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Naga HoHo’s Goodwill Mission Makes Absolute Sense

A definite yes when one talks about living together as good neighbors. If the Naga HoHo is what it is- the apex body of all Naga tribes- then its decision to embark on a Goodwill mission would not have come at a better time.

Suffice it to say, that due to the mess created by the Ceasefire Extension Agitation, much trust have been lost between the Nagas and other peoples of the North-East. That is of course unfortunate. On the one hand, the Nagas feel that that other Communities are out to scuttle the Peace Process going on between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM). We have always believed that talking or entering into any Agreement with just one Outfit, however strong and powerful, would do nothing to solve the problem in the North-East.

A legitimate question can also be asked if the NSCN (IM) is the true representative of the aspirations of the entire Naga populace. On the other hand, people of the States where Extension of the Ceasefire was to have taken place, felt that the NSCN (IM) was more interested in pushing the agenda of Naga Self-Determination, without really giving much thought to the age-old harmonious relationship that have existed between different Communities since time immemorial. This is especially true of Manipur.

Differences are bound to exist in a place like the North-East with many ethnic groups calling it their home. It would not be fair to say that only the Nagas had a bad deal all this while. If that is the case, what about the rest of the people in the North-East? Have they been having a good deal? So it basically means that the need for co-operation is of utmost importance and the NSCN (IM) needs to formulate its Nagalim Policy in tandem with the changes in the 21st Century.

The NSCN (IM) leadership definitely takes its cue as to the course of action it takes, from many events that occurred or is occurring around the world. We have heard a lot about the term ‘balkanization’ and have been hearing it often lately. If the situation in the former Yugoslavia is any inspiration for the NSCN (IM) leadership, that would be disastrous.

Europe is a contrast anyways. We have countries in Europe coming together to form an Economic and Political alliance, while they also have to deal with the Balkan Mess. But the deal with Yugoslavia goes a long way into history and we are talking empires and religious conflicts on a large and intense scale here. The reason this analogy is important is to put forward the point that it isn’t that bad in the North-East.

We have lived together long enough and to even think of redrawing boundaries is unimaginable. A lot of movements for ‘homelands’ have been going on and it is quite impossible to accommodate all these demands. We all know the consequences, whenever a territorial boundary is redrawn. Look at India and Pakistan, Ethiopia and Eritrea and countless others, both past and present and they are not pleasant. The need of the hour is to give more emphasis and support to the kind of ‘Goodwill Mission’ the Naga HoHo is undertaking to forge better ties between the neighbors and between the peoples.

The North-East needs to look more toward economic and political salvation and I am referring to us being dependent for 90% of our needs on New Delhi and yet for some weird reason, we seem to not like Delhi at all. Delhi does have its great share of weaknesses as well, after all what do you expect? The North-East has the highest per capita Central Assistance in the Country by the way. Development and Peace is what is sought by the people of the North-East and by God we are supposed to have a united voice in dealing with Delhi. But look at what is happening! Are we falling into some trap laid by New Delhi to keep us hooked?

There are a lot of conspiracy theories going on and it is inevitable. We hear the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) nexus to bring about a solution in their own ways, but unfortunately the whole effort came to nothing for the simple reason that the voices of the People are not heard in the first place. Is the NSCN (IM) the true representative of the Naga People is one hell of a good question to ask oneself?

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