File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other government officials with representatives of NSCN-IM at the signing ceremony of framework agreement in New Delhi on August 03, 2015. Image courtesy: PIB

A social organization of Nagaland, The Naga Rising said that the demand for a separate Naga constitution and flag can be settled only through mutual understanding between the Centre and the people of Nagaland.

The organization in an official notification stated that the objective of the present Indo-Naga peace process should be in an agreement.

“The Naga Rising takes this public stand that any solution has to be mutual and agreed by both sides and it cannot be forced upon the other. India as the bigger entity cannot impose its will on the Nagas,” the notification stated.

Referring to a statement “Nagas must know what India wants and India must know what the Nagas want and make a settlement,” that was written by AZ Phizo in a letter to C. Rajagopalachari, the first Governor General of free India on  November 22, 1948, the organization hoped that the Indian government and the NSCN (IM) will agree that a peaceful agreement is the only way to address the Indo-Naga problems.

The Naga Rising had stated that the Centre should not see the demand for a Naga separate flag and constitution as outlandish but rather India should be able to demonstrate both ingenuity and innovation in addressing the special unique case of the Nagas thereby reconciling Naga aspiration with the larger vision of a strong India.

The organization also stated in its notification that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approach to the resolution of Naga political issue is based on the principle of equality and mutual respect with due regard to contemporary realities.

The Naga Rising stating that  that the Indian government has allowed the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) to have its own parliament, government and flag, it should also look for a way to allow the Nagas to have its own flag as it is their  identity and expression and a source of bond of several of Naga communities .

The organization stated several examples of national and international societies like the Red Cross Society of India, the Aboriginal Australians who are allowed to use their own flags.

It also stated that certain principles and protocols can be mutually agreed for the flying of the Naga flag in a way that respects the status of India.

The Naga Rising stated in its notification that a separate Naga constitution will define the new set of arrangement between India and the Nagas and will help in providing clarity and purpose to implement the provision of the peace accord between them without any dispute and misunderstanding

It also stated that there is already a provision in the Indian constitution for Nagaland State under Article 371 (A) which allows setting up of a separate Naga constitution.

“Even political parties like the ruling BJP and Indian National Congress have their own constitution but if India is so sensitive, the Nagas may opt for another term, Basic Law or Yehzabo.”, the notification stated.

“If at all a peace accord is to be signed with the Naga representatives, it makes more sense to have it documented in a separate Naga constitution since bringing it under the Indian constitution may disturb some of its basic features,” it further stated.

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