This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Priyanjana R Das. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

A Look At Nagaland’s History Of Unrest Shows How The Peace Accord Is Not Yet ‘Historic’

More from Priyanjana R Das

By Priyanjana R. Das

Dating back to 1918, a few Nagas came together to form the Naga Club. In 1918, it gave its representation to the Simon Commission to claim a separate nation. The Nagas are a divided people on account of the tribal nature of the society. The territorial spread of the Nagas extends to some areas in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Before India’s independence, the Boundary Commission demarcated the Indo-Burma boundary accounting to some of Nagaland’s areas in present Myanmar.

naga peace accord

The independence of India was followed by the Indian Government integrating the Naga areas with the state of Assam and India as a whole. This decision was not welcome by a section of the Naga leadership who wanted to remain a separate nation and in 1955, the Naga National Council declared the formation of an independent government and launching of a violent insurrection.

The government of India responded to it by sending its army to Nagaland to restore peace. The period between 1956 and 1963 was seen to be dominated by a series of negotiations which finally led to the separate existence of statehood, the Nagaland.

The military intervention that led to the formation of a state left the rebels with little popular support. This increased the resentment in the rebels, which led to frequent guerrilla activity by the Naga rebels trained in China, Pakistan and Burma. Negotiations to suppress these activities by the rebels who wanted a right to separate nation and identity was carried on in terms of of a Peace Accord signed in the Shillong Agreement in 1975. This accord led to the participation of some of the leaders in civilian politics but some still refused the discourse and formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN).

The NSCN – IM (Isak-Muivah) faction at present is the most influential group in the North East. Over the years, the outlook of the Muivah faction has evolved and the favourable conditions of a majority government in the centre has put it in a sweet spot to resolve the issue of Nagaland and integrate them culturally to be a part of India while giving them the right to preserve their cultural identity.

In the initial years after independence, during the consolidation of India as a nation, Jawaharlal Nehru, the main influence in shaping the attitude of the government towards the tribals, put it :
The first problem we have to face there (in the tribal areas) is to inspire them (the tribal people) with confidence and to make them feel at one with India and to realise that they are a part of India and have an honoured place in it.
At the same time he believed that “India should signify not only a protecting force but a liberating one“.

These were two basic parameters of the Nehruvian approach: ‘the tribal areas have to progress’ and ‘they have to progress in their own way’.

The Naga demands overall, are of two kinds, first being their political status. The Nagas have never been willing to give up on their sovereignty. Moreover, the Muivah-Ravi agreement talks of ‘shared sovereignty’ within the Indian constitutional framework.

The second demand looms over the geographical integration of Nagalim. As discussed earlier, the Nagas are scattered over parts of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. The integration of all these areas to form a political identity constitutes the second demand. If the centre gives in to this demand, it will create a problem in other states that have to give away a part of their land, leading to administrative difficulties.

The accord signed by the Modi government talks about the federal relation on the political side being renegotiated which provides for a platform of decisions to be taken on the State, Central and the Concurrent list.

The geographical issue, sadly, still remains a live issue on the table with a potential to create further agitation if not taken up soon. The peace accord, often coined a ‘historic’ accord by the media and the government, still remains troubled with a lot of questions left untouched, unanswered and far from resolved to be termed ‘historic’ yet.

The NSCN Khaplang faction that is largely scattered in parts of Myanmar, is unhappy with India signing a deal with Muivah and therefore undermining their role in the Naga Movement. The Indian government did send a team from Nagaland to Myanmar to speak to the Khaplang faction and renegotiate terms with them but the efforts of both Indian and Myanmar government to get both the parties to sort out the issue couldn’t find its way to success.

The trans-regional, trans-national and trans-border nature of the matter in question still does not address a lot of issues that stay alive and remain as complicated. It is important for India to understand the identity and autonomy demanded by the tribals and has an understanding that they (tribals) should have an equal contribution to make to the evolution of a common culture, and social and political life of the country.

You must be to comment.

More from Priyanjana R Das

Similar Posts

By Imran Khan

By Aman Dubey

By Ritwik Trivedi

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below