In an attempt to clear the air of confusion on the ‘Framework Agreement’ signed between the NSCN (IM) and the government of India on August 3, 2015, top NSCN (IM) leaders from the State of Nagaland stated that the agreement which “embraces all Nagas and their territories is based on the uniqueness of Naga history”.
The NSCN (IM) leaders from the State of Nagaland numbering 81 in total issued a joint press statement on Friday saying the ‘Framework Agreement’ speaks about mutual recognition of sovereign rights of the two people clearly stating that sovereignty of the Nagas lies with the Naga people and the sovereignty of India lies with the Indian people.
According to the joint statement, the Framework Agreement also speaks about recognition of the Naga identity and territories.
“But, the authors of the agreement did not stop there. They further took the commendable step in making the wise decision for co-existence and shared-sovereignty of the two entities in order to arrive at an honorable and durable solution. Rest assured that this agreement does not betray the principle of the Nagas; it will protect the right of the Nagas and guarantee the security of India as well; it will promote and strengthen harmonious interdependent relationship of the two nations. We are confident that it will open a great opportunity for the Nagas to develop themselves into their fullest size – materially, intellectually, spiritually and socially,” said the joint statement.
It said that history will ever speak of the fact that the Nagas are a sovereign independent people from time immemorial. “Of course, in the early part of the nineteenth century, the British imperialist forces occupied a part of Nagalim after 48 years long bloody confrontations with the Nagas,” it added. However, the rest part remained free from any alien power, which was called as ‘Free Nagas’. It is also a fact that the Nagas from the British occupied areas declared their independence on August 14, 1947 a day ahead of India and united with the ‘Free Nagas.’ The principle of ‘free Nagas’ is the foundation of Naga politics and their unique history. The plebiscite conducted in 1951 was a reaffirmation of the stand of the Naga People on their national principle, the statement added.
“Ours is a case of invasion and that it is a resistance movement against the aggressor states of India and Myanmar in defence of our national principle. Our negotiation with the Government of India (GoI) is principle-based. So obviously, solution to the problem will also be principle-based,” the statement said.
Further it said the good news is that the Naga politics did not end there. “The Naga people continued their movement under the banner of NSCN, where they have made many extraordinary achievements in course of their struggle. Indeed, they fought back the aggressors with all their available resources and strength. However, they cannot keep fighting; they must talk with the GoI so that the problem is solved through dialogue. After decades of confrontations, punctuated with negotiations, the historic ‘Framework Agreement’ was finally signed between NSCN and the GoI as two entities,” it added.
It also noted that the ‘Framework Agreement’ will certainly heal the chronic scars of war and the wounds of oppression and persecution imprinted in the body and mind of the Nagas. The statement further said the ‘Framework Agreement’ will rebuild the damaged psychology and broken relationship of the two people. “It will be a strong bridge between the Nagas and the Indians for generations. It will provide an ample opportunity to the two peoples to building a highway of peace and progress in the region in particular and the South East Asia in general. Rejection of this historic agreement will amount to murder of the precious second chance the good Lord has given to the Nagas”.
The joint statement alleged, there are some people from some quarters who are out there talking of other option. It then said that there Nagas have had bitter experiences of Indian duplicity and imposition of their will upon them in past negotiations. “It will be a futile exercise for any actors if the propagated option is to be a kind of political arrangement within the parameter of Indian constitution. Repeated shouting for principle is not enough, it must accompany with the survival strategy and policy for solution. Definitely, the Nagas are for the solution that does not betray the principle, which our collective leadership emphasizes on ‘principle-based politics and principle-based solution.”
It said, there are also other people who are trying to interpret the issue in terms of number, not truth. “It is a dangerous political hypothesis if the claimed number does not represent the issue. We view the Naga national issue as sacrosanct because everything of the Nagas is in there. It must be defended at all costs and fought out even to the last man. The history of the Israelites would have been ended at the Mount Sinai had there not been Moses and a few of his followers who were deadly opposed to the motion of going back to Egypt. Our politics is about the future of the Nagas. Our solution too aims at it”.
“We reassure our neighboring peoples and nations that the Nagas bear no ill-will towards any of them. The Nagas are for a harmonious interdependent relationship with them but on equal footing. Framework Agreement is about the Indo-Naga political issue. It is about the issue of the Nagas and their territories,” the statement also said.
It maintained, the Naga people are not opposed to their issues. It added that they are for a peaceful and harmonious relationship with them on the basis of mutual respect and recognition of their respective rights