NSCN (IM) asks Centre not to create ‘futile’ pressure on Nagas to forgo flag demand

KOHIMA, 15 Mar: The NSCN (IM) has said that it will not forgo the demand for a separate ‘yehzabo’ (constitution) and flag for the Nagas to expedite the process of finding a solution to the decades-old problem and no pressure tactics by the central government on this issue will work.

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM), which is holding peace talks with the government for over two decades, asked the Centre to be sensitive and not resort to “political cruelty on the Nagas.”

We have come a long way hoisting and waving the Naga national flag which is associated with patriotism and national identity, the NSCN (IM) said in the editorial in its monthly news bulletin Nagalim Voice for March 2022.

The flag represents the blood, sweat and tears poured by Nagas to stand by god’s given identity as a Naga nation. No people with self-respect would take the treacherous step to forgo national flag just to expedite the process of Naga political solution, it said.

The union government has been holding two separate parleys with the NSCN (IM) since 1997 and the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG), comprising seven organisations, since 2017.

The Centre signed a framework agreement with the NSCN (IM) on 3 August, 2015, and also entered into an agreed position with the PGs in December 2017.

However, the final solution is yet to see the light of day, mainly because of the unwillingness of the then interlocutor of the Centre for Naga peace talks, RN Ravi to accept the NSCN (IM)’s persistent demand for a separate flag and constitution. The scenario did not change even after the government appointed a new interlocutor AK Mishra and talks resumed after a gap of two years.

The government is not willing to accept the demands probably because it had abrogated Article 370 which gave a separate status to Jammu & Kashmir.

“The stand of the NSCN (IM) is loud and clear that we are not going to destroy our history at this crucial stage by betraying our identity and surrender before the GoI (Government of India),” the editorial read.

Asking the Centre to be sensitive and not resort to political cruelty on the Nagas hoping against hope that they will eventually succumb to the pressure or temptation, the NSCN (IM) said such a far-fetched pressure is (an) exercise in futility.

“For the same reason, the Nagas will stand by the Naga constitution,” it said. ‘Nagas will never do anything which is wicked and abominable to them.” (PTI)