The violent killings between warring factions in Nagaland find some similarity to what has already happened in other parts of the world or in some states of our country as well. The Christian countries helped the Naga insurgency through their churches planted in every nook and corner of Nagaland. But this game plan could not succeed. It is very often stated that nearly 40,000 Nagas perished in this fight, some with security forces and mostly with rival factions.
The tough stand taken by Smt Indira Gandhi after the collapse of Cease-fire Agreement, 1964 and signing of Shillong Accord 1975 under compelling circumstances to avoid the further loss of Naga lives, caused despair and delusion in some hardcore demagogues in Naga guerilla camp led by Phizo from his London abode under the banner of Naga National Council (NNC). This discontent mounted when Phizo refused to disown the Shillong Accord 1975, the signatories of which included his own brother Kevi Yalie. The church failed in their endeavour for this crisis management. The Christian supporters in Christian countries could also not vent a tangible ray of hope of materialising the NNC'sdeclared dream-Naga sovereignty. Because of this, a section of NNC guerilla leaders disenchanted with Christian model of solution or crisis management, opted for communist model.
These disillusioned NNC leaders crossed the international border and sneaked into Chinese territory via Burma, now Myanmar. It is not that they had come in China for the first time. Earlier also, they had got arms training in China. But this time, they had come with a view to adopt a communist model of creating mayhem and to acquire matching arms training and psychological war-fare. While doing so, they, the frustrated block, might have, thought to muster pro-active support of China while the remnant NNC under Phizo would command the support of Christian countries through Michael Scott, Billy Graham and other foreign missionaries. The detractors of Phizo and his NNC perhaps thought that Christian forces mobilised by Phizo and communist forces to be mobilised by discontented group then under training in China, could join together against India. In fact, Smt Indira Gandhi had said during six rounds of talks in 1965 that she was prepared to give anything except sovereignty but NNC leaders refused. They did not mention anything about greater Nagaland. After their training in guerilla war-fare with special thrust on mountain and jungle fight, a separate guerilla organisation coined as National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) was formed in 1980 under deep influence of Chinese communism with Isak Chishi Swu (a Sema Naga from Nagaland) as its chairman, S.S. Khaplang (a Hemi Naga from Myanmar) as its vice-chairman and Thuingaleng Muivah (Tangkhul Naga from Ukhrul district of Manipur). When they sneaked into Bharatiya territory in Nagaland, a fierce fight between NNC and NSCN was the order of the day. This slaughter drama was also enacted in Naga inhabited areas of Myanmar.
The church and priests were the first causalities. Several churches were demolished and many Padris were killed. These factional fights were regularly reported in local English weeklies.
Though NNC was under Christian doctrine and NSCN was under communist influence, there was a section of guerillas in both the camps?NNC and NSCN?who had some quantum of influence of native ethos though dormant in their mind during eighties and nineties. This dormant influence of native Naga ethos handed down from generation to generation by Naga forefathers appears being revived and rejuvenated now. This section of Naga society found in NNC and both the NSCNs are presumably realising that by experience it appears to them that neither Christian model nor communist model has succeeded in resolving the problem. And in the process Naga society has suffered a huge loss in terms of life and property without any gain. If various survey reports informed through media from time to time pertaining to the adverse psychological effect on adolescent mind of young generation of insurgency affected communities are correct, the vital section of victim society is very badly affected.
They suffer a loss of enthusiasm to advance and climb up. In Nagaland, it is equally applicable to Naga youths of both the genders. Naga mothers and sisters are worst sufferers.
The independent thinkers, writers, reputed persons in the field of journalism and selfless Naga social workers (but never the NGO owners) though Christian by faith, have started preparing the profit and loss statement of adoption of Christianity followed by Naga insurgency. When they notice minus return against huge investment in terms of man, money, religion, culture and native ethos, they get bemused and disheartened. This type of independent thinkers are also in NNC and NSCN. This native Naga doctrine is also a force to reckon with. Thus, the present factional fight is not so simple to analyse. This is a tri-dimensional ideological war between Christianity, communism and native Naga doctrine. Nobody in the world can sail two boats at a time. But Nagas wish to sail three or more boats at a time. They wish to prove to be a devout Christian to please Christian countries; they want to prove that they are also staunch followers of communism (Maoism) to please China; they do not want to antagonise Hindustan as well because they will starve without the help of Hindustan. At the same time, they wish to preserve Naga identity.
The church leaders were once very respectable beyond doubt. The Christian people were obeying them. They (Naga Christians) genuinely repented for their mistakes in confession services in front of them in churches. But this is not so today. The forced conversion, programmes like Shisha Hoho, the church'sinsistence on declaration of Nagaland as dry state and their failure in the following same by themselves, their involvement in Naga insurgency and Naga politics in the state, partisan behaviours, greed of money, lack of spirituality and love for carnal pleasure etc have tarnished the image of Naga, deacons and pastors. Now, they are treated as simply paid servants with assigned duty to conduct church services and speak of Bible. This is the reason any call given by church leaders pertaining even to Naga reconciliation or church programmes is not taken seriously which was not so a decade ago. They have lost people'strust because they, themselves, don'tfollow what they ask others to abide.
Missionary work in Nagaland
With a view to show that they are also very busy in their ?holy? work, the church in Nagaland is engaged in training 10,000 Naga missionaries for saving Hindu souls in UP, Bihar, Bengal, Arunachal, Sikkim, Asom, Manipur and neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and China.
Same is the case with Naga political leaders. These selfish Naga political leaders are using different underground factions in winning elections and once they occupy the political throne they start repaying them.