Integration of Naga homelands  is non-negotiable — Global Naga Forum

Integration of Naga homelands is non-negotiable — Global Naga Forum

Dimapur, Oct. 5 : The Global Naga Forum (GNF) has appealed to the chairman of NSCN/GPRN and convenor of WC, NNPG to uphold the non-negotiable political rights of the Nagas for an honourable political solution.

In a statement issued on Monday, GNF acknowledged the sacrifices made by various Naga political groups but urged them to also acknowledge that ‘countless ordinary patriotic Naga men and women have paid a heavy price in one way or the other in the struggle for our common aspiration towards self-determination’.

“We believe that there are well-meaning patriotic Naga public, professionals and intellectuals whose goodwill and voices should be recognized, accepted and tapped as resources for the progressive realization of the common aspiration.

“We are living in a historic moment with a golden opportunity to either create a harmonious future collectively or regress into chaos, utter confusion and internecine conflicts of mutual destruction of self and others. To avoid the return of violence by finding peaceful political solutions through the present political dialogues, we sincerely beseech all the different Naga political groups to reconcile with each other for unity in common purpose through dialogue, mutual respect, trust and accommodative spirit. It is disingenuous to think that unity is the same as uniformity,” it read.

GNF urged the NPGs to settle their differences through dialogue and ‘converge at a non-negotiable position in the interest of all the Nagas’. It added that the Naga struggle as a “social contract is binding on all of us as mutual stakeholders and we truly believe that this common cause is sacrosanct and it should be honored as bigger and above all the Naga organizations and their leaders.”

GNF also expressed its apprehension and concerns about the ‘hovering air of uncertainty, confusion and differences within the Naga political groups’.

It claimed that ‘unseen hands of hawkish elements’ were working with a ‘systematic design of divide and destroy policy’ to split the ranks and files of the Naga political groups, ‘pitching groups against each other by constructing and implanting divisive narratives so as to exploit the confusion, ethnic fault lines and fear for manufacturing consent to force the most deceptive piecemeal packages as solutions to the Nagas’ aspiration to live as a people with peace and dignity’.

Further, GNF appealed to the Naga political negotiators engaged in the political dialogues to ensure integration of the contiguous Naga areas as it is the ‘sine quo non for an honorable solution’.

“This demand should not and cannot be taken as a new demand. In fact, it was agreed in the past agreements as per the point 6 of the Nine Point Agreement and point 13 of the Sixteen Point Agreement respectively.

“Given the unique history, identity and situation of the Nagas, we strongly believe that we have the right to determine our right to freely pursue our political, economic, social and cultural development as a distinct people. Any arrangement that will perpetuate the yoking of the Nagas together by force with the dominant communities who by their brute majority treat us as objects of exploitation, oppression and suppression with downright hostile and hegemonic attitude can never constitute an honorable and acceptable solution at all. Hence, integration of the Naga homelands within India is a non-negotiable issue,” read the statement.

It added that the flag and constitution ‘forms the heart and soul of the Naga identity, their unique history and situation as duly acknowledged by the government of India’.

“The acknowledgement of the distinct identity of the Nagas by the government of India must be translated into and protected by a separate Naga passport and a Visa regime. Without this, ‘our distinct identity’ shall be but a lip service, and our small people of 4 million only—surrounded by a sea of almost 1,700 million of other peoples on all sides; shall be drowned within no time under demographic invasion as is already seen in our land today,” it said.

The statement further elucidated that in the memorandum to Simon Commission on January 10, 1929, declaration of Independence on August 14, 1947 and the 1951 Plebiscite, ‘the Naga people stand undivided in their aspiration for a sovereign Nagaland’.

“If any single group can bring this in toto, we believe that all Nagas shall agree. However, if the agreement currently being negotiated with GOI is going to be anything less, then it is critically important to be transparent and take all stakeholders on board before any such agreement is signed,” it read.

If any such agreement is to be signed short of sovereignty, there must be a clear clause, keeping the path open for the Nagas to decide their future course of action to enter into a new deal, it stated.

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