In a recently published article titled “The end game of NSCN (IM)… (Muivahs’ Gang),” Khekiye Sema highlighted that, historically, the Tangkhul Nagas, as a people, refused to join the Naga National Movement when it initially commenced. He asserts that the involvement of a few individual Tangkhul Nagas in the movement is of no real consequence.


Sema further stated that individuals like Ramiyo and Muivah joined the movement in 1965, but they have since gained dominance and control over the Naga National Movement through manipulative political tactics and the elimination of opposition.


In an interview with Mokokchung Times, Sema, known for his outspoken nature and opinion on Naga political issues, highlighted that the NSCN-IM exhibits a ‘two-faced’ nature by saying one thing in Manipur and behaving differently in Nagaland, portraying themselves as “True Nagas.”


Sema pointed out that despite their claims, the NSCN-IM maintain close ties with the Manipuris and do not actively pursue the integration of Naga territory into Nagaland.


Sema also pointed out that despite joining the Naga National Movement in 1965, the Tangkhuls were stakeholders as Nagas because the Nagas in Nagaland considered all Naga-contiguous areas as part of their cause, as reflected in the 16-point agreement.


However, Sema claimed that even after Nagaland attained statehood in 1963, the Tangkhuls refused to join the movement.


“Their Tangkhul Chief Minister stated that not an inch of land will be given away. So, while the Nagas of Nagaland have looked at all of the Nagas as part of the Greater Naga and wanted integration as reflected in the 16 point agreement, the Tangkhuls have always brought in distinction,” he said.


He further expressed his view that while the Nagas considered the Tangkhuls as their own, the Tangkhuls themselves played a dual role by identifying as Manipuris in Manipur and as Nagas in Nagaland.


Concerns with NSCN-IM’s lack of transparency

In the interview, Sema expressed his strong opposition to the NSCN-IM’s lack of transparency regarding their demands to the Government of India. He highlighted that the demands made by the NSCN-IM pertain to all Nagas, predominantly those in Nagaland. However, Sema raised concerns about the NSCN-IM’s failure to share the competency clauses with the Nagas, denying them access to crucial information that affects their welfare.


Sema pointed out that although the Framework Agreement provides a broad guideline for negotiations between the NSCN-IM and the Government of India, he believes that the specific demands of the NSCN-IM are contained in the competency clauses. He contrasts this with the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), who have publicly declared the content of their negotiations with the Government of India, whether it is considered good or bad by stakeholders.


“The NNPGs, which is the bulk of the National movement that belongs to the Nagas of Nagaland, have shared the contents and have declared everything to the stakeholder – that is us,” he stated, adding, “Whereas, NSCN-IM has been adamantly refusing to declare what they are asking the GoI.”


He cautioned the NSCN-IM that if they continue to maintain non-transparency and secrecy by concealing the contents of the competency clauses, there may come a time when the Nagas of Nagaland may ask them to leave Nagaland.


NSCN-IM’s plans and why it is concerning

During his discussions with the NSCN-IM, Sema said he uncovered two significant aspects. Firstly, the NSCN-IM expressed that the state of Nagaland would cease to exist and transform into a ‘Naga Nation’ even without territorial integration. Secondly, according to Sema, the NSCN-IM discussed the idea of an upper and lower house in a bicameral system, advocating for a Pan-Naga hoho as a platform for emotional integration among Nagas from different regions.


However, Sema said that the “undercurrent plan of the Tangkhuls wanting the Pan-Naga hoho is that in the upper house, they will be the members who will nominate the authority in the upper house.”


“The lower house is the elected members. According to the Tangkhul NSCN-IM people, if the lower house tries to pass any bill in the assembly, such a bill will have to be finally approved by the upper house otherwise it cannot become a law or an act; but it is them who will be controlling the upper house,” he said.


The bottom line is, he said, “it is a strategy to control the lives of Nagas in Nagaland even after a solution is arrived at.”


Sema further expressed concerns about NSCN-IM’s proposal for an Autonomous Territorial Council which will be exclusive to them in Manipur. Additionally, by referring to Nagaland as a ‘Naga Nation,’ he said, “they aim to claim equal privileges as citizens,” selectively asserting ownership over what belongs to them while denying the same to others.


On being asked how the NSCN responds when he puts up such arguments, Sema said, “They have their own argument to say it is in the interest of everybody. They say, it is in the greater interest of all Nagas but in terms of what is structured, their expression to say it is for the common good is completely dishonest,” he said.


Naga Political Quagmire: What is the way out?

Lamenting the future of the Naga political issue, Sema expressed that the problem stems from the unfortunate control and influence exerted by ministers or MLAs starting from Chief Minister over all tribal hohos.


“Because they have a different agenda, even the Chief Minister cannot foster a robust public opinion that could compel the Government of India to acknowledge the Naga aspirations,” he said.


“Instead of going forward, we are going backward. Maybe we will come to a point where whenever we talk about solutions people will ask what solution,” he regretted, noting that somewhere along the line, the Nagas seem to have lost the courage to stand up for what is right.


“The CM does not want the solution because he is busy mincing money; Muivah does not want the solution because he cannot be the PM or the CM without territorial integration. And we do not even have a platform to raise our concern and what we want.”


Regarding the younger generation, he said, it is they who will bear the brunt of the consequences of NSCN-IM’s plans due to the strategies being employed.


“Even after explaining the matter to the youngsters, I have yet to encounter a single youth organization that has picked up the matter. It’s not that they are unaware; it’s that there is a lack of leadership among the younger generation,” he said.


Sharing a message to the Nagas, he said, “It is about time all the tribes should come out with a strong demand that the Nagas must be told exactly what the NSCN-IM is asking the GoI and that demand should be clear and forceful so as to give no opportunities to the NSCN from continuing to hide it from us.”


He also called upon the NSCN-IM to openly share their competency clauses with the stakeholders if they wish to gain the trust of the Nagas. Highlighting that the NSCN-IM is negotiating not only for their own cadres but supposedly for the greater benefit of the Nagas, he emphasized that they cannot decide the future of the Nagas without involving and informing them.


Mokokchung Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *