NSCN (IM) chairman Q Tuccu said the Nagas cannot forego the Naga national flag and Yehzabo (constitution) for the sake of exercising flexibility in political negotiations with the Government of India to find a solution to the decades-old Naga issue.

“NSCN cannot do such abominable thing before our Almighty God and before our Naga people,” Tuccu said while delivering his speech on the 75th Naga Independence Day celebration at Camp Hebron, the headquarters of the NSCN (IM).

He reiterated that the Naga people were never a part of Indian Union.

Tuccu also clarified that the NSCN had not been rigid in the Indo-Naga political talks.

“In reality, it is the other way round of repeating the same policy of shifting blames than taking responsibility,” he said.

He said, “We have exhibited flexibility and spirit of understanding in a very sensible manner by appreciating the difficulties of the Government of India.”

He accused the Centre of not respecting the rights of the Naga people.

He said the NSCN is keeping a “wary eye” on the Government of India since its representatives pointed out that it is being too rigid in its stand.

Tuccu added that the NSCN cannot go on talking with the Government of India to suit its own convenience by dabbling with the legitimate rights of the Naga people.

“Flexibility may be considered as political urgency to hasten the process of negotiation. But in the case of Naga political issue we have to draw the line as it matters safeguarding the identity of Naga people’s historical and political rights,” he said.

Tuccu said it is unfortunate that the process of Naga solution has passed the expected timeline.

“But it is not the NSCN that is at fault, delaying the process. Nor the NSCN has ever tried to change the goal post,” he stated.

He lamented that a correct and sincere approach has been ever more elusive to solve the political issue of Indo-Naga political magnitude.

He said it is for the Government of India to examine the urgency of working out all the details of the Framework Agreement it has signed with the NSCN on August 3, 2015, and act on it at the earliest without tampering a single word.

“What has been signed with much fanfare before the world view should be pushed forward in letter and spirit. There is no other way forward,” he said.

“Fulfilling the commitment towards executing the Framework Agreement details will give us the solution that is honourable and acceptable to both the Naga people and the Government of India,” he said.

He said the Government of India must show reciprocal sensitivity in the spirit of accommodating the legitimate rights of the Nagas.

“The Nagas cannot, however, go beyond the limit as it is the bounden duty of the Naga people to protect the sanctity of Naga political issue that our forefathers have faithfully withstood at the cost of blood, sweat and tears,” he stated.

He called it unfortunate that some sections of the Nagas are awed at the “coaxing call” of the Government of India as “gospel truth”.

“This is too big a shame for the Nagas to be maneuvered. We should not lower down our guard defending our historical and political identity, come what may,” he added.

On the Pan Naga Hoho issue, Tuccu said it must be an integral part of the Naga solution and should be given the thoughtful consideration it deserves.

“To denigrate the Pan Naga Hoho is as good as insulting our own political identity,” he stated.

Tuccu also said while negotiating for “our political rights we cannot belittle ourselves by foregoing nationhood and accepting statehood”.

“This will be tantamount to selling out our God’s given political identity as a nation,” he stated.

Regarding the crucial issue of Naga reconciliation and unity, Tuccu said it is critically important to look back on the June 10, 2009, Chiangmai Naga Covenant of Reconciliation and Unity signed by late Chishi Swu, late SS Khaplang and S. Singnya.

The covenant stated that the Nagas have to forgive each other and had agreed that the reconciliation and unity shall be obtained on the basis of historical and political rights of the Nagas, he pointed out.

Tuccu stressed that the Naga political groups should avoid duplicitous characters but boldly go for transparent honesty, tempered by sagacity in order to achieve forward-looking reconciliation and unity.

Bhadra Gogoi

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