North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

[op-ed snap] Dimapur deadlock


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

  • 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.

Way ahead

  • 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.
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Yash Shukla
Yash Shukla
2 years ago

Muslims demanding separate nation on the basis of “Religion ” :
“….we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life”
Nagas demading Nagalim on the basis of “Ethnic Exclusivity” : “The Centre should respect the sentiments…”
Hindus demanding a piece of land on the basis of “Religious Beleifs” : Everyone loses their mind…