Shakhrie’s Address to the Governor of Assam on the eve of reaching the Hydari Agreement, June 1947  

 

Your Excellency,

 

Occasions of a visit of a Governor of a province to a district are always welcome, in as much as such occasions afford the people the opportunity to present their problems and desires to the distinguished visitor. This occasion of Your Excellency’s visit to Nagaland is specially welcome and the reasons are obvious.

 

Your Excellency has undertaken this tour to these hills at a season when the treacherous hillside make a smooth drive along the hill road uncertain. In this, the Naga people have the assurance that your Excellency is anxious to meet their desires, and that their case will receive Your Excellency’s most sympathetic consideration.

 

As is known to Your Excellency, the Naga people have submitted a Memorandum to His Majesty’s Government and the Government of India, asserting their right for self-determination and demanding the setting up an Interim Government of the Naga People for a period of ten years, so as to enable the Nagas to be so schooled as to make a responsible choice at the end of the ten years. Apart from the reply given by the Prime Minister of England to a question of Sir Walter Smiles, seen in the newspaper columns, no reply to this Memorandum of the Naga people has been received. The Naga National Council still looks for a reply, and reiterates the statement made in the Memorandum that: “A constitution drawn by people will be quite unsuitable and unacceptable to the Naga people. “it is our desire to make it  plain to Your Excellency that it will not be enough to say in the end that a constitution has been drawn up on the lines suggested by the Cabinet Mission. We know that Your Excellency will concede that the Naga people has much right for self-determination as any other people. Our request to Your Excellency is to do all that is in your power to enable the Nagas to stand on their own feet, so that they may be worthy members of a civilized world.

 

When a deputation of the Nagas very recently waited on Your Excellency, Your Excellency was appraised of the demand of the Naga people for the restoration of their old boundary. The ancient boundary with the Ahom kingdom, previously scrupulously observed by the Ahoms, has been overstepped throughout its length. All the valuable forests, previously a part of the Naga Hills have been transferred to Sibsagar district, or Nowgong district; an appendix to this is given. In fairness, justice and equality, Nagaland should be restored to the Nagas for it is our one great cry that Nagaland should be for the Nagas. We would urge Your Excellency to set up immediately a Boundary Commission to go into this very important question. In giving an outline of our Memorandum to the Sub-Committee of the Advisory Committee, we pointed out that Nagaland should be inalienable. We must state that any attempt to give any portion of the Naga Hills to non-Nagas in settlement during this transition period will be most strongly opposed.

 

The Naga National Council stands for the solidarity of all the Naga Tribes. The present Naga Hills district has arbitrarily been carved out for administrative convenience only. It is now our desire that Your Excellency takes all steps to bring all the Naga Tribes together, for they will all naturally desire to be together.

 

When the Naga people are seeking aid for their Interim Government, it is only fair and reasonable that they be not deprived of their just share, when the assets of the present Central Government of India are divided, and when reparation from Japan (the Naga Hills being the worst sufferer) is received. To this end we would urge Your Excellency to do all that is possible to help us. It is our earnest hope that this first visit of Your Excellency to our Nagland will not be the last, and that Your Excellency will next see us established according to our desires.

 

 

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