Naga Rising, a union of prominent people of the Naga society, has demanded the Naga Flag and a separate constitution for Nagaland.
In a latest statement, it said, “The Naga flag is an expression of who we are,” and that it could pave way for a mutual understanding, which in turn, was the only way forward towards solving the Naga political issue.
Stating that Nagas should be allowed to keep and use their flag, the Naga Rising said, “It is our identity and expression of who we are and it should be allowed to be used freely and willingly.”
They further said that taking away the Naga flag would be a ‘contradiction’ of the basis on which the Indo-Naga peace process was build.
Citing the example of Tibet flag, which is banned in mainland China but is used in Dharamshala, India by the Tibetan Government in Exile, they have questioned the reluctance of allowing Naga Flag being flown in Nagaland.
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Hinting at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Naga Rising said that it would understand the emotion behind the Naga Flag as the former had hailed the use of its own saffron flag. “It is no secret that the RSS was never in favour of the tricolor. It preferred the ochre or saffron flag, which it used to salute at their headquarters in Nagpur” stated the Naga Rising.
The Naga Rising further mentioned about the protocol of flying the Naga Flag. “…certain principles and protocols can be mutually agreed upon such as the Naga flag being flown in a way that respects the status of India. And when there is a single flagpole, the Indian tri-colour should fly above the Naga flag to respect its status as the guardian power,” said the statement.
The group, in its statement, also stressed on the significance of having a separate Naga constitution. Under Article 371 (A), there is a provision for having a separate Naga constitution. According to Naga Rising, a separate constitution will help define the peace accord.
“In fact a separate Naga constitution will define the new set of arrangement between India and the Nagas. This will help in providing clarity and purpose to implement the provision of the accord without any dispute and misunderstanding,” said the statement.
The Naga Rising has called for negotiation and mutual understanding, without which, it said the Naga Peace Talks would not be a viable option.
The group said that if the Government of India gives recognition to the Naga Flag or a separate constitution, it will send out the message that the Nagas are valued and they form a unique part of India.
“The respective tricolor and Naga flag flying together will be a powerful symbol of reconciliation and a commitment to a shared future, which should be one of the outcomes of the peace accord between India and the Nagas” said the Naga Rising.
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