Reacting to the reported comment of Union Home minister, Amit Shah on the status of the Naga flag, NSCN-IM said that the Naga people need not be perturbed by the “unilateral statement of Mr. Amit Shah when no bilateral decision has come about yet”.
Amit Shah had reportedly stated during the meeting with the Nagaland chief minister recently that he was willing to hoist the Naga flag on Naga Day if invited for the occasion. “But at the same time he said he is against granting a separate Naga flag and constitution to the Nagas,” NSCN-IM isaid n a statement on Tuesday.
“Crucial outcome of the Indo-Naga political talks is to be made with the consent of the two parties with the full knowledge and blessing of the Prime Minister and not necessarily by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, which is not the authorized platform to make any official statement on Naga political solution at this critical stage,” the NSCN-IM statement clarified.
It then said that the NSCN-IM when approached by the Government of India to start the Indo-Naga peace process did set the terms very loud and clear that latter must agree to recognize the Naga issue as political and stopped terming it as India’s “Internal Law and Order Issue”. It also said that the Indo-Naga Ceasefire was thus officially declared on the August 1, 1997 and it was agreed that the political dialogue shall be at the highest level, i.e. Prime Minister Level; Without pre-condition and outside in a third country. “Significantly, somebody other than the Prime of India making critical statement on crucially important issue like the Naga National Flag is like wrecking the Indo-Naga Ceasefire agreement at the wrong time because agreement on this particular issue is deeply linked to signing the agreement for Naga political solution,” the statement of the NSCN-IM said. It added, “Naturally, Nagas were blazing with indignation when the Union Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah in his meeting with the Nagaland Chief Minister in New Delhi stated that he is willing to hoist the Naga flag on Naga Day if invited for the occasion. But at the same time he said he is against granting a separate Naga flag and constitution to the Nagas. This is nothing less than a terrible sense of humorous insult to the Naga people”. NSCN-IM then asked, “How can somebody in a high position have the temerity of playing drama and tamasha on such sentimental issues that are inseparable for Naga political solution?”
The NSCN-IM statement then said that the “elusive” Naga political issue cannot be undermined by giving the Union Home Minister a freewheeling power to make a meaningless statement bereft of political drive towards Naga political solution. The NSCN-IM statement also said that it is highly a preposterous idea for the Government of India to disallow Naga flag to be used in Government offices and establishments but only to be used as a merry-making item in cultural functions.
The statement then said that nothing would come more outrage than “this absurdity”. The NSCN-IM statement also said that Nagas are never going to tolerate this kind of “irresponsible and hollow” utterance emanating from Amit Shah. “It would be a pleasure for the Nagas to welcome anyone to hoist and fly the Naga flag in Naga soil but not in the manner to belittle the Naga political issue. Going by the history of Naga political movement beginning from the British Rule of India, the Naga flag is unconquered or not surrendered to any force. The Naga people will, therefore, never put themselves in a disgraceful position by selling the Naga flag for the sake of hastening Naga solution. God forbid such a breach of trust-covenant made between God and Naga people,” it added.
The statement then said that NSCN-IM has put on record that Nagas are not asking permission from Government of India to fly “our Naga National Flag but we are simply reiterating our stand that Government of India should not obstruct the usage of our flag which is our honour and political identity”. Notably, the Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015 entered the crucial agreement of the need to coexist peacefully between the two entities with shared sovereignty between India and Nagas, the statement also said. “It cannot also sideline the historical fact that the Naga flag was flown since 1947, even before India got independence from the British rule,” the statement pointed out.