Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Manipur Naga Hills demand for alternative arrangement

Responding to the Naga People’s Declaration held at Senapati on July 1, 2010 to sever ties with the Government of Manipur and sought for alternate arrangement to fill the vacuum/gap created in the recent times. The Naga people living in the hill districts of Manipur are suffering for so long under the majority ruled Government of Manipur where their voices are least represented and their rights least bothered by the government. As world pursue sustainability in all forms, alternative is a way out to find the amicable solution.Alternative arrangement that allows the stakeholders to have the sovereign right over their resources and land, the course of actions and processes that will shape and decide their future become mandatory to meet various needs and aspirations of the struggling people. Naga people having experienced the worst situations of the past and recent from the Government of Manipur, felt the need for alternative arrangement/governance system/government for Naga Hills districts of Manipur (Chandel, Tamenglong, Senapati and Ukhrul) with immediate effect to protect their rights viz. traditional, customary, historical and political as a people until the Indo-Naga peace process come to its logical and honorable settlement. Having fully supporting the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process between the Government of India and NSCN (IM), the Naga demand alternative arrangement for Naga Hill districts with immediate effect is paramount.The recent Mao-Gate tragedy speaks volume how the peaceful environment of the peace loving Nagas are met with the brute force killing two students by the State Security Forces of Manipur injuring more than hundreds amounting to human rights violation threatening the Naga civilians. The oppressive and suppressive nature of majority ruled Manipur Government poses a great threat to the Naga people; therefore, alternative arrangement for governance and administration of the Naga Hills District is of paramount.Having taken to consideration, the government of Manipur where the dominant valley based Meiteis community has got 40(forty) solid seats out of 60 Seats in Assembly Floor will never allow the people living in Naga Hills district their due rights in every front as any bills, amendments, legislation, policy passed in the floor needs vote of majority. Therefore, it is time now for the people of Naga Hills districts to manage and govern their own affairs as best suited to them. When the final political settlement of Indo-Naga peace process has arrived, the Naga Hills districts will come under the settled arrangement.The executive, legislative, judiciary and financial matters should be managed by the alternative government as the corruption culture and step motherly treatment meted out by the Manipur Government speak volume of how much the Naga Hills people have suffered from the Manipur Government for past many years. Alternative arrangement for governance of the Hills Districts can be formulated through democratic processes. Henceforth all the development funds, administration, legislation, executive and judiciary shall be handled b. The modalities of the alternative Government should be worked out in consultation with the Naga people and the subject matter experts. This is to avoid the further conflict and confrontation between the Meiteis and Naga people and to protect, preserve the rights of the Nagas. It should be an arrangement before the final negotiated solution is arrived between the Government of India and NSCN (IM).This alternative arrangement should create conducive environment for the peace-process to a higher and better level of negotiation. The alternate arrangement is possible. At times when another ethnic war-like situation was avoided, all peace loving people, government, and civil society should seize the moment to make the alternative possibilities possible. By this, the writer means to say that the parallel outworking is a must to bring the longest conflict in South Asia to a logical conclusion. Searching alternatives to be part of the solution is a must. This doesn’t mean the piecemeal solution of any sort, but this means that creating of situations, which will enhance and optimize peace processes to bring an honorable and acceptable settlement to both the parties at the earliest. Thinking out of box now, if, the Naga people were allowed to manage their own affairs, to self govern, to form a separate government; the grass root village republic governance system based on historical practices will be a beauty of its kind for the world to re-learn again. The world now is pursuing passionately for the empowerment of communities with the minimum intervention of structural institutions. Each Naga village can be turned to a small industry/factory of one kind or the other once they are allowed to self govern. Each individual family has got paddy field and land, each village has got forest land other natural resources, one village can be a centre of pottery items, one can be of cane and bamboo industry, one can be traditional shawls, one can be horticultural products like mangoes, oranges, lemon, passion fruits etc. etc.The Naga people by now have understand the term or word development, it is not a controversial contract works given to any person and the government always find excuses for percentage cut or whatsoever, the development as the younger generation understand is as pointed out by the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation(1975), which they called five principles of “Another Development’. Firstly need oriented- being geared to meeting human needs, both material and non-material; secondly endogenous-stemming from the heart of each society, which defines in sovereignty its values and the vision of the future; thirdly self-reliant: implying that each society relies primarily on its own strength and resources in terms of its members’ energies and its natural and cultural environment; fourthly ecologically sound-utilising rationally the resources of the biosphere in full awareness of the potential of local ecosystems as well as the global and local outer limits impose on present and future generations; fifthly based on structural transformation- so as to realize the conditions required for self-management and participation in decision making by all those affected by it, from the rural or urban community to the world as a whole, without which the goals above could not be achieved.Meanwhile, the parallel outworking of the Reconciliation for Common Hope should gain more ground as it did in the recent Chiangmai Meet. Now, is the time for all the factions to form a united government to forge into a coherent and unified force with one voice to bring home the common hope that each Naga people is longing for ages.All Naga should not retreat from their knees, all Churches should be sincere, forgiving, and the leaders all the more should be more humbled not in words alone but in their inner sense. As the saying goes, ‘humility makes the great greater’. So much so the humble leaders will make a Nation greater. Let this journey of common hope and reconciliation be a journey of each soul to truly know who they are and bring to a sense that without body, mind and soul integrated together as one an individual is an incomplete being. So much so, without each Individual, each Naga family, each Naga tribe, each Naga political party(ies), a Naga Nation is incomplete. Can we now, hope that with these cohesive forces coming together is bringing a Naga Nation nearer?Creative common approach basing on the historical and political rights of both with best workable relational ties between the two entities will benefit both in long term. Perhaps, this will enhance and capacitate the internal and external security of both the entities. Acknowledging, the nick of the time, both should better understand each other by now, whereby, mutually acceptable and honorable solution need be worked out. Therefore, the Indo-Naga peace talks by now should find a final political solution. This will only pave way for peace, prosperity and progress for both.


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