‘Maj.’ (Retd) Kewongkhum Yimchunger, Education Kilonser, GPRN
24 May. 2013
I will make your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore the people will praise you forever and ever- Psalms 45:17. This was envisaged and foretold about the true and chosen leaders, empowered with the capacity to lead His people. Hence from the beginning the Nagas were free people, but due to barbarism even neighboring villages had communication gap as headhunting was the order of the day. The formation of Naga Club in 1918 brought about a new awakening. Then the Nagas submitted a memorandum to the British in 1920 to leave us alone to decide our fate when they leave. Then in 1946, Nagas took the nomenclature of Naga National Council (NNC). But since the Britishers and Indians turned deaf ear to our voice, a plebiscite was conducted in 1951 where 99.9% voted for sovereignty.
But, it was only in advanced Nagas under British administration. The excluded area (Tuensang) now under ENPO jurisdiction was free and was not included in India. It was only when the 4th president Dr. A. Z. Phizo Angami who came as a mobiliser in 1955, 24th of March at Huker village (Yimchungrü region) the Yimchungers also become one and merged with all the Nagas and started sharing the initiative of retaliation against any sort of external rule.
A plebiscite was conducted at Huker village on that day. Eastern Nagas expanding to the extent of Myanmar is now being upheld and looked after by His Excellency S.S. Khaplang, the president. He is known internationally but perhaps only 75% of the Nagas may know about him and his leadership. Hence, for those who don’t know him, I want to make him and his profile known. He is now settling and looking after Eastern Nagaland which is popularly known as Nagas of Myanmar with a measure of around twice the size of present Nagaland in India. Many people or partly may say many opinion for or against him but the core truth is that, this is for the entire Nagas and he works with the opinion that truth will always prevail and come to light.
In my personal opinion, as I have been working with him since the past few decades, I gladly declare that he is a faithful leader for collective leadership. His diplomacy with the neighboring countries and his systematic administration are some clear pictures where we see that his determination for Naga sovereignty and Naga inhabited area stands unshaken.
Mentioned below are some of his works, since 1940’s till date. The Eastern Nagas stood firm and defended the Naga political rights since 1946 by forming Naga National Convention (NNC) under the leadership of late Shamyan Ngaimong leading to the formation of political institution to fight against both the internal and external aggression. As the president of Naga National Convention, he took leave on health ground and the present presiden, His Excellency S.S. Khaplang was elected. This was on 5th Feb 1964 till the nomenclature of NNC was changed to Eastern Naga Revolutionary Council on 7th April 1965 and elected new president Chopah and assigned the present president to the post of vice president.
The political movement in Eastern part of Nagaland functioned under ENRC (Eastern Naga Revolutionary Council) for seven years and in the middle part of 1972 ENNC was formed with Noree as the president and S.S. Khaplang as the vice present respectively. Then, after two years in 1947, Noree was replaced by S.S. Khaplang on people’s mandate. At that time, ENNC ran exclusively for eastern part of Nagaland for five years. It was on 9th of March 1979, that it merged with NNC under the leadership of late Venuh as vice president Naga National Council and His Excellency S.S. Khaplang as the president of FGN (Federal Government of Nagaland).
However, under compelling situation, another merger was declared on 1st Jan 1980 with two NNC leaders Isak Swu, vice president and Th. Muivah general secretary. Then the betrayal agreement of infamous Shillong Accord in 1975 developed unrest in the western part of Nagaland, leading to an ugly political situation in the Naga political arena. The rank and file of NNC demanded its president late A.Z. Phizo to condemn the infamous accord, but he flatly refused. Thus the imbroglio began and disunity among Nagas developed. As the supreme authority lies with the people, the NNC leaders were compelled to take a hard step and condemn both NNC and its president late. A.Z Phizo.
Hence, for the salvation of the entire Nagas, an alternative political institution was set up in 1980, 21st March as National Socialist Council of Nagaland. It was formed in eastern Nagaland (Nagas of Myanmar) with vice chairman and Th. Muivah as general secretary. But unfortunately it split in 1988 under the cloud of confusion at Hangshen emergency meeting where Gen. Khole and SS. Khaplang were absent.
In that emergency meeting, Th. Muivah took unilateral decision for political dialogue with GoI with the agenda of solution within Indian constitution (one step from uncle Suisa’s proposal) which brought immeasurable confusion distrust among leaders. When India and Burma become sovereign nation on 15th August 1947 and 4th JAN 1948 respectively, to the dismay of the Nagas, the two newly formed nations divided Naga homeland into two i.e. India – Nagas and Burmese- Nagas. However Nagas of Burma did not join the union of Burma and continued its struggle for freedom.
Even today, Nagas of Eastern Nagaland do not remain away from Myanmar administration without proper state or state government. This is the zeal of the Nagas that the Nagas of both India and Myanmar unitedly should form a separate Nation. Since, Nagas are a nation; we got bilateral ceasefire with Myanmar (Burma) on 9th April 2012 at Khamti town (Naga HQ) and with GoI on 28th April 2001. Hence with this might of the Nagas, if the Nagas hold on to the truth, then that truth will make us free.