From our Special Correspondent
SILCHAR, April 26: Both NSCN chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah recently were in New Delhi for the next round of dialogue with central leaders. According to political observers, a reasoned and pragmatic solution to the more than six decade old Naga problem will be a significant development with its overall impact on the insurgency scenario of Northeast. Even the hardliner Paresh Barua, commander in chief of ULFA, might follow the suit. The Chief Minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio thinks that a breakdown of talks will not be in the interest of the Nagas and Nagaland. He called upon all the NGOs and the apex body Naga Hoho to come together and resolve the Naga political problem. The ground situation and the wide spectrum of public opinion in Nagaland have been in favour of a favourable outcome of the talks.
In fact, the NSCN (IM) has been harping on the concept of Nagalim or greater Nagaland. At one stage, Muivah even expected the Centre to change the very political map of the Northeast in order to settle the Naga tangle. Interestingly, a call was given to some of the hill tribes of Assam and Manipur to become part of the proposed Nagalim. It is to be put on record that Dimasas of Assam are claiming the Dimapur areas of Nagaland as part of their home land. ULFA is rigid on its territorial integrity. Better to recollect the unintentional statement of the former interlocutor Swaraj Kaushal on extending the ceasefire anywhere and beyond which led to mass uprising in Manipur. The then Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh reacted angrily and opposed the extension of ceasefire beyond Nagaland.
The NSCN(IM) leaders have at the same time been speaking about the uniqueness of Naga history and stressing on sovereignty which they have clarified as Nagas were never a part of the Indian Union. Question has thus been raised is the solution of Naga imbroglio lies outside the Indian Constitution? Muivah however defined sovereignty as freedom of people to decide their own future. He did admit maximum autonomy within the Indian Constitution could be one of the alternatives.
More important in this pursuit of peace is the opinion of the two other Naga outfits – NSCN(K) and Naga National Council. NSCN(IM) leaders are aware that situation in Nagaland has changed appreciably where every third thought is for peace after years of turmoil and bloodshed. It is yet another positive development that their wish-list no more talks of secession, separate citizenship for Nagas, their own currency and passport. The only hiccups on way to peace, therefore, are integration of Naga areas and sovereignty. It is expected that both GOI and NSCN(IM) leaders will tread cautiously to find out a lasting solution.