‘Nagas not part of Manipuri history’
IMPHAL,6th Aug: Terming the bid to draw parallel between ‘Manipuri’ history to that the Nagas and tribal people of Manipur state as unwarranted, All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) has called upon the Union government not to be swayed by false rhetoric but rather accelerate the process for an amicable solution to the Naga issue. A joint statement issued by its president Joseph Adani and general secretary AC Thotso conveyed that ANSAM is deeply disturbed by the unfounded and illegitimate assertions by some sections of Meitei brethren with no regard for the rights and voice of the Naga people living in present state of Manipur.
“The Nagas have nothing against the 2000 years of Manipuri history. However, to equate that history as a common history with that of the Nagas and tribal of Manipur state is utterly presumptuous and disrespectful,” the joint statement said. While stating that ‘Manipur’ can find experimental meaning only with the Manipuris or the Meitei people, it maintained that Nagas have never ‘in their history or narratives identified with ‘Manipur’ or Manipuri and there has always been a distinct position and history between the Naga people and the Manipuris.
Right from the historical moment of encounter with the wave of colonialism, the Naga people have been asserting their democratic rights to self-determination, they pointed out. “Our people’s struggle for inherent political rights has strengthened and contributed to the ideals and practice of democracy and has inspired many struggling natives of the region to assert their historical and political rights, and towards dialogue and people, thereby enriching democratic principles in the sub-continent as a whole”.
The peace effort of the collective leadership of the Naga people and the government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an opportunity for the region to usher in lasting peace, prosperity and development, ANSAM said, adding that the imminent political settlement is thus ordained to benefit the entire region and India.
Further conveying that it is the collective interest of the entire region that every community support and strengthen the Indo-Naga peace talk, the joint statement prevailed upon the Centre not to complicate the process of the political dialogue by factoring in unfounded and concocted sentiments drummed up from myopic quarters but to remain firmly committed to the merit of the issue at hand.