From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Nothing much
Mains level : Naga peace process
The ceasefire in Nagaland continues to hold. Centre had set October 31 as the deadline to conclude a peace deal with the NSCN-IM. It has passed and there is no clarity yet on an accord.
- The talks between the Centre and Naga rebels, primarily the NSCN-IM, have been held for 22 years.
- The Naga civil society has participated in the peace process and prepared the ground for a negotiated settlement to the insurgency.
Reasons for the deadlock
- Reports suggest that the deadlock is over the rebels’ demand for a separate flag and constitution for Nagaland.
- They hint at the concept of “shared sovereignty”. NSCN-IM leadership has talked about it soon after it signed the Indo-Naga Framework Agreement in 2015.
- The details of that agreement have not been revealed, but the leeway for such innovations may have reduced after the Centre’s actions in J&K.
- The government has ended the special status and has its own flag, accorded to J&K.
- Naga rebels have climbed down from their demand for full independence. But they persisted with the demand for Nagalim.
- Nagalim is a territorial entity much larger than the present state of Nagaland and includes Naga inhabited areas that fall in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. This can trigger unrest in Nagaland’s neighbourhood.
- Non-Naga populations in the region have warned of action if any attempt is made to redraw the existing state boundaries.
- The rebels need to respect the sentiment for peace.
- The Centre must provide the negotiating space for the civil society to satisfy its constituency.
- The rebels will have to re-imagine the idea of a Naga nation and de-link it from the territory.
- The Centre should respect the sentiments of political groups founded on notions of ethnic exclusivity and desist from imposing unitarian notions of nationhood.