Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday acknowledged the role of all past governments in the process that resulted in the Naga peace accord inked between the government and the NSCN (Isak-Muivah group) on August 3.
“All governments have worked on it. There have been ups and downs but the process went on. No one government can take credit for the accord nor should one... The result is that we had a successful negotiation with them (NSCN-IM),” Modi said in his address in Hindi during the birth centenary celebrations of legendary Naga freedom fighter Rani Gaidinliu.
The PM also questioned why Gaidinliu had to suffer the ignominy of being jailed even after India attained independence from the British in 1947.
“Even after India attained independence, it took three-four months for the ‘Rani-Ma’ to be released from jail. More unfortunate is the fact that she was not allowed to go to her native village (by independent India) on political grounds and because of ‘distortions’ in the political system of the day,” the PM said.
Belonging to the Zeliang Naga tribe, Gaidinliu was born in Manipur in 1915. A follower of the Heraka cult of nature worshippers, a 13-year-old Gaidinliu led a movement opposing conversions to Christianity and which veered to a demand for a homeland for Zeliang Nagas. Later Gaidinliu identified her movement with the wider Indian national struggle for freedom. Jailed in 1932 by the British, Gaidinliu was conferred the epithet ‘Rani’ by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.