Naga Hoho Mantle

The Naga Hoho appears to be back slowly on its feet after a period of lull in which the apex tribal body has had quiet but serious and welcome deliberations on a wide range of issues including the election of a new President following the untimely and sad demise of Horangse Sangtam. It has to be appreciated that the Naga Hoho leadership has shown great patience and perseverance in the past few months of uncertainty and despair over many unwanted incidents as it has not been the best of times. Hopefully, the Naga Hoho would have been the first to admit this fact and therefore it was only in the fitness of things that it sat down for some serious deliberation. By taking this time out, the Naga Hoho would hopefully have been in a position to honestly assess its own performance over the last few years and identify the areas that need rectification or a mid course correction. Hopefully with the leadership issue within the Naga Hoho settled, it will now be in a position to start afresh with renewed vigor on the difficult challenges lying ahead.

The decision of the Naga Hoho recommending the extension of the Ceasefire for further period to facilitate continuation of a congenial atmosphere towards holding of peace negotiations is welcomed as it will give a comfortable timeframe for the talks to come to its logical conclusion and without having to rush into any hasty decision. Now that enough time and hard-work has been invested into the peace process, abdication at this juncture will not be worth the years toiled for peace. That however does not mean mere extensions of ceasefire but rather using this period to take up all substantive issues and to give a real push towards a political settlement that honors the historical rights of the Naga people. 

For the Naga Hoho, one of its mandated task would be to ensure that any solution coming out of the peace process would have to be first explained and given due publicity before anything is committed in writing by negotiators on the Naga side. The Naga people must be taken into confidence before any final agreement is signed. To make this task easier and less painful, the prevailing discord among the national groups has to be alleviated. And this is not possible unless a sense of unity prevails among the 50 or more Naga tribes. Every organization including the political parties, mass based organization and the Church will also have to work in unison. It would also require that the Naga Hoho remain independent to be able to carry the confidence of the widest spectrum of people on its shoulder. 

The new President of the Naga Hoho will also be required to use his diplomatic skills in order to reach out and negotiate on several fronts with different players and to act as a bridge over long distances in reconciling differences. Most importantly for the new President, it will be equally challenging to lead the umbrella organization of the Naga people and how well he does this will depend on keeping the Naga Hoho itself relevant and as a legitimate and credible institution in the eyes of the people.