Naga Soldier

I shun my home, my family, my love.
To serve my Mother is a soldiers’ sacrifice.
To brave and lead towards the foe!
Some will die for Mother’s freedom sake.

Duty to serve, duty to risk,
To run the gauntlet, I gave my life for country.
My blood I paid as ransom of my country’s freedom,
The ultimate cost for freedom’s sake.

Families pride though little solace.
I Sacrificed… Myself for country sake.
Near and dears ones I know not,
Their hearts are torn, grief for me.

The jungles are my home, trees my friends.
The songs of birds reminds me of my youths,
The rivers play me some melancholy music.
As I lay down on the rock, my eye moistened.

Sacrifice for thee my Mother, my Pride,
Though I bear the solemn grief, with pride I wear.
Let my countrymen curve my name on my grave stone,
That my children with tears will bear a pride.

Dedicated to my True Naga Soldier

With Love, Kendy Pamei

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PM WITNESSES THE SIGNING OF HISTORIC PEACE ACCORD BETWEEN GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND NATIONALIST SOCIALIST COUNCIL OF NAGALAND (NSCN)

 

The Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) successfully concluded the dialogue on Naga political issue, which has existed for six decades, and signed an agreement today in the presence of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

Government’s Interlocutor for Naga Peace Talks, Shri R.N. Ravi, signed the Agreement on behalf of the Government of India. Shri Isak Chishi Swu, Chairman and Shri Th. Muivah, General Secretary were the signatories on behalf of the NSCN. The entire top leadership of the NSCN (IM), including all members of the “collective leadership”, has fully endorsed the agreement and was present during the ceremony.

This agreement will end the oldest insurgency in the country. It will restore peace and pave the way for prosperity in the North East. It will advance a life of dignity, opportunity and equity for the Naga people, based on their genius and consistent with the uniqueness of the Naga people and their culture and traditions.

Attempts were made from time to time to resolve the issue through discussion with representatives of the Naga people. A fresh attempt for a comprehensive resolution was initiated with the NSCN in 1997.

The new Government on assuming power in May 2014 accorded highest priority to this lingering problem. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has on a number of occasions, including during visits to the Northeast region, articulated his vision for transforming the Northeast and has attached the highest priority to peace, security, connectivity and economic development in the region. This has also been at the heart of the Government’s foreign policy, especially ‘Act East’ Policy.

The sustained dialogue between the two sides, conducted in a spirit of equality, respect and trust, deepened their mutual understanding and confidence, and enabled the two sides to reach an equitable agreement. The Government of India recognized the unique history, culture and position of the Nagas and their sentiments and aspirations. The NSCN understood and appreciated the Indian political system and governance.

The Government interlocutor also held frequent consultations with broad spectrum of Naga leaders, including those from the traditional tribal bodies, civil society, youth and students’ bodies, women’s groups, elected representatives and other stakeholders. These consultations helped in distilling the popular aspirations of the Naga people and in enhancing a healthy atmosphere of trust and understanding.

In his statement at the signing ceremony, the Hon’ble Prime Minister lauded the courage and wisdom of the Naga leaders and civil society and thanked them for their co-operation in reaching the agreement. He also praised the Naga people for their support and the NSCN for maintaining the ceasefire for nearly two decades that enabled the dialogue to succeed. Prime Minister spoke of his vision for the transformation of the Northeast region. He also expressed confidence that the agreement will open a glorious new chapter for the Naga people to build a bright future for Nagaland and also contribute to the nation with a sense of pride and confidence.

Shri Th. Muivah, General Secretary, NSCN, narrated the history of Nagas’ struggle and thanked the Hon’ble Prime Minister for his vision and resolve, which made it possible for the Government of India and the NSCN to reach an honourable settlement.

Within this framework agreement, details and execution plan will be released shortly.

Hon’ble Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, National Security Adviser, Shri Ajit Doval and other high dignitaries of the Government of India were present.

The NSCN was represented by its entire collective leadership and senior leaders of various Naga tribes.
****

AKT/AK
Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister’s Office
03-August-2015 19:20 IST
(Release ID :124221)

TEXT OF PM’S REMARKS AFTER WITNESSING THE SIGNING OF THE HISTORIC AGREEMENT BETWEEN GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND NSCN

Shri Rajnath Singhji, Home Minister

Shri Muivah and all senior leaders of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland.

My warm greetings to all those present here today on this historic occasion!

I wish that Shri Isak Swu, who played a leading role in reaching this agreement, was present today. He could not be here because of poor health. I wish him speedy recovery. Just as his contribution to this agreement has been huge, his guidance will remain crucial in the times ahead.

The Naga political issue had lingered for six decades, taking a huge toll on generations of our people.

I sincerely thank Shri Isak Swu, Shri Muivah and other Naga leaders for their wisdom and courage, for their efforts and cooperation, which has resulted in this historic agreement.

I have the deepest admiration for the great Naga people for their extraordinary support to the peace efforts. I compliment the National Socialist Council of Nagaland for maintaining the ceasefire agreement for nearly two decades, with a sense of honour that defines the great Naga people.

My relationship with the North East has been deep. I have travelled to Nagaland on many occasions. I have been deeply impressed by the rich and diverse culture and the unique way of life of the Naga people. It makes not only our nation, but also the world a more beautiful place.

The Naga courage and commitment are legendary. Equally, they represent the highest levels of humanism. Their system of village administration and grass-root democracy should be an inspiration for the rest of the country.

The respect for the infirm and elders, the status of women in society, sensitivity to Mother Nature, and the emphasis on social equality is a natural way of Naga life. These are values that should constitute the foundation of the society that we all seek.

Unfortunately, the Naga problem has taken so long to resolve because we did not understand each other. It is a legacy of the British Rule. The colonial rulers had, by design, kept the Nagas isolated and insulated. They propagated terrible myths about Nagas in the rest of the country. They deliberately suppressed the reality that the Nagas were an extremely evolved society. They also spread negative ideas about the rest of India amongst Naga people. This was part of the well known policy of divide and rule of the colonial rulers.

It is one of the tragedies of Independent India that we have lived with this legacy. There were not many like Mahatma Gandhi, who loved the Naga people and was sensitive to their sentiments. We have continued to look at each other through the prism of false perceptions and old prejudices.

The result was that connectivity between Nagaland and the rest of India remained weak across this divide. Economic development and progress in Nagaland remained modest; and, durable peace was elusive.

Since becoming Prime Minister last year, peace, security and economic transformation of North East has been amongst my highest priorities. It is also at the heart of my foreign policy, especially the ‘Act East’ Policy.

I have been deeply concerned about resolving the Naga issue. Soon after entering office, I appointed an interlocutor for talks with the Naga leaders, who not only understood the Naga people as also their aspirations and expectations, but has great affection and respect for them.

Given the importance of this initiative, I asked my office to supervise these talks; and I personally kept in touch with the progress. I want to especially thank my senior colleague, Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singhji, whose support and advice was invaluable in bringing us here today.

Today’s agreement is a shining example of what we can achieve when we deal with each other in a spirit of equality and respect, trust and confidence; when we seek to understand concerns and try to address aspirations; when we leave the path of dispute and take the high road of dialogue. It is a lesson and an inspiration in our troubled world.

Today, we mark not merely the end of a problem, but the beginning of a new future. We will not only try to heal wounds and resolve problems, but also be your partner as you restore your pride and prestige.

Today, to the leaders and the people of Nagaland, I say this: You will not only build a bright future for Nagaland, but your talents, traditions and efforts will also contribute to making the nation stronger, more secure, more inclusive and more prosperous. You are also the guardians of our eastern frontiers and our gateway to the world beyond.

Equally, the rest of the nation will join you in shaping a future of dignity, opportunity and prosperity for the Naga people.

Today, as you begin a new glorious chapter with a sense of pride, self-confidence and self-respect, I join the nation in saluting you and conveying our good wishes to the Naga people.

Thank you.
***

AKT/AK
(Release ID :124222)

PM SPEAKS TO VARIOUS LEADERS AFTER THE SIGNING OF HISTORIC PEACE ACCORD BETWEEN GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND NATIONALIST SOCIALIST COUNCIL OF NAGALAND (NSCN)

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has spoken to various leaders after the signing of historic peace accord between Government of India and Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN).

The Prime Minister spoke to Governor of Nagaland, Shri Padmanabha Acharya, Chief Minister of Nagaland, Shri T. R. Zeliang, former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Janata Dal (United) leader, Shri Sharad Yadav, Samajwadi Party leader, Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav, CPI (M) leader Shri Sitaram Yechury, BSP leader Kumari Mayawati, Nationalist Congress Party leader Shri Sharad Pawar, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. J.Jayalalithaa, West Bengal Chief Minister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, DMK leader and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri M.Karunanidhi, Janata Dal (Secular) leader Shri HD Deve Gowda and Congress President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, on this occasion.
***

AKT/AK
(Release ID :124230)

Government signs historic peace deal with Nagaland NSCN-IM

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media after National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) and Government of India sign historic peace accord.

Here are the highlights:
My warm greetings to all those present here on this historic day.
I wish Issac Swu a speedy recovery. Just as his contribution to this agreement has been huge, his guidance will remain crucial.
The Naga political issue had lingered for six decades, taking a huge toll on generations of our people.
I compliment the NSCN for maintaining the ceasefire agreement for nearly 2 decades with a sense of honour.
Nagas represent highest level of humanism, system of village administration and grass-root democracy should be a source of inspiration to the rest of the country.
I have the deepest admiration for the great Naga people for their extraordinary support to the peace efforts.
My relationship with the North East has been deep. I have travelled to Nagaland on many occasions.
I have been deeply impressed by the rich and diverse culture and the unique way of life of the Naga people.
The Naga courage and commitment are legendary. Equally, they represent the highest levels of humanism.
Unfortunately the Naga problem has taken so long to resolve, because we did not understand each other, it’s a legacy of British rule.
Since becoming Prime Minister, peace, security & economic transformation of North East has been amongst my highest priorities.
Today’s agreement is a shining example of what we can achieve when we deal with each other in a spirit of equality, when we leave the path of dispute and take the high road of discussion.
Want to specially thank my colleague, Home Minister Rajnath Singh whose support and advice was invaluable.
Today, to the people of Nagaland, I want to say that your talents, tradition and efforts will make the nation stronger.
I join the nation in saluting you and conveying our good wishes to the Naga people. Source: NDTV

Some References News on NSCN, Naga land

                                      

  1. “NSCN strikes against all addicts, whores in Ukhrul,” Nagaland Post, May 15, 1991.
  2. “Nagas must unite, says IBRF,” The Northeast Times, Guwahati, July 26, 1991.
  3. “Nagas must unite, says IBRF,” Northeast Times, July 26, 1991.
  4. “New turn to NSCN struggle,” Sentinel, June 29, 1992.
  5. “Naga leaders attended World meet of Militants,” Telegraph, March 30, 1993.
  6. “NSCN-IM redraws its strategy,” Sentinel, February 21, 1995.
  7. “Bomb blasts in Lumding,” Sentinel, February 26, 1995.
  8. “Deal with NSCN-IM alone won’t solve Naga issue: NSCN-K,” Sentinel, October 10, 2001.
  9. “Frozen hearts produce dangerous politics,” The Pioneer, Delhi, August 5, 2001.
  10. “Reasoning Together, Naga Students’ Federation, Kohima, 2001, pp. 4-5.
  11. “NSCN-K offers month-long truce to rivals,” Assam Tribune, December 19, 2001.
  12. “Naga Reconciliation Process,” North East Frontier, January 2002, pp. 9-10.
  13. “NSCN (K) cautions Isak Swu,” Nagaland Post, August 27, 2002.
  14. “NSCN-K ready for talks,” Asian Age, July 12, 2002.
  15. “New faces in NSCN-IM,” Asian Age, July 3, 2002.
  16. “Security alert as NSCN factions spar,” Hindustan Times, August 27, 2002.
  17. “Naga Consultative Meeting,” Asian Age, July 21, 2002.
  18. “The voice of Khaplang, Shangrila debate,” Statesman, July 27, 2002.
  19. “NSCN-K ask people to forgive and forget”, http://www.northeasttribune.com, Accessed on July 24, 2003.
  20. “NSCN factional clash on”, Assam Tribune, Guwahati, April 22, 2003.
  21. “NSCN-IM alert routine: Forces”, The Asian Age, Delhi, June 29, 2003
  22. “How NSCN-IM manages its budget”, The Hindustan Times, Delhi, March 1, 2003.
  23. ‘Joint militant forum against ‘greater Nagaland’, nenanews.com
  24. “Anti-landmine deal signed by NSCN-IM,” Sentinel, October 22, 2003.
  25. “NSCN-IM on wildlife preservation,” http://www.northeasttribune.com, November 2, 2003.
  26. “NSCN breakaway outfit wants its own pound of flesh”, Times of India, January 27, 2003.
  27. “Khaplang men die in rival fire,” Telegraph, September 6, 2003.
  28. “Delhi fumes as NSCN reaches American shores”, Asian Age, August 19, 2003.
  29. “Naga peace process,” Assam Tribune, August 3, 2003.
  30. “NSCN-K in quest for lost ground,” Telegraph, September 30, 2003.
  31. “Defection game on Naga rebel turf”, Telegraph, October 17, 2003.
  32. “NSCN-K death-threat charge on rival,” Telegraph, January 26, 2003.
  33. “Tribal feuds impede Naga peace talks,” Times of India, January 18, 2003.
  34. “NSCN (IM)-Delhi can’t bring Naga peace,” Sentinel, October 28, 2003.
  35. “NSCN-IM is government sponsored, they are betrayers: NSCN-K,” Times of India, July 29, 2003.
  36. “GPRN Statement,” Eastern Mirror, Kohima, May 18, 2003.
  37. “Khaplang factions’ strikes a jarring note,” Telegraph, January 7, 2003.
  38. “Factional fights continue”, North East Sun, Delhi, vol. 7 no. 13, February 1-14, p. 5.
  39. “No solution without Naga unity, says NSCN-K,” Times of India, May 18, 2003.
  40. “NSCN-IM is government sponsored, they are betrayers: NSCN-K,” Times of India, July 29, 2003.
  41. “Crime rate increases,” Nagaland Post, January 12, 2003.
  42. Sashinungla, “Nagaland: The Dynamics of Extortion,” South Asia Intelligence Review, vol. 2 no. 22, December 15, 2003, South Terrorism Portal, http://www.satp.org.
  43. “NSCN cadres cause tension in Tuensang,” Shillong Times, August 7, 2003.

 

The Naga peace process…The battle for accountability by ACAUT

By Khekiye K. Sema, IAS.
(Though the NSCN (IM) had disqualified me as a nonentity to address the above captioned subject, the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, did not seem to have shared their views. Therefore the talk was had as scheduled on 5th September 2014. The interaction and discussion with the academicians and journalists present was superbly lively. Since time given to me was not sufficient, (as always) the issues from this written text were condensed, and presented. Take a peek at the full text and judge for yourself)……..

Let me begin by saying that I am not here with the intention of demeaning the Government of India (GoI) nor am I here to glorify the Naga National Movement (NNM). My effort is to paint a fair canvas based on undistorted historical facts on the subject at issue and present it as faithfully as I understand it. Truth often tends to hurt untruth but truth be told.

The Nagas have been struggling to restore their birthright of self determination for the past 67 years. However, the majority living in the mainland India has unfortunately had very less opportunity of exposure to the realities of this desperate struggle where thousands have lost their lives on both sides of the fence on a whim. Over the years, the print media has only helped to hype the violent aspect of the events that had transpired. The salient issues that had caused this violent confrontation have rarely been addressed in depth despite the fact that this is one of the most tragic unsung historical disasters of our time. Thus an over extenuated picture of Nagaland being depicted as a dangerous place continues…doing more harm than good.

It all begins on a misconceived notion that Nagas are rebelling to secede from the Indian Union. I leave it to your conscience to weigh the truth in this assumption with the historical facts in focus. The Nagas were never a part of India from the beginning of time. Nowhere in the recorded history of India would you find even a referential mention of the Nagas of the North East, leave aside being conquered by India. From the Indian context therefore, Nagas did not even exist… in as much as India did not exist, from the stand point of the Nagas. The Nagas enjoyed the truest carefree form of natural freedom from the beginning of time. Each village was a self-contained city state having its own traditional boundaries, its own traditional ways of existence, its distinctive customs and traditions. Each village consisted of a people identified with common customs, traditions and dialect as a homogeneous cluster and each cluster into a Tribe and each Tribe, an independent entity by extension. The internal village administration was governed through their intricate customary laws and fluently practiced barter system of economy.

Then came the British. They had absolutely no colonial design in the hilly Homeland of the Nagas. There was practically nothing of value in these Hills that could remuneratively enhance their Colonial wealth. Their adventure into these hills was solely dictated by the need to protect their serious commercial interests… the tea industry in Assam, which was frequently disrupted by the raids of neighbouring Naga head-hunters. Intermittent skirmishes took place between the Nagas and the British from 1832-1879, which failed to thwart the Nagas from their traditional headhunting sprees into the plains of Assam. Pitched battles were also fought with the Nagas at various sectors, notable amongst which was the battle of Khonoma in 1837 where the British had suffered heavy casualties despite their superior weaponry, while clinching their victory. By 1880, the British were finally able to establish their administrative foothold within the Naga inhabited territories with mutual consent. The British did not have to fight a war with the Nagas for their establishment at: Kohima, Wokha, Mokokchung, Wakching (in the present Mon District) all strategically located to protect the adjoining plains of Assam. Their clear objective was to check the tribal misadventures into the plains. What stands out significantly is the historical fact that not a single annexation treaty had been signed between the Nagas and the British…ever. Aitchinson, a British official of that era, recorded that: “No written treaties or engagements have been made…with the Naga tribes”. (Treaties, Engagement and Sanads, Vol.XII pp 91.1931, relating to India and Neighbouring Countries). The British left the Nagas free without interfering into the routine political, cultural and customary affairs; with just one exception…they determinedly put down the headhunting tradition, perhaps not very much from the standpoint of moral sanctity alone but certainly for the protection of their economic interest in Assam.

Meanwhile, a more refined political awakening beyond the sectoral Tribal independence, based on a broader platform of collective Nagas identity, began to evolve through the formation of the Naga Club in October 1918 that brought many of the major Tribal elders together. It culminated into a full-blooded United Naga declaration by the time the British Statutory Commission headed by Sir John Simon visited Kohima on 10th January 1929. Though the memorandum, submitted to the Simon Commission, was scripted by academic nonentities, they were hardened graduates by life’s experience, in their own rights. They expressed their feelings in simple terms that described the salient philosophy of their times. Due to paucity of time and space let me only share an excerpt of the core content: (Quote) “Our language is quite different from those of the plains and we have no social affinities with the Hindus or Mussalmans. We are looked down upon by the one for “beef” and the other for our “pork” and by both for our want in education, is not due to any fault of ours. Our country is poor and it does not pay for its administration. Therefore, if it is continued to be under the Reformed Scheme, we are afraid that new and heavy taxes will have to be imposed on us, and when we cannot pay, then all lands will have to be sold and in the long run we shall have no share in the land of our birth and life will not be worth living then.

Though our land at present is within the British territory, Government have always recognised our private rights in it, but if we are forced to enter the council the majority of whose number is sure to belong to the other districts, we also have much fear the introduction of foreign laws and customs to supersede our own customary laws which we now enjoy. For the above reasons, we pray that the British Government will continue to safeguard our right against all encroachment from other people who are more advanced than us by withdrawing our country that we should not be thrust to the mercy of other people who could never be subjected, but to leave us alone to determine ourselves as in ancient times.” (Unquote). [Clarification: ‘who could never be subjected’ was perhaps intended to mean…’who could never subjugate us’]. In essence, that was the Naga sentiment then and is the broader Nagas sentiment now. The British Government acknowledged the ground reality as expressed by the Nagas and decreed that the Naga country be placed outside the British India as “Naga Hills Excluded Area” under the British India Act 1935. Absorb this historical fact…an ACT…a defined Law. The British Government further appointed the Governor of Assam to look after the affairs of the Naga Hills Excluded Area purely as a ‘care-taker’ in 1937.

 

Through this Act, the ‘Chin Hills Regulation and Bengal Frontier Regulation Act 1873’ was made applicable to the “Naga Hills Excluded Area” as well wherein foreigners including Indian nationals were restricted to enter into the Naga country without a valid Inner-Line permit (ILP). With a minor modification during the post independent era in 1950, this Act was sustained and is still in force. While the British primarily enforced this Act for a monopolistic supremacy in their tea and elephant trade within these regions (and not with the intent of protecting the Tribals from exploitation as is often expounded), the Government of India adopted and continued this restriction for an entirely different objective. Indian Nationals still need ILP to enter Nagaland. We shall revisit this subject as we go along.

With the eminent departure of the colonial British from the Indian Sub-Continent in the horizon, the Nagas became apprehensive of their future destiny. Thus, circumstances compelled them to form their own National Political Organisation called the Naga National Council (NNC) in 1946. Despite the fact that the Imperial British Government had sufficiently been sensitised on the stand of the Nagas wanting to be left free to govern themselves in the event of their departure, no definitive response was received. Sir Clement Attlee, who was also a member of the Simon Commission, had now become the Prime Minister of Great Britain. It was during his stewardship that power was transferred to India in 1947. The overwhelmingly subject of the partition of India would have naturally been weighing heavily in his mind. It was understandable therefore, that the problems of the little Nagas would not have measured up to the catastrophic partition pressures at that crucial hour in history. He ignored the Nagas issue. A delegation headed by Mr. A. Z. Phizo, member of the Central Executive, NNC met Mahatma Gandhi at Bhangti Colony, Delhi on 19th July 1947.

The Nagas continue to remember the poignant statement of the Mahatma at that meeting: “Nagas have every right to be Independent. We did not want to live under the domination of the British and they are now leaving us. I want you to feel that India is yours. I feel that the Naga Hills are mine just as much as they are yours. But if you say that they are not mine, the matter must stop there. I believe in the brotherhood of man, but I do not believe in force or forced unions. If you do not wish to join the Union of India, nobody will force you to do that”. It is of interest to analyse the honest views of the other key India leaders of that generation at the very inception, before their minds could be tempered by other political considerations. On August 19, 1946, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru defined the status of the Nagas in connection to the proposed British Colony of Couplan Plan in these words: “The tribal Areas are defined as being that long frontier of India which are neither part of India nor Burma, nor of Indian States nor of any foreign power”. During his visit to Shillong on 28th November 1949, H.E. Rajagopalachari, Governor General of India had this to say: “The Nagas have every right to be independent outside the Indian Union” when he met the Naga Delegate. Unfortunately all their statements were left at the feet of ‘personal opinion’ not translated into a National policy. At the earlier stages, the NNC entered into a formal agreement with the Government of India, which came to be known as the Nine Point Agreement, duly signed by Akbar Hydary, the Governor of Assam on behalf of India in June 1947. Apart from all the other clauses therein, the ninth clause had this to say (Quote)

“The Governor of Assam as the agent of the Government of India will have a special responsibility for a period of ten years to ensure due observance of this agreement; at the end of this period the Naga National Council will be asked whether they require the above agreement to be extended for a further period, or a new agreement regarding the future of the Naga people arrived at” (Unquote). Had the Government of India (GoI) not dishonour this agreement, the political scenario would have been entirely different. The other significant fact was that Nagaland was initially placed under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for seven years after attaining Statehood in 1963 to be funded through the Consolidated Fund of India. It was unceremoniously brought under the Internal Affairs Ministry without due process, in the early seventies. It would not be wrong to conclude that the expressed sentiment of the leaders, the 9 points agreement (though dishonoured) and the placement of Nagaland under Foreign Affairs, all amply define the uncontaminated honest understanding and appreciation of the Nagas’ rightful political status before the colonial disease corrupted the Indian political thoughts.

There is no official document certifying that the British specifically handed over the Naga Territories to India. However, their silence on this subject provided India with a fertile assumptive status of an owner over all the British colonial territories after their departure. The logical stand of the Nagas was that there was no real necessity for the British to redefine the status of the Nagas which was already sufficiently defined through their British India Act 1935… NAGA HILLS EXCLUDED AREA. India went one step further by incorporating the Eastern Naga inhabited area bordering Myanmar as well, which was UN-ADMINISTERED FREE NAGA AREA even during the British Raj. Prime Minister Nehru displayed a total lack of respect for the Nagas as human beings. He arbitrarily dissected the Naga territories with Myanmar on a watershed principle without ascertaining the geographical ground reality. Longwa, a border Konyak Naga Village bears the brunt of this heartless dispensation. The Indo-Myanmar international boundary runs right through the middle of the Angh’s (Chief) house. This Chief therefore, crosses the International boundary every other minute without a passport. Now consider this: If the Prime Minister of India was earnestly claiming his own, it shows poor sense of ownership to have abandoned and disowned many more Nagas villages lying beyond this arbitrary international boundary. In effect he disdainfully dealt with this issue on a ‘no-man’s land’ theory where Nagas as a people did not merit a consultation.

 

The lack of depth and disrespect for the Nagas in the Indian thinking process continued further with no serious homework being undertaken during the post Independent era. They blindly and arbitrarily adopt the British policy of fragmenting and segmenting portions of the Naga inhabited areas into Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar. Apart from the self determination issue, the Nagas have therefore, been claiming that all the Naga inhabited areas must be brought under the same administrative umbrella, which also finds a legitimate mention at Clause 13 in the 16 Points Agreement at the time when Nagaland was made the 16th State in the Indian Union in 1963. While the Naga Political Groups (NPGs) continue to condemn this 16 Point Agreement as a betrayal, to this day, the insincerity on the part of the GoI to enact an agreement and then dishonour it even before the ink is dry, has only helped to accentuate the unreliable, dishonourable character of a Nation. It has lead to a counterproductive loss of faith and trust in the Indian system.
Anyway, with the final departure of the British from India, the Nagas hoisted their National flag on the 14th of August 1947, a day before the India Independence. The political tide was fast evolving into a tsunami. History was thrown out of the window. The Government of India was guided by a serious misconception that the rustic uneducated Nagas were incapable of comprehending the meaning of a complete Independence. They surmised that the Naga National Movement was being instigated and misled by some foreign Missionaries along with a handful of educated Nagas. They confidently believed that this movement could be crushed within a few months. It was a costly miscalculation as events have proven. It prompted the NNC to conduct a free and fair plebiscite to disprove the Indian misconception. This was by no means a secret exercise. India too was openly invited to send their observers. However, the level of looking down upon the Naga academic intellect was so glaringly low from the start within the policy making hierarchy of the Government of India that they literarily failed to perceive the robust inborn intelligence and patriotic sentiment of the Nagas, weaned through the ages. Thus the significance of this exercise was completely lost within the confines of indifference and belief that the outcome would be nothing more than negative. 16th May 1951 stands out as a historic landmark in the annals of the Naga Political Movement.

This was the day that the Nagas endorsed their mandate on sovereignty with thumping 99.9% votes, anointing the NNC to steadfastly move forward on this moral platform, come what may. The first resultant impact was the outright rejection of the Indian Election of 1952. The GoI was left to count the empty ballot boxes. The overwhelming plebiscite mandate and the boycott of the election finally woke up the Government of India and stirred up a chain of events that proved costly both for India and the Nagas. The Para-military forces were steadily replaced by a full-fledged Army deployment and storm was ultimately unleashed against the Nagas. “Scorch Earth” policy became the flagship of military operation. Almost all the Villages and granaries (the only wealth of the Nagas) in Nagaland were torched and razed to the ground in their effort to cut off the supply line to the National Workers. Nagaland became the killing field…as all hell broke loose. Despicable inhuman atrocities were committed by the Indian Army without a stitch of remorse. Naga women were raped at will by the Indian Army; able bodied Nagas were butchered without any legitimate reason… applying the same philosophy of the American Wild West that “the only Good Indian is a dead Indian(native Red Indians)”; Bullet riddled corpses of the Naga National Workers (NNW) were openly displayed in public places to warn other Nagas; sadistic acts of hanging the captured NNGs upside down, rub in salt and chilli in the deliberately sliced wound on the body, torturing them for hours to finally bayonet them to death;

 

The family people were often times not even allowed to retrieve their dead and the corpses were left for stray dogs to ravish; Brutal and sadistic interrogation methods were deployed by placing live wires on the genitals; Churches were desecrated, with rapes and murders being committed within its confines and torched. Concentration camps called “Grouping” sprouted all over Nagaland, herding 5-6 villages together… men, women and children… into enclosures without any sanitation or proper shelter…unfit even for animal habitation; It was akin to the Nazi treatment of the Jews, only with a minor difference. It was mercifully minus the gas chamber but the diseases and mall nourishment did an equal job of it. (In my youth, I too happen to have been a living witness to one of this concentration camp at Lokobomi Village in Zunheboto District). Every conceivable and inconceivable cruelty was perpetrated against the Nagas without remorse or pity that even animals did not deserve. Each act of cruelty meant to dampen the free spirit of the Nagas however generated an immensely reverse reaction instead. It ignited the fire of liberty further and the Nagas fought back with a more ferocious commitment and vengeance. Many a father replaced their martyred son with another without a second thought, those brutal days. Such was the intensity, the pride and sacrifice of the masses for the National cause. The Indian Army got away with all these inhuman atrocities on two counts: because of the Armed Forces Special Power Acts 1953 (AFSPA), 1959, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and ILP.

Take a glimpse of the AFSPA. The Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) had this to say: “For instance section 4 of the Act provides the armed forces down to the rank of a non-commissioned officer, the power to shoot to kill; to enter and search and arrest without warrant, any person against reasonable suspicion that exists that he has committed or is about to commit a cognisable offence. The Act requires prior sanction of the Central Government for instituting legal proceedings against any persons in respect of anything done in exercise of the powers (section 6). There is no provision to see whether a particular act is lawful under the disturbed area situation. The condition provided in this section makes it almost impossible for anyone to seek redressal of grievances or legal protection against violation of their fundamental rights. These provisions under section 4 and 6 provide the security personnel, legal immunity to commit any crime against the people”. My question is this: No matter what the provocation, how can a modern democratic country like India perpetuate insane, inhuman Laws such as this on a people at this time and age? Have the Indian masses been deprived of moral conscience to remain silent as they watch the commission of these crimes against humanity? Do the masses consider such stories as a distant fairy tale unrelated to them? What has the Nation got to say about this? Nagaland was a forbidden zone for both the National and the International press. The Army’s inhuman atrocities in Nagaland were never allowed to be broadcast in the National or International dallies….thanks to the Inner Line Regulation. Like the British, this Inner Line Regulation was never intended to be a regulation for protecting the Nagas from exploitation even by the GoI.

It was used as a handy tool by the GoI to blackout the news and thereby avert condemnation of the International community and keeping its own people blinded in the Mainland. This one sided game is still being played without a change of rules. Judge the fairness in it all even if it is to strangers.

With the continuous atrocities and intimidation inflicted against the civilian population by the Indian security forces, the NNC, a non-violent organization, was left with no further option but to form a National Government called the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) on 22nd March 1956. The FGN began the exercise of raising its own army in earnest. It created the Safe Guard in 1956, which subsequently evolved into Naga Home Guard and finally the Naga Army for the defence of the Naga country. Nagaland was converted into a full scale undeclared war zone. Though Nagaland had become a full fledged State by 1963, violence continued unabated. It prompted the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) to broker cease fire which became effective on 6th September 1964. During this period of relative lull, continuous talks were undertaken between the GoI and FGN culminating in a six rounds of Prime Ministerial level talk which however broke down in a stalemate. In his recently published book “Hails and Blames” Page 146, Mr. Scato Swu, the then President of the FGN, recounts the last and final round of talk on 7th October 1967: (Quote) Prime Minister Indira Gandhi offered “Mr. Sukhai, take everything but not sovereignty”. Prime Minister Sukhai’s response to the offer was “I shall not take everything but sovereignty” (Unquote).

In 1972 the GoI unilaterally abrogated the cease fire and Nagaland was once more plunged into a dangerously volatile chaos. During this very trying time the Naga National Movement suffered its greatest setback. The infamous Shillong Accord of 1975 was signed on 11th November between the GoI and the representatives of the NNC. From this point onwards the NNM plunged into an abyss, mired in confusion and controversies every step of the way. Critical mistakes were made without exception but no one had the courage to own up to it. Defending the indefensible became the inherent pastime, with NNC in the lead. The root cause was the Clause No.1 of the damning Shillong Accord of 1975. It stated that (Quote): “The representative of the underground organization conveyed their decision, of their own volition, to accept, without condition, the Constitution of India.” (Unquote). This one little sentence was the straw that broke the back of the Naga National Movement (NNM). The event that that followed was a heartbreaking spectacle.

The NFG officially reviewed this ‘capitulation’ agreement for several days, agreed to implement Clause No.2 (concerning arms surrender) with Clause No.1 and 3 officially being forwarded to Mr. Phizo, the President of the NNC (who was by now settled in London) for his final verdict on the subjects. He did not respond to the NFG. Repeated plea to Mr. Phizo to denounce and condemn the Accord by Mr. Isak Swu and Mr.Th. Muivah also drew blank. Mr. Phizo kept absolutely silent….the costliest silence of all times, which triggered an internal volcanic eruption that irrevocably changed the Nagas political landscape. In 1980, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) was born, led by Mr. Isak, Mr. Th. Muivah and Mr. SS Khaplang in order to keep the flame of NNM alive. While the spirit of wanting to keep the National aspiration alive is not in question, the question that continues to trouble the fairer Naga mind is: Did Mr. Isak and Mr. Muivah try hard enough to keep the existing United House intact by exhausting every other hard options like impeachment of Mr. Phizo, or invoking the power of the Naga National Parliament to condemn Shillong Accord rather than take the path of least resistance and launch the NSCN? After all, Mr. Phizo was not above the Naga National Parliament. Those efforts of having done all that were possible and yet fail would have placed NSCN on a more comfortable moral platform that people would gladly identify with. In the road that was taken, the Nagas did to themselves what the GoI failed to achieve for decades…divide the house and self destruct the momentum of the NNM.
The complex political intrigues and suspicion further led NSCN to fragment into NSCN (IM)[Isak/Muivah] and NSCN(K) [Khaplang]. With the Family Planning philosophy becoming redundant, the floodgate was blown wide open for Factional population explosion. The egocentric creation of Factions was the fashion now in style. We have the following Factions in the fray: (1). NNC (Accordist); (2). NNC (Non-Accordist); (3). NSCN (IM); (4). NSCN (K); (5). NSCN (Unification); and (6). NSCN (Kitovi/Shingya), all professing their commitment as warriors of sovereignty. Are the Nagas fighting for 6 different types of sovereignty or is it just for one? If it is for that one and only one sovereignty then how will the Factions explain their multiple existences? The Factions must understand that the people of Nagaland have matured sufficiently to see through their ‘sovereignty’ smokescreen which in practice simply means “Tax turf sovereignty”. No matter what their explanation, the one thing that stands out unambiguously is the fact that the once honourable and united house has lost its sheen and the Factional population explosion has vitiated the political atmosphere beyond recognition. Each Faction takes a higher moral ground while keeping their feet solidly planted in the gutter and slaughtering one another to protect this precious tax turf sovereignty that is bleeding the people dry.
Each Faction proclaims that the public mandate is on their side and reinforces their argument with tax being paid to them by the public as an evidence of this support. What the Factions knowingly ‘fail’ to perceive is that the public are no longer paying tax to them but to AK 47. The impression of “Mafia” is more the picture that the people see being painted large on the canvas. Those times when the masses looked up and hero worshipped the National Workers, willingly giving their all, is an honourable chapter of Naga history which has silently been closed with a tear. In its place is the palpable fear for the Factions instead, in the hearts of every breathing Naga. The rampant multiple taxation being taken against the same goods, at the State entry gates, the godowns and finally the retail outlets; the despicable syndicate system on every conceivable commodity in the market controlled by handful of their blue eyed henchmen, has all contributed to throttle the economy of the people. The brains of the Factions are still on an overdrive searching for every possible excuse to tax the citizens, causing serious ripple effect in its wake. It has critically impacted on every family across the board and is being suffered in silence. Thus far, no one had had guts to call spade a spade for fear of having an AK 47 nightmare. Things had come to a head with the stench of this irrational, out of control ‘sovereignty greed’ overflowing into the marketplace. The Dimapur Chambers of Commerce (DCC) could no longer keep this market crippling burden under wraps. On 27 May 2013 some of its members brought the issue to the Dimapur Naga Council (DNC). A meeting of all the business communities, all other NGOs, including Student bodies and the Naga Women’s Hoho was convened by DNC to review the issue.

The outcome of their deliberation was the formation of an Action Committee Against Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) in an unanimous acknowledgement of the fact that this foul system was ruining everyone’s lives. The members of ACAUT mainly consisted of young entrepreneurial enthusiast, all actively leading their respective trade organizations. When their formation and objectives hit the news stand it created a sigh of relief in almost all corners of Nagaland not because of any action they had already taken but because the long pent up emotions of oppression being suffered by all was at last being highlighted in the open. ACAUT declared that all market mal practices of the Naga Political Groups (NPGs) would be brought under scrutiny to transparently be shared in the public domain, that from this point on, they would only pay one tax to all the factions. While applauding their stand in general, this one tax for all factions was out of tune with ground reality. The core issue was the existence of so many independent factions raising their greed tax that the Nagas could least afford, was more the focus. The public would be encouraging factionalism rather than have them unite. I decided to address this subject in the local media arguing that one tax to all factions does not reduce the tax burden neither does it optimise the peace process with that many factions in the fray. The need of the hour is to have one united NNM to deal with a stronger adversary. The only way to achieve this possibility was to pay one tax to one Naga National Government. The Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) has made the same clarion call to all the NPGs to unite through Christian principles of forgiveness and reconciliation which, without doubt is the best approach.

However, with all the financial resources at their respective command, money is all the Factions see, not forgiveness or reconciliation. Since money is the only commodity that keeps the factions operational, it was opined that the real source must be addressed…stop paying tax to all Factions until they unite. On 31st October 2013, ACAUT adopted “one Government, one tax” as their resolution in this rally. They also adopted two other resolutions requesting the State Government to set up a High Powered Committee to tackle the issue of corruption perpetuated by the NPGs. It including the State Government machinery, considered to be the less visible 7th Faction, armed with pens in their case, but equally corrupt if not more; and the final resolution to generate mass pressure to wake up the Government of India to speed up the peace process. The endorsement of the masses who attended the rally (over 35-40 thousand strong) was loud and clear. Mass rallies have since been conducted in all the District HQs with an equivalently enthusiastic response to the slogan of “One Govt. One tax”. What needs to be clarified here is the misinterpretation by the GoI that the people of Nagaland have now abandoned the NPGs and the sovereignty issue. This is furthest from the truth. All that the people want is for the NPGs to unite.

The people have no reservation to pay tax and to support one united NNM. All that they desperately want is to relieve themselves of this insane burden of multiple taxation in the name of sovereignty. Period. Even the NPGs have been misreading ACAUT as being anti-national. This too is a greed guided interpretation of a poor quality. ACAUT cannot be more Nationalistic than this when they want all the NPGs to unite for a greater cause beyond their own and for which the people would gladly pay tax. It is for the NPGs to review their money driven conscience and appreciate desire of the masses for them to unite. After all, their very existence would be meaningless without the masses. ACAUT has been steadily gaining momentum a mass movement. The pressure of more and more corruption issues surfacing caused ACAUT to rethink about its name and decided to rechristen it as Against Corruption And Unabated Taxation while retaining the original acronym. Remarkable retaliatory actions of the charged public against NPGs’ highhanded tax demand in their respective areas have been carried out without reservations as never before. Questions of accountably as to how their taxes are being utilised are slowly but surely upping the ante.

The public is well aware that the majority of the big fish amongst national workers, who were simple commoners when they joined the cadres, are now flagrantly displaying their self indulgent ways without any compunction, in the name of sovereignty. The comparative helplessness of the common man’s economic suffering on the other hand is slowly driving the simmering resentment to the surface. Now or later this undercurrent bottled up anger amongst the citizens will surely erupt unless the NPGs correct their arrogant misdemeanours and reconcile.
The reason for FNR and ACAUT sending out a clear strong signal to the NPGs to unite is obvious. The days for battling the Indian Army are over. The Government of India has sufficiently realised over the years that it would be a futile exercise to try and subdue the Nagas through Army intervention and have officially declared it as a political issue requiring a political solution. The GoI has also gone a step further by acknowledging the “unique history” of the Nagas. These are all very positive developments. It is for the NNW to appreciate the changed circumstances and deal with the subject collectively and intelligently in the like manner. The Government of India has made it amply clear that ‘sovereignty’ and ‘integration’ is not negotiable. If so, the immediate question directed towards the NSCN (IM), being the only Faction spearheading the negotiated settlement with the GoI as of now, is: what is NSCN (IM) negotiating about, minus the two major issues of ‘sovereignty’ and ‘integration’, then? As a serious stakeholder, the public are claiming their right to be enlightened about the context of the negotiation which is inextricably linked to their destiny.

 

The NSCN (IM) is unable to comply for fear of premature confrontation if the content of the negotiation agenda is made public. The most important factor here is for the NSCN (IM) to understand that with so many Factions afloat, it would be difficult for them to bring home a lasting solution on their own. Undermining all the other Factions will be a fatal miscalculation. Everyone is clearly aware that each Faction is continuously raising taxes, recruiting and increasing their cadre strength and purchasing arms and ammunition as they are. If the final settlement is anything less than ‘sovereignty’ and ‘integration’ other Factions would be certain to refuse to endorse the outcome, knowing full well that even they would not be able to achieve anything better than what NSCN(IM) has brought home. Keeping the subject of sovereignty alive would seemingly legitimise the continued existence of all other Factions beyond NSCN (IM)’s solution, if only to ensure that their ‘money river’ does not run dry. That would leave NSCN (IM) with very less option but to resolve these internal differences through the barrel of a gun yet again. It becomes a dreadful consequence if the Nagas are plunged into another civil war within our own kitchen. The saner option is therefore to exercise a collective wisdom of all the Factions by uniting as one and resolving the vexed issue as one. No matter what the outcome thereafter, there would be no residue of dissenting voice left behind and lasting solution would be final once for all.

 

That would truly be a happy conclusion that would be blessed by the masses. To achieve such a conclusion, NSCN (IM) would need to climb down from their lofty perch and acknowledge the existence of other Factions through forgiveness and reconciliation and show the bigness of heart to UNITE. “Christian principle” will surely find a rational acceptable way through “National principle” if there is a will. All we have to do is search for an honourable way with a clean, forgiving heart…remembering that all have sinned. It is here that the truest spirit of “Nagaland for Christ” becomes all the more meaningful rather than blasphemously use this phrase only for the collection of tax with life threats attached. Use it for UNITY!

MAY THE GOOD LORD GUIDE US SAFELY HOME.

Nscn/gprn clarifies its position on Khekiye Sema and im’s contention

Issued by-MIP, NSCN/GPRN. : 18 Sep. 2014 1:51 AM IST

While corroborating Khekiye Sema’s apt presentation on Naga’s political history, his understatement by way of casting aspersion on other Naga political groups needs to be clarified and equal justification is being sought.
To quote Khekiye’s assertion “knowing full well that even they would not be able to achieve anything better than what NSCN-IM has brought home. Keeping the subject of sovereignty alive would seemingly legitimise the continued existence of all other factions beyond NSCN-IM’s solution, if only to ensure that their ‘money river’ does not run dry”.

The all knowing and learned Mr.Khekiye may therefore be as bold as he has been so far to point out specifically to whom does he refer by “THEY” and under which/what capacity can he guarantee that no other factions can achieve nothing better than what IM is bringing home. He may also prove beyond doubt without hypothesis that other factions talks about sovereignty only to ensure it’s “money river” does not run dry.

As a retired “Indian bureaucrat “ his exposition is understandably tolerable, however, as a senior and enlightened Naga citizen, such affirmation on extremely sensitive “Indo-Naga-Myanmar” ongoing political conflict at this crucial hour definitely tends to undermine the legitimacy of the entire Naga struggle merely for his personal intolerance towards certain NPG or NPGs. Mr.Khekiye should without hesitation prove his statement logically.

On the issue of principle based reconciliation as espoused by IM there by implying NSCN/GPRN as having agreed to cease-fire with GOI basing on “Law of the Land”- meaning Indian Law, it is regrettably clarified that nowhere in the entire cease-fire text is the sentence “Law of the land” mentioned. The agreement is however purely bi-lateral and NSCN/GPRN is yet to initiate any formal political dialogue.

Trying to revisit 1988 factional crisis and making the same as criteria of qualification to be a part of “national principle” based reconciliation is nothing but reckless egotism and such stratagem has always been a stumbling block in the process of national reconciliation.

Now, that NSCN-IM is supposedly on the verge of solution, it remains to be seen if “solution” at all will be nothing more or less but sovereignty considering thousands of innocent Nagas slaughtered and many families massacred on the pretext of Naga sovereignty since their inception in 1990 up till the killings of innocent Sumi Nagas as recent as December 2013 at Mukalimi.

As for the NSCN/GPRN under the leadership of SS Khaplang, we do not recognise arbitrarily imposed so called international boundary that bisects Nagas into two occupied country, our National principle is firmly “Sovereignty” on the basis of all ancestral Naga inhabited territories.

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
Chiang
Tamei, Namraining.