NSCN (IM): Naga government order on kin demeaning
The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) said on Tuesday the July 7 Nagaland government directive to its employees to declare their relationship with Naga underground groups was a “retrograde step” aimed at “crippling” the Naga political movement.
The NSCN (I-M) is not alone in decrying the move. Seven other groups involved in the peace process with the Centre, under the banner of Naga National Political Groups and the Naga Hoho, the apex tribal body, have also voiced their opposition to the government order.
Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy had on July 7 directed all departmental heads to submit the names of family members or relatives who are members of underground organisations by August 7.
In a three-page statement on Tuesday, the NSCN (I-M) said, “Insulting and demeaning as it is, NSCN denounces the directive which is nothing but a desperate attempt to browbeat Naga freedom fighters into submission. Such a despicable directive stands incompatible with the spirit of Indo-Naga peace process.”
The group, which has been in a ceasefire with the Centre since 1997, and had signed a Framework Agreement in 2015 for an amicable solution to the decades-old Naga political problem, said such a move should not be carried out “come what may”.
The move said such profiling of Naga employees would amount to undermining the Naga political issue as well as a ‘sellout’ if the state government is in “collusion” with the “master of this devilish policy” (governor R.N. Ravi), “representing the Government of India”.
The statement said: “Naga people will never condone any government employee, high or low, who connives and propagates the suppressive policy of the occupational forces.”
According to the disclosure format issued on July 7, state government employees, apart from identifying themselves and their departments, will also have to state the name of the family member/relative, the underground organisations they belong to and their designation in the outfit, among others.
The NSCN has also taken offence to the use of the term “underground groups,” meaning “outlawed organisations”.
“In the Naga context, there are no outlawed organisations operating in Nagaland. If Nagaland governor Ravi has taken NSCN to be underground organisation, how co-me he signed the historic Framework Agreement with NSCN general secretary Th. Muivah as his co-author, guided and supervised by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, in the presence of high dignitaries from India and NSCN. Certainly, Ravi has reduced the most re-vered Prime Minister of India Mr Modi and top leaders of the GoI to a mere laughing stock,” the NSCN statement said.
Thuingaleng Muivah was flown to Delhi on a chartered flight on July 20 with his wife and seven other members for a routine medical check-up, a media report said.
The influential Naga Hoho has, on the other hand, termed the government order “shocking” and “beyond comprehension”. Its president, H.K. Zhimomi, said the order is “against the Naga people who contributed to the Naga movement in one way or the other.
“The order should not be carried out. Naga political movement is a people’s movement, not a factional movement. He (chief secretary) should not have issued such an order because he himself is a Naga,” Zhimomi said.
The other seven outfits under the banner of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), criticising the move, said the order needed a “second look” and “those in power must understand that the chairs on which they sit are sourced from the Naga freedom struggle”.
In a release, the NNPGs said, “Every single one from the head of the department down to grade IV employee has a relative standing for the Naga national cause”.