The news that the fil ga Pact is to be incorporated in the Indian Constitution is bound to raise legitimate fears about how the boundaries of the proposed Greater galim are likely to affect its neighbouring States. Much of the fears arise from the fact that the Union government has maintained the utmost secrecy about the terms and conditions of the fil ga Pact. This is what inevitably happens when the Union government decides to maintain utmost secrecy about developments that are likely to affect not just one particular State but also its neighbouring States that have been left completely in the dark about what compromises the Centre has had to make in order to bring peace to a troubled State. But this is not how a democracy can be allowed to function.
The Union government stated on Monday that it was not apprehending any major law-and- order problem during the ensuing State Assembly polls in galand since the tiol Council of galim (I-M) and the working group of the ga tiol Political Groups (NNPGs), the umbrella body of six rebel outfits which are talking with the Centre, have given a formal commitment of not interfering with the election process. It is this ambience of concord that seems to have prompted the government to incorporate the fil agreement to be signed with the rebel groups of galand in the Constitution of India to give it a formal stamp of approval. This is indeed a matter of serious concern for the stakeholders of the fil ga Pact. And the real problem arises from the Centre’s failure to regard the neighbouring States of the proposed Greater galim also as the stakeholders of the pact. By now, it is quite evident that the Centre had not been able to arrive at any kind of satisfactory pact for the people of galand without making certain assurances about increasing the size of present galand in order to create a Greater galim. And this is not going to be possible without including parts of the territories of Assam, Manipur and Aruchal Pradesh no matter what assurances are given to these three States that the creation of Greater galim will not in any way affect the boundaries of the neighbouring States. The obvious conclusion is that the high level of secrecy surrounding the fil ga Pact has been occasioned mainly by fears of very legitimate protests from the neighbouring States of Assam, Manipur and Aruchal Pradesh once it becomes known that territories of these three States have been included to create Greater galim. That apart, certain concessions obviously had to be made also to ensure that the forthcoming general elections of galand would be conducted smoothly after the rebel groups filly softened their opposition to the elections and agreed not to interfere directly with the election process.
So far, Assam Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary have remained firm in their resolve not to part with inch of Assam’s territory for the creation of Greater galim. However, in the context of the Centre’s determition to secure peace in galand at any cost, it is quite possible that the Centre might impose its decision on the creation of Greater galim by annexing territories from the States of Assam, Manipur and Aruchal Pradesh. And once the decisions of the Centre that form the principal determints of the proposed Greater galim are implemented and become part of the Indian Constitution, it will become virtually impossible to make any changes to the complete satisfaction of the people of Assam, Manipur and Aruchal Pradesh. This in turn is bound to stoke chronic disturbances and violence in these three States. The fil ga Pact has not yet been made public. There is still time for the Centre to make the necessary changes to the ga Pact to ensure that the attempts to appease one refractory State of the Union that seeks the status of a sovereign country within a country does not come at the cost of territories annexed from neighbouring States. True, it has taken decades to forge any kind of accord with this refractory State of ours. But this is not good enough reason to make compromises that could remain unfortute precedents for many more decades to come.