[Burning Issue] Naga Peace Process

Why in News

In November 2017, for the first time, the interlocutor for Naga Peace talks held talks with all the stakeholders.

The issue

  1. Naga people demands a separate new country named the Greater Nagalim.
  2. Greater Nagaland consists of entire Nagaland + Naga inhabited parts of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar.
  3. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah) or NSCN (I-M), the then most lethal insurgency group, agreed to a ceasefire in 1997 after peace talks.
  4. Over the years, there were over 80 rounds of negotiations and finally, in 2015, a framework agreement was signed.
  5. The objective of the agreement is to build strong ties among Nagas across the region, without considerably changing the jurisdictional and administrative authority of neighbouring states.

Reasons for delay in the resolution

Naga people are a proud race and are holding on to their unique cultures, traditions, and language.

  • Naga consists of 16 major tribes each with a perspective of the nationality of its own.
  • Each tribe has its village republics that is an important part of their culture.
  • These diversities resulted in many varied narratives on the concept of nationality and hence Naga Nationalism is both a movement and a sentiment.
  1. Also, there is the issue of holding on to the Indian nation.
  2. Therefore, Nagas has this dilemma of holding on its unique history and the promise of a better future (with India) without disturbing the past.
  3. But the tribal loyalty often interrupts the collective action for the future of Nagaland.

Opportunity for peace

  1. The central government’s interlocutor for the Naga peace talks has been handling the issue with a different approach.
  2. He interacted and met so many Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) and civil society groups.
  3. He was able to create for the first time that integral space where all voices are heard with equal respect.
  4. But NSCN (I-M) doesn’t like the idea of everyone being the stakeholders as they were the one who signed the 2015 framework agreement and they along have the right to take major decisions.

Way forward

The peace talks may have initiated by the NSCN (I-M) but it has now become more inclusive. This political consensus and faith in the process offer hope as far as the framework agreement is concerned. At this point, the Naga people should take a more pragmatic and balanced approach to the past.

Practice question

“Peace talks with Nagas has been elusive for more than a decade”. In light of this statement, critically analyze the issue of Nagas, the reasons for the delay in the resolution and the recent developments.

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