It is no body’s case that resolving Naga problem will be an easy task. Nor can anyone say, any peace accord would not herald some adverse reactions. The government of India cannot treat Nagas with kid-gloves after fighting for about 50-60 years and vice versa; nor can ask the Meitei Manipuris or the Assamese to give a pound of their flesh to keep burning Naga hills under control.
|Blogger with security forces in Northeast|
Therefore, my impatient plea is it is high time to show sagacity. It is time to tell north east and the Nagas that New Delhi and the 'mainstream' India means business.
However, the Congress president Sonia Gandhi's outbursts that Prime Minister Narendra Modi only showed 'arrogance' by not consulting Sonia's handpicked three Chief Ministers - Tarun Gogoi (Assam), Ibobi Singh (Manipur) and Nabam Tuki (Arunachal Pradesh) has led the cat among the pigeons.
The BJP as expected joined issue with her and union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman wondered, how the Congress chief is questioning the accord after three days when the party leaders including Ninong Ering and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had welcomed it soon after the announcement.
"Whose interest is the Congress serving?', asked Sitharaman adding,
"We probably never saw an Opposition speaking against the interests of the country".
BJP believes a kind of panicky has already caught up in Congress camp. It is this nervousness that has made Sonia take the risk of taking an unwise stand vis-à-vis Naga peace talks.
Only the other day, BJP Parliamentary Party passed a resolution stating, "The growing popularity of the NDA government and success of several initiatives has come to be an eye sore for the Congress". Sonia's ill-advised outbursts seem to endorse that.
Sonia’s attack that Congress Chief Ministers were not consulted, I agree, is on expected line but uncalled for. Had she not taken a big political risk as the Congress
could be now seen as opposing the hard earned peace process itself ?
At one go, Sonia has conveniently forgotten that immediately after the signing ceremony, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to a galaxy of leaders including Sonia and former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh among others. So, is it not burning the bridge? How would she react when Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not talk to anyone next time on issues of such importance?
Worse, such grand standing by a major political force in the northeast could only spark off some adverse reactions. On the other hand, we need to examine, whether the signing ceremony came in 'hurry' only to help Modi make a fiery speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on the Independence Day.
There a version on why the signing process was actually expedited. The illness of aging Isak Chishi Swu, 85-plus was seen as a catalyst to sign the preliminary accord at the earliest. NSCN (I-M) chairman Swu, who formed NSCN after causing a split in NNC, had reportedly wanted an agreement signed between the two entities in his lifetime. His only condition was both sides should agreed upon “major issues”.
It is ironical but true that Modi has got this destiny-sent opportunity to lap up.
While the pressure on him and his ‘personal ambition’ has been always to “deliver”, the real compulsion to see a peace accord fructify at the earliest was perhaps on the collective leadership of NSCN(IM).
The general fear is, any agreement without endorsement of Isak Chishi Swu would be simply unacceptable to a large section of Swu followers and also among the Naga civil society.