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Naga Issue

Naga Issue

UPSC CSE Mains Syllabus: GS-3- Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

Naga Issue

The Naga insurgency has been an internal issue for decades since independence. The Centre is now in the final stages of signing a peace deal with the NSCN-IM.

Naga Insurgency:

  •  The conflict dates back when the British colonists annexedthe Naga Hills. By 1918, the seeds of Naga nationalism had taken root.
  •  The Naga Club advocatedagainst integrating the Nagalim with the rest of India.
  •  Just before independence government reached a 9-Point Agreement, which allowed the Nagas to “develop themselves according to their freely expressed wishes.”
  •  A disagreement over the deal led to a Naga declaration of independence, Aug14 1947. India responded by sending its armed forces, thus beginning a violent insurgency.
  •  Various peace efforts taken by India over the years were rejected by the rebel groups.

Measures taken:

The government has taken various measures to quell the insurgency,

  •  Article 371A – Special provision with respect to the State of Nagaland. Through this special protection was given to culture, customary practices and administration of the Nagas.
  •  In 1960, 16-Point Agreement was signed that created the Nagaland state and gave local bodies significant autonomy over governance. 
  •  The Shillong Accord of 1975, where a segment of the Naga National Council agreed to unconditionally accept the Constitution of India and relinquish arms. 
  •  The August 2015 Framework Agreement was signed between the government of India and the NSCN-IM. Through this the government recognized the unique history, culture and position of the Nagas and their sentiments and aspirations.”
  •  Security measures have been taken from time to time. Cooperation with Myanmar to counter the insurgencies acting from Myanmar.

Framework agreement:

Five years since the signing of a framework agreement between the Indian government and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), the deadlock in the talks that came about in October 2019 persists with the emergence of bottlenecks.

The NSCN (I-M) has demanded that Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi should be removed as the interlocutor for talks on the Naga accord.

What created bottlenecks:

  •  The Governor had sent a letter in June addressed to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
  •  He alleged the collapse of law and order and that armed gangs “who question the sovereignty and integrity of the nation” were engaging in “blatant extortion” in the letter.
  •  This touched a sore spot for the NSCN (I-M).
  •  The group defended the practice by terming it “tax collection”.
  •  This has become an issue for the peace process with the NSCN (I-M) going on to release details of the 2015 framework agreement that has not been shared in the public domain so far.

Greater Nagalim – disrupting the boundaries:

  •  The NSCN (I-M) still insists on a “Greater Nagalim” beyond the boundaries of Nagaland State besides seeking a flag and constitution.
  •  Talks were expanded in 2017 by including other Naga groups under the banner, the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).
  •  Most of the NNPGs based in Nagaland on the other hand have sought to settle the issue without disturbing the State boundaries while keeping the “Greater Nagalim” question in abeyance.
  •  Any moves to alter boundaries will intensify ethnic conflicts and insurgencies beyond Nagaland, especially in Manipur.
  •  The increasing support in Nagaland for a solution without affecting boundaries should have compelled the NSCN (I-M) to move away from its intransigent position.
  • The Central government needs to take their concerns on board and reiterate its commitment to finalising the Naga accord while seeking to re-engage with the NSCN (I-M) without giving in to its arbitrary demands.

Source:”The Hindu”.


Why despite the signing of a framework agreement between the Indian government and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), a final solution to the Naga issue could not be found? Suggest a way forward.