After the Nagaland government, almost all political parties and organisations, an influential Naga civil society body — Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) — on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the decades old Naga political issue at the earliest.
ACAUT convener Tia Longchar, Co-convener Simon Kelio and Secretary Hetoi Chishi said that Nagas were keen to see whether the Prime Minister has the will and wisdom to fructify agreements (Framework Agreement and Agreed Position) arrived at, after decades of negotiations with the stakeholders.
The ACAUT noted that despite the perpetual extension of ceasefires over the past 25 years under four Prime Ministers, none of them had the inclination or courage to deliver what was promised. “Political settlement was the only panacea against the twin evils of rampant taxation and unchecked corruption plaguing the Naga society,” the ACAUT leaders said in a statement jointly signed by the three leaders.
Saying that vociferous demand by overwhelming majority of Naga public and Civil Society Organisations for early political settlement of the Naga issue was evident in the massive public rally of August 5 (this year), ACAUT fervently appealed the Prime Minister to deliver on his promise to bring solution to the protracted Naga political issue and usher in a new era of hope, peace and development.
ACAUT said in the light of the cry over multiple taxation, “enough is enough”, it demanded that the Central government pursue inclusive negotiation with other Naga political groups at the “mother of all rallies” it organised on August 25, 2017. The ACAUT lamented that 5 years had passed since then but the matter was back to square one when election was eventually held on the promise of “Election for Solution” made by then BJP northeast in-charge Ram Madhav.
ACAUT hoped that the BJP government at the Centre would fulfil the aspirations of people for an honourable settlement by 2022 Christmas, before the next Assembly election, expected to be held in February next year.
According to ACAUT, as a logical antidote against unabated taxation, the public resolution of “One Government, One Tax” elicited massive response from the people and became pronounced after the declaration of “One Naga National Government” by Forum for Naga Reconciliation in the Naga Concordant of 2011.
After over 80 rounds of talks between the Centre and the Naga groups, dominated by the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), there is still a stalemate over the contentious issues of separate Naga flag and constitution.
The NSCN-IM has been demanding a separate flag and constitution, which the former government interlocutor and then Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi had rejected on a number of occasions.