Naga peace pact: Why is Sonia Gandhi angry?

Cong president wanted involvement of the party chief ministers in north-east

GN Bureau | August 6, 2015


#Sonia Gandhi   #narendra modi   #naga   #peace   #Nagaland  

In a surprise outburst, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today (Thursday) slammed the Modi government over the process of Naga peace pact while ignoring the spirit of the agreement.

Speaking to reporters Sonia called Modi government 'arrogant' for ignoring Congress chief ministers before signing the Naga peace deal and accused the government of insulting the people of northeast.

On Monday, the government signed a historic peace accord with Nagaland's insurgent group Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah). The peace accord is an opportunity to bring peace to the troubled North-East.

"The accord may be historic, but the chief ministers of the state that would be directly affected were not consulted. Doesn't this show the arrogance of the government," Sonia said.

"We're actually shocked, that PM didn't even think of taking into confidence our CMs. He did not even think of taking into confidence our Manipur CM, Assam CM, Arunachal Pradesh CM who are directly affected," Sonia Gandhi said hitting out at Narendra Modi.

She apparently is angry over the manner in which the agreement was arrived at and in the process she is ignoring the benefits of it. This is the case of end justifying the means but Sonia Gandhi is not charitable enough to look at the immense effects peace on the people troubled by the militancy.

Speaking on the occasion the prime minister had said, "... unfortunately, the Naga problem has taken so long to resolve because we did not understand each other." In his statement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took great care to recognise the historic wrongs that distanced the Nagas from Indian society. He also emphasised the “spirit of equality and respect, trust and confidence” in which the agreement has been arrived at. This is important because without an understanding of past mistakes, history is bound to repeat. Rather than a democratic experience, the Naga society’s first brush with Independent India was with the Indian Army and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the 1950s.

The text of the agreement remains confidential and is expected to be placed in parliament before being made public.

However, some leaked information says that the pact does not involve the redrawing of Nagaland’s boundaries. This is a significant concession made by the NSCN (I-M) which had been pressing for the creation of a Greater Nagaland or Nagalim comprising Naga dominated areas scattered across Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Myanmar. This would suggest that the government has conceded a mechanism that would allow greater autonomy to Nagaland, and Naga tribes living elsewhere.

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