In light of the recent signing of the Bodo accord to settle the long drawn dispute among the Bodos in Assam and the government, let us look back to another peace treaty which aimed to bring end to one of the oldest insurgency of our country, The Naga Peace movement. Naga Peace Accord (not yet signed), since independence has been a complex issue for the Government of India and various stakeholders in Nagaland including the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, has now hit the spotlight again for not adhering to the deadline even after four months to sign the treaty.

To give a brief history of what the whole peace accord revolves around, we have to go back to the colonial era. The Nagas demanded for a separate independent nation-The Nagalim and formed The Naga Club which fought for the same. The Naga National Council led by Mr.Angami Phizo declared Nagaland to be an independent state on August 14th, 1947 after which it also formed its own federal government and army. This was struck down by the Indian Government through the Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act, or AFSPA in 1952.Since the period of insurgency, Nagaland has witnessed a state of unrest involving more than thousands of killings. Before the talks for Naga Peace Accord actually commenced to surpass the vicissitudes of insurgency, the Shillong Accord was signed in 1975, which apparently became a failure separating the Naga National Council into two separate factions, namely NSCN(I-M) and NSCN(K).

The NSCN(I-M) striked a deal with the then government in 1997 wherein India agreed not to involve in any further action of counter insurgency and the other party agreed not to indulge into acts of terror. But over the years, the both the parties have dishonoured the agreement , the attacks from the rebel groups has only affected the peaceful existence of the ethnic groups and the innocent civilians of Nagaland.

The disagreement can be attributed to a lot of grounds.Firstly,the Nagas wanted separate constitution and a flag. There were demands for dual flag system as well. While both the parties were unable to reach a consensus on these issues , Naga politicians started claiming the whole territory which Naga Hills covered and wanted to bring these regions under its governance. But these regions were located partly in the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur which caused rising opposition from the leaders of these states as well.

Amidst all the commotion, when BJP came to rule in 2014,the Modi Government took an attempt to bring an end to the six-decade long communal controversy. With over more than 80 rounds of discussions a consensus was reached between the government and a framework agreement on August 3rd,2015 was finally signed between Government’s Interlocutor for the Naga Peace Talks, Mr.R.N. Ravi and the leaders of NSCN (I-M) Mr. Isak Chishi Swu and Mr. Muivah.

What appeared to be final solution to this problem, turned out to be a big disappointment for the Nagas because most of their needs were not actually met by the treaty. Though the government proposed that the treaty fulfilled the needs of the Nagas and promoted unity and peace, the terms of the treaty remains un-revealed till date in the interest of the whole nation according to reports of Central Information Commission. The Nagas took a No for a solution without integration as they wanted to unite 1.2 million Nagas into a sovereign while the government stated their demands to be unrealistic.

The accord there again went through a lot of changes and finalized on the a set of terms in 2018, the terms being: No changes in the boundary of Nagaland; a cultural body which is common for all the states across Nagaland; removal of AFSPA, forming Naga Clubs for Naga groups in neighboring states among others.

The governor of Nagaland along with the Modi government tried to work out the differences and had set the deadline as October end for the parties to sign the document,which the NSCN(I-M) still hasn’t signed. While a common consensus has been successfully achieved in Bodo Accord, due to the non-opposition in Assam, the Nagas prove to be resistant to all the arguments with the Government.
So far, this political conundrum only finds instances to pinpoint each other to allegedly mislead the ethnic groups with no comprehensive solution in the near future. But the government’s persuasive policy to settle the long drawn problem of insurgency and instability in the region has said injected the feeling of new hope and confidence for the north-east.

Get The Connectere directly in your E-mail inbox !

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Connectere and receive notifications of our new content on your E-Mail