The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has urged the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, to be “sincere in matters relating to the Indo-Naga political issue”.
In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister Wednesday, the apex Naga student body urged the Prime Minister that the “South-East Asia’s longest running conflict is brought to its logical conclusion”.
The memorandum recalled the background of the issue saying that during the last 75 years, after India became independent, all of “Naga homeland was militarized”. It also stated, “We know of two ceasefire agreements and peace negotiations between the Government of India and the leaders of the Naga national movement”. The NSF added, “We have heard only stories of the first ceasefire, while in the second ceasefire, we the present Naga generation are now living through it”. The Naga student body further added, “We have also heard and read about earlier agreements and accords which were imposed and superimposed to bring in so-called ‘peaceful solutions’ which only created more problems and conflicts, rather than solving the problems”.
The NSF also stated that after the British colonials left the “Naga country”, the Government of India unleashed the “dogs of war” equipped with the most draconian laws, including the Armed Forces Special Powers’ Act 1958 (AFSPA). The NSF further stated that the AFSPA was and is continuing to be destructive to the rights of life. It added that this Act was used and is still being used against innocent Naga civilians, “the latest incidents being the Oting massacre on December 4 and Mon killing on December 5, 2021”.
In light of the same, the NSF, “representing the aspiration of the Naga youth and students’ community, arbitrarily divided by the colonial forces into four Indian states and two international countries, would like to categorically state that it is the insincerity of approach of the Government of India that has brought about this grim situation”.
As today’s Nagas, the NSF said are looking forward to inherit the inclusive, honorable and acceptable solution based on the unique history and situation of the Naga people as assured by the Indian government. “However, the various developments wherein the policy of the Government of India to undo everything achieved through hard earned political negotiations have created great distrust in each one of our minds as we strive to uphold our God given identity. It should be reminded that the Naga peoples’ assertion for self-determination is never a secessionist movement,” it added.
The NSF then said that, in the present scenario, it is of the apprehension that the worst will happen if the Government of India fails to honor its commitment and exhibit its utmost sincerity by ensuring that the rights and dignity of the Naga people is upheld. Emphatically, the NSF said it believes that lack of commitment to solve the problem in hand will definitely prove counter-productive.
Therefore, the NSF reiterated its earlier stand that the Naga youth and students will never accept an economic package based piecemeal solution as “we are convinced that it is just another burnt cake with some fancy yet superficial icing on it”. The NSF further said that such an exercise will only eventually deepen the protracted Indo-Naga problem rather than being the solution the Naga people have long desired. The Naga student body added that the “failed agreements and accords of the past bear testimony to this assertion of ours”.
The NSF also said that the younger generation of the “Nagas’ trust in Modi’s statesmanship as the tallest leader of the world’s largest democracy to ensure that lasting peace and justice is brought about in our Naga homeland through his strong political will of solving the protracted Indo-Naga political issue”. The NSF further said that it has the highest faith in “your hon’ble self and hold on to your declaration to the international communities that South-East Asia’s longest running conflict is brought to its logical conclusion”. It added by saying, “We, therefore, plead to your Hon’ble self to translate this declaration into reality with all due respect”.
The NSF memorandum then said, “Hon’ble Sir, last but not the least, kindly allow us to specifically put forth, based on ground realities, the divisive role that is being played by the various agencies of the Government of India”.The NSF then “humbly beseeches your office to stop such elements from deepening the crisis which will only lead to a fall-out in the ongoing peace process, by taking direct control of the situation in letter and in spirit in which the ceasefire and political talks were declared and initiated that the talks will be held without any conditions and at the highest level,i. e. at the Prime Ministerial level”.