Call for reunification of divided Naga people & land
Dimapur, March 9 (MExN): The Netherland based Naga International Support Centre (NISC) has pointed out that after forced separation of its land and people, reunification of the Nagas was a natural desire and that there was nothing strange in the demand. “It is also true that the Nagas do not claim anybody else’s land; they only want their land and their people reunited to live under one umbrella. So, according to the Nagas all lands, which were theirs before the British colonised and administered a small portion, are to be reunited”, stated a press note issued by the NISC.
The NISC observed that protests against reunification of Naga areas and peoples have once again begun and pointed to the statements coming from the United Committee of Manipur (UCM) and also from Arunachal Pradesh where there had been protests against conceding any land to the Nagas for its “new sovereign State of Nagalim”. “No doubt Assam will follow suit. The protests against reunification, persistently called by the press and the Government of India integration of Naga inhabited areas, hardly ever show the substance of these protests and so the question is: On what basis do the politicians of these states think they are entitled to rule over the forcibly separated Nagas?” the NISC questioned.
Making a reference to history the press note claimed that there were no states whatsoever in the Northeast of India when India became independent and that in fact it was Nagaland State which became the first state in 1963, much to the regret of the NNC and many a Naga. The NISC went on to lament that the emergence of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur States brought further divisions among the Nagas because along with what was left of Assam they were then separated and administered by four different states and that “political unity among the Nagas had ceased to exist”.
Stating that Nagas had never been conquered by any alien force and never signed an agreement conceding their lands to an occupier, being British of Indian in nature, the NISC therefore pointed out that this must have meant that “no one ever ruled over them”. Further adding that the Nagas are a peace-loving people, the press note stated that Nagas wanted justice and that they were actively seeking an end to the political conflict but within the international system of justice. “What is the harm in allowing them to settle this long-standing case without bloodshed? The Nagas want justice and the Nagas want peace. Let it be known that the Nagas, by declaring ceasefire, want to settle the political problems caused by Great Britain, India and Burma through peaceful means, through peaceful negotiations”.
The NISC stated that the politicians in Manipur are afraid that the integrity of their state will be jeopardized. The press note however wanted to know as to whether the Nagas had agreed to be part of Manipur any time in the recent of remote past and whether they had conceded territory to the King of Manipur or if they had been conquered by the Meiteis or further still whether they had agreed to be part of Manipur State. “The answer is no”, the NISC stated and affirmed that Nagas have every right to be reunited. “It would be a matter great injustice if this can only be accomplished the hard way”.
On the subject of ceasefire between the two parties i.e. Government of India and Government of Nagalim, the NISC observed that “it is not a ceasefire with territorial limits” and since the “Manipuris, Meiteis, are no party to this ceasefire so there is no particular issue with them”. “Or is it that the Manipuri Meiteis want to frustrate the political negotiations for an honorable settlement between the Government of India and the Government of Nagalim because they want to rule over the Nagas in Manipur?”
NISC has therefore called on all concerned to take history, rights to self determination and inalienable rights to land at heart “before screaming from the rooftops that not an inch of Arunachal, Assam or Manipur should go to Nagalim, on the premise that this will jeopardize the integrity of the relevant states of the northeast”. “Let’s settle this without bloodshed and work for a northeast where the people live in harmony because all their basic and collective rights are protected and defended”, the NISC suggested.