NEW DELHI/DIMAPUR: Veteran Naga leader SC Jamir has dispelled a rumour about his deteriorating health condition and death.
"This is to inform all citizens of Nagaland and beyond that through the grace of God I continue to maintain a very good health," said the 91-year-old who was also the Chief Minister of Nagaland for five terms.
In a 49-second video posted on social media and local TV channels, the political stalwart and a protagonist of nationalism in the insurgency-stricken region, said: "It is most unfortunate that there are some people who are spreading canard about me, which is totally false. However, may God bless them to carry out such canards if they desire to do so." The veteran leader also served as Governor of Goa and Odisha and was one of the early Naga parliamentarians.
Jamir, who enjoys good personal rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their intimacy during his stint as Governor of Gujarat only for five months, had also served under the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. A seasoned Congressman, he now spends most of his time in his Chumukeidma residence near Dimapur with his wife. In fact, prior to the spreading of the concocted fake news, Sunday was a very normal day for Jamir.
He even spoke to a few friends and this journalist over phone and generally enquired how the election campaign is going on in Gujarat. "I propose to visit Delhi during Winter Session of Parliament," he told IANS. Jamir also posted a brief video of quotes to some associates on social media wherein an illustrious thinker speaks about "ants" and how two varieties of ants can stay alongside in a jar until the jar is shaken by an external force.
And when he was told that the video is quite apt and has a universal value, Jamir said: "Is not the situation almost similar in Nagaland?... That's how these quotes are so relevant".
Jamir has survived attempts on his life more than once including one in November, 2002 in the Nagaland House in Delhi's 29 APJ Abdul Kalam Road.
He often pens articles on contemporary Naga politics and the ongoing peace parleys. He is well known for his hardliner views on certain issues and he is a strong proponent of statehood for Nagaland and for upholding of Article 371 (A). Jamir is actually the only surviving leader among Nagas who inked the Statehood pact — commonly known as the 16 Point Agreement of 1960. Only after this pact was inked Nagaland came into being as the 16th State of the Indian Union.
Commenting on his relationship and understanding with Modi, Jamir told this scribe in November, 2021: "We had a very good relationship though I was there only for five months. We were good friends. When I became Governor of Gujarat in 2009, I told him, I am a former Chief Minister so I know the responsibility of a Chief Minister.
"So as Governor I will never interfere. My role would come only when you trespass on the Constitution. I myself never liked Governor to interfere, so I never interfered." (IANS)