An open letter to the leaders of NSCN (IM)

I wish to write to you with all due respect for what you represent and for what you are fighting for. I grew up in a place where you and your cadres are respected, loved and admired. We have always known your men being welcomed with the best roosters in the village and even the biggest pig depending on the number of cadres passing through the village. We were taught by the elders that you and your men are fighting for the freedom of our Naga nation. In our wild imagination as schoolchildren, we imagine you to be the equals of people like Gandhiji and we revered your name and your organization.

We were taught by the elders to use the term ‘akiliangmai’ which literally is translated as ‘our relatives’ in Lianglad. We played soldiers during our vacations and we named our outfit after the name of your group and mimicked the stories of the propaganda movies like ‘Ramcho Ramrin’, ‘Love in Nagaland’ etc. which were just a mime play to us because it was enacted in a non local dialect. Yet we love the movies and the characters in the movie because the heroes of the movie were supposed to be your men. As we grow up, we saw many of our fathers parting with their best pals with whom they had grown up together with.

Yet, we neither heard of them speaking ill of your ‘government’ nor your cadres. We never ever heard of anyone speaking up against your ideology not because of fear but because we share your dream of a free Nagalim and our gratefulness for your sacrifice for the cause of the Nagas. I remember an incident in way back in the ‘90s in which the Indian Arm Force bring all the people in my village and separately keep women, children and men for the whole day without food because their men were waylaid and they lost 5 soldiers just 3 km. away from my village.

No one in the village bear grudge against you even after that incident because the Indian soldiers are villains and your men, our heroes. There was a time when we almost live without salt because all connectivity to the outside world was cut off due to the ethnic clash in which you were involved. Yet we were happy to see our land being ‘freed’ even if we have to go without food. There were white flags in the front porch of every house in town to declare our support for you when you demanded ceasefire without territorial integrity and a week later a black flag replaced all the white flags because the demand was denied.

As time pass, in the last decade, we heard of new factions and outfits who split away from you but we called them greedy opportunists who are taking the name of the cause to meet their own vested interest of pursuing a place in the society. There are even some, who took the name of our tribe and start a revolutionary movement, a menace which we are all facing now and hoping that you will come out supreme. We believe in the Naga nation and are not ready to settle for anything less.

We remain loyal to you. No other outfit dared to set foot on our land and your men roam the streets like anyone of the aimless school dropout roaming the street whiling away the day. We have heard of media accusing your ‘government’ of illegal taxing and extortions. Yet, we do not look at you with the same accusing eyes of those people because it is your land and you the sons of the soil. There was an organization in Nagaland fighting against the taxation which was targeted at you equally with the rest of the groups. We do not make up such movement not because we are rich and could afford to provide everything that you ask for but because you are considered our protector, our would-be martyrs.

Over the years the student community had always rallied behind you and showed our support for the cause you are fighting for. When the top leaders came back from abroad, we were there singing the song ‘We shall overcome’ not because we love the song but because deep in our hearts we believe that we really shall overcome someday. When the public needs a voice to support your ‘government’, it is the student community who made a face and stand with you.

Let us not forget the recent Mao incident in which two young students one of whom was a widow’s only son being killed, not because of their foolishness but because they stood for you. We take pride that we have our leader who made the corrupt government tremble. Our mothers leave their homes and were in a refugee camp in another state for more than a week. We were not ashame though because you are our face. The infamous ‘Economic blockade’ of Manipur is a legacy of the student communities’ die hard support for you and the cause.

For all who you have been and what you stood for, our gratefulness and admiration will one day be with the dust of our bodies in our graves.

Let me also remind you that this support and admiration we have for you is so because we trust you and have faith that you will not betray us. We do not doubt that you will let us down. We have that childlike trust in you that you will protect our land and its integrity. On the contrary, there had been situations in the recent past which suggest the opposite. There had been instances wherein the public is squarely denied their basic right to pursue happiness. There had been instances in which locals were not allowed to use their resources. There had been murmurs about the cadres indulging in the very activity which your ‘government’ banned. The love and the admiration now seem to be evolving to fear.

The quietness may be the same but the reason for being quiet may not be the same anymore. Ukhrul is under siege by the Manipur Police commandos and the IRB commandos. Children and women living with fear in their own homes under their own roofs. We could not find reason blame the public. Tamenglong is a battlefield now.

Where does the discontentment come from?
And every Naga administered Facebook page is now engaging in a fierce verbal spat over an assault of a student in Maram center by the cadres of your ‘government’. Zeliangrong people and the Maramei are almost in a civil war. Thanks to the ‘national workers’ who attempted murder to deal with a menace of a drunken boy. Now he is in the hospital with broken limbs and jaws not to mention the internal organs being damaged by the thrashing. No statement from the people who did it heard yet. When it is some other group with no ideology who did this, we understand and forgive because of the low stature at which the public puts them. But when it is your men who did this, we feel betrayed, a spit on the face in return for being a loyal supporters and admirers of your ideology.

With a note of this few incidents, we cannot help but think if we are under suppression to get liberated from a nonexistent oppression? Is it relevant at this age to rule with muscle? Have we not seen how regimes were overthrown by the public in the recent years? Are we not entitled to a even a little gratitude for all our love and admiration we had for you? Are we not the people for whom you are fighting for? It is your ‘government’ because of the Nagas and not vice versa. Could we not do with a little modesty from the cadres when they are in town? We dread the idea of our leaders being overthrown and targeted because of the foolishness of some few trained-for-jungle boys.

I would like to make a sincere appeal to all our right thinking leaders and responsible martyrs to think twice and if that does not help, think hundred times over and show restrain and give space for mutual understanding if not respect, in your relationship with the people for whom you claim your allegiance.
PS: All other outfits may not take this letter as a mileage. The people understand when you are involved.

Faithfully yours,
Public Voice
Tamei, Namraining.

Is Nagaland Afghanistan Of India

By Z. Lohe

USA is famous for being the most potent political and economic power on earth. Japan is popular though small in land size and population but is an economic giant. Singapore and New Zealand are popular because of efficiency and transparency in administration. On and on, each nation has its own positive and negative popularity. Similarly, Afghanistan is popularly known to be the most dangerous country on earth to tread upon because of the presence of Taliban. It is one of the most unsafe countries.

Kidnapping was not heard for quite sometime though it became rampant in Dimapur in particular a year or so ago. Mostly businessmen are the victims. I do not believe that kidnapping has got anything to do with politics, be it Naga political issue or State party politics. I rather believe that kidnapping is due to greed for money. To get rich by one with white money goes through tedious processes. Many Nagas in particular do not have the requisite patience to go through that procedure and become rich. Many aim at sleep in poverty and wake up rich. For those people who are in hurry to become rich, I believe, take kidnapping of people to be an industry. God knows who among the Nagas is/are living like king/s with ransom money and with extorted wealth. May those kings enjoy a lasting peaceful life.

Who does the business of kidnapping in Nagaland? Are the Naga factions indulging? Is a faction doing this business? Are some cadres from a faction doing this business with or without the knowledge of their bosses? Or is it never the handiwork of any cadre belonging to any faction? Is there any pseudo nationalist doing the business in the name of any faction? Is this business the work of anti-social elements from outside Naga community using Dimapur as its base? Is kidnapping due to business rivalry? Beside Naga factions, is there any organised underworld doing this business? Is there any powerful politician or bureaucrat nurturing mafia don and indulging in kidnapping? May be more questions are there. I believe the State Govt. knows everything.

How many Nagas are surprised to come across the news item in local papers on kidnapping of two Engineers from Andhra Pradesh dated 30.7.2014? How many elected representatives and bureaucrats are serious about this incident? What about the powerful Church bodies? What about high profile and highly proclaimed NGOs? Where are the students’ organisations? Is there any responsible authority in Nagaland dominated by followers of Jesus Christ bothering about this shameful, ugly and barbarous incident? How many Nagas in Nagaland bother about the amount of damage caused to the image of Christian State by such kind of animal activities?

Kidnappings took place in the past. The State Govt. knows how each case was handled and brought to conclusions. The latest victims were reportedly released, and I am not interested to question about the nitty-gritty of how they were bailed out. What matters is the ramifications of kidnapping incident. Sparing the life of the two victims saved Nagaland from bigger embarrassment. Nevertheless, the issue does not end here with the safety of the Engineers. The incident is very serious as it severely implicates the State of Nagaland. It speaks volumes of lawlessness and of absence of governance. It depicts as if there is connivance between kidnappers, State Govt. and Naga factions.

Is the State Govt. serious about the presence of Boka Haram within its territory? Who is/are the TaIiban in Nagaland subjugating this small State with one and half million indigenous Nagas to nothing less than Afghanistan of India? Has not Nagaland become the most dangerous State to tread upon in India? With the kind of background, how will Naga missionaries carry on the Gospel with confidence and how their messages would be convincing to others? What room is left for the Naga missionaries to preach the Good News when their home is filled full with the known evils. When Nagaland is defaced in the like manner, will it enhance the image of any faction? Will the State Govt. continue remaining silent or give tacit support to all illegal activities and transform Nagaland into animal kingdom?


ACAUT Stands De-recognized: GPRN/NSCN

The formation of the Naga Club in 1918 mostly by participants of WW I stirred the spirit of Naga Nationalism in the hearts of all the members and for the sustenance of the young movement, members contributed coins paid by the British Empire for their services during the war, others offered agricultural products, domesticated animals or any item that grants the giver the satisfaction of having been contributed to the growth of fresh idea that was fast taking root in the rustic Naga villages. Thus the process of nation building began. The vision was so clear that on Jan. 10, 1929, a memorandum was submitted to British Statutory Commission stating that the Nagas shall decide their own future.

By 1940, the idea of Naga independence had spread to many parts of Naga homeland. The World War II had reached the sleepy villages, war raged on for the freedom of entire democratic world from tyranny and enslavement. Few educated Nagas explained the life of freedom of peoples and nations around the world as Naga Village headmen and elders listened intently. With great pride, NNC was formed in 1946 to pursue the political right of the Nagas. Having declared independence a day ahead of India on 14th August 1947, the Naga people still went on to conduct a nationwide plebiscite on May 16, 1952 with astounding 99.9% desiring freedom!

From 1951 when the Indian Military swept into Nagaland up until the signing of Ceasefire between the GOI and NSCN on 29th April 2001, thousands and thousands of Naga men and women, young and old have suffered and died through sheer brutality of Indian military.

The world must know what the world’s largest democracy did to the Naga people over 60 years and therefore GPRN/NSCN is taking measures to produce approximate number of deaths caused by Indian military from 1950 to the present, certified by surviving relatives and village authorities through respective regions.
It is acknowledged that at times unauthorized and unofficial activities of some officials often dent the image and prestige of the GPRN/NSCN however, majority of the National Workers enrolled have had the same goal and vision as that of the founding revolutionaries.

GPRN/NSCN has time and again sincerely clarified on syndicate system and multiple taxation on single item issue put up by ACAUT. GPRN/NSCN had assured co-operation any day because the issue of taxation is tiny compared to the Indo-Naga political issue. Instead of assisting in the search for an early acceptable political solution, which would put all tax matters to rest, ACAUT leaders have hurt the sentiment of all Naga patriots. They have become spokespersons for the adversaries. Nagas are informed that taxation issue can be easily resolved with or without ACAUT.

Who are ACAUT leaders today? Who are their fathers and grandfathers and where were they when thousands of Naga men and women took up arms, fought and died fighting Indian army from 1950 till 2001? Did their fathers and grandfathers shed a drop of blood or a sweat for the Naga nation? Did they not live in Assam, Nepal, Darjeeling or Delhi when war was raging in Nagaland? What is the contribution of the present ACAUT leaders to the Naga political movement? What kind of assistance are they providing to the Forum For Naga Reconciliation (FNR) to strengthen the fragile Naga reconciliation process? In the 60’s and 70’s, There were many traitors and spies known as CIDs during the turbulent years and GPRN/NSCN believes some of the ACAUT leaders are offsprings of such traitors and spies who could be under Indian intelligence payroll like their fathers.

Today the GPRN/NSCN led by Gen. (Retd) Kholi Konyak and N Kitovi Zhimomi, would ask the ACAUT leaders particularly those conniving with Indian agencies and campaigning across Nagaland government offices, schools and colleges, attempting to nullify Naga political aspiration by demonizing Naga political groups, whether they have moral right to venture outside the purview of taxation issue and whether they are prepared to face the consequences should they continue to wrongly and dismissively interpret the 60 years of political struggle as petty indulgences of gun totting elements to stakeholders of Naga political future.

ACAUT leaders are not talking about ACAUT about anymore. The parameter of their existence has jumped from anti-Syndicate system and anti-multiple tax on single item to a stubborn anti-Naga political struggle tone. It is targeting future Naga generations to give up Naga history and political right. This is a threat to the very identity and foundation of the Nagas. GPRN/NSCN shall place before the Nagas the following truth. Some of the so-called ACAUT leaders are conniving with Indian intelligence agencies to drive a wedge between Naga public and the National workers. A larger conspiracy is at work and the aim is to extinguish Naga Nationalism from the minds and hearts of Naga boys and girls in schools and colleges. ACAUT is reminded that the patriotic blood flow in the veins of Naga children in all educational institutions. These students have heard the heart rending stories of atrocities and inhuman treatments committed against their families by Indian armed forces in the past. Unlike ACAUT’s leaders, they would not part with their history or future. ACAUT’s short existence and activities is silently being observed.

ACAUT’s leaders says that One Tax one Government will force unite all political groups under economic compulsion. This is a foolish observation of somebody who has little knowledge of the past and no concern for future Naga generations. The differences among Naga groups is not economic, it is the differences in political ideology and principle. FNR has created a sense of understanding among the Naga political groups knowing this fact yet ACAUT’s leaders intension is to counter nationalists and national movement, they aim to destroy Naga people’s dream for acceptable political solution through their no tax campaign. Even the least intelligent within the ACAUT would know that “ONE GOVERNMENT ONE TAX” is easier said than done despite the great desire of the GPRN/NSCN to fulfill it. Nagas are aware that;

1. The 17 year old peace talks between IM group and GOI is inching towards what is known as the Alternative Political Arrangement for Nagas living in Manipur in which the United Naga Council (UNC) is representing IM group. This shall have nothing to do with Nagas of Nagaland state. Mr. Th. Muivah has spelled out on 26th Aug. 2011 at Niathu Resort and on 29th Feb. 2012 at the Agri. Expo ground meeting of Naga political groups and general public that neither Naga integration nor Independence was possible at present. GPRN/NSCN, in the interest of the Nagas, has held on to the Covenant of Reconciliation despite IM group killing unarmed military officers as recent as on 1st July 2014 when Maj. Athong Yimchunger was mercilessly gunned down at Jessami in Manipur, reducing signed Reconciliation documents to a mere piece of paper. Should the Naga people pay tax to a group which fire more bullets and kill more Nagas? One national government in this case would have no basis.

2. Mr. S.S Khaplang has signed an agreement with the Myanmar Government in early 2013, and has officially written to FNR and Nagas of Nagaland not to disturb him as he will not interfere in Nagaland. Again one national government will not benefit the Naga people.

3. Thirdly. The robust existence of the NNC/FGN ended with the signing of the Shillong Accord in 1975. It was the final nail in the coffin. Naga political struggle had to start afresh and God Almighty paved the way for Naga people to continue the struggle. To the Indian government, NNC/FGN whether accordists or non-accordists would not make any difference. The peace Camp at Chedema maintained by GOI stands witness. It is unlikely that the NNC/FGN will enter into another ceasefire with GOI even in hundred years let alone political solution. Will one government be possible? Only time will tell.

Under these glaring facts above, the slogan “ONE GOVERNMENT ONE TAX” becomes a mere tool for ACAUT’s leaders to attack national workers.

The GPRN/NSCN has more than 30 daily functioning ministries with equal number of Secretaries and hundreds of officers manning the secretariat. More than 25 active regions are upholding the Naga national struggle at a regional level. The Naga Army is well equipped and strong enough to defend the Naga people and land as and when called for. GPRN/NSCN do not accept funds from the GOI and so all revenues, contribution or donation is from Naga people and well-wishers alone and with pride and gratitude, utilization is done to strengthen the National movement. ACAUT’s leaders must seriously review and cease their hostile activities as the Naga political movement has entered into a very open yet crucial hour where enemy agents are easily identified.

The burden of taxation on the Naga public is duly acknowledged and GPRN/NSCN has been as accommodative as it could. ACAUT’s leaders have however burned the bridge instead of building one, with unrestrained attack on the National Movement and NPGs.

ACAUT’s leaders may have measured the value of mansions and foreign cars which some senior national workers may own. It must be noted that many GPRN/NSCN members were rich enough to build mansion and assemble foreign cars even before joining national service. It is not that the rest of the Nagas are today living in hutments and riding rickshaws.

ACAUT’s leaders must also measure the value of a martyr’s sacrifice or a survivor’s blood and tears, away from wife and children for years serving the Naga nation with honor and dedication. Of late some may have joined searching for fast life and defecting many times over but for many it is an inheritance and duty passed on from their grandfathers. In preaching against paying tax to NPGs in schools, colleges and offices, ACAUT’s leaders have failed to measure the pain and sufferings of war widows, poverty stricken orphans whose fathers died protecting Nagaland and whose mothers abandoned them. ACAUT need not teach Nagas on taxation. It’s in their blood and they know how much to contribute.

ACAUT’s plea to minimize taxation is one thing, insulting Naga issue and its defenders openly through taxation matter is another. Their initial grievances have vanished and strong anti-national agenda has seeped in. ACAUT’s leaders have betrayed the trust of the public. Its attempt to whip up anti-national feelings is unforgivable. It has no affinity with FNR or NPGs. The threat is too dangerous to ignore and GPRN/NSCN is prepared to take on such elements. It hijacked people’s trust and has turned itself into an anti-national organization and therefore ACAUT stands de-recognized and any further negative campaign against the Naga political movement shall be dealt with appropriately. Naga struggle has outlived many treacherous committees like the ACAUT.

GPRN/NSCN is in a Ceasefire with the Government of India and it is pursuing a political solution acceptable to the people of Nagaland and until our identity and future is secured, it will continue to partner the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR), consult Apex Naga organizations, Tribal Hohos, NGOs, student associations, intellectuals and seek advice from patriotic Nagas. It will continue to accept traditional tax, contribution from friends, professionals and well wishers.