Thursday, February 9, 2023

Solution short of 1951 plebiscite is a blunder

The Naga Solutions not founded on the Naga Plebiscite of 1951 would be another political terrible blunder. For ages the Nagas have lived independently without any foreign control, interference or support and each and every village was a sovereign republic by itself. More often than not, the villages fought amongst themselves, and were a divided lot. Nevertheless, the spirit of the Nagas to remain independent and free from subjugation was manifested in their violent warfare against each other and against any external invaders from the neighboring countries.
The conscious awareness of the need to be united was painstakingly built through many social interactions over time. And the efforts of this work to unite the people was seen much later when the people rose up unanimously and most united against the external aggressors that intruded its land in the form of the savage and barbaric Indian Army which India used to suppress the Nagas and its political rights with aggression, human rights violation and abuse.
Prior to that, it was in 1929 that the Naga Club submitted a Memorandum to the Simon Commission headed by Sir John Allsebrook Simon on 10th Jan. 1929 at Kohima, to document in writing to express the inherent political rights of the Nagas and the earnestness to remain as sovereign people of an independent nation.
This was followed up by the declaration of the Naga Independence on 14th Aug. 1947 by Naga National Council (NNC), and which was reaffirmed by the famous Naga Plebiscite conducted on 16th May, 1951 wherein 99.9% of the Naga people gave their absolute legitimate mandate and voted in favor of NNC and for the Naga sovereignty, demonstrating spontaneous unanimity and utmost unity.
It is noteworthy that though one may think of our ancestors during 18th to 20th centuries as primitive, they were erudite and prudent and acted with great foresight and they firmly expressed their desire to live as sovereign people without dominion by anyone or any country including India or British India Empire and this was manifested in the submission of a memorandum to the Simon Commission, and in pursuance of this memorandum, the British India Govt, by an Act in 1935 known as the British India Govt Act of 1935, left out the whole of Naga inhabited areas as ‘EXCLUDED AREA’ and bore witness to the world that the Naga Hills are not a homogeneous part of British India Empire.
Nagas were not Indians, are not Indians and cannot be Indians. Forcing the Nagas to accept the Indian Constitution under duress or payment of blood money by Indian Govt as enticements to a few avaricious Nagas in the Naga society can never make the Nagas into Indians.
This is a fact acknowledged even by the think tanks of India who have begun to understand how India had wronged the Nagas in their democratic aspirations of sovereignty, and how the Nagas comprehend the unquestionable legitimacy of their political history with convictions.
There have been hiccups in the journey towards our national goals as we sojourn together through the political, economic and socially turbulent times that have shaped and moulded our history.
Inspite of the setbacks, yet through the courage and wisdom of our legendary forefathers we have come thus far.
There have been needless bloodsheds, betrayals, wasted sweat and tears, frustrations, injustices and humiliation amongst us meted out by our own brothers, and often orchestrated by India who treats us as an enemy. But our true patriots stood their ground and held dearly on to what our forefathers had envisioned to declare and demand, to (quote) “Leave us alone to determine for ourselves” (unquote) underpinning on the memorandum to the Simon Commission in 1929 that became the Magna Carta in the Naga Political History.
On the 16th May, 1951 the NNC made a symbolic and irrevocable solemn vow and demonstrated that they will not be a part of the new independent India and declared to the world that Nagas shall live as a free and a sovereign nation as ever, and which came to be popularly known as the ‘The Naga Plebiscite of 16th May, 1951’.
The aspirations and interests of all the Nagas in all the Naga inhabited areas therefore clearly mentioned and defined in the Naga Plebiscite of 1951 under the auspices of the NNC and not any other political organization.
Evidently, the NNC alone has the inherent legitimacy and the absolute mandate of the Naga people to settle the Naga Political Issue, which no other factions or political organization neither has nor has any ground on which to pursue the fulfillment of the long-cherished Naga dream to live as free and independent sovereignty except on the principles enshrined by the NNC.
However, some few misguided comrades along with some educated traitors without any consultation with the NNC, committed the infamous and treacherous ‘Shillong Accord of 1975’ with the Govt of India under the guise of underground organization.
The crime of the Shillong Accord is the acceptance of the Indian Constitution. Neither the Govt of India approached the NNC nor the underground organization approached them to ink the so-called ‘Shillong Accord’.
Therefore, NNC has no hand or involvement and has nothing to do with the ‘Shillong Accord’.
The Accordists continues to stay in the Transit Camp at Kohima Mission Compound, signifying their acceptance of the Indian Constitution for more than 46 years holding on to their treacherous Accord as traitors of the Naga cause which is highly contemptuous and equally condemnable.
It is an unfortunate sad fact that the infamous ’Shillong Accord’ has been the seed of heinous animosity among the Nagas.
Extreme events ensued after the ‘Shillong Accord’ that witnessed many political defections and the mushrooming of many factions and further divisions into groups, all for want of power and wealth thereby reducing the very purpose of their crusade into a fight for personal fiefdoms.
Such political defectors or factions and groups without the mandate of its people can never bring about any positive political solution to their people.
If news is to be believed, some traitors as those of the Shillong Accord are again at the threshold of committing another new political terrible blunder with the so-called ‘Naga Political Settlement’ or ‘Naga Political Solution’ without cognizance of our unchallengeable history thereby making another treasonous accord of the kind of Shillong Accord.
A Naga Solution or Political Settlement without honoring the Naga Plebiscite of 1951 is sacrilegious, treasonous and therefore despicable and highly condemnable.
Neither the ‘Framework Agreement’ nor the ‘Agreed Position’ merit a position to entitle the involved factions to state that they are standing on the foundational principle of the Naga Plebiscite of 1951.
What then are they orchestrating if not for another type of the infamous Shillong Accord? They must in all honesty with integrity spell out openly to the public of the kind of solution they are negotiating behind closed doors.
What should be clear however to them and India alike is that any Naga Solution not founded on principles of the Naga Plebiscite of 1951 would be another Political Blunder much more for India just as the Shillong Accord was.
To quote Aaron Carroll in The Wall Street Journal which so aptly applies to our case, “By some idiotic political reasoning this dumb, incoherent and absurd idea is seen as a ‘Political Trophy’ by some parties who are willing to harm the country to win concessions.”
So, a Naga Political Solution or Political Settlement which ignores the legitimate instruments clearly defined and expressed in the Naga Plebiscite of 1951 will never be accepted by the majority of those who honor and respect the 99.9 percent of relentlessly committed vows of our forefathers in the Plebiscite.
Naga Solution or Political Settlement under the Indian Constitution will be the creation of another political turbulence and could
pave way for an uprising just as the Shillong accord caused. Any political parties or CSOs jumping into the same surrendering bandwagon should realize that they are only manifesting for the world to see their narrow goals and selfish motives, by keeping their personal interest above that of the Naga people and the Naga nation.
Lincoln did not say ‘Government of the people, by the people and for the few selfish people.’
The Naga aspiration therefore, ought not to be played down by some few selfish and self-righteous individuals attempting to surrender the Naga National Issue in the hope of getting some relief and grants in the form of financial benefits or political positions.
For those who surrender the Naga National position, shall inevitably go down into the Naga history as traitors involved in high treason.
However, be that as it may, no such arrangements of agreements to stifle the Naga political rights would prevail.
For even if those eager to ink an agreement with India in their futile attempt to compromise the Naga political rights under the Indian Constitution, must understand that they would only be surrendering their own dignity and integrity only to be bought and trampled by India.
The sooner such traitors would exit from their pretentious role in the Naga national movement, the better it is for the true patriots to carry forward the aspirations inscribed in The Naga Plebiscite of 1951 in its true spirit and its genuine context for the future of the Nagas without any back-biting.
The Naga National cause is too sacred and therefore too priceless to be settled by money or power plays.
It is beyond the cause of territorial borders or geographical boundaries and entities. It is a crusade for self determination paid in blood and tears that is based solely on our God given rights to exist as a sovereign people and an independent nation.
As for India, if it would be sincere and desires for a lasting solution to the vexed Naga political issue, it would be in its own interest to let the Naga nation live as a cordial neighbor by respecting the irrefutable Naga political rights.
Gen. (Rtd) Thinoselie M Keyho, President, Naga National Council (NNC), HQ, Oking Kohima, Nagaland

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