ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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What Is Unique about Naga History?

The 3 August meeting between Naga leaders and Government of India representatives is a step towards seeking a solution to the Naga issue. Those who are sceptical about the Framework Agreement that has been signed have obvious questions on their minds. Who are the groups of people and classes that find comfort in the idea of a unique Naga history and culture? What is so threatening about the idea of shared sovereignty? Will poor Nagas and their neighbours be able to raise the issue of an equitable redistribution of resources? Perhaps the answers to such questions will dislodge the rhetoric of a unique history and culture and push us towards demanding a just future and a concrete political deal.

Making Pickles during a Ceasefire

Development projects in the North East are packaged as economic interventions to improve the lives of people, but are detached from militarised ground realities. These initiatives to rebuild post-conflict societies mainly focus on training entrepreneurs and promoting livelihood schemes while overlooking how violence has transformed the very foundation of these societies. Generalising from the example of a workshop on food preservation in Nagaland that had no participants, this paper points out that governance should be rooted in the political and social history of a place - it should not be categorised as a time-bound crisis management project.

Beyond an Insider's Perspective

I am amused that after trashing Bela Bhatia’s piece (“Justice Denied to Tribals in the Hill Districts of Manipur”, EPW, 31 July), and reminding her of her position as an outsider who does not know the “complex” historical and political events of Naga history like an insider (referring to himself),...

Engaging Naga Nationalism

'Nationalism' among the Nagas and the struggle for 'Nagalim' has, in the half-century since the 1951 Naga referendum witnessed several shifts and changing phases. While definitions of 'freedom' and 'self-determination' may differ, and there is at present a plethora of Naga representative bodies, there is nevertheless broad agreement among Nagas, like with other movements in the north-east, of the hegemonic power of the Indian state. Governments at the centre have, by turns, adopted a policy of militarisation and of extending grants to a small section of the local elite that it has co-opted in the task of governance. Any resolution of conflicts in the north-east, including the Naga one, could begin when both sides negotiate from a position of equals, and by an end to the process of militarisation that has tended to largely view dissent as a sign of subversion and anti-nationalism.
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