DIMAPUR (NAGALAND): The peace accord with insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), which the Centre had termed ‘historic’, has, at best, received a lukewarm response from the state.
Normal life continued as usual in Nagaland’s commercial hub Dimapur on Tuesday. There was no jubilation at all, nor was there an increase in footfall near the iconic ‘City Tower’, which has been a mute witness to every major celebration and protest of the Naga community.
There was no excitement among people in state capital Kohima and the other towns in the state either. Blame it on the non-disclosure of the accord’s contents by the Centre and the NSCN-IM. The Nagas at large are “confused”, not knowing how they should react. “We were not taken into confidence while the deal was signed. As such, we don’t know if it will be a boon or bane for us. For all we know of, it could open up a Pandora’s box,” a Naga intellectual, who asked not to be named, told Express.
“We believe that they will soon make public what the deal is. The Nagas at large are confused,” Semato, a Class XII student, said. The general view here is that it will be difficult to give an opinion unless the contents are made public. What the Nagas, not just in Nagaland but also in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, are worried about is whether the Centre has indeed given into the NSCN-IM’s contentious demand for the creation of Greater Nagaland by hiving off the contiguous Naga-inhabited areas.
The Naga civil society insists that the Nagas are one people and as such, they have every right to live under one administrative umbrella. And it remains to be seen whether the four other insurgent groups of the state have found the accord compatible. The NSCN (Khaplang), which had gone back to old ways by abrogating its ceasefire with the Centre in March, has stuck to the demand for “Naga sovereignty”.