Nagaland at critical hour; Tribes must be very clear on matters at hand: WC, NNPGs

Kohima: Article 371 (A) only instrument sustaining political identity and distinct historical foundation of Nagas and therefore must be fortified at all cost

BY | Tuesday, 1 August, 2023

1.ON OIL AND NATURAL RESOURCES: Indian Constitution guarantees Nagas the right to explore and extract natural resources in Nagaland however to this end, the Petroleum Ministry of India has become a stumbling block and continue to infringe on the constitutional rights of the Nagas. Currently, despite the constitutional guarantee, Nagaland state assembly does not have legislative power to legislate or amend this matter. This clear operational vacuum was removed when WC, NNPGs and Gol focused on this crucial matter. Gol Interlocutor and WC, NNPGs, in March 2018, agreed that Post Indo-Naga political agreement, the Nagaland Tatar Hoho (Nagaland Federal Hoho, upper house representing all tribes and the Leacy Hoho, democratically elected members) combined, shall be the apex body to legislate on all matters including transfer and ownership of land and its resources, both manmade and natural including mines, minerals, fossil fuels, petroleum and natural gas and any new finds. With respect to strategic, radioactive elements, rare earths which have Indian national security relevance and implications, exploration and mining shall be through joint venture agreements between the Government of India and the Government of Nagaland. Similar constitutional provision will ensure political and administrative arrangements for Naga territories in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

Nagaland State CM had time to etch his name in the history of Indo-Naga conflict as the man who played real peacemaker, calmed the political turmoil and facilitated the inking of Indo-Naga political agreement. He opted to hang onto the CM chair, foregoing greater responsibility. Today, rather than facilitating early honorable and acceptable agreement based on the negotiated terms, the state government has once again formed a committee to look into the feasibility of oil exploration with the state’s constitutional head, the Governor, as a member! This is against the spirit of Indo-Naga political negotiations and agreed terms. It is against the spirit of Art. 371 (A).

All man-made resources in Nagaland have been short-circuited and diverted into their own pockets. Nagaland is a state with the biggest begging bowl. It is morally and ethically wrong to sell untapped wealth of the people for further self-aggrandisement which is why it is unacceptable. A group of vultures are now hovering over the underground wealth of Naga people. Visionless profiteers and wanton politicians cannot repair Nagaland. There is nothing left for future generations, save God given natural resources. Therefore, Naga tribes must oppose tooth and nail all attempts to conduct oil exploration in Nagaland. The Naga vultures are devoid of principle or morality. WC, NNPGs would convey to all that pending Indo-Naga political solution, all Core Committees or Special High-powered Team must be abolished. Venturing into negotiated domain already agreed in principle between negotiating entities, is too dangerous. On 13rd Oct. 2021, at Nagaland house New Delhi, Nagaland Chief Minister declared that in order to expedite early solution, his government was able to remove Mr. R.N Ravi from the gubernatorial post. What has been achieved since Mr. R.N Ravi’s removal?

Read more: LLRPO want Bhandari MLA on Nagaland Ministerial Group on Petroleum & Natural Gas

2.HONORABLE AND ACCEPTABLE POLITICAL SOLUTION: There is a clear roadmap for Indo-Naga political solution based on Agreed Position signed between Gol and WC, NNPGs on 17′ Nov. 2017. The subsequent negotiated status papers are in the hands of the people. There are still those Non-Nagaland, Nagas who have this bizarre habit of lying to the people that through Frame work Agreement, Nagaland do not exist and Art. 371 (A) had become irrelevant. Such a narrative is an insult to the intellectual of the people of Nagaland. The time has come for Nagaland CM to respond and put a stop to this nonsense.

Silence would be construed as tacit understanding with these elements and therefore he would be failing his constitutional duties. Art. 371 (A) is the only instrument which sustains the political identity and distinct historical foundation of the Naga people and therefore must be fortified at all cost. The Gol must understand that all Nagas in different states and people of Nagaland in particular, yearns for peace through honorable solution. Clearly, it is the non-indigenous Nagas sheltering in Nagaland who live in illusion and do not wish for peace to prevail in Nagaland.

Read more: Naga political solution inevitable after Jan 14 agreement: Rio at Mokokchung

3.ON NAGALAND POLICE ARMS AND AMMUNITION FULLING COMMUNAL FORCES AND RELIGIOUS FANATICISM: More than thirty thousand people displaced, more than hundred and fifty people murdered, more than hundred and fifty Churches destroyed in Manipur! Prima facie, Arms and ammunition meant to defend Nagaland has fallen into the hands of religious fundamentalists in Manipur. One thing is clear. Churches were not Narco-depots and their destruction cannot be justified. Nobody is buying the Narco-terrorism narrative in Manipur. The arrest of Tangkhul NSC (IM) official by Nagaland police, seizure of missing arms and the June gathering of Meitei elders and Tangkhul village elders (Federation of Haomee), reported on 10th June 2023, resolving to retrace common culture and identity and vowed to defend the territorial integrity of Manipur, is a testimony of Meitei-Tangkhul blood relation taking precedence over “Nagalim for Christ.” It is ironic that Nagaland Police arms and ammo, meant to defend Nagaland, are being bought off to defend the territorial integrity of Manipur by those claiming to stand for Nagalim for Christ!

Late IM Chairman Mr. Isak Chishi Swu, must be writhing in his own grave because as Christian comrades at Hebron camp have gone incommunicado and supplying arms and ammunition to kill Christians and to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur.

Read more: Nagaland Police personnel apprehended for illegal transportation of ammunition to Manipur

4.ON STATE GOVERNMENT’S LIFELESS RESPONSE TO MANIPUR TURMOIL: There is a raging inferno in the neighbourhood. Innocent men, mothers and daughters are being dragged out of their homes, paraded naked, tortured and killed. Places of worship in hundreds are in smouldering ruins. This is the time for the Nagaland Government to be proactive. The state CM must assert his leadership and statesmanship before the world. The Church and Civil Societies are doing their best. All neighbourhood state leaders have expressed their anguish and appealed to stop the carnage. Has Nagaland state failed Nagas in particular and humanity at large? It is morally not right for CM to maintain stoic silence even though human blood has seeped through his doorstep. Is it appropriate to believe Biren Singh when he says killings and destructions are an internal problem of Manipur? It is not. WC, NNPGs believes Nagaland CM has a role to play. He must express and convey collective condemnation of all parents and children of Nagaland on horrific scenes in the daily news and social media. The people expect from their Chief Minister a strong stand against violent communal forces. He must be vocal and partner secular voices in restoring peace and harmony in Manipur.


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