An understanding friend of the Nagas

Six Prime Ministers have visited Nagaland. But none of them, including Narendra Modi, has found as much space in the heart of the Nagas as Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It was not just because Vajpayee was the first Prime Minister to recognise the “unique history of the Nagas” and provide a development package. His choice of words at a public reception in the State capital Kohima on October 28, 2003, endeared him to the people who — because of years of separatism — had never thought highly of “Indian” leaders. His opening line in Nagamese, the State’s lingua franca , translated into: “My dear brothers and sisters, I am very happy to be in your midst on the soil of Nagaland.” The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland also recalled the role Mr. Vajayee played in taking the Naga peace process forward. “During his leadership, the unique history and situation of the Nagas was officially recognised by the Government of India on July 11, 2002,” it said on Thursday.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/an-understanding-friend-of-the-nagas/article24721263.ece

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