DIMAPUR, Oct 11 - Naga National Council (NNC) has reacted to a statement of Nagaland and Assam Governor PB Acharya, published in The Assam Tribune on October 7, where he said that the government is engaging in talks with NSCN-IM because it is the leader of the insurgent groups and claims that it has monopoly over all representing Nagas.
In a press release issued by its vice president Thupushuyi S Keyho, the NNC said such a statement cannot be bypassed in silence.
It said two main �erroneous perceptions� which required urgent corrections are the idea of leadership and the idea of insurgency.
The NNC said a leader is not necessarily someone who can demand obedience from the people for its ability to harm or threaten others. �Just because NSCN (I-M) has the resources to trouble the Indian State or to muffle its own people with their muscle power if desired, it does not make them leader of the Naga people,� the release stated.
The NNC maintained that a leader, on the contrary, is someone who commands the loyalty and respect of the people and one who represents the hope and aspiration of the people. In other words, leadership is not claimed by individuals but recognised and mandated by the people, it added.
While not doubting their (NSCN-IM) leadership, the NNC said it is reasonable on his (Governor) part to ask if all the Naga people accept their leadership or whether they enjoy the mandate and loyalty of even the majority of the Nagas.
�He only needs to ask the Naga public, not just to rely on the claims of leaders of NSCN (IM),� it added.
On the idea of insurgency, the NNC claimed that the Naga political groups are not insurgent groups. �We are not fighting to overthrow the government or to bring about revolution in the State and society. Even if NSCN (IM) accept this insurgent identity as given by the Indian State, NNC is not ready to accept this,� the release affirmed.
The NNC said unlike any insurgent groups or movements which try to fight for specific objectives within the structure of the State, right from its inception it refused to recognise the authority of the Indian State over Naga people and placed itself outside the Indian State.
In another release, the NNC expressed gratitude to Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of National League for Democracy (NLD), Myanmar for speaking out boldly about Nagas in the border area of Eastern Nagaland for peaceful settlement.
Referring to her statement �India has to work to come to a peaceful settlement with the Nagas. Would also ensure transparency to deal with Nagas if voted to power�, the NNC said �these are the utterances of political words of significance for peaceful settlement in the region for all concerned�.
While welcoming international leaders who were/are concerned for Nagas, NNC appealed to leaders of other countries to also speak for Nagas for peaceful settlement in the interest of peace and development in South East Asia Region.