DIMAPUR:Â Responding to the MIP of the NSCN (I-M) , Action Committee Against Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) Monday said it was unfortunate that the NSCN (I-M) has termed its action asÂ â€śtreacheryâ€ť; having a â€śhidden agendaâ€ť ; â€śjeopardizing the ongoing political dialogueâ€ť and like â€śfools dancing to the tune of (outside) powersâ€ť .
ACAUT said the descriptions belittled â€ś the voice of the peopleâ€ť and therefore wanted to clarify that its â€śactions thus far, is nothing short of patriotismâ€ť.
ACAUT maintained it was engaged in â€śnation buildingâ€ť as much as any Naga UG groups, through its agitations against unabated taxation.
It said that ACAUT members not only â€śbelieve in political sovereignty, we also believe in economic
sovereignty of Naga people.â€ť
It explained that political sovereignty was about Naga peopleâ€™s right â€ś to self determinationâ€ť and economic sovereignty, â€śin the Naga contextâ€ť would mean â€śthe very survival of Naga raceâ€ť.
ACAUT said while Nagas pray for an early solution to the â€śIndo-Naga political issueâ€ť; yet the sacrifices of the past 60 years would â€śmean nothing if our people fail to survive into the next generation.â€ť
It cited the issue of Naga female sex workers to say that the â€śtruism of economic independenceâ€ť should â€śmake us squirm over our patriotic seatsâ€ť such as â€śhundreds if not thousands of educated Naga girls engaged in flesh trade in Dimapur and in neighbouring Lahorijanâ€ť.
It said these girls are â€śabused and passed around like commodities by truckers, police, hotel owners, businessmen and moneyed people who from all over the north eastâ€ť.
As much as â€śour Naga pride is hurtâ€ť, ACAUT said there was no denying that â€śour girls are into it because of economic reasonsâ€ť and went on to add that with AIDS, â€śthese girls will soon become a financial burden on our societyâ€ť.
Comparing Nagaland and Thailand , ACAUT predicted that , Nagaland was soon going to become the â€śBangkok of the Eastâ€ť where â€śthe whole rural Thai population depends on womenâ€™s remuneration from Bangkok and other citiesâ€ť.
As much as we believe in political sovereignty, we also believe in economic sovereignty of NagasÂ - ACAUT -
Asking if such a â€śvalue systemâ€ť be allowed to flourish; ACAUT maintained that Nagaland instead needs trade and industries to generate jobs and employment for â€śour girls and boysâ€ť.
It described government salaries as acting like a â€śdrag on the economyâ€ť and that so longÂ Nagas depend on government jobs there would be no money for development.
ACAUT said no development meant no investment and no investment meant no jobs. It went on to say that lead to a vicious cycle of prostitution, drugs, theft, extortion, kidnapping and joining UG groups for â€śjob opportunitiesâ€ť.
ACAUT reiterated that it was under no â€śillusionâ€ť that it could bring â€śrevolutionary changesâ€ť but believed time has come to change â€śthe prevailing status quoâ€ť. It said change meant â€śno random multiple taxationsâ€ť which destroy not only Naga businesses but Dimapur.
â€śThis is not some preposterous theory but an outcome which we have to bear if some misplaced sense of patriotism roughshod over saner voicesâ€ť it stated.
ACAUT affirmed it was neither an arm of the home ministry or the government of India nor a â€śpoodle of the IBâ€ť as subtly hinted to discredit it. ACAUT maintained it is a conglomeration of Naga civil society and business organisations formed to give â€śvoice to un-represented opinionsâ€ť.
ACAUT said its members were â€śnot fools acting at the behest of vested organisationsâ€ť but represent the collective conscience of the people.
The NSCN (I-M) accusation that ACAUT was formed to jeopardise the political talks was â€śfar fetchedâ€ť it said. While describing NSCN (I-M) as an organisation recognized internationally and acknowledged by the government of India, ACAUT said Nagas will respect it more if language used for rag-tag organisations was discarded.
Meanwhile, ACAUT has taken full responsibility of the July 26 statement regarding â€śdemand slipsâ€ť of NSCN (K) and GPRN/NSCN.
ACAUT reiterated that it still stood by its contention that demand slips were â€śbusiness-killing in nature.â€ť
It also pointed out that the demand slip of NSCN (K) was issued three months back.Â If any cadre/s of any factions has any issue arising out of the statements, ACAUT said the matter should be settled with it.
Former CFMG/CFSB chairman reacts
Former Cease-fire Monitoring Group (CFMG) and Cease-fire Supervisory Board (CFSB) chairman Maj. Gen. (retd) N. George has reacted to the news of NSCN (I-M) issuing warning to ACAUT.
In a statement mailed to the media, N. George while referring to the news said it was the â€śoccasionâ€ť for Naga society to make its stance known.
He said it was his belief that ACAUT had spoken out on behalf of the people and the issue that needed to be resolved now was â€śwho represents the people.â€ť
â€śThe bane of Naga society has been its inability to speak out, quite naturally due to the fear of the gun.
Today, a lead has been taken. People only need to lend their support,â€ť said the former CFMG/CFSB) chairman. N. George said â€śthe hypocrisyâ€ť of the â€śnational causeâ€ť was well known adding that there could be no better manifestation of this recognition than the large number of Nagas, particularly the youth, who have left with no option but to leave the state to seek greener pastures. He said the the present situation places Nagaland at the crossroads.
â€śA large section of society would naturally be in a dilemma. Taking sides is a difficult proposition.
Taking up for absolute refusal to tolerate violence against any member of civil society should not. ACAUT has made its position clear.â€ť
Source: Nagaland Post