By: Lt. Gen. T.M. Rhakho, Dy. Commander-In-Chief, Naga Army.: 3 Jan. 2014 2:08 AM IST
On this auspicious and historical occasion, as we celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Naga Army Raising Day, the NNC/FGN would like to greet and congratulate the Naga Army and all rank and files of the establishment. The NNC/FGN Government is people’s government, established to maintain the integrity and dignity of the people and the nation. Therefore, as we commemorate this day, it takes us back to 3rd January 1964 where the formal Naga National Army formation was recognized and declared. However, our history of self-defence to safeguard our territorial integrity goes back to 1955 where Gen. Thonti Chang was honoured with becoming the first Chief of the Army. Whereupon, in 1957 the army set up was reckoned as Naga Home Guard where Gen. Kaito Sukhai, took over as the Chief of the Army till 1963. This day, the 3rd January 2014 is a celebration of the heroic dedication and commitment of those brave souls who stood tall in the service of the nation.
In our commemoration, we must take this to heart that our nation, along with her setups, especially in the military sphere has come a long way. We have stood strong and committed to the cause of the nation then, and now the same is demanded of this generation. We must take pride in safeguarding our territory and the integrity of our establishment through loyalty and honesty without wavering back and forth and turning to left and the right. In this regard, we must once again dedicate ourselves without reservation to hold on to the principles as set forth in the President Assent to Bill of the Naga Army Rules and Regulations of the 5th of January 1971.
On this day we must remind ourselves that no individual agenda is greater than a corporate effort. We must not allow our self-interest and greed to take over the cause of the nation. If we should succeed and must move forward it will depend much on our concerted effort from the lowest in the setup to the highest. We must display an unqualified dedication as soldiers and exhibit genuine commitment to the cause of our nation. At no point of time in our history such an attitude is seen as wanting and desired. As your service to the nation is recognized through promotion and awards today, it calls for greater obligation through commitment and dedication. In doing so, the Raising Day is a reminder to all of us that we are called into the service of the nation to sacrifice what we can best offer.
We must adhere strictly to the discipline of setup. We cannot and must not allow pride and arrogance to dominate our attitude in the service of the nation. We can only earn the public appreciation and recognition through hard work and discipline. We must not pull down the pride and glory of the bygone years and generations through callous behaviours that often lure us. We have come a long way in defending our nation from outside forces by displaying loyalty to the nation. We have gained respect enabling the Government of India to enter into a ceasefire agreement in 1964. This act in itself, testifies to our strength and we must continue to harness the benefit of it by showing further devotion without losing our ground through careless behaviour holding on to displaying a responsible attitude even in times when things do not seem favourable and conducive. To do so is the call of duty.
The sacrifices that the generations of yesteryears had made can only be honoured if we continue to stand and walk in the path that they have walked. In the history of our nation, we have come to a continual threat of deserting this path over and over again. But, thus far our government has withstood the pressure by staying true and faithful to the principles of upholding the historical rights of the Nagas.
This, I must admit is not the effort of the few who are put in the position of leadership but each and everyone in the setup has played a significant role though many times this are less recognized as if it were ignored. But today let it be known and be put in record that we are all an important block of the NNC/FGN government in civil or in military.
Today, to those who will be moving ahead in the ranks and files I must say this that you are today given a greater responsibility. You cannot take your recognition and promotion for granted. It is in the first place, not a privilege but a responsibility which you must dispense through sincere dedication and devotion to the service of the nation. You must realize that you are occupying a position in history which is in itself historic. Some of you are occupying positions whose place are hard to fill and therefore, the only call that you have is to be like those who have gone before you. This commitment has made you deserving of the position. Thus, may I urge each one of you to serve the nation with pride and unqualified dedication; nothing should come your way in dispensing your duty respecting the wish of the people and the command of your superiors. Remember, all of us are accountable to each other and to God Almighty who is our Commander-in-Chief.
I wish you God’s blessing and may you serve the nation in good conscience knowing that in our service we are not alone. May God bless your family and the nation on this day and in the days to come.