Nagalim: A Report Card

Nagalim (Nagaland state in particular): A Report Card

  • A. Hungyo
    “The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and
    to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses”
  • Malcolm X.
    Hello dear members, I am writing this article in order to provide some information to our younger
    readers who may be keen to know about the political situation back home in Nagaland/Nagalim, in
    case they missed out on the news earlier. This article is more of a recap of some of the important
    political news and developments that have unfolded in the last few months in Nagalim, especially in the
    state of Nagaland. The impacts of those developments are still being felt even to this day.
    There has been so much hue and cry by some sections of our Naga brethren from the
    state of Nagaland since the signing of the Framework Agreement between the National
    Socialist Council of Nagalim- Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) and the Government of India (GOI) on 3rd
    August, 2015. Taking it a step further, a few of these people, under the guise of the newly floated Nagaland Tribal Council(NTC) & Central Nagaland Tribes Council(CNTC) under the active patronage of some vested Naga politicians and serving government officials and retired officials, have
    raised an issue over the NSCN-IM negotiating with the GOI for all Nagas. Raising this question
    and issue all of sudden at this hour when the Nagas are expecting an honorable solution seems to have
    sent a shock wave across Naga political, social and intellectual circles within and outside Nagalim.
    The NTC claiming that the Nagas of Nagaland state does not authorize the NSCN-IM to negotiate for the
    Nagas of Nagaland state when the NSCN-IM is working for all Nagas irrespective of the
    artificial boundaries created by India shows its immaturity, short-sightedness and selfishness and a total
    lack of regard and understanding of Naga history and politics. The NTC seem to have forgotten that
    the Nagas of Nagaland state were Nagas of Assam before the 16 Point Agreement (July 1960) signed
    between the GOI and a few educated Naga individuals at that time, under the aegis of the NPC (Naga
    Peoples’ Convention (NPC). The 16 Point Agreement, however, couldn’t bring all the whole Nagas
    together under one umbrella despite ‘integration’ being an ingredient of the agreement, thereby
    making the Agreement a mockery. No doubt, a few sections of our Naga brethren of the newly created
    Nagaland state considered the agreement a victory and rejoiced without taking into consideration the
    plight of fellow Nagas that were left out of Nagaland state. It’d be good to know that before the 16
    Point Agreement, there were no Nagas of Manipur, Nagas of Nagaland, Nagas of Assam, and Nagas of
    Arunachal Pradesh or Myanmar. What’s the issue of Nagas of Nagaland state now? Now that a solution
    is expected anytime soon, Naga brethren of Nagaland state, especially those from the major tribes who
    enjoys the development fund the most serving government officials, retired officials, a few politicians
    and leaders of a few recently formed organizations seem to be feeling insecure and anxious at the
    thought of being left out or their reign ending in Nagaland state, taken over by the
    national workers or working together in Nagaland state in particular and Nagalim in general in the event
    of a solution. The fear and insecurity of some of the sections of the Nagas of Nagaland state are well

understood now. One shouldn’t however forget that the Nagas of Nagaland state are today reaping the
harvest solely through the sweats and blood that has been shed together by all the Nagas. In
the name of containing Naga insurgency, hundreds of thousands of Indian rupees given or poured in as a
development fund by the GOI for the Nagas are being pocketed by the Nagas of Nagaland state.
Regrettably, now the Nagas of Nagaland state do not want to move out of their comfort zone and
offer a space for its brethren or share the fruit with their brethren who once fought together with them.
Moreover, the younger generation is again too ignorant and laid back to understand the root cause of
our division and disunity. Their parents are to be blamed, for they deliberately did not teach their
children the truth, and fed them with false stories instead. Time and again, we Nagas are informed
through print and media and personal contacts and meetings at various and different levels/
platforms to be politically aware that NSCN-IM is working for the whole of Nagas and to reclaim her past
glory. However, at this point of time, the NTC urging the PM of India to take the Nagas of Nagaland into
confidence while settling the Naga issue seems to have caused more misunderstanding among the
Nagas and given more opportunity for the GOI to delay the solution and play its divisive card further
upon the Nagas (if India wishes). The neighboring non-Nagas and GOI must be surely laughing at us. The
Framework Agreement indeed has sent shivers down the spine of many Nagas of Nagaland state,
whereas Nagas elsewhere are rejoicing at the hope of seeing a better future for the whole of Nagas,
including the Nagas of Nagaland state. It is now rightfully proven that the NTC and its likes are hell bent
on destroying the image of the NSCN-IM and prospects of a peaceful and better future ahead. The
NTC has quickly jumped the gun, and has now even claimed to the PM of India that the NTC is
prepared to act as a mediator between the GOI and the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), an umbrella of Naga underground factions without NSCN-IM & NSCN-K) if
invited by the GOI for political settlement. One wonders if the political settlement the NTC is talking
about is a political settlement for the Nagas of Nagaland state only or for all Nagas irrespective
of the artificial geographical boundaries created by India and Myanmar, as the NNPGs has factions
working for the Nagas of non-Nagaland states too. It has been established beyond any doubt that the
NTC, CNTC & ACAUT (Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation) and a few serving and retired
government officials who are critical of Naga political talks led by the NSCN-IM are working hand in hand
to suppress and sabotage the progress of the peace talk between the NSCN-IM and GOI at any cost.
The North East Sun some years ago in an interview asked Mr. Kitovi Zhimomi, the Ato Kilonser of
GPRN/NSCN-Unification (a faction consisting of mainly Sumi/Sema members that defected with arms &
ammunitions from the NSCN (IM) in 2007 to form the NSCN-U), about his party’s stand, upon which he
stated that his party is fighting for and in the interest of the Nagas of Nagaland state only, which
probably is why many Naga cadres from non-Nagaland states left NSCN (U) to join NSCN (IM) and other
factions. It implies that his party need not fight the GOI further since his party seems to be satisfied with
the present state of socio-economic affairs of the Nagaland state, since integration is out
of his agenda. Further, Nagaland state which was earlier placed under the Ministry of External Affairs of
the Government of India during the non-ceasefire period has now come under the Home Ministry since
the ushering of peace in Nagalim, especially Nagaland state with the signing of the ceasefire initially with
the NSCN-IM, and followed by other Naga underground factions including the NSCN (U). It is the NSCN
(IM) which brought peace in our land when it first signed the ceasefire pact in 1997. A few selfish

comrades, however, broke away from the parent body NSCN (IM) with arms and other properties to
form another party to take credit of the ceasefire pact and the peace the pact has brought. Mr. Kitovi
Zhimomi does not seem to care much about the Nagas of other states and nations where insecurity and
fear psychosis still haunts his fellow Naga brethren elsewhere. His dream of a unified and united
Nagaland state and the fight for legitimacy and supremacy continues.
It is worth remembering that the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) a few months ago during its
special session adopted a resolution to press the Center for an early Naga political solution before the
2018 state assembly election. The honorable former Chief Minister of Nagaland state Shri Shurhozelie
Liezietsu and members of the NLA unanimously reiterated its position
to pave the way for the NSCN/GPRN (national workers) in the event of an honorable and amicable
settlement, which is very heartening and laudable. It is also the wish of the NLA members to see all Naga
Political Groups (NPGs) united. Let us also recall that in 1964, 12 MLAs of the Democratic Party of
Nagaland had to resign en masse in support of the Indo-Naga talk in accordance with the laid down
principles of the party under the Chairmanship of Kevichusa Angami.
Coming to the Framework Agreement, where many have raised an issue over its content not being
made public so far, one needs to understand that revealing the content at this point of time may have
far reaching consequences detrimental to the security and confidentiality of both the negotiating parties
concerned. Faith is the need of the hour. Better not let the cat out of the bag until the cat is assured
safety from the stray dogs on the streets. The Ato Kilonser of the Government of the Peoples’
Republic of Nagalim (GPRN) and the Chief negotiator of the Indo-Naga peace talk Th. Muivah have time
and again said that the NSCN/GPRN will not betray the Nagas. The Collective Leadership of the
NSCN/GPRN was authorized by the Naga people and unanimously given the peoples’ mandate on 6th
January, 2005 at Council Head Quarters (CHQ) Hebron. Since then, the
NSCN/GPRN has been upholding the integrity of the Nagas and has been engaged in several rounds of
talks with the GOI and Naga CSOs (civil society organizations).
There was an incident, more than ten years ago, when the top leadership of the NSCN/GPRN
arrived in New Delhi for peace talk and later in Nagaland for joint meeting and consultations with Naga
CSOs and the public. A young leader of a particular Naga tribal students’ union attended such a
consultation representing his union at the CHQ Hebron, and joined everyone in endorsing the leadership
of the NSCN/GPRN and the peace talk. However, no sooner after his endorsement, he joined a rival
faction of the NSCN/GPRN and became one of its top leaders and started criticizing the leadership of the
NSCN-IM whom he pledged to support earlier. Within a decade, this particular leader switched parties
multiple times and continues with his efforts to discredit the NSCN/GPRN. A bit similar to his style are a
few Naga gentlemen who once stood together for peace, unity and integration with our revolutionary
workers and every Naga brethren, and with whom our concerned Naga elders and citizens in the
present time had during both formal and informal multiple meetings requested and persuaded not to
criticize the NSCN/GPRN leadership and jeopardize the peace talk at this hour when a solution is
expected. These few men, however, turned a deaf ear and seem to be no different from children who
change their mind every now and then depending on the environment and weather condition. They

Praise and criticize the revolutionary leaders and workers as and when they like. Exalt and
trample as and when they like. In the name of freedom of speech and expression and vigilantism, many
individuals and groups in Nagaland are having a free hand in ranting and venting their ire or
disappointment in an attempt to settle personal scores and matters if there are any through print and
media, most of the times directing it to the Naga political groups and the Nagaland state government.
Mudslinging continues unabated and such type of news sells like hotcakes. Only if this mudslinging can
be stopped in the larger interest of the peace loving Nagas and the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process!
With the death of the former Chairman of NSCN (IM) Isak Chishi Swu in June 2016 and the death of the
former Chairman of NSCN (K) Shangyu Shangwang Khaplang in June 2017 (a year after the death of
Swu), the calls for reconciliation & unity and to expedite the peace process & for early solution has rang
out louder than ever. Though the two grand old men couldn’t live to see the victory day, the
Nagas are now reaping the seed sown by our former Chairman (late) Swu. It was indeed a blessing for
the NSCN/GPRN in particular and the Nagas in general when Gen. (retired) Kholi Konyak joined the
NSCN (IM) as the Vice-Chairman during the lifetime of (Late) Isak Chishi Swu. On the other side of the
border too, a change of guard, hopefully, for the better took place after Gen. (retired) Bechung Khango
Konyak became the new Chairman of the NSCN (K). The NISC (Naga International Support Center) had
earlier in June 2017 recommended the new Chairman of NSCN (K) as well as other Naga political groups
to sincerely come together to discuss differences.
Besides the formation of organizations like CNTC, NTC and ACAUT, a new organization called Nagaland
Indigenous Peoples Forum (NIPF) was formed recently (on July 9, 2017 by a group of mostly Naga
lawyers/advocates) with the aim to preserve, promote and protect the legitimate right and traditional
values of the indigenous Naga tribes of Nagaland state. On the other hand, the ACAUT which claims to
be a people’s movement and a watchdog which tackles taxation by different Naga underground groups
also fights the evils of corruption in Nagaland state. The ACAUT has been at loggerheads with the
NPGs/Naga Political Groups (including the NSCN-IM) since its formation in 2014 because of its ‘One
Government, One Tax’ stance, though it is in support of the Naga UGs fighting for sovereignty which is
the historical and political right of the Nagas.
A war of words recently took place between the NSCN (Unification) and ACAUT/DUCCF (Dimapur Urban
Colony Chairmen Council) over taxation. The birth of these multiple organizations within a period of a
few years (except for the NIPF), however, is seen more as a challenge and a stumbling block to the
authority and endeavors of major Naga organizations like the Naga Hoho, United Naga Council, Naga
Peoples Movement for Human Rights, Naga Students’ Federation, and Naga Mothers’ Association which
work for the whole Nagas in collaboration with our political groups (unlike the organizations like the
CNTC, NTC, and ACAUT which focus solely on the development of the Nagas of Nagaland state and
which goes against the principles of the common Naga cause and objectives spearheaded by major Naga
revolutionary group NSCN (IM) and its likes). For the record, these organizations of Nagaland state are
totally opposed to the NSCN (IM) led peace talk and the integration of Naga areas into Nagaland state or
into a single administrative unit, state or nation. Here in this case too, mudslinging continues between a
couple of the Naga UGs and these Nagaland state-based organizations. However, in order to avoid

further war of words through media from time to time, it is best that the Naga UGs or the NSCN-IM and
NSCN (U) in particular, avoid arguing with these organizations and it’s likes, for it amounts to a father-
son altercation which spoils the image and prestige of the reputed Naga revolutionary groups
instead. The Naga UGs, which have been fighting the Indian colonial state and particularly the NSCN-IM
and NSCN-U which are often criticized by NTC and ACAUT should not stoop to the level of the recently
born organizations like the NTC and ACAUT and its patrons. In the midst of mudslinging, the GOI has
quietly and cleverly extended the Disturbed Area tag to Nagaland state again for another six
months despite the peace talks and ceasefire being in force with almost all the Naga UGs, except the
On the other hand, interestingly, the GOI’s interlocutor Shri RN Ravi visited Nagaland state not long ago
to meet the various Naga CSOs (civil society organizations) in an attempt (may be his final attempt) to
read the minds of the various Naga CSOs who claimed to be equally concerned about the future of the
Nagas (probably before turning the Framework Agreement into a peace accord). He even managed to
take his time out to attend the wedding of the daughter of his dear friend Gen. (retired) Vs Atem of the
NSCN/GPRN, in Dimapur. A friend in need is a friend indeed. A proud moment for the family too!
Now, coming to the present Nagaland state political imbroglio, it isn’t that funny any longer to see the
infighting or the turmoil in the Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF) party. It is rather embarrassing to see our
fathers fight for power and allegiance. Shri Shurhozelie Liezietsu has been dethroned by Shri TR Zeliang
in the Nagaland state power corridor recently. Their fight for legitimacy and supremacy continues.
The Nagas who have been fighting for sovereignty for more than 88 years now beginning
from 1929, when the Naga Club submitted a memorandum to the British government in India, up until now in 2017 by holding political talks with the Government of India are more or less at the
mercy of India unless we unite and continue the struggle in the larger interest of the Naga nation and
her people.
“If we must condemn, let us first condemn our own imperfections and shortcomings; if we must
fight, let us first fight our own complacency; if we must destroy, let us first destroy our own
ignorance and prejudice; if we must kill, let us first kill our own false pride and ignorance”.

  • William Arthur Ward.
    Epilogue: My write-up is in exercise of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human
    Rights, Article 19: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right
    includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart
    information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers’.

Thank you.

(The writer is a former member of TKLD, and holds a Master degree in Human Rights. Views
expressed are his own, and meant to be shared within his own community only.
Dated, Nagalim: The 2 nd August, 2017)

Edited By Khanrin Editorial Team 2021-2022

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