Framework Agreement: Alternative and Needs

Dear Editor,
First, owing to the complex challenges attaching to the Nagas’ neighbors in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, it is much suspicious that the crying Naga conflict may not be resolved with the existing approaches and manners. The engagement of the other Political Armed Oppositions (PAOs) and concerns of the communities of the North East (NE), are the prerequisite for just peacebuilding.
If Government of India (GoI) is affirmative towards the accomplishment of Naga peace deal, and if all Naga political armed organizations and communities involve themselves in the endeavor, there may be a redrawing of the territory or may be a layout of a new economic-cultural administrative landscape out of current North East. In fact, very likely it will come along with an escalation of violence from the communities of the neighbors.
If NSCN-IM resolves or compromises the Naga issue with GoI somehow without participation of other Naga PAOs and communities, it may prolong the feud in Nagaland and around.
If there is accommodation for NSCN officers, other Naga PAOs in the Indian electoral activities and in the likewise engagement, it may contribute limited harm and tension to the existing NE conflict.
However if we are looking at a meaningful resolution or transformation, together we can re-identify the Needs, Interests or Positions and Causes if this is a case of conflict involving the peoples of the soil.
Second, the continuous acts of racism and violent incidents upon the communities of North Easterners by the mainland Indians have generated reactions and clamors from the victims’ end now and again. The situation causes sometimes mixed contemplation about alternative towards a way-out; an attempt to reconnecting the dim dots to visualize a new different North East (NE) layout in the Indian political map.
Too big is India to acknowledge fairly the torment of North Easterners and to attend adequately the woes of the others. India has already got galore of haywire of system for their own in the mainland. The disability is too big to reset the legislative, executive and judiciary in places. Hence, realizing the mammoth limitations, it will be a rational move for NE to initiate something to mitigate the reality bites from the mainland.
Has New Delhi, being the bigger stake holder of the conflict, shown meaningful and sincere response to the political armed organizations in the region? Does the situation demand a conducive atmosphere and Confidence Building Measures in initiating productive dialogue? Why there fails collaborative approach to enjoy the win-win experiences?
Nowadays most of the people think the narrative about the armed conflict of Manipur and NE is becoming less relevant. Because they are looking forward to a violence free and economically wellbeing direction. However, this is a usual fact that if roots are not properly dealt the offshoots will sprout now and again.
It looks very visible that New Delhi has been waiting for some sort of natural death of the political armed movement to happen sooner or later. However it is very unlikely that waiting games get fulfilled so wishfully, maybe because of the patriotic retention among NE bloods, and seen, unseen forces of China and others. Even the form of resistance may migrate from armed struggle to democratic endeavor.
Armed groups may also be waiting for domestic crumbling of India on her own, in terms of splitting her territory into three or more, or political paralysis triggered by Hindu fundamentalism, colossal corruption, indigent governance, corporate games, etc.
Political Armed Organizations (PAOs) might have well visualized India–how her might is, what she intends to, and certainly have experienced the amount of her commitment and quality in handling peace and justice. Likewise India dissects the weaknesses and strengths of the PAOs too. More or less Delhi is familiar with the psychology, what the organizations combating for, which organizations want what, how easy and difficult to handle with.
Governments declare amnesty and provide unilateral cease fire could be one good job. So the major armed groups of the NE to come out leaving the arms behind to start a new democratic movements. It can be for mobilizing public in a meaningful manner and can intensify people’s movement across the length and breadth.
The following can be a rough architecture for transforming the structural violence and resolving the multifaceted conflicts.
1. A unification of the (principal) Political Armed Oppositions of North East India by investing all their resources, drives and sincerity towards giving birth to a new (Nation) State sharing negotiable configuration with the Republic of India.
2. The other NE states which have low intensity of armed conflict or absence of PAOs will also be invited to. Those have not joined at the inception may be considered in the aftermath. Thus, it will capacitate a desired inclusiveness of the communities of NE and even beyond. [Necessarily all the present seven/eight states may not be part of.]
3. The name of the new State may be called the United Peoples Land of Indo-Myanmar–UPLIM or New Sub-Himalayan Land–NESHLAND or Western Southeast Asia–WESEA.
4. In order to legislate for and govern the UPLIM/NESHLAND/WESEA, and to practice a good socialism, and to deliver fundamental rights of life, liberty, equality and dignity to the peoples of the new State, there will be a Parliament that may be called Peoples House–PH. [The structure and modus operandi of the PH may be considered and derived from the other parliamentary practices of the world.]
5. Currency may be retained with the Republic of India with validating the Euro and US dollar in the region; Communication, Defense, External Affairs, Natural Resources may be negotiated for a concurrent list; and the rest could be better in the realm of the PH affairs.
6. The key members or leaders of the PAOs, and from the other states where PAOs do not exist, political/social leaders will be member-representatives in the Parliament/PH [whom may be called People Representative–PR]
7. The modality of how and what number of PRs may be determined by considering various bases and will be settled democratically among PAOs in consultation with the NE communities/peoples by considering the optimum economic-political space of ethnic/indigenous minority. [Will Bodo, Karbi, Naga, Kuki, Meetei, etc., have one PR for each of them or will drop down to ancestral tribal communities and clans or will it based on the population ratio?]
8. The first five year tenure of the PRs may be reserved and compensated for the PAOs, afterwards PRs will be elected through universal franchise by their respective peoples/communities or otherwise.
9. The existing State Assemblies will remain, so do the participation of the MLAs in the UPLIM provincial governing activities in two houses setting. However it will be with the reformation of power division and functional sharing and in conjugation with PH structure. [It may minimize the outward dismay and eventual turbulent of the existing political personalities and parties.]
10.A wider candidature in the existing constituent assemblies election will be validated to accommodate the members and leaders of PAOs by migrating their organizations into electoral political parties or joining existing parties or floating new ones. Thus it may extend a meaningful participation to the governing activities for the new (Nation) State.
Jinine Lai,
Assistant Prof,
International College,
University of Suwon,
S Korea