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The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), on Wednesday, condemned what it described as a "shallow attempt" by Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi to "mislead" the Naga people through his speech on the eve of the 58th Nagaland Statehood Day.
The NSF released the statement soon after the National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) slammed Ravi’s speech.
“The federation was appalled at Ravi’s blatant attempt to placate his alter-ego by glorifying the 16-point agreement that had long been disowned by the Naga people,” NSF vice president Deivi Yano said.
“The federation would like to remind Ravi that the Naga people were spread across four states and two countries, without their consent. Ravi’s mandated role should be to find a common ground for all the Naga people and not instigate further division by patronising an agreement brought about by declared traitors of the Naga cause,” Yano said.
“The Naga people had out-rightly rejected and disowned the theories forwarded in the bedrock of Naga society. Any attempt by the governor to legitimise the same through his statement reeks of insensitivity and disregard for the aspirations of the Naga people,” he added.
Yano maintained that with Ravi’s "patronising of the illegitimate 16-point agreement", the current peace process “becomes doubtful to be enduring if the proper representatives of peoples’ resistance are isolated like the past misadventures.”
“The wishes of the Naga people for early conclusion of the peace process should in no way be construed as their willingness to accept anything and everything that was handed over to them,” he said.
In his 58th Nagaland Statehood Day speech, governor R.N Ravi had stated that the leaders of Naga Peoples’ Convention (NPC), through a peaceful democratic process for over three years and extensive socio-political churning of Naga society, helped in shaping the political future of the Naga people.
"They united the Nagas living in Assam. The Nagas, through centuries, have been a freedom-loving people. They have fiercely resisted any attempt of encroachment on their way of life. The bold and farsighted NPC leaders secured the people of Nagaland their freedom from any interference in their way of life including customs, cultures, traditions, religion, a system of justice and land and resources through a Constitutional safeguard," Ravi said.
While felicitating the family members of the NPC leaders, Ravi hailed them as the true heroes of Nagaland and lamented that the people of Nagaland have not yet been able to fully enjoy the fruits of statehood because of some individuals.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)