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.
Das Madhumita. “The Territorial Question in the Naga National Movement.” South Asia Survey 20.1 (2013): 22-43.
In this article Das tries to bring out the root cause of the Naga Nationalist Movement and point out the present scenario and where the movement is headed. Das patiently explains how the Nagas were split up territorially and how the Indian Government have ignored their plight. The article deals in the difference of the nature of the Movement in the four states that the Nagas are based in. Das tracks the evolution and the nature of the Movement, how it has now taken a political shift and the rift within the society as different ideologies began to emerge.
Das explains that ‘some area of Nagas were never colonised by the British and hence the occupation of the Indian Army was seen as an intrusion for the first time.’ Das points out the complexity of the movement as it involve ‘a collective of 42-44 tribes with its own distinct language and culture’ but they are spread across four Indian states and also parts of Myanmar. He says
The six-and-a-half-decade long Indo-Naga conflict has seen paradigmatic changes of perception and priorities on both part of the Indian sate as well as the Naga national movement. They no longer struggle for absolute sovereignty . . . its ethno-national aspiration is instead centred on the integration of contiguous Naga-inhabited areas in Nagaland Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
He brings to us the variation in the nature of national movement in the four different states and the role of the ‘underground’ in bringing about a unity in these states. More than just the ‘underground’ he also highlights the task that the NGO’s as well as the Church has taken to unite the Nagas in these four different states.
As the movement progressed it has also taken a political shift with the NSCM (IM) backing a political party which came to power in 2003 and have been holding office since then.
Subsequent victory with an overwhelming majority suggest that the said issue resonates powerfully among the people of Nagaland
The Naga national movement is one of the longest standing conflicts in the world and over the years it has seen some nasty events which have aggravated the relation between the two sides. To understand the culture of the people we also need to know the nature of their environment and in this case the ‘wars’ that have shaped their history. The movement have had major impact on the people and Das in his article gives us a detail overview of the movement how it has come into being and the evolution it has undergone. Unlike most writers his work has been non stereotypical and unbiased in portraying about the movement
Ranjan, Amit. “Conflicts in South Asia Will Go on and On: A Review Article.” South Asia Research 36.1 (2016): 115-26.
The Article deals with the conflicts that have been going on in South Asia, particularly in the Indian sub-continent. Ranjan in his article states that this conflict has its roots in the partition of India after the British left in 1947 and India was partitioned based on the religion of the region. He deliberates on the issue of partition and brings out why there is no positive outlook to the end of this conflict.
In the article Ranjan states that the partition in 1947 was the starting point of the conflict.
As the two parties did not agree on any power-sharing formula and the Muslim League was increasingly glued to the demand for Pakistan, partition became the only option . . . idea that British India was to be partitioned into two parts and the Princely States had the right to join either of the two.
Ranjan point’s how partition became the only viable solution and accordingly the British set up a Boundary Commission to demarcate boundary between the two new states. The new boundaries were so complex they started to created conflict among the new states.
This commission took demography, administrative unity and ‘other factors’ such as railway lines, water canals and telegraph lines into consideration but also made strange mistakes causing local pandemonium . . . the line demarcated was so complex that even after decades of separation India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are today enmeshed in local disputes over territory.
In this article Ranjan points out how the partition led to a series of events that further escalated the tension between the states. People were now divided along their religious lines and the minority in the respective new states faced discrimination which led to formation of groups to fight for independence. This in turn led to protest and frequent brush ups between ethnic as well as religious groups in the region. Apart from the major states created, many princely states were also forced to join either India or Pakistan and these little pockets continues to fight for independence and their movements have created an uneasy peace in the South Asian region.