New Delhi: In an interview that’s more likely to upset and even annoy the federal government on the Centre and which starkly reveals the sharp variations which are nonetheless separating the Nationwide Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) from the Indian authorities, the final secretary of the NSCN (I-M) has repeatedly and forcefully stated that the Nagas won’t ever be a part of the Indian Union nor will they settle for India’s structure.
Thuingaleng Muivah added that there may very well be no compromise on the NSCN (I-M)’s insistence on a Naga flag and Naga structure.
“We’ve got stood our floor on these two non-negotiable points and we will proceed to face until the final man standing,” he stated.
Muivah added that Naga organisations just like the Naga Nationwide Political Teams or a number of civil society organisations, who will not be insisting on a separate flag and structure, are “traitors”.
In a 55-minute interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire, which is able to go up quickly, Muivah, who’s 86 and laborious of listening to, additionally sharply criticised R.N. Ravi, the interlocutor and Nagaland Governor.
He says Ravi has “betrayed” the NSCN (I-M), “he has thrown us away” and that was performing on the behest of the Union residence ministry.
Clearly indicating that the NSCN (I-M)’s endurance is operating out Muivah advised The Wire that if the federal government doesn’t conform to the NSCN (I-M)’s phrases or backs away from earlier understandings they might be “compelled to depart the talks”.
Nonetheless, regardless of repeated questioning, he refused to say how way more time he was ready to provide the talks. He additionally repeatedly refused to reply the query whether or not the NSCN (I-M) would take to arms if it walked out of the talks thus returning the state of affairs in Nagaland to what prevailed earlier than the 1997 ceasefire. At one level when he was requested whether or not the insurgency would re-start if the talks collapse, his reply was “it’s essential to ask that to the Indian authorities”.
It’s clear from the interview that the start line of Muivah’s arguments is the truth that he believes the Nagas have a singular historical past and identification. He stated that traditionally the Nagas have by no means been beneath Indian rule. He repeatedly stated this has been accepted by the Indian authorities. Subsequently, he argued, if the Nagas have a singular identification and historical past the answer should even be distinctive.
Requested particularly whether or not the federal government’s refusal to conform to a separate Naga flag and structure can be a breaking level he stated “there could be no answer and not using a flag and structure”. He dismissed the argument that after the federal government had revoked Article 370 and accomplished away with Kashmir’s flag and structure it can’t now settle for this within the case of Nagaland. He stated the distinctive Naga historical past and identification not solely implies that the answer must be distinctive but in addition that the Jammu and Kashmir precedent can’t apply.
When it was identified to Muivah that teams like Naga Nationwide Political Teams and civil society organisations will not be insisting on a flag and structure he dismissed them as “traitors”.
Yesterday, October 15, all NNPGs and civil society teams unanimously handed a decision to help the continued talks in ‘one voice’. The decision, nevertheless, was quiet on the NSCN (I-M)’s demand for a separate flag.
Chatting with The Wire about the truth that the Framework Settlement of August 2015, signed by the NSCN (I-M) and the federal government of India, talks of “sharing the sovereign energy,” Muivah emphatically and repeatedly stated that this doesn’t imply that the Nagas will settle for and are available beneath the Indian structure.
Their distinctive historical past and identification implies that they need to have their very own structure, he stated. He additionally stated repeatedly and emphatically that the Nagas would by no means be a part of the Indian Union.
In The Wire interview, Muivah repeatedly spoke of the Nagas and the federal government of India as two entities. At one level he even spoke of them as two separate nations.
He stated they may share sovereignty with one another and added that over the past 23 years of talks the 2 have come shut to one another however they nonetheless stay separate entities. He emphatically stood by the road he took on August 14, 2019, a date the NSCN (I-M) regards as Naga Independence Day, that Nagas “is not going to merge with India”.
Chatting with concerning the NSCN (I-M)’s insistence that each one Naga inhabited areas outdoors the current boundaries of Nagaland should combine with Nagaland to create what the NSCN calls ‘Nagalim’, Muivah stated that this remained an essential a part of the NSCN’s place.
He stated that Ravi’s proposed Pan Naga Hoho, a cultural physique with no political function or government authority, and Naga Regional Territorial Councils, beneath the Sixth Schedule of the structure, for Naga inhabited areas of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, is suitable as a transition and as a primary step. Nonetheless, the aim stays the mixing of all Naga areas in Nagalim. He additionally stated that Ravi has accepted that that is solely a transitional measure and that each one Naga areas should be built-in.
What appears clear is that on this subject of integrating Naga-inhabited areas, the NSCN (I-M) is ready to provide the federal government time to implement it absolutely supplied the federal government accepts the precept of doing so. This can be a reiteration of what Muivah advised the BBC programme ‘HARDtalk India’ in an interview in April 2005.
Muivah spoke notably strongly and passionately of the lack of belief in Ravi.
Confirming to The Wire that he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February insisting that hereafter the talks ought to occur on the “highest” stage, “with out pre-condition and out of doors India in a 3rd nation”, Muivah stated that even eight months later, the NSCN (I-M) has not bought a proper reply. He wouldn’t say whether or not they had acquired one informally, or what it was.
Requested repeatedly as as to whether the talks are close to breaking level, Muivah refused to provide a transparent reply however he did say that if the federal government refuses to simply accept the NSCN (I-M)’s essential calls for or goes again on what it has earlier agreed to then they might be “compelled” to depart. However he wouldn’t say how way more time he was ready to provide the talks nor whether or not the NSCN (I-M) would resume the insurgency and combating if the talks collapse.
Muivah stated that the NSCN (I-M) nonetheless has endurance, though they’ve been speaking for 23 years. He repeatedly stated, with out giving particulars, that on many factors an understanding or settlement had been reached earlier however now it’s Ravi who seems to be backing away.
Actually, Muivah, who started the interview criticising Jawaharlal Nehru for his intransigence and his refusal to simply accept that the Nagas have a singular historical past and identification, in direction of the top began to check Narendra Modi to Nehru and steered that his authorities, in the present day, is equally intransigent.
The above is a paraphrased summary of Thuingaleng Muivah’s interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire. Though not inaccurate, it has been recounted from reminiscence. Watch this house for the complete video interview.