The thumping and third consecutive win of Nagaland People’s Front in the assembly election which recorded a very high polling of over 83 per cent, has reflected the people’s desire in the troubled state for continuation of the prevailing peaceful atmosphere.
Neiphiu Rio-led NPF government has been able to facilitate a peaceful atmosphere in the State which used to be a hot bed of rebellion and where the smell of gun power was omnipresent in the air because of frequent showdown between the rebels and the security forces.
The situation turned gradually for better once the main Naga rebels groups -- Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM and NSCN-K -- were persuaded to enter into ceasefire pact with the government forces in the late 1990s and a dialogue process was started with the NSCN-IM that is still being continued.
As a result barring bouts of factional feuds, sometimes with bloody episodes, a comparatively peaceful atmosphere came to being in those blood-splattered hills of Nagaland.
In such a situation, the Rio government played the role of catalyst in smooth progress of the peace dialogue between the government and the NSCN-IM and at the same time it encouraged civil society organisations such as the Naga Hoho and the church to play a key role in brokering peace between the fighting factions of NSCN so that the peace progress continued to progress till is logical end and the lives of common people in Nagaland is not jeopardised.
When there is a comparatively peaceful atmosphere where people live their life in a secured atmosphere, other activities including development get a boost.
For this atmosphere of peace which, of course, gets uneasy now and then, the NPF could secure more votes from the people who don’t want to turn the clock back to imperil their own lives once again.
The new government of the NPF to be led by Neiphiu Rio, now have a Himalayan task cut out before it -- that is to facilitate lasting peace in Nagaland by persuading both the NSCN-IM and the government to arrive at a solution sans further delay.
The people of Nagaland are under the impression that the prolonged peace talks have reached a crucial stage and a solution is on the card. The establishment and the rebels need to wake up to this and shed their differences for the sake of the people of Nagaland who have remained crushed between the rebels and the security forces for decades.