Now Naga Mothers Association miffed at Governor Ravi’s speech

Now Naga Mothers Association miffed at Governor Ravi’s speech

Kohima,Dec. 5, 2020 : Calling out Governor RN Ravi’s Nagaland Statehood Day speech as ‘patronising speech’ o, the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that there is measured words of peace and respect for the Naga people, including Naga women, ‘from the office of the Raj Bhavan here’.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the NMA said Ravi’s message has revealed that he is confused on his delicate role of peacemaker and interlocutor of the Indo-Naga talks.

“As mothers and women, who are half the Naga population, we have struggled alongside our men and brothers, in war and peace, and as we stand on the threshold of a new understanding of peace between the GoI and the Naga people, at the crossroads to a historic peace, the governor’s patronising speech has proven, there is great disrespect to our history and the thousands who have marched and died under our Naga flag.

“The Naga flag is not a flag of the Naga political groups, it is a flag revered in remembrance of our struggle, a living symbol of our political belief and our Naga identity. Nagas are not a confused race of people, we are well aware of our history, so are the women, who have faced the brunt of Indian militarisation and its unimaginable atrocities, under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act for decades,” read the statement.

It reminded that the association has, over the years, worked to bring peace and create better understanding through dialogues, with various Naga groups as well as successive governors, union home ministers and prime ministers of India.

“Never in our history have we seen such intolerance and arrogance from Indian leaders, as reflected in this instant case. The language of peace begins with mutual respect and this must be maintained by the governor, who is not only the head of state, but involved in bringing peace to our Naga areas. His assertion that the traditional village institutions and tribal bodies are the primary stakeholders in the Naga political issue, unfortunately, shows his complete ignorance, in not realising that Naga women are equal stakeholders in the Naga political process.

“Naga women, over the years, have walked the talk, trudging into deep jungles and areas untrodden by many traditional village institutions and few tribe leaders, in search of our armed brothers for peace. Therefore, it is highly questionable that the esteemed representative of the government of India has not taken cognisance of Naga women’s expressed wishes for peace and an early settlement, inclusive of all NPGs, for the future of our children in all Naga areas. History of other peace processes around the world clearly proves that when women’s voices are not counted and goes unheard by negotiators, peace is not sustained and peace processes break down,” the statement read.

The NMA questioned why there was “such disrespect to the primary stakeholders (Naga women) in the governor’s message”.

“It is expected that an official address from the head of the state, who carries the responsibility of being the Interlocutor, should have not have been accompanied by dire warnings of wrath or threats to the Nagas, especially Naga women, who have suffered so much under the impunity of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act since 1958 much before statehood,” it asserted.