UPSC GS

Tribes sign for true -Naga-Kuki issue

What is the naga issue? Ethnic conflict in Nagaland

The ethnic conflict in Nagaland, in northeastern India, is an ongoing conflict fought between the ethnic Nagas and the governments of India and MyanmarNagaland inhabited by the Nagas is located at the tri-junction border of India on the West and South, north and Myanmar on the East.

“National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang)”, which wants an independent “greater Nagaland” to include territory now in Myanmar, based on ethnicity; and the “Naga National Council (Adino)”.

The question of “Naga Sovereignty” was put to a plebiscite on 16 May 1951. To defend themselves, the Naga after much deliberation formed the armed wing of NNC, came to be known as NSG (Naga Safe Guards) under Kaito Sukhai

History

1946 saw the creation of the Naga National Council (NNC) under Phizo’s leadership. The NNC leaders and the Governor of Assam, Sir Akbar Hydari, signed a Nine-Point Agreement which granted Nagas rights over their lands and legislative and executive powers. The judicial capacity of Naga courts was empowered and no law from the provincial or central legislatures could affect this agreement. Very significantly, the agreement included a clause demanding that the Nagas be brought into the same administrative unit at the earliest. However, one clause stipulated[8]

The Governor of Assam as the agent of the Government of India will have a special responsibility for a period of ten years to ensure that due observance of this agreement to be extended for a further period, or a new agreement regarding the future of the Naga people to be arrived at.

The interpretation of this clause has been contested between the Nagas and the Indian Government. To Nagas this clause meant independence from India at the end of the ten-year period. To the Indian Government this clause meant making a new agreement after the ten-year period if the present agreement did not address Naga issues sufficiently. Phizo rejected the Nine-Point Agreement to who the agreement fell short of dealing with the issue of Naga sovereignty.[9] The NNC under Phizo’s leadership declared Naga independence on 14 August 1947 and with success propagated the idea of Naga sovereignty throughout the Naga tribes. A Naga plebiscite was organized on 16 May 1951.[10] The Naga struggle remained peaceful in the 1940s and early 1950s.[9]

The Naga insurgency, climaxing in 1956, was an armed ethnic conflict led by the Naga National Council (NNC) which aimed for the secession of Naga territories from India. The more radical sectors of NNC created the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) which also included an underground Naga Army.[11]

In the words of historian Benjamin Zachariah, ″It was in the north-east of India that the Nehruvian vision took on its most brutal and violent forms.″ The actions of mass murder and rape by the Indian defence forces could not endear to the Nagas a sense of belonging with the Indian nation.[12] The Indian government coerced the dissenters into accepting their power with the application of Kautilya’s advice to use internal force. Gandhian advice to engage with the aim of reaching a common ground through negotiations was also utilised.[13] The Indian Government conceded a separate Naga state within the Indian Union in 1960 and the state was inaugurated in 1963

Naga and Kuki Tribes Signs For Truce

The umbrella organisations of Naga and Kuki tribes namely, Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) and the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) have signed a declaration to settle contentious issues and inter-community differences peacefully.

Following ethnic clashes between the Nagas and Kukis in the early 1990s, a number of Kuki outfits were formed as a means to counter Naga hegemony and assertion. The conflict between the Nagas and the Kukis in 1993 had claimed more than 230 lives and displaced 1,00,000, mostly Kukis.

Nagas :

The Nagas are not a single tribe, but an ethnic community that comprises several tribes who live in the state of Nagaland and its neighborhood.

Nagas belong to Indo-Mongoloid Family.

Nagas claimed sovereignty on the basis of prior sovereign existence and differences, which is today expressed in terms of “uniqueness”. There are nineteen major Naga tribes, namely, Aos, Angamis, Changs, Chakesang, Kabuis, Kacharis, Khain-Mangas, Konyaks, Kukis, Lothas (Lothas), Maos, Mikirs, Phoms, Rengmas, Sangtams, Semas, Tankhuls, Yamchumgar and Zeeliang.

Kuki Tribe :

Kuki tribe is majorly found in Manipur with other states of North Eastern India.‘Mim Kut’ is the main festival of the Kuki tribe. The Chin-Kuki group consists of Gangte, Hmar, Paite, Thadou, Vaiphei, Zou, Aimol, Chiru, Koireng, Kom, Anal, Chothe, Lamgang, Koirao, Thangal, Moyon and Monsang.

The term Chin is used for the people in the neighboring Chin state of Myanmar whereas Chins are called Kukis on the Indian side. Other groups like Paite, Zou, Gangte, and Vaiphei identify themselves as Zomi and have distanced themselves from the name, Kuki.

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