Written by Pakinrichapbo, Advocate
Samziuram Village, Peren, Nagaland
16th August 2019, a historic day as Nagaland accorded a warm and grand reception program in honor of newly appointed Governor cum Interlocutor R.N. Ravi. Maybe the grandest reception program ever held in Nagaland history in honor of its Governors. Looking back now, its hardly a surprise to see the current show down between Governor on one side and the Nagaland Government, Naga Political groups and CSOs in opposite side.
If we refresh Governor’s reception speech, we can mutually conclude that he came to Nagaland with a huge ambition, unlike his predecessors, he means to do more than discharge his official duties, build a new Nagaland as per Central Govt. version.
Now, lets take a quick glimpse of his reception speech for better understanding of the Governor’s moves and the effects likely to be felt in the days to come.
Governor Ravi remarked, “when the country is moving at a fast pace, a never seen before pace for growth and developmen, sending missions to the moon and mars and the inspirational youth are dreaming big because of congenial atmosphere, in the midst of all these it saddens me when our people in Nagaland are craving for basic necessities: for a good motorable road, good education, access to proper health care, decent employment opportunities, it saddens me all the more because this land is richer in resources than many parts of the country and the youth is more talented than the larger part of the country”.
He further pointed out that the dark shadow of unresolved Naga political issue cast a shadow on every aspect of Nagas’ life. This cloud must go because our people deserve sunshine. He also said of substantive issues being resolved including powers belonging to the people and that people are the masters. On few symbolic issues, options were offered and interlocutors were urged to explore. He also implored on the need to work out the best, dignified honorable solution.
Besides the above points, Governor spoke on the Prime Minister who expressed need for the peace process to be concluded within a time frame of three months and status quo, which means the Nagas have to bear the burden of multiple taxations, fear of gun, dreams of Naga youth being choked and suffocated and a way out to all these darkness by concluding the peace talks. He lastly assured that Article 371A will not face the same fate of Article 370, as 371A is a solemn commitment and sacred to the people of Nagaland.
In reading the Governor speech, one can sum up the positive and negative effects in having Shri. R.N. Ravi as the Governor of Nagaland. Where the positive effects and negative effects will be a contradiction in itself for its recipient: the Naga tribes.
As he accurately pointed out the backgrounds of Nagaland, he appears determined to take actions to push Nagaland forward in terms of building infrastructures, reducing government corruptions, increasing employment opportunities for youths, eradicate Naga Armed groups rights to collect taxes and thus push for state economic growth. Having said that, accomplishing it will be a herculean task.
The writing on the wall is clear now for National workers and the public, whether we wish to see it or not. That as political analyst Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty pointed out in her article, (Has Governor Ravi’s Bid to Assert Control Jeopardized the Naga Peace Accord?, The Wire, 30.06.2020) that the past peace accords between the Centre and the armed groups and agitation leaders in Northeast have been of three broad kind, she put Naga peace talk in the third category：the Centre factionalizes its potential interlocutor before bringing some groups to the table and tiring them out through a long peace process-during which their networks and sources of funding are weakened- so that a watered down peace accord may be handed over for an honorary exit. In some cases, agreement may not be necessary at all. It may produce some leaders to join state politics instead (ULFA- pro-talks, Kuki groups in Manipur etc).
For good or worse, the fate of Nagaland will be decided by the decisions of the NPGs.
Governor’s letter dated 16th June may be the first move for now, but final checkmate to Nagaland government and NPGs is just a matter of time from now.
Almost one year before Nagaland Govt., NPGs and some CSOs register opposition to governor’s letter conveying to invoke provisions of Article 371A (1) (b), Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty had hinted governor might try take the charge of maintaining law and order as Governor is bestowed with power by the said article to over rule Chief Minister to maintain law and order. (With J&K status revoked, alarm bell rings in Nagaland, The Wire, 09.08.19).
In the face of such political fiasco, the common man lives on unperturbed by the looming dark clouds or sunshine.
(Disclaimer: This article is the sole opinion of the writer Pakinrichapbo, and NagalandExpress does not share any of the opinions in the article)