By Manali Joshi
The goal of the agreement is to create a dialogue forum for the nagas among themselves and with their neighbouring states to engage in an unbiased conversation so as to build an inter-community dialogue. The aim is to establish a peaceful agreement between different communities of North-eastern region on political and social issues creating disputes and to foster solidarity by focusing on resolving common concerns.
About the agreement
In order to achieve the same, the government came up with the Framework Agreement, which was signed by the Government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) in December 2015. The framework talks about broad principles that would be the guiding factor for future discussions and negotiations. The content of the agreement is still under wraps and was concluded after a series of long discussions from the past 18 years. However, the government of India has not made the agreement public. The details would be shared only after the Union Government has discussed it with the Chief Ministers of other Northeastern states and members of the Parliament. The Naga civil society believes that they would never be consulted about the agreement.
Since the signing of the Framework Agreement, the Indian Government has accepted the uniqueness of Naga history and culture and the NSCN –IM has accepted the primacy of the Indian Constitution. Mr Ravi, the government interlocutor has been visiting Nagaland and has held several meetings. The meeting was presided by the representatives of different ethnic-social groups and stakeholders. These are the people who believed in engaging and participating in these unbiased dialogues to come up with a peace integrated agreement. The NSCN-IM has also held meetings with several Naga organisations including the Naga Baptist Church. After all these discussions, two aspects of the agreement have come forth upon which the interlocutor is observed to be assessing the views. The two issues are: Integration and the idea of a ‘Pan-Naga government’ which will have a non-territorial jurisdiction over Naga people living in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, outside the present state of Nagaland.
The idea of ‘shared sovereignty’ envisages a federal set up where sovereignty is shared between the Centre and federating units and the federal government has limited powers over the internal affairs of the federating unit. The NSCN-IM’s demand for recognition of Nagas as a separate body of people is based on the assertion that Nagas practice a distinct culture and profess a distinct religion. They have a history which has nothing to do with the history of India. The question is to what extent the Government of India and the Indian political parties would be willing to accept and accommodate the stated position of the Nagas.
The second issue is the integration of all Naga ancestral domain. The demand first came into the picture under the Naga People’s Convention (NPC) in 1957 which had demanded the integration of all Naga areas. This was followed by Mokokchung Convention of the NPC in 1959, where the Sixteen-Point memorandum was adopted. The Clause 13 of 16-Point Agreement stressed on the consolidation of contiguous Naga areas. Nagaland State Legislative Assembly had, in the resolution of December 1964, resolved that the Government of India be urged for the integration of the Naga areas adjoining the State of Nagaland to fulfil the aspirations by the Naga peoples’ Convention held at Mokokchong in 1959. Nagaland Legislative Assembly has adopted similar resolutions on several subsequent occasions.
On Thursday, the civil society organisations involving United Committee Manipur (UCM), All Manipur United Clubs Organisation (AMUCO) and Committee on Civil Societies Kangleipak (CCSK) of Manipur came up with the demand to the Prime Minister seeking details of the Framework Agreement. It is believed that due to the lack of transparency and high level of secrecy in the ongoing Naga peace agreement, Manipur state is also having apprehensions with respect to the territorial integrity of the state.
Given the recent amendment in Article 3, that incorporates mandatory consent of the state legislature in the matter of territorial alterations, the House resolved to request the Centre to make the contents of the framework agreement available to the government of Manipur. Moreover, the house also resolved that as a result of the framework agreement the state should not be granted autonomy and the present administrative set up will not be hindered.
Featured Image Source: Visual Hunt
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius