The NSCN (I-M) on Wednesday reiterated that the issue of the Naga national flag and constitution (Yehzabo) cannot be put on the bargaining table in exchange for anything.

The Naga national identity symbolized by the Naga flag and constitution cannot be sacrificed, the outfit said in a statement on Wednesday.

It said the Indo-Naga political talks were carried on the basis of two entities (nations/governments).

According to the NSCN, the flags that represent the national identity of India and Nagalim are the natural pictures to be seen in any Indo-Naga political talks.

“This inadvertent lapse has been misconstrued by the Government of India and thereby is creating unnecessary obstruction by making an issue out of it,” the NSCN-IM stated.

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Saying that consultation with the Naga civil societies is a different matter, the NSCN said certain diplomatic norms cannot be sidelined whenever Indo-Naga political dialogue takes place.

The outfit said it had entered into an agreement to hold a political peace process after the Government of India agreed to accept the Naga issue as political.

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The outfit said the serious deadlock that has emerged on the issue of the Naga national flag and constitution after more than two decades of political dialogue is a matter of diplomatic error.

“Ironically, diplomatic norm is the missing point that is driving the Indo-Naga political talk to almost nothingness as it makes no difference with the past accords and agreements which were rejected outrightly,” the NSCN-IM stated.

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The NSCN said the Nagas cannot be insulted by asking them to stand by the Indian national flag at the cost of dishonoring the Naga national flag that defines the Naga political identity as a nation. This is the crux of the issue that the Naga people simply cannot compromise, it said.

The outfit said it would be unjustified for the Government of India to make a roughshod of the unique history of the Nagas that it has given official recognition.

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The NSCN recalled that till the 1970s, the state of Nagaland was placed under the Union Ministry of External Affairs. “This also signifies that Nagaland was never a part of India by any agreement,” it added.

The NSCN stated that Nagaland was forcefully occupied and India continued to suppress the political rights of the Naga people by placing the Naga areas under the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

Bhadra Gogoi

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