NNPGs ready to conclude talks: Kitovi-(II)
CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS ISSUE
So then leave Nagas of Nagaland alone, let Nagas of Nagaland settle their problem.
Ties between Government of India and NSCN (I-M) should not have any adverse impact on Nagas of Nagaland. When there is no problem between government of India and Nagas of Nagaland, then what is the reason to keep the issue on hold?
NP: What is NNPGs position on Naga Flag and Constitution?
KITOVI: When government of India has clearly, time and again, stated that sovereign independence is not possible at this stage and mutual agreement is to conclude the issue through democratic process, now why are they talking about Flag and Constitution?.
What is Constitution and which Constitution are we talking for and who will make the Constitution? Are we demanding Naga Constitution from government of India?
We have to go step by step instead of jumping from one point to another. Government of India has agreed that we can use Naga flag in our customary, traditional bodies. However, Nagas shall have our common insignia which will be used all over Naga areas in the customary court and establishments and even in Nagaland Federal Hoho, which is purely a customary body.
We cannot say what kind of insignia will be designed by Nagaland Tatar Hoho but it will be called the common Naga Totem – it may be the present Naga Flag or we may adopt a new insignia.
As far as Constitution is concerned, Nagas have been practising unwritten Constitution as per our Naga customs. NNPGs and government of India has mutually agreed that Nagas shall have the right to legislate their customary practices and procedures. Besides that what more Constitution my counterpart NSCN (I-M) is demanding I could not digest.
NP: Is there any possibility of government of India bringing the two negotiating parties together before signing the agreement?
KITOVI: Since the position of government of India is very clear that there will be only one solution.
NSCN (I-M) are also negotiating with their separate agendas. As for NNPGs, we have completed all our agenda in the negotiation. Who knows our agenda maybe similar, and at last government of India may say that agendas which are being principally agreed, with both the groups, would be compiled and both the parties should sign it.
Our apprehension with NSCN (I-M) talk – What if there are some certain issues which may be good for Nagas of Arunachal and Manipur but not applicable or good for Nagas of Nagaland? There may be some differences in application but that can be sorted out.
If Nagas of Arunachal and Manipur get separate RTC with legislative power then it is good for them. Nagaland cannot go back to 6th Schedule, but it would be good for our people in Arunachal and Manipur if they are given separate autonomous power.
Nagas of Nagaland have already attained the full statehood since 50 years back, now if we want to attain something then it should be better, higher and bigger than the present state.
NP: So will NNPGs agree to sit down with NSCN (I-M) to iron out any issues before signing the final agreement?
KITOVI: To sit with NSCN (I-M) is not an issue, we can even sleep with I-M provided our stand is pragmatic. If we are not practical then sitting together, sleeping together have not benefits.
NP: Governor of Nagaland and Interlocutor to Naga Peace Talks, R.N Ravi has conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s desire to conclude the Talk within three months. Are NNPGs agreeable to it?
KITOVI: We (NNPGs) have prepared everything three months back. On our part we had completed everything in the month of July. So we were expecting to sign the agreement before 15th August. Two months have passed without any reason otherwise we could have signed before 15th August.
NP: What can Nagas expect if NNPGs sign final agreement with government of India?
KITOVI: Our people should expect, without any doubt, that the moment we sign agreement with government of India there will be absolute transparency, accountability and equal treatment of justice and opportunities.
NP: Please share your thoughts on your vision of developing Naga inhabited areas.
KITOVI: Naga people have seen disastrous and bitter days since we took up arms against India demanding sovereign independence. Our past experiences were very bitter, we realised that we can no longer continue the issue like this so we decided to find an alternative, which will be good for the young generation. This is the time to think something for younger generation, who are yet to be born.
After signing of this solution, every Naga should actively get involved to bring reformation, transformation in our political and social life. We are going to adopt a new dimension – from arms power to economy through peace and tranquillity. Therefore, we require the participation of every Naga in reshaping and rebuilding our future.
Not only bureaucrats, politicians or big muscle people, but it will certainly require the involvement of people even at the grass root level. Together we should shape our future. Every Naga must be mentally prepared for they will be instrumental in redefining the future of our Naga people.
NP: What is your message to the Nagas?
KITOVI: Naga people have been confused and mesmerised, but it is time for Nagas to clearly differentiate between the right and wrong, practical and impractical. We have to clearly know the difference between past and the future. Nagas should not be too ignorant. We should stop believing those who have been misguiding us.
People try to fool us, they will speak of so many untrue issues and we always succumbed to unreality and untrue stories.
At this juncture, I want to ask Nagas to learn from our past mistakes, believe in our self and educate other people.