The Naga Accord : Skimming Over Autonomy and Cooperative Federalism?

OVERVIEWThe Naga nationalist movement is the oldest insurgency in India and has sustained itself in a strategically important geography for close to seven decades. The BJP-led NDA Government has announced a supposedly “historic” agreement with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) (IM), the largest armed outfit claiming to represent the interests of the Naga nationalist movement. However, it has done so without consulting several stakeholders whose lands graphically overlap with the Nagas. The deal is shrouded in secrecy and its details have not been shared even with other Chief Ministers in the region. This document provides a brief overview of the possible contours and consequences of the accord and argues that greater autonomy of tribal communities based on a system of cooperative federalism with the Centre and State Governments is a possible democratic solution that would respect the distinct doctrines and ways of life of the Naga people. This document is a living document as the details of the accord have not been revealed yet and new developments on the issue are emerging on a daily basis.