IMPHAL, Apr 15 : Referring to the response of some Imphal based civil organisations to the supposed options that are emerging in the Indo-Naga dialogue process as published on April 9 in the local media, the United Naga Council (UNC) has categorically stated that peaceful parting of ways is the only option.
It maintained that it is not against the political aspiration of the Meiteis and other communities, which of necessity are rooted in the histories of the respective communities.
While it is matter of inherent historical rights for the Nagas to live together as a people, for the dominant community it is their economic and political interest that Nagas should not have political empowerment to be able to decide their own future, UNC said in a statement.
“Let it be also clearly placed that the land of the Nagas and tribals were not gifted by the Meitei Maharaja. Meiteis lived in the Sanaleibak of the valley and the Hao tribals/Nagas lived in the hills. Our histories were different. The hills were never a part of the Meitei kingdom or its magnificent history. Nagas and tribals live in their own land.
“And Nagas and tribals alone must decide their destinies, which cannot not be conditioned and subjected to the interest and convenience of the dominant community of the valley”, the UNC asserted.
The Indo-Naga dialogue is between the NSCN and the Government of India as two entities.
The talk is in place because the legitimacy of the Naga movement has been recognised.
Manipur is a state under the Constitution of India. But the parochialism and chauvinism of the dominant community as reflected in the recent statements emanating from the valley has given rise to the demand for alternative arrangements outside the alleged communal Government of Manipur by different tribal communities even as far back as 1948, it claimed.
Selective reference of the Kuki-Naga conflict in the 1990s have been frequently cited to project the NSCN as the perpetrators of genocide. It was a clash factored by many causes and chief among them was the instigation and manipulation of the dominant community in the state who were the silent and sadistic spectators.
But nothing is mentioned of the massacre of Nagas by Kuki irregulars in 1917-1919 with the use of 600 musket rifles provided by the Meitei Maharaja.
“The targeting of Nagas does not reflect kindly on the historical and ethical sense of the Meitei intellectuals. There seems to be a persistent aversion to any news or development on the historically registered Naga issue and decided unwillingness to look into the merit of the case. When the Nagas’ position is not appreciated and no sincere effort made to do so, then the peaceful parting of ways is the only option”, it asserted.
Threat of use of violence by referring to the June 18, 2001 mayhem is constantly used against changing the territorial boundary of Manipur. But such threats do not change the fact that Nagas and tribals are not Meiteis and that there is already an irreparable social divide in the present state of Manipur.
AMUCO and UCM rightly uses Manipur, which is without the Nagas and tribals in the hills. Their concern for Manipur’s (Imphal valley) territorial integrity is rightly placed. The “naked” Nagas have always desired is to be able to live together as a people and to have other communities as good neighbours. Sooner this position is understood as inevitable, the better it would be for all concerned, the UNC added.