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Editorial Notes

[Editorial Notes] Naga peace talks

The center recently rejected rumors that it has arrived at a final settlement with rebel group NSCN (IM) in the 22-year-old Naga peace talks, clarifying that such a deal will be struck only after taking all stakeholders into consideration.
By IASToppers
November 01, 2019

Contents

  • Why it was in News?
  • What are Naga the demand of Naga community?
  • Background
  • History of Naga Peace Talks
  • Where does the territorial demand currently stand?
  • Demand for separate flag and Constitution
  • Conclusion

Naga peace talks

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Why it was in News?

  • As the deadline to conclude Naga peace talks ended on 31st October, 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs clarified that no final settlement has been arrived at.

Naga peace talks

  • Moreover, there was no immediate confirmation from either side about where they stand on the NSCN (I-M)’s demand for a separate flag, constitution and territorial integration of all Naga-inhabited areas of the Northeast.

What are Naga the demand of Naga community?

  • The Nagas are an ethnic community that comprises several tribes who live in Nagaland and its neighbourhood.

Naga-peace-talks-1

  • One key demand of Naga groups has been a ‘Greater Nagalim’ that would cover not only the state of Nagaland but parts of neighbouring states, and even of Myanmar.

Background

Naga peace talks 2

  • The British annexed Assam in 1826. In 1881, the Naga Hills became part of British India. The first sign of Naga resistance was seen in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which opposed the Simon Commission.
  • In 1946, the Naga National Council (NNC), created by A Z Phizo, declared Nagaland an independent state on August 14, 1947. It resolved to establish a sovereign Naga state and conducted a referendum in 1951, in which 99 % supported an independent Nagaland (Greater Nagalim).
  • These ‘Greater Nagalim’ comprises all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas along with Nagaland including several districts of Assam, Arunachal, Manipur and parts of Myanmar.
  • Later, NNC split in 1975 with NSCN being separated from the NNC. NSCN split further into the NSCN(I-M) and NSCN (Khaplang).

History of Naga Peace Talks

Naga-Akbar Hydari Agreement (1947):

  • It was Signed by the Naga National Convention and the Governor of Assam (Akbar Hydari).
  • Agreement: The right of the Nagas to develop themselves according to their freely expressed wishes. The Governor of Assam was given a special responsibility for a period of 10 years to ensure the observance of the agreement.

Sixteen-point Agreement with the Naga People’s Convention (1960)

  • Nagaland formed as a state, under the charge of the Ministry of External Affairs
  • Agreement: Any Act or law passed by the Union Parliament affecting the Religious or Social Practices, Customary Laws etc. will not have any legal force.
  • The Naga leaders also expressed the view that other Nagas inhabiting contiguous areas should be enabled to join the new state.

Ceasefire Agreement (1964)

  • Agreement: The Government of India made ceasefire agreement with Naga underground leaders for 1 month from the signing of agreement.

Shillong Agreement (1975)

  • It was signed between Nagaland Governor and Naga underground leaders.
  • Agreement:The NNC conveyed their decision to accept, without condition, the Constitution of India. The NNC agreed to give up arms. This resulted in split of NNC into NSCN and its sub-groups.

Ceasefire agreement (1997)

  • The Government of India signed a ceasefire agreement with NSCN (IM) in 1997. The key agreement was that there would be no counter-insurgency offensive against the NSCN(I-M), who in turn would not attack Indian forces.

Nagaland Peace Accord (2015)

  • The Indian government signed a framework agreement (Nagaland Peace Accord) with the NSCN(I-M) to end the insurgency.

Where does the territorial demand currently stand?

The government has not yet released the details of Nagaland Peace Accord, 2015 in public. However, as per some sources, the accord being finalised:

  • Does not change the boundary of states
  • Provides autonomous Naga territorial councils for Arunachal and Manipur
  • A common cultural body for Nagas across states
  • Specific institutions for state’s development, integration and rehabilitation of non-state Naga militia
  • The removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act

Demand for separate flag and Constitution

  • NSCN(I-M) had demanded for a separate flag as well as separate constitution for ‘Greater Nagalim’. However, the government of India is in complete opposition of this demand.

Conclusion

  • The recent talks of government of India with the NSCN-IM have failed over the issue of a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas.
  • Some Civil society groups have said the Naga talks should be closed with whatever is offered now and keep other issues open for later negotiations while others believe all issues should be settled and the NSCN(I-M) should be involved.

 

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