IN THE BATTLE between the Philistines and the Israelites, Goliath, the champion of the Philistines said to the Israelites, “Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants.But if I prevail against him, and kill him, then you shall be our servants, and serve us.”
1 Sam 17:8 & 9.
Today, the Nagas are in the process of entering into a final agreement with the Government of India, which will be a decisive battle for the Nagas. If we win, our national future is saved, but if we lose, everything of us will fall.We are looking for an amicable and honorable solution without betraying our principle. We are fully aware of the fact that any kind of agreement that betrays the principle is no solution. This is our repeated reminder to the Naga people and the government of India as well.
If the root of a tree is cut off, the tree, the branches, the leaves, the flowers and the fruits die naturally. Can we expect anything good if our national principle is murdered?
If our principle is murdered everything of us – our sovereign right, our history, our politics, our culture, our identity, our territory, our religion and future will fall and nothing will stand to keep our national identity alive.
Our national principle is the foundation and center of our resistance movement, the bases of political negotiation and solution. Our relations with others will also be founded on this solid ground.
The Naga people are definitely for solution, a solution that can protect and safeguard their national future. Therefore, they condemned the past agreements that were made at the expense of the national principle.
The future of a people is made by their decisions. All the nation-states today are the products of decisions made by the respective peoples and nations.
In the march for their final destination, the Nagas have faced a number of crucial moments where they took national decision and thereby saved their future.
The free existence of the Nagas was threatened by the intrusion of the British colonial forces in 1832 where they occupied a part of Naga territory. However, the rest remained as free as ever.
On the eve of the British departure, the Naga people took a decisive decision and declared their independence on 14th August 1947. It was the right decision taken in the right time.
In 1950, the Indian Constituent Assembly invited the Nagas to join Union of India, but the Naga people out rightly rejected the invitation. That historic decision saved the future of the Nagas.
In 1960, a section of Nagas made an agreement with the government of India called the 16-point agreement, betraying the Naga national principle. But it was rejected and condemned by the Naga people.
On 11th November, 1975, another agreement called ‘the Shillong Accord’ was made to sign within the parameter of Indian constitution. At that crucial point of time, a national assembly was convened by Messrs. Isak Chishi Swu and Th. Muivah, the then NNC vice President and General Secretary on 16th August 1976.The National Assembly condemned the Shillong Accord as a sell out and reaffirmed the national principle. Had it not been condemned by the national assembly and saved the nation, the history and the future of the Nagas would have been murdered by that very accord of treason.
The future of the Nagas is threatened every now and then by the aggressors. History speaks of how a colonial power used the native people to fight against the native people. In the case of the Nagas, all of us have witnessed how the aggressors used the Nagas to fight against the Nagas. What a diabolic policy it was and it is still being seen today with more divisive venom.
Finally, the government of India and NSCN had signed the historic ‘Framework Agreement’
on 3rd of August, 2015, the content of which is self-explanatory.
NSCN leaders have categorically stated time and again that they will uphold the Framework Agreement in letter and spirit. But the representatives of the government of India have started giving wrong interpretation in order to confuse the common people. We too feel apprehensive about the clandestine plot of imposing another accord on the Nagas or hijacking the issue through their surrogates.
The Nagas are again placed at a critical juncture where they have to make a decision to save their national future or perish. This is going to be the turning point of history. And now is the time to decide our destiny.
Rh Raising, Member, Collective Leadership, Caretaker Kilo Kilonser.