NSCN-IM is demanding separate flag and Constitution.
Ravi who was Interlocutor for Naga peace process on the eve of 58th Statehood Day of Nagaland said the essence of India is its unity in diversity. Multitudes of ethnicities, languages, cultures and cuisine enrich this beautiful country from Kerala to Kashmir and Kohima to Kutch.
He added, “The territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Union of India is Supreme. The Government of India has never ever talked, much less negotiated with anyone on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Country. Any misadventure to disintegrate this great Nation shall not be tolerated. The Indian National Flag and Constitution are the pride of the people of India. The Government of India is absolutely clear that there is and there shall be only one National Flag and Constitution in India. Anyone talking anything contrary is peddling preposterous lies. They are trying to confuse and mislead the people.”
He added that Government of India recognised the uniqueness of the Nagas and sanctified it in Article 371-A of the Indian Constitution. Nagaland State was born with adequate special safeguards to the identity and interests of the Naga people.
Ravi said that protracted armed insurgency and endless peace process have taken an unacceptable heavy toll on the people of Nagaland. Since 1980, the people of Nagaland have suffered enormously by the guns of people from outside the State, inspired by Maoist ideology and tactics. In pursuance of their new found political ideology which was antithetical to the inherent ethos, values and customary systems of Naga society, they unleashed a cultural genocide, akin to the Cultural Revolution in our neighbouring Country and killed thousands of Nagas including infants and women and tried to exterminate the tribal and intellectual leadership of Nagaland. Free-speech was muzzled with guns and political dissenters were exterminated. Scores of churches were destroyed. These are documented facts of history. Those who lost their kins have neither forgotten their loved ones nor forgiven the perpetrators.
He elaborated, “Our most precious resource, the human resource has suffered the most. Over the decades, more so ironically since the beginning of the Peace Process, Nagaland State has steadily declined on the Human Development Indices relative to other States in the North-East region. We are lagging behind in all the critical sectors like Education, Health, Infrastructure and Livelihood. Over 60 per cent of our youth are not reaching the High School and our roads are in abysmal conditions. Pace and quality of our infrastructure development is grossly compromised.
“Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is seriously committed to it from day one of his taking charge. Under his dynamic and visionary leadership fundamental anomalies and distortions in the ongoing peace process have been corrected by making it truly inclusive. Naga political issue belongs to the Naga people. No single entity should claim the sole franchise over it. Nagas have existed and survived through centuries through their customary and traditional institutions. Heart of Nagaland beats in its villages. The traditional village institutions and the tribal bodies are the primary stakeholders in the Naga political issue. Their freely expressed wishes and decisions are paramount in any settlement. They have clearly expressed their mind. They demand conclusion of the endless Peace-Process without any further delay. They want end of the gun-culture. They want the rule of law and justice. They want an environment for flourishing of the genius of its people. Every other entity should respect them and their wishes. Being disrespectful to the primary stakeholders is an insult to the people of Nagaland. Any attempt to intimidate or threaten them will invite the wrath of the people and full might of the laws of the land, “Ravi added.
Ravi said that the right decision taken today will determine our future and the destiny of our coming generations. With common understanding having been reached on all the issues on the table and conclusion of talks on October 31, 2019, the people of Nagaland are anxiously waiting for the new dawn. However, there are some people who are standing as a roadblock to the aspirations of the people of Nagaland. “I urge these people to see the writings on the wall, to come out of their make-believe echo-chamber and listen to the voice of the people and in a true democratic spirit respect their wishes.”
Ravi said, “as we prepare to embark on a new journey, this Statehood Day, let us commit ourselves to building the Nagaland of the dreams of its Founding Fathers – a Nagaland where the free-spirit of the people will blossom to the fullest, where the youth will dream big in an environment conducive to fulfilling those dreams, where people will no longer live under the shadow of invisible guns, where entrepreneurs will not have to bury their ideas and aspirations for fear of extortions in the guise of illegal taxations, where free-speech and progressive ideas proliferate, where youths do not have to choose guns for livelihood, where opportunities will abound, and where the laws and justice shall prevail. Let us commit ourselves to reclaim our state from violence and desolation and restore the glories it deserves.”
NSCN-IM stated the history of Naga political struggle and the ongoing Indo-Naga political talk is a living testimony that the present Nagaland state is the brainchild of a few treacherous Nagas that showed up in the name of Naga People’s Convention (NPC) hijacking the Naga issue without the concern of the bona fide freedom fighters. The IB (Intelligence Bureau) was at its divisive game after getting hold of a few Nagas, especially government employees to join the bandwagon, taking the name as Naga People’s Convention.
The outfit added that the Convention without the consent, support and participation of the Naga people arrived at an agreement called the 16 Points Agreement that was responsible for the creation of Nagaland as the 16th state of the Indian Union. This fragmented the Indian-occupied Naga territories by placing them into different administrative units of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. However, this failed to stop the political aspirations of the Naga people and the Nagas set off the political struggle with greater passion and determination as testified by the ongoing struggle. “For the Nagas the creation of Nagaland state as a result of manipulation and treachery has been recorded as an act of insult to the freedom fighters in particular and to the Naga people in general. For such a treacherous act being brought to live in the name of commemorating the formation of Nagaland state we condemn such an act of defiance,” NSCN-IM stated.
The outfit added that NSCN and Naga people are fully aware of the divisive extraordinary involvement of Nagaland state Governor Mr. RN Ravi behind this commemoration programme in order to justify his all out efforts to protect the 16 Points Agreement at all costs. Thus, Ravi’s stand is condemned by NSCN and Naga people.