|5th Jan. 2008|
(Speech delvered by Kedahge Gen. Retd. Viyalie Metha on Jan. 3)
Every year, the 3rd of January is observed as the Naga Army Day by the Naga Army ever since its raising day on 3rd January, 1964 by the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN). The raising of the Naga Army was rooted on a very noble and humble foundation by patriotic Nagas in defense of Nagaland against the aggressor India. We thank the Almighty God, who bestowed the Nagas with inherent spirit of the will to defend our sovereign country. On this day, and every day, Nagaland shall honour and salute all those who fought against the invading forces of both Indian and Myanmar(Burmese).
India launched an undeclared war on Nagaland in 1954 with the sole intention of invading Nagaland. Upon which, Nagas were left with no choice but to defend the sovereignty of Nagaland and honour of the Nagas. Thus, brave and courageous Nagas of both men and women rose to the occasion in defense of our land and people from every village by forming the Naga Safe Guard under the command of Gen. Thongti, Chang. The Naga Safe Guard engaged in tough fighting against the numerous and superior arm strength of the Indian Armed Forces. It was a war, where many Nagas gave their precious lives as volunteer force of the Naga Safe Guards.
The Indo-Naga war inflicted heavy toll of deaths and various kinds of atrocities on the Nagas. Besides, villages and granaries were burnt – many villages were repeatedly burnt even after re-establishment. These horrible acts of genocide launched by India continued unabated in Nagaland hidden from the outside world. Therefore, in order to effectively resist these horrible acts of India, the Naga Safe Guard was raised to the Naga Home Guard in 1956, with Gen. Kaito Sukhai as the Commander-in-Chief. As desired and expected, the Naga Home Guard fought fearlessly against the strong invading Indian Armed Forces.
Like any other sovereign state, Nagaland as a sovereign nation and a country cannot do without a standing army to defend and protect its country and its citizens. This requirement was formally done on January 3, 1964 by transforming the Naga Home Guard to the Naga Army, with Gen. Mowu Gwizan as the first Commander-in-Chief.
Like any other country, the FGN had undertaken Good Will Alee(Foreign) Mission to strengthen friendly relationship with Foreign countries where the Naga Army were also assigned and entrusted to go outside Nagaland. In most of the Good Will Alee trips Naga Army succeeded in its entrustments taking great risk of life in the interest of Naga people and Nagaland. And it remains to do so if the government requires us to act. And uptill now Naga Army continues to stand to deliver defense services for Nagaland and its people.
We all know that the Naga National Workers under the banner of the NNC and FGN could maintain Peace and Unity in past years as far as possible. And the war that broke out in 1954 between the two peoples, India and Nagaland were brought to a halt where the chosen church leaders of NBCC did its best to create Nagaland Peace Mission and the Nagaland Peace Council. In brief we have rich experiences to humbly handle all kinds of situation. We thank the Almighty God Who protects and guides us all through these years.
Truly we are very unfortunate that today in Nagaland the situation turned into a very different and more ugly situation owing to both internal and external elements However, it will not pull on like this endlessly. We are hopeful that a time will surely come to make use of our rich past experiences to restore normalcy and peace that will open the way to strengthen the nation.
Let us work together to overcome every falsehood and every aggressor acts by honestly and boldly upholding national foundation and International behaviour and conduct that may be acceptable before God.
May God Bless Nagaland.
Kedahge Gen. (Retd.) Viyalie Metha,