Will of the People

In the course of human history, the myth surrounding ‘state sovereignty’ has been exposed, which has lived of its usefulness. This conclusion is only natural since the dominant discourse on state sovereignty emerged around an exclusive and narrow understanding of humanity. Evidently, the existence of state as the political institution of sovereignty emerged at the expense of people’s aspiration. It is no wonder that monopoly and exercise of force by State to establish its legitimacy is a contradiction which belies its moral relevance and political legitimacy. 

Through its hegemonizing and homogenizing characteristics, the State has ensured that the question of war and peace is a matter of State prerogative. Nonetheless, experience has shown that priority of a State is its interest to protect what it considers its national interest and to compete with other existing States. In essence, the notion of statebuilding is in direct confrontation with peoples’ aspiration to decide their own future and to live in peace. Real politik has ensured that just because a people have rights does not necessarily mean that they enjoy them. 

However, absolutism of state sovereignty which dominated international politics has been critically interrogated by the forces of global events that unfolded since 1991. The idea of State and Territorial Sovereignty no longer remains in an unchallenged position. Foucault says that the end of sovereignty is circular in the sense that the end of [State] sovereignty is the exercise of [Peoples] sovereignty. This is indispensable for the rehumanization of a people which would empower ordinary people to exercise their sovereign powers to become self-determining.

The culmination of thousands of people at Dimapur on December 12 as a Civil Demonstration demanding an early solution is symbolic and unique in itself because it embraced different nationalities coming together to express their desire to live in dignified peace. It was more than just a demonstration; it reflected the will of the people to define the course of its own future which is essential for peaceful existence. Eventually, it was a demonstration seeking to regain the moral voice of the people and strengthen participation in contributing towards a political solution that embodies the determining powers where people can exercise their sovereign rights.  

People have cut across all racial, political and territorial lines to give a united expression to manifest their will and desire for peace. The Civil Demonstration has exemplified the need to move beyond the ceasefire. There is mass realization that the ceasefire must progress to an honorable solution. As a democratic country, the Indian Government is accountable to respond to the will of the people. Since the question of war and peace has been made a matter of the State, the Indian Government cannot simply ignore this moment of truth!