Naga Movement In Manipur: Its Genesis And Impact On State Politics

Over the decades, the Naga integration movement has predictably served to catalyze and consolidate oppositional democratic politics along ethnic lines and furthering hill-valley divide in Manipur. This trend has exacerbated in the last decade as NSCN-IM seems to seek a negotiating leverage from the deepening hill-valley divide.

Naga integration (or South Nagalim) movement which captured public discourse after the June Uprising in 2001 in Manipur has a long genesis. In a manner of speaking, its roots can be traced as far back as 1929, whereby the Simon Commission responded to a memorandum signed by Nihu Angami and 19 other members of Kohima Club (a forum for interaction with British officials that was established in 1881), granted “Excluded Area” tag to some areas of Naga Hill District. In 1945, Kohima Club metamorphosed into the Naga Hill District Council (NHDC) and, later in 1946, into the Naga National Council under the initiative of Angami Zapu Phizo. These events in Nagaland impressed upon the contiguous tribal areas of Manipur, particularly Mao sub-division of Manipur North District. The gradual influence from the neighboring state of Nagaland was witnessed among the Mao Nagas. Athiko Daiho1 was the pioneer of this Naga integration movement in Manipur.

Seed of Restlessness in Manipur

During 1945–46, Manipur witnessed a political turning point when many leaders of different political parties came to know of a British plan to give freedom to the princely kingdoms. Many leaders wanted Manipur to form a democratic country, while some wanted constitutional monarchy. Political parties like Praja Samelini, Praja Mandal, and Manipur State Congress pressed the demand for establishing a legislative assembly. On November 20, 1946, the then king of Manipur, Maharaja Bodhachandra, declared the formation of a constitution-making committee with 21 representative members of the hills and the valley people. Later, Manipur State Durbar was dissolved on July 1, 1947, and Manipur State Council was established on the same day.2

By 1946, there were some voices from the Mao area of Manipur for secession of Naga-inhabited areas from the state, though not from India. A memorandum was submitted to the Governor of Assam by the khullakpas (village chiefs) and elders of the Mao Nagas, mentioning that their “people would be humiliated if the British officers make them to step in Manipur state and their administration is put directly under the Manipur State Durbar.” They also asserted that except for “occasional inroads of the Manipuris in very limited hill villages, the Manipuri Maharaja had never subjugated the hill villages in pre-British days” and that they “were quite independent.” So they requested the Governor “to make their hills a directly British controlled territory as the other neighboring hill districts with whom they share common customs, traditions, social organizations, etc.”3 In 1947, under the leadership of Phizo, Naga National Council (NNC) had emerged and demanded independent Nagaland for Naga-inhabited areas of Tuensang from Arunachal Pradesh and Mao from Manipur. Phizo might have believed that his demands could strengthen with the involvement of Naga people of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. He was later joined by Athiko Daiho.4

During the drafting of Manipur Constitution, Daiho strongly argued that the hill tribes should have the right to secede from the state after five years. His proposal was rejected.5 Another major step towards Naga unification was circulation of a document by Daiho in September 1948 “to a select circle of influential leaders” who dealt with future Naga situation in view of the approaching British departure. He explained his contention from many points of view. Historically, Manipur hills had probably been taken under state administration immediately after 1891, and that though “there might be irregular and occasional inroads of the Manipuri kings’ forces in the hills on its way to Dimapur, Silchar or Burma and might possibly have taken spoils from the surrounding villages of the paths,” the hills were “not formally conquered and no regular levy or tribute was paid by the Hills to the then king of Manipur.”6 About the then Hill administration he said, “Hills cadre is separate from that of the state proper, Valley. The Hill administration is run by the President of Manipur State Durbar. So, Hills matters do not come under the State Durbar as a whole.” From a political point of view, he said that though the hills comprised 7/8th of the total area of the state, its inhabitants will always be a minority in Manipur as their population comprised roughly 2/5th of the whole population. This problem, he insisted, was “created” by accidental political distribution of boundaries at the advent of the British.”7 He further expressed his fear that if the hills of the Manipur forms a part of Manipur state, the inhabitants of the hills would be in a socially inferior position amongst the “more educated and civilized” Hindus.

Therefore, he wanted the “British officers of the Hills who are acquainted with Hill opinions” to decide the hills’ future or that a “plebiscite of Hill men be summoned on elected or nominated representative basis of one man in every 1000 people and decide.”8 Thus what he desired was either (i) a federal Hills formed by “Lushai Hill, Somra Tract, Chin HillsNaga Hills, etc.,” or (ii) that the hills of Manipur “be formed into a separate district by itself directly under the provincial control,” or (iii) that the different parts of the hills may be disintegrated and joined with Naga Hills, North-Cachar HillsLushai Hills, Chin Hills and Somra Tract according to convenience.9

Simultaneously with the demand for secession of Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur, two different and contesting political trends were also noticeable amongst the Nagas. One was represented by the Naga chiefs and their allies who had not changed their traditional values and outlook. The other trend was represented by the educated Christian Nagas who had distanced themselves from their root/past and were quite conscious of the then changing situation all around.

The educated Christian Nagas decided not to join the Interim Council of Manipur. This stand followed the removal of the clause “‘Right to Freedom of Action’ after five years” from the final draft of the Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947. The said provision was seen by these Christian Nagas as “right to secession” from Manipur as well as from India.10 When this clause was ultimately removed, they began toying with the idea of secession of Naga areas of Manipur from the state as well as from India. On August 14, 1947 some Nagas in Kohima had declared independence for the Nagas of Manipur hills and Cachar, and that they were “negotiating to join Pakistan Dominion on suitable terms.”11

A meeting of Manipur Hills Special Conference, held at Imphal on August 14, 1947, demanded that since India is going to be free, all parts of it and the people thereof must be allowed to run the government. But it did not mention secession either from Manipur or India.12 Meanwhile, the NNC at Kohima tried to interfere in the Naga problem in Manipur. Having closely observed the situation in Manipur, the President of NNC wrote to the Maharaja of Manipur:

The political upheaval of the hill people in your state has attracted the keenest interest and close attention of the Naga National Council. Surely the National Council attaches very great importance to the fact that, through no fault of ours, that “upheaval” has directly touched the root of our National Council. As hill men we have interest in them; as neighbor, we are equally interested in your people and your state. Naturally, as a freedom fighting organization the NNC observes, with great sympathy, all the freedom fighting forces.13

Hailing the development as “a natural corollary of national consciousness” and their right to secession as a “reasonable demand,” the President of NNC expressed his belief that Maharaja would lose no time in granting the demand thereby paving the way of good will between the hills and the valley and also the state and the NNC as a whole.”14 Maharaja asked the Chief Minister to take urgent action, but the Chief Minister replied that “the Council has not been recognized by the state and is not of the state. No action need be taken.”15 This indifference of the authority made Daiho retrace his stand of secession from India. In a resolution of Naga National League (NNL) under his president-ship, Daiho stated that the organization shall primarily speak on behalf of the Nagas of Manipur but pledged itself to stand together with other hill tribes in the state as well as outside it in order to demand self-determination of the hill peoples in general without in any way injuring the general interests of Assam or India.16 The main idea of the League was unity of all the Naga tribes as well as the non-Naga tribes of the state and work out their future according to the inclination, wishes and aspirations of the respective tribes. It also aimed to “bring together under one district administration the different scattered, allied tribes who happened to be in different districts of Assam but contiguous in area.”17 The term “self-determination” mentioned in the resolution was defined as “consolidation of tribes of the same stock under the district administrations in order to facilitate working of the future of that tribe who happen to be scattered living under different districts but contiguous in area.”18

Another memorandum was also submitted to Sardar Patel, the then Deputy Prime Minister of India, on January 24, 1948 by A. Daiho and N. Modoli of NNL along with some Mao Naga chiefs and headmen. The memorandum opined that the conservation “of their culture, tradition, customary right, usages and political practices” would not be possible if the Naga people and their contiguous geography were placed under different influences and policies.”19 They insisted that “on the basis of linguistic provinces and consolidation of the same stock of people” the Nagas of different areas but contiguous in geography should be consolidated under one administrative unit and that nothing short of this demand would be acceptable to the Nagas of Manipur.

As no positive response was received from the Government of India (GoI) and Government of Manipur, a “Provisional Government” was set up in order to start various agitations. As the first strategy, a no-house-tax campaign was started. In the following month, Daiho declared himself as leader of the Mao Nagas and did not pay tax to the state government. Instead, tax was collected by him for the Provisional Government.20 His followers indulged in subversive activities by way of violating state rules. They forcibly broke through the Mao Gate and allowed lorries full of potato to cross the state gate without paying duties, even seized members of the state police and tortured them.21

On March 9, 1948, Daiho submitted a memorandum to the Government of India arguing that his movement was “not at all communal, but broadly based on linguistic provinces of India,” and they wanted to secure their “due rights and liberties within free India as a freedom loving people.” Further, NNL Secretary K. Sashipri sent a letter to the Secretary, Ministry of State, New Delhi, expressing that A. Daiho may enter into an agreement with the Government of India on behalf of the Mao and other allied Nagas of Manipur in connection with their right to self-determination. Daiho was arrested but released on August 26, 1948 by Chief Minister of Manipur M.K. Priyobarta. Later when Daiho refused to appear before the Hill Bench of Manipur Court, the state authority rushed to arrest Daiho. War cries were heard on the arrival of the police with the crowd gesticulating and shouting anti-state slogans. An attempt to peacefully arrest Daiho failed as the mob did not allow the authority to pass through the barricades they had built. Assam Rifles took to force with lathi charge. After about 50 minutes, mob became very tense, and as soon as the police confirmed that some unlicensed arms were to be used by the followers of Daiho from the nearby jungle, Assam Rifles opened fire resulting in two deaths and two wounded. Later, Daiho along with Medoli and Loili were arrested from the area. They were later kept in Calcutta jail.22 Their arrest had greatly demoralized the followers. Meanwhile, an event of historical significance was building up. Manipur was merged into India in 1949, thus diverting the first movement for the Naga integration or secession of Naga inhabited areas from Manipur for the time being.

Threat to Territorial Integrity of Manipur

The threat to territorial integrity of Manipur started around 1946 with the upsurge of ethnic secessionism. Mao Nagas started an agitation to integrate Mao areas with Nagaland. In Manipur, there were two agitations after 1947. One was Hmar Movement for the merger with Lushai Hills as inspired by the Mizo Union of the Lushai Hill District. The other was that of Naga People’s League which stood for the independence of Nagas in Mao area of northern Manipur. But other Nagas and Kukis of Manipur did not participate in these movements. The Nagas of Manipur did not participate in the plebiscite of 1951 which was regarded as the bedrock of Naga independence movement. Their non-participation in the plebiscite was regarded as a unique feature of the politics of the Nagas of Manipur.23

The demand for integration of Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur was influenced by Phizo, the pioneer of Naga revolutionary group Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN), who demanded independent Nagaland. Peace talks were started on the issue after a ceasefire agreement was clinched between the FGN and Government of India in 1964. The next peace attempt in 1975 (Shillong Accord) between the FGN and the Government of India was thwarted by Th. Muivah and Isak Swu. The latter two along with Khaplang formed another revolutionary group, National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) in 1980 with Isaac Swu as President, Khaplang as Vice-President and Th. Muivah as General Secretary, marking a new phase in the Naga independence movement. The year 1988 saw NSCN breaking up into two factions: NSCN–IM led by Isak Swu and Th. Muivah, and NSCN–K by Khaplang.

With the emergence of NSCN-IM, the demand for independent Nagalim, or integration of Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur into a new state, or to form a “Southern Nagaland” comprising the districts of Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong of Manipur got a new impetus. NSCN-IM made public its vision of a “Greater Nagaland” comprising of 1,20,000 sq. km. by expanding the present 16,579 sq. km. of Nagaland. The expanded area includes four districts of Manipur (mentioned above), five districts of Assam (parts of Sibsagar, Golahgat, Jorhat, Karbi Anglong, North Cachar Hill districts) and two districts of Arunachal Pradesh (Tirap and Changlong), with a section of Myanmar territory.24

While NSCN-K has remained focused on sovereignty for the Nagas, NSCN-IM seems to have scaled down their goal from sovereignty to “Greater Nagalim” and/or federal relations with India. Many Naga elite groups and some civil society organizations have condemned NSCN-IM’s flexible demands as sacrifice of the movement and devaluing those whose lives were sacrificed in course of the long struggle for a sovereign Nagaland. The gulf between different factions seems to be increasing day by day. Without a peaceful settlement between the two major factions, larger peace settlement seems a distant dream.

In several phases of the peace talk, the Government of India has seemingly, so far, taken cognizance of the general feeling of the people in Assam and Manipur, particularly on the issue of reshaping the existing state boundaries and shelved the demand for “Greater Nagalim” for the time being, at least.

Naga Integration and State Politics in Manipur

Though the movement for integration of Naga-inhabited areas started in 1946 in Mao area of Manipur, this became an important political issue in the state politics of the late 1960s. One of the most prominent political leaders amongst those who gained political mileage out of the issue, Rishang Keishing25 carried forward the movement with overt and covert agendas. Though the root of the Naga movement was germinated by Daiho at Mao, it was nurtured by Keishing with the formation of the Naga Integration Council at the fag end of the 1960s. With this politics in tow, Keishing could create a record of sorts by winning state assembly elections (from Phungyar assembly constituency) consecutively from 1972 to 2000.

The Naga Integration Council, formed with the aim of promoting integration of Naga-inhabited areas, was later converted into United Naga Integration Council in 1972. Not long after, the UNIC merged with the Congress Party taking assurance from the Congress to support the integration movement. Since then, Keishing has carried forward the Naga agenda as a political weapon to build up his political career. Incidentally, he was the longest serving Chief Minister of Manipur (1983-1997) until he was removed in 1997.

The political dialogue between the Government of India and NSCN-IM has crossed a decade, but it has not progressed much. Largely, this was due to the delaying tactics of the Government of India. Both the parties do not seem to be sincere in their approach, though both make claims of progress and sincerity. The Government of India has been making dual commitment both to the people of Manipur and Assam, as well as to the Naga “national” leaders. It seems that political leaders at the Centre, unable to find any amicable solution, are so far engaging in delaying tactics. On the other side, NSCN-IM merrily continues all their routine activities like taking illegal taxes from the vehicles, demanding huge amounts from the capitalist and business community and other forms of violent extortion except engaging the Indian armed forces militarily. The Government of India finds it convenient to look away from all these goings-on instead of enforcing its writ for maintaining law and order.

In the meanwhile, the pot of factional feud and hostility among Naga militant groups is kept boiling. In the circumstances, mutual recognition and reconciliation amongst the NSCN-IM, NSCN-K, and NNC become all the more daunting.

In Manipur, though, several Naga civil society organizations loyal to NSCN-IM have started implementing new strategies of organizing democratic movements since 2000.  The United Naga Council (UNC) and allied organizations staged a number of unity rally in the hill districts of Manipur and Nagaland. Bandhs, strikes, blockades, and non-cooperation movements26 of various kinds mark the main components of the new movement that is seemingly aimed at affecting public order and hopefully, earning leverage for a peace settlement with NSCN-IM.

Gradually, as a new strategy, NSCN-IM is seemingly entering into state politics, directly or indirectly, by reversing its pre-ceasefire stand of boycotting and banning elections in the hill districts. The State Assembly election of 2002 saw the NSCN-IM backing specific candidates. This was done to strengthen the peace process and also to achieve some political points for negotiation. Then, again, the organization initiated the consolidation of Naga politicians supporting “integration” through the UNC. On the eve of the 2002 election, the Naga candidates had taken an “undertaking” to contribute to the Naga consolidation and integration movement. Thus, the Naga problem has become a major political issue for the entire state. The same policy was continued in the next State Assembly election of 2007, with the UNC instructing the Naga candidate aspirants not to be candidate of a national party, condemning particularly the ruling Congress high command’s attitude and its delaying tactics.

Conclusion

Opposition parties’ attack of ruling party is a common phenomenon in democratic politics; but the mode of consolidation of the opposition in recent times carries certain significance in the state politics of Manipur. The Naga integration movement continues to play a major catalyst in this respect leaving no stone unturned in its efforts germinate and consolidate oppositional democratic politics along ethnic lines and furthering hill-valley divide in Manipur.

In the foreseeable future, too, there will be no dearth of leaders and organizations to keep the pot of Naga integration politics boiling. The price for this obsessive agenda of the NSCN-IM will be pushing two equally important agenda of the Naga struggle – one, ending of hostility among the three factions (NSCN-IM, NSCN-K and NNC), and, two, a more comprehensive and sincere engagement with/ by the Government of India – on the back-burner. This, of course, is easier said than done. Future of Naga politics in the state of Manipur, and the region as a whole, lies in the dynamics of this engagement

NOTES & REFERENCES:

1. Daiho was a Mao Naga leader (member of Manipur Constitution Drafting Committee and later Minister of Finance during Territorial Council 1963 and also elected as MLA from Karong AC in 1972, 1st Assembly election after statehood.

2 Irom Khamba Singh, “Manipurgi Houkhraba Leingaklon (since 1891)” in Voice of People’s Democracy; vol. 1, 53rd Anniversary Souvenir; Imphal: PDF, 2002, p. 55.

3 A memorandum was submitted by the Khullakpas, Gouburas and elders of the Mao Nagas to the Governor of Assam, apparently, when he visited Mao on Jan 2, 1946.

4    A. Ibobi, “Manipurgi Ngamkheida Pirakpa Cheitheng V-1,” Poknapham, November 2, 2005.

5    Gangmumei Kamei, “Ethnicity and Politics in Manipur,” in Selected Writings on Issue of Identity, Imphal: Imphal Free Press 8th year of publication, 2003, p. 36

6    A. Daiho, “My views on the tendency of future Hills administration of Manipur or Demand of the Hills,” General People, September 5, 1946.

7    Ibid.

8    Ibid.

9    Ibid.

10 Proceedings of a meeting of hill men held on Aug 13, 1947, at Imphal under the chairmanship of R. Suisa, quoted in S. Mangi, A Study on Selected Socio-Political Problems in Manipur (1947–80), unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Department of Political Science, Manipur University, p. 344.

11 Telegram from President of Naga state, Kohima to the Maharaja of Manipur on August 14, 1947, in S. Mangi, A Study on Selected Socio-Political Problems in Manipur (1947–80), p. 345.

12 Ibid., p. 346.

13 Ibid.

14 Ibid.

15 Ibid.

16 Memorandum dated January 20, 1946 signed by N. Modoli and A. Daihom, President of NNL, Ibid., p. 347.

17 Ibid.

18 Ibid.

19 Ibid., p. 349.

20 Shillong Times, September 3, 1948.

21 S. Mangi, A Study on Selected Socio-Political Problems in Manipur (1947–80), p. 349.

22 Ibid., p. 350.

23 Gangmumei Kamei, “Ethnicity and Politics in Manipur,” p. 37.

24 R.K. Mani, “A Reflection on the Indo-NSCN-IM Cease-fire Extension,” in R.K. Mani (ed.), For Our Tomorrow: Perspectives on Naga Ceasefire in Manipur, SILYA, 2001, p. 27.

25 Rishang Keishing, a Tangkhul Naga, is known as the longest serving Chief Minister of Manipur.

26  Those forms of protests manifest in specific forms, such as including nonpayment of hill house tax, longest blockade against June uprising holiday, textbook issue, school affiliation issue, banning Meitei script and entertainment elements in the hill areas, replacing signboards of district head quarters in “South Nagaland,” etc.

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*The paper is written by Laitonjam Muhindro Singh

source: manipuronline

50 Years of statehood and the forgotten heroes

BY: I.S. Phom,Dimapur.:    24 Nov. 2013 3:05 AM IST

Blessed be the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Come 1st December and Nagaland will be celebrating its 50th year of statehood. Although Nagaland Sate is in a pathetic state, nevertheless it calls for a celebration. We all know that there are many things to talk about our State. Many excellent writings on topics like terrible roads, corruption, taxation etc etc have been published in our daily local papers. All these topics are no doubt serious matters. However while we are wrestling with these problems in

Nagaland are we are forgetting something very important a “Historic Event” in the History of Nagaland?
I would like to take the privilege to talk about the almost forgotten or actually forgotten heroes of Nagaland state also know as ex. Interim Body Members (exIBM) 1961-1963. The brave and humble souls, the heroes of Nagaland who gave their sweat blood and tears for the foundation of Nagaland State.  Ok now you remember.

It may be shocking news for the people of Nagaland but some of the Interim body members of 1961 are still alive and kicking today. They are the “living fossils” of Nagaland. Sadly, many have passed away. I had the rarest of  rare privilege to meet few of the living Interim body members of 1961-1963. I also had a wonderful opportunity to listen to their testimonies of hard and testing time they and their friends (other IBM’s) went through in order to bring the Statehood into existence. I thank God for the opportunity. I would like to share what they shared with me about what they went through to bring Statehood for Nagas. I believe it will be a precious insight for all the Nagas specially the younger generation to know a little about the Interim body members. I hope it will raise love, respect and concern for the ex Interim body member “the forgotten heroes of Nagaland”. What could be more fitting than to talk about the heroes who ushered Statehood as we are just few days away from celebrating 50th year of Nagaland  Statehood in 1st December.

In the third and last Naga Peoples convention which was held at Mokokchung in 1959. The drafting committee formulated the Sixteen Point agreement, which they submitted to the Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. In agreement with the 16 point agreement, an interim body was formed in February 18,1961. The state of Nagaland Act 1962 provided for the formation of a separate State we know today as Nagaland State. On 1st December 1963 Nagaland officially became the 16th State of India.

It was no doubt a great moment in history for Nagas to have a State of their own. However, only the interim body members knew the risk they took upon themselves for achieving that goal. They knew very well that they were putting their lives, the lives of near and dear ones at risk in accepting Statehood. Nevertheless, the brave souls took up the yoke of suffering and pain and accepted Statehood. After Nagaland became a State almost all of the Interim body Members spent many sleepless nights due to fear of being shot by the underground. Most of them slept at army camps. During day time they would go around with their duties but during night they became prisoners confined within the walls of army camp. Many Interim body members escaped life attempts on them.

To name a few Mr.T.Kikon, (1961-1963), Dr.Imkongliba Ao  (1961-1963),Mr.M.Hepong Phom (1961-1963). Some Interim body members were not fortunate like Shri. Buding Phom ex IBM who became an Interim body member on May1962 was assassinated the same year on 29 August 1962 and Dr. Imkongliba Ao was  assassinated on 24th Aug 1961 by our own Nagas. Even some young people lost their lives as they were accidentally shot while accompanying the Interim body members. Who remembers those precious lives lost? They were someone’s father, someone’s husband, and someone’s son.

It is because of their sacrifice that today Naga MLA and Minister can sleep peacefully at night without the fear of being shot by someone. The only sleepless night they may be having could be because of wrong they might have committed to the public, and therefore their conscience may be haunting them depriving them of their precious sleep. Today Naga politicians can move freely at any time of the day and night without the fear of being shot. The freedom enjoyed by our Naga politicians today was bought with a heavy price; some had to pay it with their precious lives. Naga Politicians how would you like to thank them for the freedom you enjoy today

The Interim Body Member walked from one village to the other village and even district to district on foot. Some were fortunate to travel on horses. Very few were fortunate enough to get jeep. The sacrifice they made has brought Nagaland to a position where Politician in Nagaland no longer walks on foot but on the latest cars available in the market. Naga Politicians how would you like to thank them for replacing “on foot and horses” tours to the “SUV’ or the “latest vehicle” and air-conditioned Tours?
During their term as Interim body member, they did not use the Government money for free hand outs to the public neither did they stock up cash for themselves.  They used it for the specific purpose. After using the required amount for state development all the remaining  money sanctioned for State Development were returned untouched back to the Government.

After their service as Interim body member they were paid Rs 200 per month as their pension. Even back in 1960’s Rs 300 was not enough. Many people came for help to them even after their time as interim body member was over. To get a rough picture of that time Imagine how many people you see when you go to visit a minister or a VIP at his office today and multiply it by 10.  Having a heart of compassion for the public even after their term as Interim body member they continued to help the public in anyway they could finalays and morally. Most of them had to borrow money from relatives and neighbors and even sell their lands to help those who came to them for help. This ultimately put them in a position where they had to get food to feed the family on credit from the Grocery shops. Today after 50 years of Statehood only very few surviving interim body members are getting Rs.25,000/- It has been only few years since their pension was raised to Rs 25,000/. There salary were stately from Rs300- Rs25,000 in about 50 years. I am sure not many would have imagined that they would live so long. It is truly the blessing of God that they are alive still today.

 

Almost all of the ex.IBM’s did not have a vehicle and even most of them even today do not own a vehicles. Even Today they travel by auto Rickshaw and taxi packed with passengers and night super buses. After they reach their destination, they usually take bed rest for a day or two to regain their strength from the journey. They say when they see Ministers and MLA’s zooming by in their nice cars they just watch them. They did not tell me but I could sense that they wished they had a nice vehicle too. I mean a person with some amount of sense would like to have one of those SUV’s our politicians ride. The truth is if I was a living ex.IBM and was in good helath, and had sacrificed like them I would  knock every available Government department doors to get me one of those nice BLACK SUV. However, I am not an ex. IBM so I will have to live without one.
I am not saying that they need to be given a private jets and choppers service. Think Nagas what do they deserve for their honesty? Even sadder is that most of them even today  travel on borrowed money  to get to Kohima or distance places. Most of their children are graduate’s and post-graduates without any job’s like Government  Job or even no cash to start a business therefore their children still today depend on them for financial support. In simple language, our living founding members of “Nagaland State” are financially “broke” and are living from “hand to mouth.” After all the sacrifice for  Nagaland what have we given them? What has the Government of Nagaland given these heroes? Does our Government even know that few of our heroes are still alive?

Chief Minister of Nagalnd Shri Nephio Rio who was also the president of Olympic Association and the Nagaland Archery Association announced cash award of Rs.25 Lakh and promises Rs. 1 Crore to a Naga Olympian Chekrovolü Swuro if she won any metal. Although she did not win any medal she was awarded a cash incentive of Rs 25 lakh as promised by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. Well it seems our Chief Minister is a man who keeps his promise “occasionally”. She was also promised double-promotion from Sub-Inspector (SI) to Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in acknowledgement of her achievements as the State’s only woman Olympian. I thought double promotion only happened in schools how ignorant of me.

Well the point is that the Interim Body Members of 1961-1963 some of them who are still alive today  won more than “gold metal” they won the “State of Nagaland” for the whole Nagas’ and they put Nagaland  on the map of the world. Tell me how much of cash price these IBM should be given in acknowledgement of their achievements for winning a “State” for the “people of Nagaland” say 25laks or 1crore or 1million or 10 million each? How much of cash have they been awarded? Have they been ever acknowledged for their achievements and sacrifice?  How many of their sons or daughter been awarded double promotion at job or were even offered a job? When will the people of Nagaland honor them? Am I right when I say it is all right to honour a “Naga Olympian”, and that it is all right in God’s sight to honor our ex Interim body Members or say our “Naga Interim Olympians”

Just recently when State Health and welfare Minister Azo Nienu found out that 13 members out of the 34 members of cultural trop that performed before Queen Elizabeth II during the Prime Ministership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru were still alive. Azo Nienu himself personally honored the cultural troupe at his residence. Now that’s a real gentlemen. They did not ask for it, without being asked Azo Nienu honored them. Now it is clear some of the Interim body members are still alive. The question is will they be honored like the living 13 members of cultural troops were honored, any Naga politician gentlemen like Azo Nienu out there? If so honour these living Interim Members before they ask for it, because if you honour them after they ask, then it will not be seen as an honor but as a favor. Forgive me but I see no honour in that?

Just Recently on Nagaland post there was a cash prize award of Rs.I million for the winner at the up coming Hornbill International Rock contest of 2013. 1 million is a lot of money. I thought it was a misprint but guess what it is true.  I wish the present living Interim body members had a rock band. At least they could give it a shot at the Hornbill festival. If they win, they can split the prize among themselves. It is amazing how the organizers come up with such huge cash prizes like 1 million rupees. I strongly believe the organizers are serious people with great concern for the rock concert. We need such organizers who are true leaders who take matter seriously and make things happen. I wonder if the organizers of the present Hornbill International Rock Concert were in charge of organizing the 50th Statehood celebration on Dec 1, 2013, would they have come up with 1 million rupees for each ex Interim body members?

I am very curious and I wonder has our Governor, Chief Minister of Nagaland and his colleges come out with any plans to honor these Interim Body Members during this 50th Statehood celebration? Or is it going to be the regular thank you for coming and some cultural trop dance and a long boring speech, vote of thanks with a good bye? Do they even know that some of them are alive? Has our Governor, Chief Minister and his colleges even considered how blessed they are to be the present Governor and Chief Minister and politicians of Nagaland at this time when we are about to celebrate 50th year of Statehood? How our Governor, Chief Minister and his colleges uses this opportunity to honour the ex Interim body members will clearly show how capable our Governor, Chief Minister and his colleges are in Governing our State.

The whole world will be watching as Nagaland celebrates its 50th Year of Statehood. I pray that the Lord will give wisdom to the leaders who are in charge of the Statehood celebration event as they prepare for the upcoming Historic event in Nagaland History. We should all bear in mind that we are feasting on the fruits of the labor and sacrifices made by our ex Interim body members. There would have been no Nagaland State without their Scarifies, and certainly no Governor, no Chief Minister and even no MLA’s or Minister. There would have been no fancy titles like Chief Secretary or  Director of Education, Director of Health and Family welfare, Director of this and Director of that department.

Let us think for a second if you and I were in their place. If we had put our lives and the lives our loved ones at risk not knowing any moment could be our last moment, slept sleepless night, were shot at, walked for miles in the burning sun and extreme cold, were warned every day to quit our job and other one hundred such threats. How would  have we handled the situation? Would we given up to save our lives and the lives of our near and dear ones or would have continued?

Will this 50th year of Statehood celebration be such an event that it will become the “Event of the year” talked by everyone even in days to come? Will this 50th year of Statehood celebration be such an event that Nagas all over the world will be proud of and would use it as an illustration to show how Nagas honour their heroes? Or would it be one of those events that goes terribly wrong and that we would not want to talk about in the future? Will this be an event that will make the leaders of Nagaland say with regret “Oh if only we could have done that for our heroes it would have been so much better?

Well there is still time. Today not many of them are alive. Yet very few of them are. This is a chance to show them that we really love them and appreciate their sacrifice for the whole of Nagas. Also to equally remember those heroes who are no more with us.  We have to let them know that Nagas have not forgotten them. we have to honour them in such a away that they will say that it was worth the sacrifice, it was worth the pain, it was worth the tears, it was worth loosing ones life.

This is one golden chance for the Nagaland Government and the people of Nagaland to say thank you to them all. Leaders of various organizations, unions, NGOS, federations and societies, Schools, colleges should take the opportunity at this 50th year of statehood to thank them for their sacrifice. I hope the leaders of our Nagaland Government and our Naga Society will seek wisdom from the Lord above to make this 50th year of Statehood celebration a Historic one.

I would like to say thank you to our heroes the founders of Nagaland also know as the Interim body members both alive and dead. I salute you all for your sacrifice. Those who are alive today, May you out live your lives, and to those who are no more, you are more than alive today. Bless God for the parents who brought you into this world. Please allow me to be the first one to wish you heroes an advance happy and a blessed 50th year of Statehood to you heroes first, and also to all the Nagas in Nagaland and all around the world.  May Nagaland grow from Strength to New Strength May Nagaland be ever for Lord Jesus Christ.  God bless our Nagaland.  NPN

NSCN position on the unification group

Ever wondered which group is not for unification? We are also for unification of all the Nagas wherever they are but it should be “principle based unification”.  However, it has been misused and abused to the point where such a catch word has become cheap sweet name to take shelter and shed crocodile tears driven by evil intentions, hunger for power and positions.

Unification cannot be serious when it is formed under conspiracy by deserting with arms, vehicles, money and many important files and document of the National government under the “cover of darkness” in the name of “unification”.

For the Naga people, such day ought to be observed as a black day and capitulation of the divisive forces, a day which one should bow down our head in shame and a day which needs to be deleted from our memories.

It is a disgrace and a big insult to the “journey of common hope and reconciliation” which we all are party under the banner of FNR. What do you mean by unification when you have been advocating for Nagas of Nagaland state alone? Yet what an irony! Those who shout for one National Political group has failed to read between the lines and attended without having any second thought. Such a blatant contradiction is hard to digest.

Observing such a day means justifying and giving legitimacy to illegitimate one and more divisive groups in one pretext or other. What has happened to the right conscience of the Nagas? What is unification without any unification but more groups, more tax and more problems for the Nagas? Doesn’t celebrating such a day amount to humiliating and insulting the “right judgement and sentiment” of the Naga people? Where is the wisdom of the Nagas in their search for reconciliation and unity? NSCN hope that every Naga citizens and groups will now move along with clear conscience and concrete agenda.

Another crucial chapter of their 6th unification anniversary was the public disclosure of Kitovi political dreams which is nothing but reaffirmation of the 16th point agreement which created Nagaland state to divide the Nagas and dampen the Naga national movement for self determination.

It must be remembered that long before such declaration was made; Mr. Kitovi and group had already accepted defeat when they signed their Cease Fire agreement with the Government of India where they have agreed to respect the “land of the law”, which is nothing but acceptance of the constitution of India.
Therefore, we are not surprised when he openly cleared his mind by faithfully toeing the political ideology of SC. Jamir the author of the “Bedrock of Naga society” who cannot think beyond Nagaland state. The unreserved endorsement to the creation of NTC can be easily understood as birds of the same feathers flock together.

NSCN will not interrupt rather encourage anybody or group who wants to make the Indian state Nagaland better and prosperous. However, in the name of development, progress and peace in Nagaland state, one should not do so at the cost and suffering of all the Nagas who are not a part of Nagaland state and who have been patiently waiting and longing for integration of all the Naga ancestral land and people for more than 60 years under one political umbrella. We hope and trust that such moments of triumph and jubilation will come soon.

Mr. Kitovi in order to please those who are pursuing against unabated taxation has rightly spoken out using the same language of ACAUT. Now it is time he answers those question as to where and how he has been using all his tax collection in the name of “unification” for six years and he ought to immediately stop collecting taxes in Nagaland if there is even an iota of truth and sincerity left in his heart. Let the people decide whether it is justified or not!

Certain level of understanding has arrived amongst the group at the reconciliation meeting and many difficulties have been discussed across the table yet time and again, blatant lies and divisive venom are spewed at the public forum to malign us.

This is one of the major roadblocks towards reconciliation and the Naga public must know this. Therefore, we appeal to the conscience of the Naga people as to exactly find out what lies behind the curtain of this unification group.
Kuknalim.

by: MIP-NSCN/GPRN:    24 Nov. 2013

 

NE situation cause for concern: PM

NEW DELHI, NOV 23 (IANS): Security situation in the northeastern states continues to remain complex, with insurgency, extortion and agitations being the main disruptive elements, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here on Saturday.

“Persistent efforts on part of the government have resulted in considerable progress in the dialogue with insurgent and ethnic separatist groups,” he said in his address at an annual conference of top police officials.

“Further, the susceptibility of lower Assam areas and Karbi Anglong region of the state to ethnic and communal tensions, the growing mistrust between tribals and non-tribals in Bodo areas, the Garo insurgency in Meghalaya, the increasing targeting of non-Manipuris in Manipur are also areas of considerable concern,” he said.

He said these needed to be tackled with collective resolve and firm determination. Touching upon naxal problem, PM lauded the successful conduct of polls in the naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh. He called for improving the quality of governance and the pace of development in those areas.

Singh also stressed on the need to sensitise the security forces deployed in any of the naxal-affected areas.

“As I have said on a number of occasions, there should be nothing which affects the role of innocent citizens in leading their normal lives, and our attack on naxals and other such bad elements, should not in any way affect or disturb the livelihood patterns of local people,” he added.

On the 6th anniversary of naga unification

 

Dear Fellow Nagas,

At the very outset I extend my warmest greetings to this august gathering.
Today, I am proud enough to say that I have been a true Naga patriot having sacrificed sixty years of my life fighting occupation forces of India and Burma. Nagaland is God’s gift to every Naga and for this I have given my blood, sweat and tears. Thousands have sacrificed their very lives and many are still alive to share their heart rending tales fighting common enemy shoulder to shoulder and in profound unity.
They say ‘birds of the same feather flock together’ this was true during the early days of our struggle. We were welded together in a single fold and Naga unity was like an impregnable fort capable of withstanding enemy onslaught. As we marched on towards our National goal, initially Naga National workers were divided into three commands namely, Northern command led by Ao officers, Southern command led by Angami officers and Central command led by Sema officers. Gradually the bonhomie, cohesiveness and solidarity among the Nagas began to diminish but the national spirit was sky high.

It is my hope and belief that the spirit of Nationalism will never isolate us. The same spirit must be awakened in us once again thereby a united pursuit to our undying national goal could be achieved. Unless a people come together with purpose, peace will remain elusive. Our past achievements, our labor, efforts and sacrifices will have no meaning; solution will remain a mere dream.
To create a common future, our positive vision must be grasped by the Naga people. There is a great danger in defying peoples will.

For instance, the first interim Government in Nagaland was ushered in through the effort of men like Dr. Imkonglibe Ao, Longna Tawang and others. The ramifications were far reaching and Dr. Imkongliba ultimately paid with his life.

Secondly, the swift formation of Revolutionary Government of Nagaland (RGN) initiated by Gen. Kaito did not help the Naga cause much as it collapsed and the members surrendered on their own violation to the GOI, without making any political commitment.

Thirdly, the signing of Shillong Accord further brought misery and misunderstanding among Naga brothers. More Indian Military was poured into Nagaland bringing untold suffering to the Nagas. With the death of thousands of Nagas in eastern and western Nagaland began the fratricidal killing among the Nagas began.

The split within NSCN in 1998 is another tragic chapter in Naga history. It was a culmination of simmering tension within the leaders. Ideological differences, administrative differences, clash of ego among the leaders took an ugly turn. Killing of Nagas by Nagas was shamefully justified while preaching ‘NAGALAND FOR CHRIST’

Presently, some of our Naga brothers have accused my Government of hobnobbing with the GOI and inching towards finding a solution for only sixteen tribes in the present state of Nagaland. Many are accusing GPRN/NSCN of ignoring the rest of the Nagas of Manipur, Auranachal Pradesh and Assam. This accusation is visionless, shortsighted and illogical. We should not daydream anymore. The state of Nagaland is the sheet anchor if we are to reach to our people in our ancestral land. It is our launch pad to continue strengthening social, cultural, historical and emotional connection among the Nagas. I will not indulge in whipping up sentiments and emotions by forever shouting pan-Naga solution, sovereignty or integration of Naga homeland. We become smaller and smaller in the eyes of our neighbors and our enemies multiply and gang up to ridicule us. What I know is Naga people and their land was divided by the occupational forces in the past. Nagas even in the state of Nagaland are a divided house today and honorable political solution with the GOI is still illusive.

I am a eternal optimist and a peace lover therefore my advice to the dedicated leaders, the intellectuals and the political conscious Nagas is: if we focus our mind and spirit to true peace; if we act upon what we say during peace meetings, I believe acceptable political solution with GOI is not far from us. Watching silently and observing from the top will not make anyone a patriot. The NGOs, the intellectuals, the believers in Naga nationhood must stand and participate in nation building. Protracted Indo-Naga political problem needs concerted effort. GPRN/NSCN informs the GOI that unless an acceptable political settlement is inked, thousands of stubborn Naga youth shall rise and claim their God given land.
I thank the Naga Churches irrespective of denominations, the FNR, the apex Naga frontal organizations, the tribal bodies, senior citizens, the mothers, the students, the Naga well-wishers in Nagaland and around the world. NPN

BY: Gen. (Retd.) Khole Konyak, The President, GPRN/NSCN
KUKNALIM

NTC, ENPO remind CM on Rongmei issue

Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) and Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) have reiterated their earlier stand against the inclusion of Rongmeis as recognized tribe in the state of Nagaland.

In a representation, addressed to the state chief minister, NTC president Thepfülhovi Solo and general secretary Nribemo Ngullie and ENPO president Chingmak Chang and general secretary Thamlong Phom stated that in spite of lapse of five months of submission of their earlier representations dated June 3, 2013 by NTC and June 25, 2013 by ENPO, the state government has not taken any steps to initiate in addressing the issue.

The NTC and ENPO have therefore jointly urged the state government to immediately address their demand to de-recognize the Rongmei as tribe of Nagaland in the interest of the Nagas.

NTC had, in its earlier representation, described that the July 23, 2012 Cabinet decision recognizing Rongmei as a Tribe in Nagaland was taken in “hasty manner” setting aside the orders, memorandums and notifications besides the report of the fact finding committee on the issue. – NPN

GPRN/NSCN celebrates 6th unification

GPRN/NSCN celebrated its 6th unification anniversary and the 60 years service of its president Khole Konyak Friday at the Khehoi designated camp attended by hundreds from civil societies, public, well wishers and Naga Army.

Khole Konyak and Kitovi

Khole Konyak and Kitovi

Speaking in Konyak as interpreted, Khole Konyak said he joined the movement at a young age and continued to serve even till today, despite not being able to walk properly. Khole reiterated that though were many “big Naga leaders” today, yet none initiated the feeling of “oneness” among Nagaland and reiterated that unless Nagas unite nothing could be achieved.  He lamented that Nagas today were shedding blood of “our own brothers” and hoped the spirit of nationalism would not leave Nagas.

GPRN/NSCN ato kilonser N Kitovi Zhomimi, speaking in Nagamese, said that time has come for the Nagas to be practical and to decide what they want. He said time has come to decide whether to continue with the armed struggle against the Indian government or settle for an acceptable solution. He reminded that Naga national workers unified on November 22, 2007 after hue and cry from all sections of the society but asked, what people want them to do now?

Kitovi asked people whether they were prepared to continue with the armed struggle, despite losing seventy to eighty Naga soldiers then public should also be ready to provide voluntary soldiers and acquire arms and ammunition for the Naga national workers to continue the struggle. He asked people as to what steps they wanted GPRN/NSCN to do since the government of India has rejected sovereignty including integration of Naga areas.

Kitovi asserted that any political solution with the government of India would be only through consent of people so it was upto them to decide.  He however reaffirmed the stand of the GPRN/NSCN,  that “sovereign independence” cannot be compromised and could be achieved “tomorrow, day after or even after 100 years” and the door was always open. Kitovi however pointed out that if the stand was to be followed,  “there was no future for the younger generation.”

Analyzing the present situation in the state, Kitovi said that Nagaland cannot accommodate the ever increasing young educated youth  and if the  trend continued, the educated youth would resort to killing and stealing for livelihood.  He said the top priority for the GPRN/NSCN was to safeguard and protect the welfare of the young generation. Kitovi said: “ for political problem we have to take political solution and political solution is any solution that can be good for the people.” He said that for the GPRN/NSCN  “anything” meant good for the people and which ensure “bright future” for the younger generation.

Reiterating that GPRN/NSCN would not “rush” to Delhi and initiate a dialogue with government of India without consulting with the people, Kitovi informed GPRN/NSCN has constituted a consultative committee to interact with the Naga leaders and intellectuals on their opinion.

He informed that the committee would meet at least three people from each tribe of Nagaland  chosen by their own community to seek the opinions. He then asked each tribe to be prepared to endorse their opinion to the committee without fear. “Every tribe should be involved because this is a common issue, it is not for a particular tribe, and every Naga has equal right so equal participation is needed.” said the ato kilonser.

He said it was time to make “our approach” practicable and that in this juncture the “Naga political formula” was to give “top priority” to the Nagas of the present Nagaland. He said that it was “beyond imagination and out of question” to gather all the Nagas into Nagaland and move forward.

Kitovi asserted “we make our stand clear and prepare ourselves. Our approach should be practical; if our approach is not practical then we cannot achieve anything.” He reiterated that Nagas of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh were not being “discarded”, Kitovi said it time would come for them but until then it was not possible for all to gather in Nagaland and have feuds with each other.

No Naga leader is initiating oneness: Khole
Time for Nagas to be practical: Kitovi

“Instant peace to maintain peace and tranquility is to take up Nagas and Nagaland issues as priority number one and after achieving it we should focus on other Nagas on priority basis.” said Kitovi.

On formation of Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC), the ato kilonser said he do not see why Nagas of Nagaland should not have their platform if Nagas of Manipur could have United Naga Council (UNC) in Manipur.

He said people from Manipur, Assam and Arunachal must not “decide the future of the Nagas of Nagaland”, and no objection should be raised when Nagas of Nagaland formed a platform to address their problems.

On formation of ACAUT, Kitovi said that it was “shameful” on the part of the Naga national workers when ACAUT came out with their resolution to pay tax to one government.

He said it should be taken as a challenge by the all the Naga national political groups to realize “our fault” instead of threatening ACAUT.

He then said that since people were paying tax they have every right to know why they are paying tax and how they are benefiting from it.

Applauding ACAUT for standing for the future of the younger generation, Kitovi also cautioned them not to be in a hurry lest they fall and are unable to rise again.

On the issue of NSF and GPRN/NSCN having a “distant relation”, these days, Kitovi cautioned that NSF as student body and “children” should not take advantage of being a child.

On NSF demand not to deduct tax from teachers, Kitovi said that his government has agreed to do so provided NSF provide proof that the concern teachers was dedicated and sincere while discharging their duties.

Appreciating a certain page in social networking site, Kitovi applauded young minds of Nagas coming together and discussing issues. He however cautioned them to be careful and use “modern language” as the whole world was monitoring the same.

On the event of the unification day, GPRN/NSCN also released political prisoner NSCN (K) education kilonser, ‘maj’ (retd) Kiwongkhum Yim.

Earlier, guest of honour president Naga Mothers Association (NMA) Abeiu Meru acknowledged the continuing struggle for a political solution to the Naga issue.

On the unification day, Meru also reminded the Naga national workers on the importance of peace and reconciliation amongst “brothers.”

“We make an appeal that no matter what factions, all political prisoners(s) must be unconditional released in the true spirit of reconciliation said Meru.

Meru also hoped that as an organization, the leaders of GPRN/NSCN would support the international principles of gender equity both within the ranks of their organization and different spheres of the society.

She also lamented that the Act passed by the state assembly to empower women through reserved seats in towns was again revoked by the same assembly under “flimsy excuses.”

Stating that Naga society was changing so fast in the midst of globalization and the wave of changing mindset especially among the younger generation, Meru urged the national workers to listen to the voices and cries of the people for peace.

She then reiterated the slogan of NMA i.e. “shed no more blood.” amongst the brothers.  Envoy to the collective leadership, Alezo Venuh read out the presidential address which called for Naga unity without which peace would remain elusive and the past sacrifices would remain. -NPN