Amusing Wangyuh

Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Nagaland Wangyuh Konyak may well go down as one of the more amusing MPs to have represented Nagaland ever. Known for his down to earth nature and affable character, Wangyuh has what it takes to be a grass root politician and one who can also feel the pulse of the people. Also because he comes from Mon district of Nagaland, a major constituency as far as political representation for the State is concerned, Wangyuh’s choice as the official candidate of the ruling NPF party and his subsequent election to Parliament could not have been more appropriate in political terms. And as far as raising issues in the Lok Sabha goes, Wangyuh has remained engaged in people centered concerns and this is something that has to be appreciated. Having said that the amusing side of the Lok Sabha MP has not gone unnoticed either and it is here wherein the fault lies for the honourable MP. 

One case in point is the statement reportedly made by Wangyuh recently on the floor of the house. While civil society groups, churches, students and politicians are appealing for peace and unity in trouble torn Nagaland, it is surprising to note that Wangyuh has the pluck to inform the Lok Sabha that apart from sporadic violence; no major incident had taken place. Wangyuh also pointed out that Nagaland had become a safe place and the common man was slowly getting a sense of security. Contrast this to what his leader, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, had said in a radio broadcast on the eve of the 59th anniversary of Independence Day, expressing pain over the continued fratricidal killings taking place and had appealed to all factions to “desist from fratricidal bloodshed”. 

Wangyuh must surely know that peace cannot be calculated only in terms of physical violence or the lack of it. But peace also means the freedom from fear and the absence of deep seeded social-political divisions. While it could be true that the era of ceasefire has ushered in development activities, the fluid nature of peace itself has only accentuated the cloud of uncertainty. The honorable MP should realize that a cold war like situation prevails over the State and that the underlying threat of violent upheaval remains not a myth but a reality. What the honorable MP has informed Parliament was not based on ground realities and therefore highly contentious.

The point made by the MP about the DAN government’s equi-closeness policy is also something that he should not triumph about. Wangyuh knows fully well that the so called Consultative Committee on Peace (CCP) has not made any headway as far as the question of creating a congenial atmosphere among the warring factions is concerned. Rather, the situation as it stands today has only worsened. The NSCN (K) for instance, has now been completely alienated and no will argue that there is almost a zero level of communication between the former and the DAN government. Therefore informing Parliament that the policy of equi-closeness has worked well and that the DAN was “interacting with all factions” is a misleading comment and a lie.

What is even more amusing is that this is the same Wangyuh who along with three other Naga Parliamentarians had on August 21 signed a statement expressing concern over the Quit Notice served to the Tangkhuls to leave Nagaland State. So how come, the honorable MP was saying something in Parliament while on the other hand he was urging the Nagaland government, the leading NGOs to take up all precautionary measures so that no single drop of innocent blood is shed due to the quit notice. The only explanation really could be that Wangyuh has a different set of message, one for his audience in Delhi and the other for home consumption. But then Wangyuh cannot hoodwink Parliament, his home audience and the media all at the same time. This is the most amusing of them all.