From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much.
Mains level : Paper 2-Federal system.
The government-imposed deadline of October 31 for concluding talks with Naga groups has passed. And nothing concrete has come out of the Framework Agreement signed in 2015.
Events so far
- Framework Agreement with Naga rebel leader Thuingaleng Muivah was signed in 2015.
- The agreement expresses an intent to work towards the final agreement.
- The progress on the said agreement has stalled since then.
- Problem with the Framework Agreement: It was signed only with Muivah’s leading faction, National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), or NSCN (I-M).
- Exclusion of major players: The agreement excluded half a dozen more groups, besides Naga citizenry in Nagaland and contiguous Naga homelands in the neighbouring states of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam.
- This weakened the process.
Efforts made by the government
- Appointment of an interlocutor: The government-appointed R.N. Ravi as the government’s interlocutor. That move signalled the seriousness from the government’s side.
- Reach out toward the other players: The government reached out to Nagas across the board.
- The government reached out to other rebel factions, much to the irritation of NSCN (I-M), and began peace talks with them in end-2017.
- A breakaway faction of I-M’s arch enemies, NSCN’s Khaplang, joined the process in 2019.
- Government-led outreach attempted to bring on board non-Naga people in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam.
What is offered in the process and related issues
- Disarmament, rehabilitation, and assimilation: A talks with I-M spelt out disarmament, rehabilitation, and assimilation of cadres and leaders through induction in paramilitary forces and political structures
- Expanded legislature: An expanded legislature in Nagaland, for inducting the rebels and more legislative representation and relative autonomy in Naga homelands outside Nagaland.
- Disagreement over flang and the separate state-constitution: Other Naga rebel groups agreed to what was offered by the government.
- I-M remained intransigent over the dual use of a Naga flag alongside the Indian flag, and its constitution—
- This I-M-scripted constitution is regressive, offers far less than what Nagas enjoy under Indian constitutional provisions, and effectively proposes Muivah as the overarching figure of Naga politics, development and destiny.
- Unacceptance by the other groups: This is evidently unacceptable to numerous Nagas—let alone non-Nagas—for whom Muivah, a Tangkhul Naga from Manipur’s Ukhrul region, remains a divisive figure.
There is a need to reconcile the difference between the different groups and reach a proposed agreement as soon as possible for the welfare of the communities and the region as a whole.