A Z Phizo was the leader behind Naga’s freedom who cooperated with Japanese in World War II and even fought by the side of Subhash Chandra Bose, INA. After India gained independence, Nagaland was made a part of the Indian state of Assam. Instead of empowering Naga people, Indian armed forces forced Phizo to go in exile in 1960 and Naga National Council agreed to sign Shillong Accord 1975. This led to formation of NSCN under the leadership of Isac C Swu, T Muivah and Khaplang. But it split into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (Khaplang). Is Greater Nagaland that includes parts of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and even Myanmar a distant dream? The recent peace agreement of National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak-Muivah brings hope for the Naga people. ULFA’s sovereign socialist Assam is another side of NE insurgency. After Khaplang, now Paresh Baruah is emerging the next leader of all NE groups.
These underground groups are fighting for independence and other surrendered groups are for regional autonomy. Total independence is a complex issue since NE infrastructure is meagre to stand alone in 21st century. Then second option might be beneficial to cope up with other states of our country. Mizoram is the best answer where insurgency translated into successful electoral democracy. Their Church has immense sway over everyday life and politics. We have witnessed enough struggle, bloodshed and parallel economy. On the other hand, India’s neighbourhood have been supporting insurgency in the North East to weaken India. The larger issue of illegal migration caused social conflict and identity crisis in this region. Govt should also address key issue of minority community that faced religious persecution. Restore normalcy and Infrastructure Development are the core issues which can emancipate insurgencies of North East. Yours etc.
Written by Kamal Baruah