The Naga Rising, an influential organisation based in Nagaland, on January 4 has said that the media report stating that the framework agreement signed on August 3, 2015 was the “key hurdle in the way of a Naga peace accord” is indeed alarming.
The Naga Rising cited the report published in The Indian Express in its November 29, 2021 issue.
It alleged that this has “exposed the complete failure to genuinely understand and properly manage what was described by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a ‘historic agreement’”.
It then said that this development, if true, has put serious doubt on the ability of both the Government of India and NSCN (IM) to put together a peace agreement, negotiations for which has spanned more than two decades.
“It appears that a lot of loopholes exist in the way the peace process is being managed by all sides. This is a sure recipe for misinterpretation, blame game, trust deficit and future complication. Course correction is required even at this late juncture,” the Naga Rising added.
It then said: “Let’s consider the following. The Indian Express report has pointed out that the interpretation of the Framework Agreement (FA) by the NSCN (IM) ‘has held up the process being finalised’. However, the Government of India cannot absolve itself of blame either”.
The Naga Rising further said that Prime Minister Modi is equally accountable for the failure in managing the fallout of the ‘historic occasion’ and agreement. It further said that the prime minister is also answerable for making a public spectacle of the widely televised August 3, 2015 event and not delivering on his words to the Naga people.
According to the Naga Rising, it is clearly evident that Delhi wants to impose its own accord on the Nagas and not one that is mutually acceptable. It further said that the letter and spirit of the framework agreement has not been reciprocated by the BJP-led Narendra Modi government.
“One should not forget that the ownership of the framework agreement does not belong to the NSCN (IM) alone but it is a bilateral document involving the ‘two entities’ as spelled out in the framework agreement. Similar is the case of the agreed position of the 17th November of 2017 with the NNPGs”, the Naga Rising added.
It then stated: “In fact the recognition of Nagas as a separate entity in both the agreements (above) is a matter of fact and not fiction.”
Further, the Naga Rising said that the Modi-led BJP government should be respectful of the historical and political rights of the Nagas and not impose a counter-narrative to further the ideological designs of a Hindu-rashtra of one race, culture and religion as is being advocated by the Hindu right wing. “Reiterating the long-held view of the RSS, its chief recently made the atrocious claim that ‘the DNA of all people in India is the same’,” the Naga Rising added.
According to the Naga Rising, even Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, roped in to help find a solution, toes a similar line of hardcore Hindutva.
“The suspicion towards Christian Nagas is perhaps a reason for the hard-line stand of the Modi government including its reservation on the issue of integration, a separate flag and constitution. This is unfortunate,” it stated.
The Naga Rising then said that the Modi government should not treat the Naga issue as ‘cultural’ or the NPGs as some cultural bodies. “Take for instance, even a Rotary Club, Red Cross society, universities or a political party in India fly their separate flags at functions they conduct. The Naga position or status is ‘political’ in nature and should not be compared to an NGO or registered society,” it added.
It said that the “hard earned peace process” and the Naga people’s investment and trust over the years to find an honourable solution should not be undermined by the government.