I, the undernamed, as a very concerned senior citizen and incidentally as one most despised by the NSCN (IM) present myself with the following facts speaking to your good self:
Was the will and intent of your thundering speech on the 58th anniversary of Nagaland statehood designed to drive home ‘Nagas are no more than a subjugated colonized people surviving at the mercy of colonial rulers’? At least, we nagas in the thousand on the ground firmly expect that anything done and said from your exalted position would not contradict and negate your very noble mission of finding political solution to almost a century old naga political issue.
Did you not know or else, did none amongst the exalted leaders surrounding you remind you that the very soil on which you mounted the podium to pronounce your farcical decree was exactly where the first Prime Minister of India Pandit J Nehru ji and the erstwhile Burmese Prime Minister U.Nu were resoundingly turned away (March 1953) by illiterate naga folks in the thousand who only knew the God-given Truth that they were born free and therefore deserve to be respected as such?
As you rammed your venomous decree down the throat of your captive audience whose ears are ever itching to listen to your diktats, don’t you care at least for the sake of great India that no falsehood, no cheating and lying, no arm-twisting and backstabbing should ever be the guiding standard of political negotiation?
Is it not the GOI at the highest level (six Hon’ble Prime Ministers successively down to the present incumbent Shri Narendra Modi) have consistently acknowledged that the Naga issue is a political issue worthy of political solution? Isn’t this the sole reason that the cease fire was put in place and with you as the honest peace broker (GOI’s Interlocutor)? Would you then demean your exalted position as a weapon to endlessly spew out falsehood and threats? Do you honestly conclude that the Nagas of the 21st century are no better than a herd of cattle or a flock of sheep just good enough to be driven around on your merry go round of allurements/inducements and threats? Is this all we should expect from great India that Mahatma Gandhi ji bequeathed to Indians and to entire humanity – a living testimony of ‘Ahimsa’?
Do you honestly believe it is right that the present India (so legitimately proud of your rich legacy) be completely oblivious of the immediate past that took you through the most painful saga of colonialism – entirely self-inflicted at that by allowing yourselves to be used as mere pawns on the chessboard of colonial powers? What then was downright wrong, criminal and inhuman in your case, would you now dare inflict the same atrocious crimes on the Nagas just for the reason ‘the Nagas want to be themselves as much you already are’? Would you dare call Mahatma Gandhi ji (Father of the Nation) a Traitor, Enemy of India for having affirmatively responded (June 1947) to AZ Phizo (the tallest Naga leader) and his team that the Nagas have every right to be free as much Indians wanted to be free and are going to be free from colonial rule?
The regime that you preside over, on as many as four different occasions by four different L.As have had the unanimous resolutions passed in support of Naga integration which is absolutely legitimate and constitutional vide Art 3 of the constitution. For no other justifiable reason other than playing off one against the other, you seem determinedly generous pandering to whims of elements (within & without) who are out staging political theatric – downright petty, shameful and illegitimate. Would you continue priding yourself in presiding over public governance that stands on the strength of craftiness, injustice and arrogance?
All said and done, the ultimate Truth that predetermines our existence on this planet is the authenticity and authoritativeness of God’s creations. Neither of our making nor of our choice; we just cannot but bow to the one and only Truth that you and I have been blessed with indelible distinctive racial attributes respectively with only the air and the sky as common binding factors and of course as inseparable neighbours. You are so privileged; indeed so uniquely positioned as would yourself determine as to how and what we should remember you for? From the core of my heart I wish to remember you as one who untiringly strove all the way through to heal our festering wounds; utterly detest having to suffer a legacy of wounds turning cancerous.
Rest assured, no angst, no bitterness drove me to penning the above. My conscience tells me, such is a historic moment that calls for response from the core of my heart. Far more than to any human authority, I am only holding myself accountable to the one and only God our creator and of course to my upcoming generations. God bless.
Sword Vashum. Views are personal.