What is Naga Issue?
- The key demand of Naga groups has been a Greater Nagalim (sovereign statehood) i.e redrawing of boundaries to bring all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast under one administrative umbrella.
- It includes various parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Assam and Myanmar as well.
- The demand also includes the separate Naga Yezabo (Constitution) and Naga national flag.
- The Nagas are not a single tribe, but an ethnic community that comprises several tribes who live in the state of Nagaland and its neighbourhood.
- Nagas belong to Indo-Mongoloid Family.
- Nagas claimed sovereignty on the basis of prior sovereign existence and differences, which is today expressed in terms of “uniqueness”.
History of Nagas
- The origin of Nagas cannot be traced, but the assertion of Naga nationalism began during British rule, has continued after Independence, and even after Nagaland became a state. Along the way, the unresolved issues gave rise to decades of insurgency that claimed thousands of lives, including that of civilians.
- The earliest sign of Naga resistance dates back to 1918, with the formation of the Naga Club.
- In 1929, the Naga Club famously told the Simon Commission “to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times”.
- Shillong Accord (1975): A peace accord was signed in Shillong in which the NNC leadership agreed to give up arms.
- However, several leaders refused to accept the agreement, which led to the split of NNC.
- Ceasefire Agreement (1997): The NSCN-IM signed a ceasefire agreement with the government to stop attacks on Indian armed forces. In return, the government would stop all counter-insurgency offensive operations.
- Framework Agreement (2015): In this agreement, the Government of India recognised the unique history, culture and position of the Nagas and their sentiments and aspirations.
- The NSCN also appreciated the Indian political system and governance. However, the details of the agreement are yet to be released by the government.
- 2017 - Six other Naga armed outfits under the banner of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) joined the talks.
- Recently, the State government decided to prepare the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland but later due to pressure from various fractions, the decision was put on hold.
Nagas are culturally heterogeneous groups of different communities/tribes having a different set of problems from mainstream population. In order to achieve the long-lasting solution, their cultural, historical and territorial extent must be taken into consideration. Therefore any arrangement to be worked out should lead to social and political harmony, economic prosperity and protection of the life and property of all tribes and citizens of the states.