Q. Briefly explain the Naga crisis, along with initiatives taken to resolve the issues. (150 words)06 Nov, 2019 GS Paper 3 Internal Security
- Briefly explain the origin of the Naga issue and key demands of Naga groups.
- Mention the several initiatives taken to resolve the issue.
- Conclude by mentioning about the need to respect people’s aspirations and cultural diversity.
The Naga region witnessed insurgency, and armed ethnic conflict which aimed at autonomy and secession of Naga territories from India. The assertion of Naga nationalism began during British rule, and has continued for decades giving rise to violence and socio-political unrest in the region.
The Naga crisis
- The key demand of Naga groups has been a Greater Nagalim (sovereign statehood) i.e redrawing of boundaries to bring all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast under one administrative umbrella.
- It includes various parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Assam and Myanmar as well.
- The demand also includes the separate Naga Yezabo (Constitution) and Naga national flag.
- In the 1950s, the Naga National Council (NNC) took up arms and resorted to violence over Naga’s sovereignty.
Initiatives taken to resolve the issues
- Shillong Accord (1975): A peace accord was signed in Shillong in which the NNC leadership agreed to give up arms.
- However, several leaders refused to accept the agreement, which led to the split of NNC.
- Ceasefire Agreement (1997): The NSCN-IM signed a ceasefire agreement with the government to stop attacks on Indian armed forces. In return, the government would stop all counter-insurgency offensive operations.
- Framework Agreement (2015): In this agreement, the Government of India recognised the unique history, culture and position of the Nagas and their sentiments and aspirations.
- The NSCN also appreciated the Indian political system and governance. However, the details of the agreement are yet to be released by the government.
- Recently, the State government decided to prepare the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland but later due to pressure from various fractions, the decision was put on hold.
- Nagas are culturally heterogeneous groups of different communities/tribes having a different set of problems from mainstream population. In order to achieve the long-lasting solution, their cultural, historical and territorial extent must be taken into consideration.
- Therefore, any arrangement to be worked out should lead to social and political harmony, economic prosperity and protection of the life and property of all tribes and citizens of the states.