Nagaland Governor Rejects NSCN’s Demand For A Separate Flag And Constitution
Nagaland Governor and Interlocutor for the Center for Naga Peace Talks, RN Ravi, said on Monday that the Indian government is absolutely clear that there will be only one national flag and one Constitution in India.
“Anyone who says otherwise is selling absurd lies. They are trying to confuse and deceive the people, ”he said in his message to the state people on the eve of the 58th day of statehood in Nagaland. His message led to the condemnation of the Isak-Muivah faction of the Nagaland National Socialist Council (NSCN-IM), the largest Naga rebel group.
The governor’s reference to the flag and constitution comes in the context of the demand for a separate Naga flag and Constitution by the NSCN (IM), which has been in talks with the Indian government for the past 23 years.
Maintaining that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India are paramount, Ravi stated that the Center has never spoken, much less negotiated with anyone about the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country.
“No misfortune will be tolerated to disintegrate this great nation,” he said, while noting that “the right decision made today will determine our future and the fate of our generations to come.”
He mentioned that, having reached a common understanding on all the issues on the table and the conclusion of the talks on October 31, 2019, the people of Nagaland eagerly await a new dawn. However, he went on to claim that there are some people who are found as an “obstacle” to the aspirations of the people of Nagaland.
“I urge these people to see the writings on the wall, to come out of their fictitious resonance chamber and listen to the voice of the people and in a true democratic spirit respect their wishes,” said the governor.
Ravi said that under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fundamental anomalies and distortions in the ongoing peace process have been corrected making it truly inclusive.
Stating that the Nagaland state is a permanent testimony to the triumph of the peace policy over the bloodshed policy, he argued that the Naga political issue belonged to the Naga people and that no entity should claim sole franchise over it.
“The naga have existed and survived through the centuries thanks to their traditional and customary institutions. Traditional village institutions and tribal bodies are the main stakeholders in the Naga political issue. Your freely expressed wishes and decisions are paramount in any agreement. They have clearly expressed their opinion. They demand the conclusion of the endless peace process without further delay, ”Ravi said.
He said that disrespecting key stakeholders was an insult to the people of Nagaland, therefore any attempt to intimidate or threaten them will provoke the anger of the people and the full power of the country’s laws, he added.
The governor paid tribute to the leaders of the Naga Peoples Convention, martyrs and countless nagas whose blood, work, sweat and sacrifices, he said, led to the birth of the 16th state of the Indian Union with extraordinary constitutional guarantees for their unique identity and interests.
The NSCN-IM issued a statement condemning Governor Ravi’s position on the peace talks.
“The people of Naga are fully aware of the extraordinary and divisive involvement of the Governor of Nagaland State, RN Ravi, behind this commemoration program to justify his efforts to protect the 16 Point Agreement at all costs,” the statement said.
The group made it clear that the history of the Naga political struggle and the ongoing political conversation is living testimony that the current state of Nagaland was the brainchild of a few treacherous Naga who came forward on behalf of the Naga People’s Convention by kidnapping the Naga question without the concern of true “freedom fighters”.
“The Convention without the consent, support and participation of the Naga people reached an agreement called the 16 Point Agreement which was responsible for the creation of Nagaland as the 16th state of the Indian Union. This fragmented the Naga territories occupied by India by placing them in different administrative units of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, ”said the NSCN-IM.
He declared that the Naga people would never allow another political kidnapping to take place.