Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi on Tuesday said that the Centre’s several political initiatives to resolve the Naga issue could not be fructified in the last 24 years due to the unrealistic intransigence of some people who are unwilling to forsake the politics by gun.
Ravi, who is also the central government’s interlocutor for the Naga peace talks, in his Republic Day speech said that the people of Nagaland have not been able to reap optimum benefit of the finest human resources of the state as well as various progressive schemes of the governments as some extra constitutional entities in the guise of espousing the Naga national cause have queered the pitch for the people and the government and kept the peace and progress at bay.
Without naming the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) or any other insurgent and Naga groups, the Governor said that it is a matter of record that in the last some 50 years, far many times more Nagas have died in fratricidal and factional killings by the armed groups who believed in the power of the barrel of guns than those in conflict with the security forces.
“The politics by gun has fragmented the Naga society. It has pitted neighbours against each other, Khels against Khels and tribes against tribes. It did not even spare the Church for their honest initiatives to usher peace in this land.
“Emphasising on resolution of differences through peaceful dialogue, the governor after unfurling the national flag at the Republic Day’s main function at Nagaland Civil Secretariat Plaza in Kohima said that there is no space for politics by gun. “Those who believe in such a politics shall always remain outliers in a democracy. The unrealistic, self-destructive and divisive politics has exhausted the people of Nagaland,” he said.
The Governor said that the initiative of the state Government in holding a comprehensive meeting with broad spectrum tribal and civil societies on October 15, 2020 in Kohima that reiterated the popular sentiment that the armed groups must come together to facilitate “One-Solution for the sake of the people – is appreciable”.
He said that this sentiment was reiterated on December 18 last year (2020) in a joint statement of the Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and the opposition leader T.R. Zeliang.The governor said that the menace of rampant extortions under the guise of illegal taxation by anti social elements has not yet been fully curbed though police and security forces have been taking action against such elements.
“Rampant extortions create a sense of fear among businesses, small and large, and inhibit entrepreneurship which severely undermines the economy and growth of the state. It hampers development. As a result the state is not doing as well as other states on several development indicators. The state government has continued its efforts to curb the menace of extortion and illegal taxation,” Ravi added.