Naga Memos to President

President Pratibha Patil’s two day visit to Nagaland was a tame affair compared to the visit of the ‘People’s President APJ Abdul Kalam Azad a few years ago. Therefore other than fulfilling her duties of visiting the States of the union during her tenure, nothing much should be expected from the President. In reality the office of the Indian President is only nominal and he or she can do little to help our cause even though the President may be recognized formally as the Head of the State. Whether it is the Indo-Naga peace process and the need to expedite it or the problems within Nagaland University and the demand for the ouster of its Vice Chancellor, it is the Government of India headed by the Prime Minister, which is the appropriate forum to discuss such issues. Nevertheless for the people in Nagaland, the President’s visit was an opportune time to spell out the many problems and grievances facing our State and people. It is interesting and also quite amusing to observe how a President’s visit is expected to solve our internal problems leave along other grievances.  The failure till date of Nagas to come to a common platform is also not good for the peace process. The reconciliation process under the Forum for Naga Reconciliation is yet to bring the necessary resolution. And this is something that has to be tackled internally within ourselves.
The other noteworthy grievance brought to the notice of the President was the present imbroglio in the Nagaland University. It is fine and good for the Government of India to appoint another VC, which is also going to be the case now with the present incumbent whose ouster has been demanded for long, now about to end his tenure. Our experience shows that we have not been able to function our NU under two successive VCs. What is the problem really? Should all the blame and ills be put on the VCs? What is the guarantee that everything is now going to be okay under the new VC whoever that person could be? There appears to be an internal dimension to the decade old NU problem. This can only be resolved within us. Then a new agenda was added may be for the first time—the appeal made to the President to protect the Intangki National Park from rampant encroachment and destruction. There is nothing wrong in taking this agenda to the highest office in India. But what can far away Delhi do to protect Intangki and that too from our own Naga encroachers. It is not that another State is claiming right over the protected forest. It is we who are the culprits. At the end of the day, Intangki will also have to be resolved amicably within us.  
No President or Prime Minister will be able to come to the rescue of our failures.  As a society the need of the hour is to work together and find solutions to some of the impending problems that confront us. Many times problems remain unresolved because we are afraid to confront the truth or fail to respond to it. If we have the attitude of brushing everything under the carpet, then we will only allow our problems to grow. Unfortunately because we have failed to deal with them, Nagas have accumulated many problems. A collective effort is demanded. Whether it is reconciliation, peace process, Intangki, NU mess, we cannot depend on others alone. It is we who will have to take the initiative to solve our internal problems.