Unification move vis-à-vis Naga history

13th Jan. 2008 NPN

After the Naga National workers’ unification move, some certain section leaders have targeted Sumis in general, that is why I would like to share the historical background of Naga National movement, which is living with us, and how Sumis have sacrificed all for the common Naga cause.

The submission of a memorandum to Simon Commission in 1929 by Naga people in the name of Naga Club, gave birth to Naga’s fight for political right and self-rule, and later Naga people formed NNC/FGN and when the then British Government freed India, Nagas too under the NNC led by T Aliba declared Independence on August 14, 1947 (one day ahead of India).

And Nagas re-affirmed their right to remain independent by holding a Plebiscite on May 16, 1951, during the time when AZ Phizo was the NNC president and in which 99.9 Naga populace voted in favour of freedom.

After the Plebiscite, the Government of India poured in her military might to suppress the Naga freedom movement and thus began a long drawn-out conflict between the Naga people and Government of India (GoI).

In 1956, GoI declared the first ceasefire for ten days with NNC/FGN in Sema area because the battle was fiercely fought in Sumi area during that period of time for the Naga cause. The GoI side led by Lt Gen Thimaya while the NNC/FGN delegates led by Sumi Angh Kughato Sema held talks on Oct. 26, 1956, at Ghukiye IB Bungalow under Zunheboto district, where GoI tried to convince the Sumis to give up fighting in return for whatever demands the Sumis made.

But Sumis flatly rejected the offer of the GoI saying they were fighting on behalf of the whole Nagas and not Sumi tribe alone.

And so, after expiry of the 10-day ceasefire, the battle resumed with India.

During 1956-57 when Gen. Zuheto Sema was command-incharge of Eastern Naga areas, he assigned Lt. JP Vikugha Zhimomi and Div. Sgt Maj. Kikheto Achumi to mobilize some Eastern Naga areas, especially Tangkhuls and so about eighteen Tangkhuls were subsequently given political and military training and at the same time Tangkhul Region was established in 1957.

Late Phungtha was directly promoted to Captain and Late Garison as Lieutenant along with twelve arms and ammunitions. This was how Tangkhuls entered the Naga national movement.

The GoI declared ceasefire for the second time on Sept 6. 1964, between GoI and NNC/FGN, this time led by Late AZ Phizo as president and in the same year Th. Muivah joined the Naga movement and subsequently was appointed as general secretary of NNC/FGN.

During the period of this ceasefire, many round of talks was held but due to misunderstanding among the Naga national workers, nothing concrete came out and finally uncle Phizo’s group signed the Shillong Accord in 1975.

Leaders like Isak Chishi Swu and Th. Muivah condemned the signing of the Shillong Accord and termed it as a betrayal of Naga political right. On that issue, the Accordist forces arrested both Ino. Swu and Ino. Muivah on August 26, 1978, in Eastern Nagaland. After one month of detention, the two were finally rescued by Konyaks, Pangmies and some Sumi forces.

When the two leaders were freed, they moulded and shaped the Naga movement and the NSCN was eventually formed on Jan 31, 1980, and that is how the Naga movement was revived under the banner of NSCN/GPRN.

However, misunderstanding arose again among NSCN members leading to a crisis and then a split in the NSCN into two factions, with one group led by Isak Chishi Swu and Th. Muivah as chairman and general secretary respectively.

Swu and Muivah regrouped and continuously fought for Naga struggle and in 1989 at Ghokuto village under Dimapur district, all Sumis resolved to extend support to the two leaders in the fight for Nagas’ cause.

On July 28, 1997, the first ceasefire agreement between the GoI and NSCN (I-M) was signed effective from August 1, 1997, and subsequently the ceasefire was extended till the present.

During this period, more than sixty round of talks were held. During this time, the Naga International Support Centre (NISC) said that Nagas national workers should unite without any question in order to solve Naga problem. Even the GoI side also said the same thing, more or less. Not only that, the international peacekeepers also advised Nagas to be united for solution of their political problem.

In line with this, the NSCN/GPRN president Isak Chishi Swu first declared National Amnesty in 1999 and later again, the president declared Peace and Reconciliation among Naga National workers. That is why majority of committed national workers (army and civil set up) from both the NSCN factions started move for unification, based on the declaration of the NSCN president.

But among the National workers, some high authority of NSCN (I-M) misused and misinterpreted the president’s declaration and therefore killing among Naga brothers and sisters occurred with maximum casualty on both sides.

Again and again, all sections of Naga people approached the collective leaders for unification and so the Isak Swu again declared reconciliation on Jan. 13, 2007, at Hebron Camp.

In this connection, leaders from both factions moved for Naga unification, but due to the designs of some leaders, all the national workers could not move at the same time. However, the committed national workers led by Azheto Chophi had moved for unification as demanded by the people.

But certain sections living as self-styled leaders are labeling Sumis as betrayers and traitors without realizing that the Naga unification in the making is God’s will and people’s will. The question of betrayal and traitor therefore does not arise.

But as of now Nagas are moving for unification in order to achieve political dialogue and integration of all Naga areas.

If Nagas are not united, Naga political problem with India and Myanmar will never be solved. That is why unity is a must.

In the name of unity, the present negotiation of Naga political problem should not be disturbed, but it should go as it is.

Any community who oppose Naga unity are outcast from Naga society.

Ecclesiastes 3:3 mentions about a season for everything including a time to rebuild.

So this is the time for Nagas to rebuild our society unitedly to achieve our common goal and the Christian believers should think deeply and work together in order to avoid killing and bloodshed among our brothers.

Unity move is not an issue of leadership nor to discriminate any tribe. A nation without people cannot run its government because people are for the government and government is for the people.

Now I believe that the Naga people are with unification.

Among the national workers, many Christian leaders and believers must think this or would you like to gift this killing and gun culture to your children’s generation?

This is the time for us to rebuild our society from danger.

Dying men cannot work for his children or their future, but living men can work for the betterment of the present society and the future generation.

So, my brothers, when we are living we have to see our future and let us work together for oneness – one government, one party – and let us not give chance to media and other people to write of such divisions like NSCN (I-M), NSCN (K), NNC (A), NNC (P) or FGN (S), but let us work together and let them be one and only one, to lead the Naga nation.

 

Hokugha Achumi,

Deputy Kilonser & Spokesman,

GPRN/ NSCN

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