Former Chief Minister of Nagaland and former Governor of Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa, Dr SC Jamir, graced the Silver Jubilee celebration of the students’ union of Nagaland’s first University in Lumami on 7 May, offering profound insights and calls for introspection to the gathered audience.

SC Jamir NU Lumami
Dr SC Jamir speaking at the Silver Jubilee celebration of Nagaland University Students’ Union in Lumami on 8 May 2024

In his address, Dr Jamir posed a thought-provoking question to the younger generation: ‘Why always criticize? Why not forgive each other?’

He emphasized the need for constructive dialogue and urged the youth to reflect on the actions of both past and present leaders, including himself, Rio, Muivah, and Khitovi.

“All the time criticizing Rio, Muivah and Kitovi is not good. They are all old people,” he said, urging the younger generation to introspect and analyze what the older generation like him, Rio, Muivah and Khitovi had done wrong.

Expressing his openness to criticism as a means of growth, Dr Jamir likened it to a vitamin, essential for development and learning. He lamented the decades-long cycle of violence that has plagued the Naga community, attributing the lack of progress not to external forces but to internal divisions.

“Forget the governments of India, China or Pakistan, we have to blame ourselves,” he said, adding that the older generation’s biggest achievement is the younger generation.

He then observed that after twenty years of political discourse involving groups like the NSCN-IM and NNPGs, substantial deliberation must have occurred, culminating in the creation of documents such as the Framework Agreement and Agreed Position. However, he pointed out the absence of provisions regarding ‘integration’ and ‘sovereignty’ in the agreements.

Regarding the Framework Agreement, he projected that upon the conversion of ‘competency clauses,’ it would resemble Article 371 (A) with its provision for a separate flag and constitution. “Separate flags and constitutions are attributes of Sovereign nation but when sovereignty is not there, it is part of the Indian constitution,” he said.

Recalling the Indian government’s assertion against granting sovereignty, Dr Jamir discussed the concept of ‘Shared Sovereignty,’ contending that no constitutional precedent supports such an arrangement. He argued that the division of sovereign powers into State and Central lists is the crux of the matter, asserting that sovereignty cannot be shared.

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Dr Jamir also dismissed the efficacy of the ‘schedule’ point, stating that it is not enough. He asserted that the solution sought should be larger than Article 371 (A) and discouraged the idea of ‘Schedule’ point.

He advocated that if Nagaland has to survive and catch up with the rest of the world, the truth must be restored which, he said, is possible only through settlement of the Naga Political Issue.

Encouraging the youth to eschew blind allegiance to leaders mired in the past, Dr Jamir urged them to critically evaluate and shape a new future for Nagaland. He emphasized the importance of speaking truth and following one’s convictions, highlighting the enlightenment of youth and advocating for a transformative approach, waging a righteous battle with the weapons of love, reconciliation, and unity.

 

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