Wouters, Jelle. “Sovereignity, Integration or Bifurcattion? Troubled Histories, Contentious Territories and the Political Horizons of the Long Lingering Naga Movement.” Studies in History 32.1 (2016): 97-116.
So many have been said about the Naga Nationalist Movement, of its origin, impacts and the changes it has brought about. Each time someone writes something on it, they give a different snd new insight to this issue which has now dragged on for more than six decades. The root of the issue dates back to the middle of the 19th Century when the British Empire first made contact with the Nagas and since then the issue has undergone so many twist and turn to arrive at an almost unsolvable problem today.
This article by Wouters deals with the Naga Movement post Indian independence and how the Central Government has played their cards to keep the movement in check and also various factors within the Naga Community which have further complicated the issue.
Wouter starts by stating various claim of the Nagas on why they should be left alone and how Gandhi himself said that ‘Nagas have every right to be independent.’ He then points out the fallout of the formation of the Nagaland state which resulted in the formation of the Naga National Council (NNC) and later the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCM) which were formed to counter the decision of the Indian Government and demanded a separate country.
Wouter states that, though the movement was widely supported by the people, there were some intellectuals within the community who opposed the movement. One of them being S.C Jamir (former Chief Minister and current Governor of Odisha) who spoke against the movement and the rebel groups made assassination bids on him.
In the article Wouter also talks about the interpretation of the word ‘freedom’ by various tribes and whether their opinion are alike or contradicts each other. While the integration of the Naga inhabited area has always been the desire of the Nagas and the main reason for all these rebellion, he states that there have now been wishes for bifurcation by a certain section of the state as they felt that they were ignored by the other communities and based their reasons on historical datas. With these new demands the issue has tangled itself into more problems and with no amicable solution in sight.
The dissertation seeks to analyse the culture of the Nagas and the effects of the movement in influencing the culture, this time period being one of the most crucial period and era where massive changes were brought about in the Naga society as well as their culture. The article mentions about the divide in the society which soon led to the demand for bifurcation, this being the result of cultural divides within the Naga Society and the coming of new western ideologies. The article mention about social identities and individual freedom which are closely related with the dissertation topic.