By- Dr. Malem Ningthouja
The ongoing negotiation for a Framework Agreement (FA) between Government of India and Naga based organizations is nearing to a conclusion. The Agreement may be duped a ‘temporary experimental course,’ as the timeframe of some of the ‘packages’ is ten years only. But, it will have tremendous economic, political, and social consequences in Nagaland and adjoining territories. This FA, initiated by Government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM), has entered a phase wherein Nagaland based organizations have become game changers at the cost of NSCN-IM. It appears that the bargaining power of the NSCN-IM is sliding down and may feel disappointed with the outcome. The Government of India is showing full commitment in it and, with huge money and military strength, it is enjoying an upper hand in the negotiation—in order to speed up its larger economic and strategic goals in the India-Myanmar border regions. To ensure a smooth FA, the Government of India is ready to invest huge amount of money, as reflected the draft contents of the Framework Agreement widely circulated in the social media. It is a winning situation for the Government of India. If the Framework Agreement would be concluded by 31st October 2019, there is very little time left for those who wish to oppose it.
The Framework Agreement, if it will be in its current draft contents, will create disappointment and disillusionment to many. Both the NSCN-IM that holds on the idea of a sovereign Nagaland and those from Manipur who wish to oppose official patronage shown to the Nagas of Manipur (in the form of a grant of Naga Territorial Council) may feel disappointment with the outcome of the Framework Agreement. The Nagas will be divided and it will be difficult a difficult situation for NSCN-IM. It may or may not go back to protracted guerilla war, but had to adopt different tactics to overcome polarizations among Nagas and peace with other communities. In the Manipur valley, there may occur strong agitations and breakdown of law and order. Pro-Manipur may chant anti-Government of India voices and opposition parties will try to destabilize BJP government. There may occur polarization of opinions and communal tensions. But I am sure that the Government of India has foreseen it and is well prepared to face with any eventuality to subdue NSCN-IM and agitations in Manipur as well.
The disappointment of NSCN-IM and those in Manipur will be quite natural. It is the result of a historical blunder; the absence of a common goal and lack of strategic collective efforts for a better society. But history will continue. People can still have faith in creating history in future too. Be prepared to save lives, properties, and for a long lasting peace and tranquility.
By- Dr. Malem Ningthouja