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By Oken Jeet Sandham
When 19-Member Parliamentary Working Committee (PWC) of Nagaland met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Delhi, he told them, “You expect 100. (But) If I give you 80%, doesn’t mean I will not give 20%.”
Interestingly, this “80%” had prominently dominated in the two-day discussion on the Naga political issue from July 23 to 24, 2015 in just concluded Nagaland Assembly Session.
Strangely enough, nobody knows what Modi’s exact “80%” formula to the Nagas is. Examining his sophisticated words, it is possible that he may not give this 80% formula also.
Was he telling that he was prepared to give 80% to the NSCN(IM) for the fact that the Government of India has been engaging in political negotiations with them (NSCN-IM) only. Interestingly, when and how and to whom, he is going to give the other “20%.” Is this 20% also to be given to NSCN (IM)? No one knows still.
But will this concept of approaching to the settlement issue be workable or acceptable for the fact that there are other Naga National Groups such as NSCN (Khole-Kitovi), NSCN(R) which are also in truce with the Government of India? NSCN (K), after maintaining truce for 14 long years with Delhi, had unilaterally abrogated it in March this year. Yet, the Government of Nagaland and many civil societies have been urging the Government of India and the outfit for resumption of the ceasefire.
If you know what is that “80%,” then there is every possibility to know what is that remaining “20%” too. But nobody has asked him so far what was that “80%”he was talking about.
Again the Prime Minister Modi told them (19-Member PWC of Nagaland), “If I give you a solution and if it is not accepted to you, I am afraid (that) my solution will be more problem to you.”
From this his statement, it can be safely said that he knows very well that any solution for the settlement to the Naga issue is given, and if it is not accepted, it will become a problem to them. It appears that he starts knowing the complexities in the Naga political issue and the peculiarities of the Naga people. He must also be wondering that in spite of many accords and agreements since 1947, the solution to the Naga issue still remains elusive. His predecessors starting from Jawaharlal Nehru to Dr Manmohan Singh had given their best to find settlement to the Naga political issue, yet the issue remains unresolved. That is the reason why he forewarns as saying “If I give you a solution and if it is not accepted to you, I am afraid (that) my solution will be more problem to you.”
Modi again told the 19-Member PWC of Nagaland: “Will Naga people accept what I decide? When it happens, it should not go unresolved.”
This shows that he still has doubt on the Nagas. It is only natural for the Nagas to think when he said, “If I give you 80%, (it) doesn’t mean I will not give 20%.” This shadowy 80% will simply give a lot of doubts to the Naga people unless it is plainly and succinctly explained to them and also the remaining 20%.
Prime Minister Modi, however, stated that “If peace comes, it must come in toto.” He also explained that “Every single Naga is important in bringing the solution.”
But his other remarks – “When it happens, it should not go unresolved?” – sound threatened and imposed.
He should know that no one likes to be belittled how weak and small they are. It doesn’t work when you come with roses in one hand and a gun in another hand. As I have already mentioned in my earlier write-ups that somebody in Nagaland keeps saying he (Modi) has guts to solve the Naga issue but such “guts” will not solve Naga issue.
What is lacking in the leadership of the country is their “love, care, and concern for the people in the region and also wisdom and diplomacy.” Solution is possible only when we understand each other and respect each other’s values, cultures and traditions.
Actually what the Prime Minister said this time to the Members of the PWC of Nagaland was “highly sophisticated” which the common man will hardly understand. Minister for National Highways Nuklutoshi while taking part in discussion on Naga political issue in recently held Nagaland Assembly Session described as “highly sophisticated” the words and statements of Modi and they would not be easily understood by their people. His fear was unless the Naga people understand the sophisticated system of the Naga talks, things would “simply remain as it is.” It would be highly unworkable if tomorrow the “Prime Minister takes decision on the Naga issue and gives to us” without the consent of their people, he stated. “It would just be another “16-Point Agreement,” he said.
The complex and sophisticated system of Naga talks need simplifying indeed for the common Naga people to know them.