Despite depleting strength, Muivah talks tough on Naga sovereignty

June 6th, 2008 - 2:59 pm ICT by ANI  

By Sanjay Kumar
New Delhi, June 6 (ANI): Despite the splitting of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isac-Muivah) or NSCN(IM) in the last six months and despite growing disenchantment of Nagas with violence, the General Secretary of the outfit, Thuingaleng Muivah continues to talk tough on the issue of sovereignty.
Camping in Delhi for the last one month and studying the various constitutions of the world to find a solution to the five-decade-old Naga problem, the veteran insurgent leader, who likes to call himself “revolutionary”, termed the ongoing talks between the Centre and the NSCN (IM) as “positive” but the problem is that from the Indian government’s side, they still find it difficult to take any bold step”.
In an exclusive interview with ANI Muivah underlined his ideas of solution and what type of arrangement he is looking for.
“We are examining not only the constitution of India but the constitution of many other countries. When we are examining any constitution, what would be acceptable we would incorporate them in our constitution”, asserted the NSCN (IM) General Secretary.
When asked specifically whether he is looking for some arrangement within the Indian constitution since his team is going through it, Muivah defiantly said “no’.
“The constitution of India in many ways is democratic. Yes, we are also democratic, we can accept, but the point is that we will accept, what is acceptable to us. You know, our constitution has to be a separate one,” said Muivah.
He further added “all the nations on earth are interdependentso the term sovereignty should be interpreted from this perspective and in the end what can be best said is that the fate of the Nagas will have to be decided by the Nagas only. And that is sovereignty to us, but can we be totally independent of our neighbours, it is not possible because we are living in the world which is inter dependendent , so we have a lot to depend on India and at the same time India on us”.
But political analysts and Nagaland watcher terms Muivah’s insistence on “interdependence” as “rigid” and “cut off from the prevailing ground realities in Nagaland”.
“NSCN(IM) is reiterating its old positions and hiding the fact that Naga struggle is a fractured struggle and IM does not represent the will of the people of all the Nagas and aspirations of the new generations. The two divisions in the outfit since November last year reinforce this point”, said Bibhu Prasad Routary, Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management,New Delhi.
Citing the example of the recent Assembly elections in Nagaland Routary underlines the mood and temperament of the people of Nagaland.
“Voting pattern in Nagaland is like any other states in India, and despite the threat from the insurgent groups people took part in the democratic process overwhelmingly. If IM does not realize the ground realities they will be depletedthey can go on prolonging the movement and that way it will strengthen the hands of the Indian government and the time will come when NSCN (IM) will not be in a position to bargain anything”, asserts Bibhu Prasad Routary, who has been doing extensive research on the North East for the last five years.
NSCN(IM) has been talks with the central government since 1997 when the outfit signed a ceasefire agreement with the government. (ANI)

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