The roots of Naga insurgency lies in issues associated with Identity and ethnicity. But it has become a complex problem over time with political, social & economic ramifications. Elaborate.

The Nagas were historically a relatively isolated group with limited contact with the rest of India. They started demanding an independent country for them around 1946 and the Naga National Council was formed under Angami Zapu Phizo to carry out insurgency.

Timeline of Naga Insurgency:

  • Formation of Naga National Council in 1946.
  • Shillong Accord in 1975, NNC gave up violence.
  • NSCN was formed as a new separatist organization in 1975.
  • NSCN split into NSCN-K and NSCN-IM in 1988.
  • Ceasefire agreement signed between NSCN and GOI in 1997.
  • Framework agreement signed in 2015.

Thus, while original problem was about Naga state & ethnicity of Nagas, there are more facets that have emerged:

  1. Political:
    • Nagas want Nagalim, which includes areas of Myanmar, Arunachal, Assam & Manipur.
    • Want own flag and constitution.
    • Independent existence.
    • Separate governance structure.
    • Respect for sovereignty & unity of Naga people.
  2. Social:
    • Customary laws of the Nagas to prevail over that of India.
    • No assimilation and overwhelming of Naga culture.
    • Display culture and have more funds available to preserve it on their own.
  3. Economic:
    • Influx of outsider who come & takes their jobs.
    • Domination of outsiders & influx due to migration or refugees, etc.
    • Rich in resources yet don’t reap benefits.
    • Destruction of environment by companies leading to large scale displacement.
    • More devolution of funds via special grants & finance commission.

Way forward:

The Naga history must be respected within the Indian constitution; thus appropriate devolution of power & ‘cooperative federalism’ shall be used to convince Nagas.

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