Vested interests have misappropriated peace dividends, says Nagaland governor in I-Day message
RN Ravi’s message comes at a time when another round of meetings to thrash out a final agreement for the decades-old Naga political issue is set to begin in New Delhi from next week.Updated: Aug 15, 2020 14:21 IST
Nagaland Governor’s RN Ravi said on Saturday vested interests have misappropriated the dividends of peace and didn’t allow them to reach the people of the northeastern state.
In an Independence Day message, Ravi, who is also the interlocutor for the ongoing Naga peace talks, mentioned how the “waves of positive change” sweeping all parts of the country seem to have bypassed Nagaland.
“When the security forces and Naga armed groups agreed to suspend operations against each other paving way for a political settlement, the legitimate expectation of the people of Nagaland was dividends of peace—freedom from fear of guns, better health, better education, better infrastructure, better livelihood opportunities, an atmosphere to dream and an eco-system to pursue their dreams,” the governor said in his message.
“Incongruously, a deep entrenched network of vested interests has emerged during the period which has misappropriated the dividends of peace and didn’t allow them to reach the people. There is mass-scale mayhem and miscarriage of dreams and expectations of the people of Nagaland. It is unendurable and unacceptable,” he added.
Ravi’s message comes at a time when another round of meetings to thrash out a final agreement for the decades-old Naga political issue is set to begin in New Delhi from next week in which senior National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM (NSCN-IM) and Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) leaders are expected to take part.
The message also comes in the backdrop of a demand by NSCN-IM to remove Ravi as the interlocutor for the peace talks—something which the NNPGs, seven other outfits who are part of the talks, are opposing.
The biggest and oldest of the Naga rebel outfits, NSCN-IM had been in peace talks with the government of India since 1997 and signed a Framework Agreement (FA) in 2015, which was to be the basis for a final deal on the long-pending Naga political issue.
Though peace talks with NSCN-IM and the working committee of NNPGs concluded in Delhi on October 31, 2019, a formal deal to end the decades-old Naga political problem is still awaited.
“Nagaland is endowed with one of the finest human and natural resources. Unfortunately, today it has the dubious distinction of the worst-performing state in the country including the northeast region on almost all the significant indicators of human development,” Ravi said.
The governor mentioned that nearly 25% of the Nagaland’s children are not enrolled in schools and around 60% of youth have not been to high school. The poor investment climate, internet connectivity and lack of progress in agriculture and horticulture sectors were also highlighted in the message.
“In India’s grand march forward, Nagaland cannot be left behind. We will have to break the vice-like grip of the vicious circle of the network of vested interests and make way for the virtuous circle of peace, prosperity and happiness for our people,” he said in the message.