Nagas the Asoms (Ahoms)
God the crea-tor, created Assam and Nagaland to be neighbours till the end of time. Ahoms have a country of their own to live in; the Nagas too have a country of their own. The Ahoms came from Burma through the Naga territories. The Nagas fought with the Ahoms who tried to enter the Assam country through Naga countries. But King Sukhapa managed to pass through the Naga country and entered Assam.
During the Ahom rule of Assam the relationship of the Ahoms and the Nagas was only the conflicts over salt lake but mostly good relationship was maintained. the Ahom rulers in order to contain the raids of the Nagas in the plain arrears of their Kingdom, constructed a road along the boundary of Nagas and Ahoms, known as the Dodar Ali and Ladiogarh embankment as the final boundary between the Ahoms and the Nagas.
The British Government fought in the Anglo – Burmese war in 1824 and defeated the Burmese. This was the final annexation of Assam to British Empire. So the expansion of the British rule was from West Assam first then, the Naga hills was included as a district of Assam province from 1886 to 1947 – both Naga Hills and Assam were under the British rule.
When the British transferred the political power to the new Indian Government they gifted Naga Hills to the Indian Government which was rejected by the Nagas.
All the reserve forest along the boundary of Nagaland and Assam have been transferred out of Naga Countries – by official notifications. What the Assamese friends do not realize is that the transfer of the forests was merely for the administrative convenience and not the transfer of ownership of the lands and the forest to Assam. These belonged to the Nagas from the day of creation and it will remain so for all time to come. The Nagas have never taken an inch of land belonging to the Assamese people. As long as we were both the subjects of the British, the Nagas have raised objections against the transfer of the forests which were transferred out of the then Naga Hills to Assam. But the Nagas wanted the Government of India to physically handover all the forests, contiguous areas and tea gardens transferred back to Nagaland, now that Nagaland is no longer a part of Assam. This is our legitimate right to claim our land and forests, the ancestral heritage of the Nagas. The Assam side maintains that the 1925 forest boundary be made the Revenue Boundary between Assam and Nagaland. This is absurd and atrocious. This is a violation Of the 16 – Point Delhi Agreement of 1960.
Till now, the Nagas have scrupulously maintained the good neighborly policy of Live And Let Live. If they are pressed hard back to the wall they will react otherwise. Let good sense prevail on both sides. The restoration of the 1886 – 89 British Inter District Boundary along the Dodar Ali and Ladoigarh embankment demarcated by boundary Pillars of triangular shape and letter ‘P’ is written, should be restored to the Nagas as Immediately as possible. Nagas have no land dispute because even if some districts in Assam have been given the administrative control and responsibility especially after 1925 reforms, the land owners never ever ceased to be the real owners of the forest on the surface and everything beneath the earth including the tea gardens and had not ceased to be the owners even for a moment.
The revenue District of Nagaon and Sibsagar etc., were never given the ownership over the land, forests and tea gardens in the question to the Assam Government and the people.
These were never acquired and compensation paid for at anyone time. These are Naga ancestral lands from time immemorial, these belong to the Nagas now and forever. We do not want anything, we want our land back only. Can anyone dispute our lands and forest, the tea garden areas and the oil and other materials underneath our own lands? The fact is when the British Government decided to shift the administrative office from ASALU to SAMAGTING and formed the Naga Hills District in 1886, the British Govt did respect the existing customary between Ahoms and Nagas.
The boundary of Naga Hills was clearly demarcated on the ground and on the map. The three cornered boundary pillars with the letter ‘P’, were erected along the boundary Generally following the DODAR ALI and LADIOGARH EMBANKMENT which was the Naga – Ahom boundary.
As early as 1929 the Nagas had asked the British Government to return the lands, forests, teagardens and everything that were beneath the earth to the Nagas the actual owners. During the signing of the 16 Point Agreement with India, this was agreed to in principle and it was agreed by the Government of India to do the formalities after the State of Nagaland became a State. The return of a thing to a legitimate owner is not a dispute. If The whole thing is just that, then why is the objection? The people of Assam cannot take these things as a political heritage from the British because these did not belong to them At no point of time.
They have gone now, what they took from the Nagas must come back to the natural and actual owners – The Nagas.
R.C Chiten Jamir. source:http://nagalandpost.com/leisuredesc.asp?sectionID=45160