the issue of the NSCN-IM will not be accepted.
What is ironical is the report submitted to both the Parliament house which suggest a lasting solution by granting a special status for the Nagas of NE region. Earlier, before the submission of the report R.N Ravi had stated about extension of article 371(A) of the Indian constitution to Nagas inhabiting in all part of NE region.
Another option suggested is the implementation of the 6th scheduled which is a prejudice as it is already incorporated Article 371 (C).
Before signing the final solution which includes one administration for all the Nagas what is needed to remind the government of India is that when the cease fire with the NSCN-IM was announced on July 25, 1997 at the floor of Lok Sabha by the then Prime Minister of India, late Inder Kumar Gujaral, tension eroded among the various communities of the North East India, compelling some of the civil society organizations of the state to take up awareness campaign about the ‘would be’ affects of the cease fire agreement. Four years later, after the declaration of the ceasefire, the extension of the cease fire ‘without territorial limits’ on June 14, 2001, at Bangkok, which was later popularly known as ‘Bangkok declaration’, the simmering tension of the various communities of the state reached to catastrophe. Manipur was nearly turn to ash with almost 60 percent of the people of Imphal coming out to the street of Imphal and pouring their anger to the government set up of the state. Almost all offices of political parties, official quarters of MLAs, Ministers etc were set ablaze by the angry mob. Even the temple of democracy – the assembly secretariat was not spared. It was during this famous uprising in the history of Manipur that a complete change to the peoples’ mandate during the general assembly election was brought.
Secondly a special status to Naga is an antithesis to the political party like BJP which is ruling the government at the centre. If one recalled Late Nehru signed an agreement with the then Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Sheik Abdulah called “Delhi Agreement” and added the article 35 A to the constitution of India. While adding this provision to the constitution of India; it was never presented to the floor of the parliament. That is why an NGO challenged the validity of this article to the Supreme Court in 2014 on the ground that it was not done under the purview of the Article 368.
In case of Manipur, Article 371 C has been incorporated for becoming the state of India, which has only a provision to safeguard the tribal people of the state.
The special provision stated by RN Ravi will be another insult to the constitution of India and its guardians.
The very NGO which filed case against the Article 370 is supported by the BJP and its Parivaar.
Granting of a special status for Nagas beyond any clauses already incorporated will only meant showing the true colour of the saffron regime and its policy towards the North Eastern states.
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. A avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.