Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Nagaland and sovereignty

NSCN-IM general secretary Thiungaleng Muivah is in Delhi for talks with the Government of India. There is demand for Nagalim or Greater Nagaland and sovereignty for Greater Nagaland. It is unlikely that both demands will be granted.
A cease fire is in place between NSCN-IM and India since 1997. There is an elected government in Nagaland.
Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur will oppose their territory being given to Nagaland. There is talk of a council for Nagas in those states.
Article 371A of the constitution of India has special provision for Nagaland.
When India became independent many Nagas wanted to separate and had taken up arms. To meet many of their demands Nagaland was separated from Assam. Many Nagas continued their fight. The ceasefire agreement in 1997 brought peace but the demand for sovereignty did not go away.
India’s constitution has no provision for allowing states to secede. Nagas who want sovereignty are not powerful enough force separation from India.
Agreeing to sovereignty for Nagaland will lead to demand for sovereignty from many other states. Mizos wanted separation for many years and gave up their claim in 1987. In Kashmir there are people who want to join Pakistan or become a separate country. Even states where there had been no problem will demand sovereignty.
NSCN-IM is not the only group that represents Nagas. All groups that claim to represent Nagas should be asked to contest elections in Nagaland and show they have popular base.
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