NNPGs leader in New Delhi. (File image)

In sharp contrast to the demand of the NSCN (IM) for a separate Naga flag and constitution, the working committee of seven Nagaland National Political Groups (NNPGs) said the real identity of the Nagas is much more than the flag or constitution.

“If they are the real Naga identity, why did they not resolve them in 1997 in the initial years of negotiations,” the committee asked, in an obvious reference to the NSCN (IM).

The NNPGs and NSCN (IM) are holding parallel talks with the Government of India to hammer out a final solution to the Indo-Naga issue.

The committee, in a release, said the matters of flag and constitution were dugout after 20 years of talks between the Government of India and NSCN (IM) when it signed the ‘Agreed Position’ with the Centre on November 17, 2017.

It said with the Government of India recognising the right to Naga self-determination in consonance with their distinct history and identity, it became an increasingly obsessive component for ‘some’ each passing day. “This says something else altogether,” it stated.

The committee said real Naga political history and identity was moral uprightness, sound judgement, leadership skill, honesty, physical strength with hard labour, bravery, martial spirit, generosity, comradeship, community service and honourable and respectable existence. These are Naga identities beyond physical forms, it added.

“Today, the Naga leaders must fight for and retain real Naga identity that may have been lost in the hunt for name, fame and power,” the committee stressed.

The NNPGs also said clarity from the Nagaland government is important.

“Will the Nagaland government, a ready facilitator which is a constitutional arm and privy to the Government of India’s position, choose to remain in a state of slave-master electoral mentality, indulging in impractical innuendos,” the working committee asked.

It said as the people’s elected representatives, it is time for them to be real statesmen and inter-generational reformers.

“If the intention is real, the true meaning of opposition-less government in Nagaland is to translate words into practical actions,” the committee in a release said.

It said it believed that this is the perfect time for the state government to facilitate the expressed will of the people of Nagaland. The committee added that it is time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to announce an honourable and acceptable political solution to the Indo-Naga conflict.

The committee stated that the official position of the Government of India is that all the negotiating groups had concluded the talks on October 31, 2019.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com