Open Letter to Deepika Singh and Shekhar Gupta

the question of the then NNC Gen. Sec. Muivah or Gen. Mowu the then Naga Army Chief scuttling the Indo- Naga political talks from 1964 - 1967 on tribal line, as baselessly alleged by Deepika Singh and Shekhar Gupta, does not arise.

Referring to the six rounds of political talks in New Delhi between Government of India (GoI) and Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN), following the first Indo-Naga Ceasefire Agreement reached on September 6, 1964, Ms Deepika Singh published an article on 21st August 2020 (NEWS 18 OPINION). 

She writes, “Th. Muivah, abusing the trust of Phizo, mischievously exploited the inter-tribal differences among the Nagas of Nagaland. He instigated Mowu Angami, the Chief of Naga Army against Scato Swu, the President of the Federal Government of Nagaland, who was a Sema, alleging that any settlement with Government of India by Sema leader would be at the cost of Angamis, ….Muivah, to scuttle the imminent peace deal, created the Sema-Angami divide…… A golden opportunity for a peaceful settlement was lost. Nagas were disappointed, so were their well-wishers.”

Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of ThePrint, also published an article on 23rd August 2020 referring to the same Indo-Naga talks. Calling Muivah a “past master at scuttling Naga peace deals”, Gupta writes “Muivah put up the Angami tribe to believe that this peace deal was being negotiated by the Semas and that they will get a pre-eminent position in the new dispensation. So the Angami Commander-in-Chief disagreed with the peace deal and it was cancelled.” Writers are reading the same Intelligence reports of the situation in Nagaland as heard or interpreted by the agents during those days of the talks, but why these above reactions?. 

We have disagreed with Muivah and his close comrades on many points. And we like others have failed to make them reject certain methods they have adopted to achieve their agendas because of our genuine concern for the unity of the Naga people. But where we know he is wrongly blamed, for whatever motivation, as in the present instance under discussion, it is our duty to say so. 

All these above accusations are not true, they are absolutely baseless assumptions. The deadlock in the referred Indo- Naga talks in New Delhi instantly came out after the meeting of the two Prime Ministers of Government of India and Federal Government of Nagaland represented by Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Mr. J K. Sukhai. Th. Muivah the then Gen. Sec. NNC, or Gen. Mowu the then C-in-C of FGN army were never in the picture during the said New Delhi political talks. This was known to almost anyone in Nagaland during that time including us.

According to written records:“It was resolved by the Tatar Hoho (Parliament) that J.K. Sukhai, Ato Kilonser (Prime Minister), Federal Government of Nagaland, was to be sent along with Z. Ramyo, Isaac Swu, Zashei Huire, Megometo (Darülie) Krose, M. Chumbemo Murry, Gen. A. Maken, Tsilise and Khodao Jami to New Delhi for the talks as a necessary process of the Ceasefire Agreement between GoI and FGN, with the consensus mandate of Tatar Hoho. The Ato Kilonser was made accountable to the Tatar Hoho by its resolution of 23rd August 1967 reaffirming earlier Tatar Hoho resolution No. 2.”

In the last of the six rounds of Indo- Naga Peace Talks in October 1967, Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi suggested that Ato Kilonser J.K. Sukhai and she have a talk in private. It was learnt that from the talk, Indira Gandhi said “Mr. Sukhai ask anything except sovereignty”. Our leader Sukhai promptly and confidently replied “I will take nothing except sovereignty”. Sukhai’s unequivocal instantaneous response was very well appreciated by all, although some pointed out that Nagas were not asking India to give sovereignty as our history had already given that to us and the Naga struggle was to defend it.

The day after the meeting of the two Prime Ministers of GoI and FGN all the delegates from Nagaland staying at Hyderabad House, New Delhi, went out to meet some dignitaries and relatives. Only Krose stayed behind. On that day a telephone message came from the External Affairs Ministry of GoI to the reception which Krose received. The message said Indira Gandhi would be going to Europe for some urgent official tour and the talk may be continued only after her return and the date of her return was indefinite.

The delegates were angry as they regarded the message to be an act of mischief and a treacherous insult. A press conference was called, in which they declared there was deadlock in the talks with the GoI and as such the same talk would not be continued. Mrs. Gandhi denied there was plan for a trip to Europe and claimed it to be a miscommunication. However, the Naga delegates returned home as to them the talk had come to a deadlock. The treatment was regarded as treacherous and humiliating.

Also read: ThePrint de-clutters Nagaland Political Issue, misses the mark on Naga Political Issue

Therefore the question of the then NNC Gen. Sec. Muivah or Gen. Mowu the then Naga Army Chief scuttling the Indo- Naga political talks from 1964 – 1967 on tribal line, as baselessly alleged by Deepika Singh and Shekhar Gupta, does not arise. Persons of their standing and calibre trying to create the Sema-Angami divide today with baseless allegations are extremely regretted, unexpected and unacceptable. It is earnestly requested that these false and baseless wild allegations are never repeated in future for public peace, tranquillity, and harmony on this small world of ours. Truth shall prevail for all, that Mr J.K. Sukhai, the then Ato Kilonser FGN and his team sent to New Delhi for the Indo- Naga political talks was made accountable to the Tatar Hoho of FGN by its resolution of 23rd August 1967 which reaffirmed earlier resolution of Tatar Hoho, it was not to Gen. Mowu or the Angamis as alleged.

The Naga people have come to know after paying a very heavy price that certain fundamental issues of our struggle based on our history are too difficult for India’s fragile democracy to handle. But India should understand our pioneers chose their position for their identity and nationhood as entitled by their history, in which there was no evil intention to do any harm to India or any of our neighbours, none of whom had any connection with us. If India cannot do what she cannot do, we cannot force her as of today on our own. But let India show the respect due to us. Then, a settlement of fair play relevant to the present context should be able to be achieved. On our part Nagas are not against India. We want India to be the civilised great nation the world needs her to be. 

Mr Krurovi Peseyie, 

Mr Kuolachalie Seyie, 

Mr Medoselhou Keretsü, Mr Kethozhapu Sahou, Mr Zasilhuto Makritsu, Mr Tsilie Sakhrie

Kohima, Nagaland

First published by Nagaland Post By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/29/2020 12:28:56 PM IST

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