In an exclusive interview with Mokokchung Times on May 16, Lieutenant General (Retired) VS Atem, Deputy Ato Kilonser of NSCN/GPRN, provided insights into NSCN-IM’s understanding of “Shared Sovereignty.”

Atem highlighted the feelings of insecurity and mutual suspicion among European nations, drawing parallels between the European Union and the concept of Shared Sovereignty.

He elaborated, “EU is a sovereign nation, but all European countries feel incomplete. They have a sense of insecurity, mutual fear, suspicion, and doubt among them, hindering their development. Eventually, powerful countries realized that unless suppressed and backward nations develop equally, trouble will persist. Therefore, to avoid this, they understood the need for compromises within the EU. They agreed to give up their sovereign currency. While sovereign countries usually have their own currency, they realized it wasn’t beneficial, so they surrendered it to the Union Bank. The value of their sovereign currency such as Romania, Poland etc., was incomparable, but still, powerful countries like Germany and France decided to support poorer countries to address economic insecurity.”

When asked whether they expect India to play the role of uplifting the poor, the deputy Ato Kilonser agreed.

“Yes, we have also agreed to go for a common currency and that is Indian currency. In fact, if India knows how to play in this sub-continent, all would prefer to go for Indian currency. I’ve been to Bhutan, Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, they all love Indian Rupees. Even Pakistan love Indian Rupees,” he said.

On being asked if, according to the Framework Agreement, the relationship between India and Nagas would resemble that of the EU and its nations, the Ato Kilonser concurred, but noted, “Yes, but there will be differences.

According to the prevailing circumstances, the sovereignty is being shared, and we have agreed. The Government of India has recognized the uniqueness of Naga history, as Nagas have never been part of the Indian Union.”

“The British while leaving India has said, Hindu majority under British rule to be called India and Muslim majority under British rule to be called Pakistan,” he said.

“There were 565 princely states which were independent: Travancore, the most powerful and richest province, Mysore and Nizam of Hyderabad, all opted to join Indian Union but Nagas did not,” he continued.

In response to the possibility of India-Nagas relations resembling the EU, Ato Kilonser Atem remarked, “Why not?”

The Ato Kilonser further reiterated that the GOI is backtracking from those agreements that were made in Framework Agreement 2015.

When asked why he thinks the rest of the Naga Political Groups are against the Framework Agreement, he alleged that most of them are influenced by the Government of India.

Apart from the Naga Political Groups, when asked why many members of the general public do not accept the agreement and whether it was a case of NSCN-IM miscommunicating it or if there had been some propaganda, he said, “Nagas do not take their lives seriously. They believe in propaganda. The Government of India is a powerful government and they present various narratives, thereby confusing Nagas. Nagas are simple but very emotional, which is our weakest point. Thus, we get influenced by Indian propaganda.”

Asked if he believes this is why the Framework Agreement intention did not reach the people properly, he said, “Had the Nagas stood firmly together, the Government of India would not have been able to back off.”


3 thoughts on “NSCN/GPRN Deputy Ato Kilonser VS Atem draws parallel between European Union and the concept of Shared Sovereignty”
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