It is heartening to note that the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) have now decided to hold talks with the government to thrash out whatever issues they may be having.
The North East has been home to many similar groups since the early fifities, who have had their assorted goals ranging from sovereignty and independence to more autonomy within the country’s Constitution, and to achieve which they have had to pick up the gun. At the end though, most have come over and sat across the table to hold talks with the government to make themselves heard and their grievances addressed. Needless to say, the chief among them have been the various factions of Nagaland’s NSCN, who have been in talks with the central government for nearly quarter of a century.
The road to peace is one with a lot of twists and turns that one has to navigate with calm and in a determined manner and without losing sight of the goal; it can be slow and painful but the goal needs to be reached in the larger interest of all stakeholders.
The HNLC has made the task a lot easier by not insisting on pre-conditions, which can be a major hurdle for the dialogue to even begin. It is now up to the government to take it forward without losing any time and, to its credit it must be said that by already engaging its mind on selecting an interlocutor it has shown it has taken the offer with all seriousness.
J. Lyngdoh, Shillong