Rejoinder to “An open letter to theologians & pastors of Nagaland,”

By: Wungtei Buchem, Signal Phom Colony, Dimapur.

It was yet another provoking letter to be read. Took it as a constructive comments with appreciation and herewith a not of response. I’m a current student of theology and not yet worth a theological scholar/Theologian nor an acclaimed preacher. I’m in the race too! I’m very sorry to learn that you have hardly been to a church which emphasizes holistic wellbeing that considers socio-political, eco-cultural and spiritual aspects of teaching and preaching in the pulpit. It is saddening to even know that you have only been hearing semons on salvation, heaven and life hereafter. I’m fascinated that people like you could openly ask a public question on the trends of biblical preaching and teaching which is greatly welcomed.

Yes Bible is not the creation without nation. Out of the historical-nations and people, historical narratives emerged, prophets spoke, kings and queens played their part and in all of it there was a conflict confrontation between God and gods of the nations far and wide. Scripture has its own socio-political background, culturo-anthropological residues, methods and models of prophetic transformation, sinfulness of individual/nation(s) and righteousness of individual/nation(s), God acted as the final judge and there is where much talked about salvation was/is defined. Bible does talks about human and ecological rights and also their denied rights, God in the Bible also talks about the oppressed and the oppressors (perhaps you have rightly understood it). Infact the nature of the people in the Biblical nations were hyper political, hyper ambitious, with each one looking for an opportunity to have dominion over the other whereby they become economically powerful, religiously influential and politically right. Perhaps you and me are interested to see the relevancy between the historical past and the present socio-political scenarios and expects that the contextual message be interpreted. As a theological student I’m educated that spiritual wellness is determined equally by physical, economical, psychological and social wellbeing. So I too strongly believe that a talk about heavenly salvation cannot do away with all these aspects pertaining my whole existential being. Ironically, to a beggar in a fast metropolitan city where he/she gets no place to sleep, cloth to wear and water to drink, speaking of the gospel of John 3:16 would not help much but the graceful offer of a cup of coffee and teaching him to make his/her living might be a better gospel, eventually leading to personal conviction and destinity to Christ. His/her salvation is made whole. This is a silly example with greater  lesson as far as Kaka D. Iraly would cite AFSPA, land issues, or I would add, the existing issues on rights, dignity, domination and various resistance ideologies. Until these measures are equally mattered where is what Jesus said “I came that one may have the fullness of life?” and without this “fullness of life” where is liberty? Where is rest? Where is peace? And where is salvation?

Nagas have come of time that visibly or invisibly we are under the web of psychological trauma, political unrest, economic and academic deprivation, culturally alienated etc. People who study Indian society and tribal Indian readings will aptly understand when I say this but it is true. Our nation is not free to grow! We are being bound? Many tribals/Nagas fail to live the “fullness of life.” There is no “free(dom)” in our hearts though we hear sermons on “spiritual freedom” as long as our nation, our land, our systems are full of “fear(dom.)”. Interestingly, when Ana Hazare fasted for less than a week the Lokpal Bill was made to reality; how about Irom Sharmila from Manipur who fasts for more than a decade but the AFSPA still reigns? Where is justice? Who is oppressed and who oppresses? What would Jesus do?


Yes Kaka is right when you talk about Bible as the basis for coding civil laws, laws on human rights, bible and ecology, economy and others. Respect and appreciation is reserved for churches, theological scholars, pastors and social reformers who have spoke and is still speaking for the peace in our nation, like prophets who safeguards the rights of the powerless, the weak, the oppressed, who dares atleast at heart to go against AFSPA, who do criticizes consumeristic heartless wealthy mammons, corruptors/nations that ruin other’s wellness. The task still remain as Kaka questions solemnly, can we Naga speak about nation and power politics? As demanded by situational needs, Biblical interpretation is made living and dynamic when one read the scripture from the lens of the reader’s context. Issues about nations and politics in the Bible is a distance past history, however it is made relevant when matters at put in context.

It is encouraged that preachers and teachers of the Biblical Theology widens the dimension of the concept of human holistic liberation-freedom and salvation. So that each subject matter pertaining human life here on earth, societal life, life as a nation, people and politics, spiritually and salvation aspects are altogether not neglected but inclusive and contextual. For, faith is not only a vertical focus but also a horizontal focus. God in heaven must be saying “all is well up in heaven but the world.” Salvation is here and after too. Dear Kaka this is me not trying to preach here but a solidarity rejoinder and a little bit of a reponse with appreciation.

An open letter to fellow theologians and pastors of Nagaland

By: Kaka D. Iralu

Dear colleagues,
In all my years of attending Church services for over the past half a century, I have never heard of a sermon preached on the subject of nations or politics which is related to the existence of nations. Is this because the subject of nations or nationhood is a non existing theme in the Bible? As for me, to my utter surprise, I discovered in 1997 that the Bible mentions the word “nation” and “Nations “481 times in the Bible. On the other hand, the word “salvation” is mentioned only 163 times in the Bible. (This Kakastatistics is based on Google search and I am not here implying that the word nation is more important than the word salvation)The point that I however want to make is that, though the subject of salvation is almost always mentioned in our church services, why have we been silent on the subject of “nations” for all these years? Another point I would like to mention here is the fact that, without the fact of nations and their existence, the subject of salvation would have no meaning whatsoever. After all, God did not send his son into the world to redeem the material world or the animals inhabiting the planet earth! Sadly, the word or the theme of nations or politics is almost a word of anathema (Forbidden) in our Churches. As for myself, I have been writing and speaking on this subject for the past 17 years.
As far as we Nagas are concerned, this subject of our nationhood and its implications has devastated our lands for the past 62 years (1947-2014). In this long period of time, many thousands of Nagas have sacrificed their lives for our national politics and cause. The survivors have also been so badly affected by its repercussions that today; our society has now become a society where our economic lives, our professional futures and even our very survival as a nation is under threat. And yet, will the theologically trained Nagas still keep mum and silent over these issues and only preach about heaven and the afterlife?
The Bible clearly declares that God is the creator of nations. It also states that He is the giver of our geographical lands (Acts 17:26; Dt 32:8 etc). As such, it clearly infers that the political and geographical sovereignty of any nation on earth is a right already granted to all nations by the sovereign God of the universe.  Can India then forcibly occupy our God given lands and claim that Nagaland is Indian Territory and Nagas are Indians? Can they butcher over two lack Nagas with their military might and impose heinous laws like AFSPA and persecute Nagas for over half a century? When all these most ungodly and sacrilegious activities have been perpetrated in our lands, will Naga theologians and the Church just stand by and watch? Is the Indian state imposed in Nagaland a divine will of God to which every Naga must bow their heads to? When some of our own so called national leaders are rampaging across our lands killing our own fellow Naga Christians and extorting every citizen of Nagaland with their slogan of Nagaland for Christ, will the Naga theologians and Churches just cower behind the four walls of their Churches and say nothing? Fellow theologians, is there really nothing in the Bible to be said against all these evils in our lands?
When will we ever search the scriptures and come up with Biblical injunctions and teachings to combat all these evils perpetuated in our lands for the past  more than six decades?
Any reader of the Bible will inevitably discover and realize that the Bible is a book about creation, nations, anthropology, history, and political rights. In fact almost all the Constitutions of the world and Civil Penal Codes of Governments on earth (including that of India’s too), are based on the Ten Commandments of God as enshrined in the Bible. Also all the universal declarations of human rights declared by the UN are based on Biblical laws and rights commanded by God. Besides this, the Bible is also a book about ecology, economy, agriculture etc. and man’s responsibility to nature as God’s regent on earth.
Why then are Naga theologians silent on all these issues of life that are pertinent for our survival and our existence on earth?  “Glory hallelujah” will be the day our Churches and theologians begin to speak on these issues from the thousands of pulpits across the length and breadth of Nagaland. Only such a day will usher in the Kingdom of God into Nagaland and make our land a glorious land whose God is the Lord (Ps.33:12).

 

A Tribute to Naga Army on Their Golden Jubilee Celebration

By: Kaka D. Iralu, 5 Jan. 2014

As a writer who had followed the Naga army right from 1956 to the present, I would like to present the following facts to the Naga public in appreciation of one of the most outstanding army in the world.

1. When the Naga army was formed in the 1950’s as the Safe Guards and then the Home Guards, it was only a rag tag army of courageous and determined soldiers. It became the Naga army only on 3rd Jan. 1964. At its initial stages, among its ranks of officers, there was not a single Military Academy trained officer who was trained in the modern arts of military warfare. Most of their officers were class six seven passed students instructed by some Naga soldiers from the Naga Regiment in Assam and elsewhere. They also did not have any modern weapons like Tanks, Artillery or even Mortars. But in spite of all their draw backs, armed with only some derelict Second World War rifles of a few Bren guns and Sten guns, they were able to hold back a modern army that was assisted by heavy artillery, light armored tanks and even Jet fighters. As to the numbers of this invading Indian army, even at the initial stages, their numbers were over 53,000 troops. The Naga army simply increased their armories with the seized arms of their slain enemies. This rag tag army subsisted in the jungles on almost half rations and starvations though out nineteen years of fierce fightings (1956 to 1975. In these 19 years of fierce battles, they slipped into East Pakistan and even China many times to bring back guns and ammunitions on their backs. They went in batches of hundreds and even thousands but always fought their way back to Nagaland across international boundaries.

Despite their heroic effort and sacrifices, they were not able to defeat India’s mighty armies. But the opposite is equally true- that the Indian army also was never able to defeat the Naga Army in the battlefield. Their fierce battles came to a stalemate when an inter-national Cease Fire was finally agreed to in 1964 by both the parties in conflict.
Now, for a rag tag army like the Naga Army to be able to achieve such an international cease fire with the second biggest army in the world is no mean feat of military achievement. Here, every Naga citizen should salute the personnel of the Naga army for their undefeatable spirit of patriotism to the nation. Never shall their names be ever forgotten in the annals of military history.

Other armies of other nations also have their own unique achievements. For example the Afghan guerrilla fighters under their War lord Sha Masoodh were able to force the Russian army back to Russia from Afghanistan. They were however able to achieve this splendid victory due to the heat seeking Stinger Missiles that were supplied to them by the United States. With these missiles, they were able to blow off the Russian Helicopters and fighter planes from the skies of Afghanistan. Equally splendid was the victory of the Vietnam soldiers who were able to drive out the mighty American forces from Vietnam. But here again, the Vietnam army was assisted by all kinds of modern weapons massively supplied by Russia. In the case of the Naga army whatever arms they could procure from other nations like the then East Pakistan and China were only the arms and ammunitions that they could carry across international boundaries on their bare backs!

2. Another great feat of our Naga army was their successful crossing of the uninhabited and unthrodden Hukwang valley in western Burma. This valley was feared for its impenetrable thick jungles and dangerous terrains. Even the Japanese army who were considered the best foot soldiers in the world was afraid to cross this valley in their quest for the conquest of India in the Second World War.

The Japanese army had conquered almost the whole of south East Asia mostly on foot by 1944, and the shortest route for conquest of India would be through the Hukwang valley. But fearing death through starvation, disease and hardships, they came through the Arakan. On the other hand, our Naga army, not only once, but several times hacked their way across this endless forest. On many occasions, they even had to fight all across the thick jungles for several months. Some of the Naga soldiers who trekked across this valley described their experiences as like walking across a spring mattress as the forest floor was so thick with centuries of decomposed leaves. They also told me that sometimes they walked for weeks not seeing the sun’s light even during daytime. This was because of the tall giant trees that covered the whole valley with their leaves and thick foliage. One of their heroic trips is mentioned in my book “The Naga Saga “under the title, “A journey into the jaws of death”

We Nagas as a nation have a courageous army of which we can all be proud of. At Sakraba, on 3rd January, it was indeed very moving to see all those elderly Generals, Brigadiers, Colonels and even Majors in full uniforms still refusing to surrender. Let us all remember that what we are today is all because of their sacrifices yesterday. NPN

Father of the nation without a nation

By: Khekiye K. Sema IAS (Rtd), Fotest Colony, Kohima

It is rather comical and amusing that few Nagas are vehemently squabbling over the whether Mr. Phizo can or cannot be called the “Father of the Nation”. This is an honorific title conferred to a man considered to have been the driving force behind the establishment of a Nation. In simple terminology a recognized Nation must first exist for the application of such a title. I said it is comical because we do not have a Nation of our own yet and amusing because we are wasting our time fighting over a fatherhood of a non-existing nation. Without doubt, Mr. Phizo at this point in time, qualifies to be referred to as a father but beyond this…without a nation? What? We cannot preempt a nation that is still being fought for. Should that Nation ever become reality, it still remains the prerogative of history to confer or defer this title from the ground realities events. It will not happen because one is able to exert brute force.

This brings us to the oft repeated and childish concoction of twisted Naga history by Mr. Kaka D. Iralu. His myopic rendition of Naga History reduces it to irrelevance as seen from his response to ‘Lt. Col.’ S.A Chishi. (25th August 2013: Nagaland Post). Though this letter has not been addressed to me I too react since he has written it for the information of all Nagas.
NNC and the FGN are the two sides of the same coin. NNC cannot discard the action of FGN when the going gets rough and wallow in its glory when the time is congenial. But Shillong Accord was signed jointly by the representatives of NNC and the FGN with the tacit understanding and approval of people like Zashei Huire and V. Metha. It is a blatant lie to claim that “NNC had nothing to do with it”. It is the same expression made by Madam Adino in her Naga Independence Day message which sounded as awful and as hollow.

The Federal Emergency meeting held from 29th November to December 1st 1975 at Ura Dihoma was not a fictitious gathering. Just so that the people can judge for themselves let me once again quote verbatim, the relevant segment of the resolution of this meeting:
(Quote): “A careful study along with the implications of each item has been made and decision taken is as follows:-

The Emergency Meeting, having received the Report from the Federal and NNC Representatives on the Shillong Accord, and having made a serious study of the matter, urged that the Accord be forwarded to Mr. A.Z.Phizo, President of the Naga National Council and Representative of the Federal Government of Nagaland Abroad, for his consent, and hereby re-affirmed that the Talks between the Government of India and the Nagas be conducted by him, so that the final settlement that could be reached with the Government of India might not leave any trail of bitterness among the Nagas”.(Unquote) These same words have been repeated in a statement on 30-12-1975 by Mr. Zashei Huire. He has further said (Quote) “THEREFORE, the Naga Federal authority is morally and legally not competent to include the Number One (1) and the Number three (3) of the SHILLONG ACCORD until this subject is taken up by the competent authority.

We are only competent to carry out the No.2 of the Shillong Accord. We would expect that the Government of India will come to appreciate our present position,” (Unquote)
Clause II of Shillong Accord was implemented. One would be a fool to act upon an agreement that one does not recognize. Clause (I) and (III) was officially forwarded to Mr. Phizo for his co nsent. Does this sound like Shillong Accord did not happen?

From the entire record stated above three things should be clear to anyone with a gray matter. 1. The Shillong Accord was signed by NNC and Federal Government Representatives as confirmed in the Emergency meeting of FGN; There are other sources which confirm this fact. The feeble excuse made by Madam Adino that “some of our people were mislead” in her Naga Independence Day message is a clear admission of an act having been committed, mislead or not. It was all the more reason for Mr. Phizo to officially denounce this stupid mislead Accord instead of being “not silent”.

2. Clause ( I ) and (III) were officially repeat officially forwarded to Mr. Phizo for his consent; It was his National Responsibility to officially reply to the official correspondence and not ignore it. Even as the President of the NNC it was not his personal prerogative to exercise his own whims to reply or not to reply. It was an official obligation that he did. If “He simply did not give recognition to the Shillong Accord”as Kaka says, what was his problem in not being able to communicate it to the FGN accordingly? Laziness? Or that he could not bring himself to officially condemn his own brother’s commission?

3. Clause (II) was accepted and acted upon; This part, we and the world knows. Did Mr. Phizo reprimand Mr. Zashei Huire for implementing this part of the agreement that he did not recognize? The fact that it was acted upon registers the reality of a serious agreement. Mr. Phizo seemed to have given up on the Nagas with his ultra “not silent” indifferent wisdom.
Does all the above proceedings of the Federal Government of Nagaland give the readers a feeling that Shillong Accord 1975 is someone’s fictitious story that did not happen, as expressed by Madam Adino in her Independence Day massage and continues to be harped upon by blind loyalist like Mr. Kaka D. Iralu?

Did Mr. Phizo think that Mr. Zashei Huire was a nursery school boy and his forwarding such an issue of National importance unworthy of an official response? Mr. Phizo “was not silent on the Shillong Accord” says Mr. Kaka D. Iralu.

“He simply did not give recognition to the Shillong Accord” Imagine peddling an atrocious excuse like this! Please do not keep insulting the Nagas with this repeated myopic crap. Mr. Phizo’s “Not silent” and “Did not give recognition” left his flock in a serious state of confusion that resulted in the fragmentation of the Organization. Mr. Phizo undid his life work and brought down the house he had built.

This is what history will record. No Naga will deny Mr. Phizo’s critical contribution to the National Movement but he has left behind a poor legacy in the aftermath. It is unfortunate that his daughter, who could set the record straight, has instead opted for the path of perpetuating the chaos left behind by her father.

Father of the Nation? Which Nation… Confusion? If the fanatically irrational loyalist still want a temporary title usage for Mr. Phizo, the only title readily available is a “Father of no Nation” because we do not have a Nation and the rest…History will decide in its own sweet time if ever.

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Response to Khekiye
Kaka D. Iralu.
27 Aug. 2013

If you want to deride and condemn my 16 years labor of writing about our history as “childish concoction of twisted Naga history” and “myopic crab”, you can have the privilege to do so. I can take all your criticism in my stride as a Naga gentleman. So go ahead brother and write even more derogatory criticisms against me, for I am not the least bothered about your opinion on me. As for me, I stand by what I have written and will apologize to anyone, only if they can substantiate their accusations with historical facts and documents.

You may also please note that my so called concocted history contains many names and father’s names and village names with dates including so many Sema martyrs who laid down their lives in defense of our sovereign nation. But as for your understanding of what a nation is- our views are worlds apart. As far as I am concerned, whether India or the UN recognizes it or not, a nation is a nation if they have a concrete historical record about their forefathers and a concrete geographical land that they have inhabited for thousands of years. Such a nation has its own inalienable right and prerogative to declare its own independence irrespective of anybody’s consent or approval. As far as I am concerned, Nagas too are such a nation.

When hundreds of thousands of Nagas have laid down their lives so that you and I can have a country we can call our own, please do not insult their sacrifices as sacrifices for a non existent Naga nation. For 62 years, their blood and their tears have stained the very soil on which you and I have built our homes and raised our children.

As for your other allegations that “the Shillong Accord was signed jointly by the representatives of NNC and FGN with the tacit understanding and approval of people like Zashei Huire and V. Metha,” let the NNC and FGN leaders reply you. As for me, I am not an official of either organizations and their officials also have no obligation to defend me or my views. Like you and me, they also all have their flaws and short comings, and I am not a fanatical worshiper of either Phizo or Adino or any other leaders of our nation.
With very sincere respects for an elder brother.

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Open letter to Khekiye K. Sema

Thihü Khamo, assistant secretary,
Federal Government of Nagaland
28 Aug. 2013

We are aware of your writings appearing in the Nagaland dailies which could make our people confuse and also make a gap between you and the Naga nation. Therefore, we want your valuable time to have free and frank discussion on 2nd September, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in Transit Peace Camp, Kohima.

You may not have much knowledge about the Naga historical background of the Naga nation because from your youth till your retirement, you were in the service of Government of India. It is natural that the amount you devote your life in another nation’s service the deeper you ought to understand the policy of that nation, likewise the more the Nagas suffered in the hands of India and its Armed Forces the deeper we understand the Naga nation.

The struggle for Naga freedom is more than six decades, still than by God’s grace there are some few national leaders who can share with you the facts and historical background of the Nagas without any reservation.
The Naga nation is not saved by man but it is the purpose of God’s plan to be a nation among nations. Many a time we desire to have an open discussion with intellectual Naga people like you and share the love of God that God had shown to our people doing miracle things in this long journey. We eagerly well-come you to meet us on the appointed date which will bring benefit to both of you and the people of Nagaland. The Naga nation does not belong to only one person but is a common property of every Naga and Nagas as a whole.

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A Response to the Open Letter to Thihu Khamo Asst. Secretary, Federal Government of Nagaland

Mr. Assistant Secretary, Federal Government of Nagaland, SIR,

I thank you for your ‘invitation’. While doing so, may I also full heartedly endorse what you have said that “Naga Nation does not belong to only one person but is a common property of every Naga and Nagas as a whole”. It is precisely because of this reason that I have been making efforts within the limits of my understanding to generate a fair open minded public discourse to establish clarity rather than confusion for all our sakes. If you are confused by my points of view it is your responsibility to come and have it clarified, otherwise express your own in the public domain for the people living in the ‘common Naga Nation’ to decide for themselves which of the view is correct, rather than issue an ‘invitational’ summons with a rigid date , time and place to teach me history lessons. I was never too keen in attending class during my collage years and that habit has still not waned. However, since this is a common issue that concerns all the Nagas, I would gladly participate should you call for such a meeting of all the Factions (which should invariably include the Accordist and the Non- Accordist factions of the NNC and the FGN), all the Tribal Hohos and all the other NGOs so that together we can have a full fledged debate to clear our heads.

Thank you for humbling me about my lack of “much knowledge about the Naga historical background of the Naga nation” because from my “youth till my retirement”, I “have been in the service of the Government of India”. I would assume that with your numerous sacrifices for the Nation made from your Transit Peace Camp, Kohima, you would have attained the status of a demi-God by now to know and impose who has and who has no knowledge of the Naga history, especially with a gun in hand. Yes, I readily agree that I don’t know much and have an open mind to always welcome an opportunity to learn more, but certainly not under unhealthy environment. Let me just say this as simply as I can for you to understand that I consider myself as being a thorough Naga with all my limitations. Let me also tell you this, that having served under the Government of India did not necessarily involve a dilution of my pride of my identity as a Naga. Every bit of that service period has been spent to render the best I can for the welfare of the people of Nagaland not any place else. Neither have I served with a closed up mind not to see the blatant hypocrisy within the once proud united national movement and the mockery we have made of the sacrifices of the generation that went before us.

It is very sweet of you to want to “share the love God” with me. Personally I am a God fearing man and I have yet to get over it. Besides, enlightening me alone in some quiet secluded corner would not solve the Naga confusion or problem.

It is your privilege to invite me and it my privilege to humbly decline your invitation. So thank
you again.

Khekiye K. Sema

A question to MIP GPRN/NSCN (I-M)

by: Kaka D. Iralu

1 Jul. 2013

To be guilty of “high treason against the nation” by indulging in “anti-national crimes against the nation” is to be guilty for capital punishment. Such criminal acts against one’s own nation are crimes that deserve death before a firing squad. In your article “To set the matter Straight: NSCN (IM),” dated June 26, 2013, you have accused me of being guilty of such crimes against our Naga nation. You have also added that such crimes “will no longer be tolerated” and that you “will not remain a silent spectator” anymore. Therefore in the light of such serious charges against me, allow me to state the following:

1. I am not trying to justify or defend the Shillong Accord of 1975. As any reader of my article “Some hard facts about the Shillong Accord and its aftermath” (May 4, 2013) would have noted, I have simply recounted the factual historical events that led to the signing of the Accord. I also did add some of my own personal views but did not in any way tried to impose those views on anybody. So you can accept or reject my own personal views. But to impose your own views on those of mine and threaten me with dire consequences is a most undignified and ignoble act on your part as a Government.

2. You may agree or disagree with me that the Nagaland Peace Council members did a heroic job of searching out the last remnants of the NNC and FGN members at the risk of their own lives. These people were not some traitorous young Nagas under the Indian Government’s pay roll but elderly Reverends who risked their lives to save our leaders as well as the curfew bound starving villagers of the then Nagaland. To call these revered Church elders as “misguided’ and brokers of traitorous acts is to insult the Nagaland Baptist Council of Churches and brand it as the enemy of the Naga people.

3. In my writings of over 1000 pages defending our national cause over a span of 16 years, I had never argued that some of our “NNC leaders escaped to Eastern Nagaland for fear of Indian military operations”. In fact in my book The Naga Saga, in the story “A trip to China that ended in an Indian prison” pp. 309-328, I had specifically mentioned that Th. Muivah and Isak Swu were sent to China in November 1974 along with 140 Naga soldiers to procure more arms to carry on the fight- p.312. In that story I had recounted their heroic attempt where out of 140; only 13 of them were able to slip into China. Seventy of those soldiers were finally captured while the rest perished in the attempt. Dear fellow Nagas of the NSCN/IM, I was born on March 3, 1956 amidst the sound of gunfire, bomb blast and burning of villages. I was a political prisoner at the age of 7 months along with my father, mother and grandfather. And for all my life, I and my family members have lived under the shadow of Indian threat to our lives. Now in the “afternoon” of my life on earth, I am not going to live under the shadow of another threat from my own fellow Nagas. If I am indeed guilty of treason to the nation, then let God and the Naga people be our judge.

A call for new strategies for the oppressed Nations of South Asia

By: Kaka D Iralu

All the smaller nations that were forcefully stuffed into the British created modern Nation States of India, Pakistan and Burma are now fed up with peace talks and negotiations for a solution to their political problems with these three Nations. These smaller Nations are- in the context of North East India- Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. In the Burmese context, they are the Kachins, Karens, Shans, Mons, Wa’s etc. In the context of East Pakistan which is now Bangladesh, the victims are like the Chakmas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
In ancient South East Asian history, these smaller Nations were never a part of the British created India, Burma or Pakistan modern Nation States. For example, in the case of Burma, prior to the Panglong Agreement of 1947, there was no union of Burma. Up to this point of Burmese history, three quarters of the present Burmese territory which comprised of all the mountainous frontiers were inhabited by non Burman ethnic peoples like the Kachin, Karen and Shan Nations etc. As early as 1922, the Karenni and Shan territories were recognized by the British as sovereign States. Central Burma or the predominantly Buddhist Ava Kingdom existed as an independent kingdom only up to 1886 when the British after three wars completely defeated the Burmese kingdom and added it as a province of their empire in India.(Information source: “Life under military rule,” A report by the Naga youth organization, Burma, 2010 and other historical documents).
However, all these independent Nations in South Asia were just dumped into the belies of this British created, post colonial Nation States in 1947 and 1948. The British on their departure also armed these modern Nation States with a lethal arsenal of modern weaponry which included light armored tanks, aero planes, heavy artillery and heavy machine guns. This arsenal of weapons sealed the fates of the smaller Nations from asserting their rights to independence.
When they protested against this historical injustice done to them, they were simply silenced by the overwhelming populations and military hardware that were bequeathed to these newly created Nations by the departing British Government.

And as history rolled on from the 20th century to the 21st century, the story and plight of these smaller Nations have been a story of “Beaten up Nations.” Yes, their villages were burnt to ashes, their women raped, their young man tortured and they were forced to flee their own ancestral lands ending up as pathetic refugees in neighboring states like Thailand, China and even the West. Back home, their ancestral lands now lie sodden with their ethnic blood and uprooted broken lives. Just visit some of the refugee camps in Thailand and India and any white foreigner will see the reality of what my pen is trying to paint.

And now we hear the white races are coming back again to their former colonies for a second exploitation of south Asia’s mineral and economic wealth. This second incursion will come through the “Look East Policy” sponsored mostly by the Indian and Burmese Governments. Now, if these smaller oppressed Nations do not collectively assert their national rights, this new policy could disastrously end in a second rape of South Asia where only India and Burma will gain from the adventure. Presently both India and Burma are committed to building international highways that will connect Burma and India to the rest of the world.

Once these roads are built, our gold, our precious stones, our metals, our decorative marbles, our forest wealth, our horticulture, agriculture and herbal wealth will all steadily disappear from right under our feet. They will be shipped away to western countries by foreign multi millionaire companies in collaboration with the Governments of India and Burma. They will also eventually build giant dams across our Chindwin and other big rivers to tape hydro power to their own countries. Such plans are already under consideration and execution. Our rich irrigable and agricultural lands will be submerged under such gigantic hydro electric projects presently being undertaken by Indian, Burmese and even Chinese Governments.

Fellow oppressed Mongolian Nations of south Asia, know this fact that this wealth does not belong to some Bihari or Tamilian politician in Delhi. It also neither belongs to some Burman Princely descendant or a Burmese General. These gold and silver are our God given and ancestral protected wealth that rightfully belongs to us and our children.
For the moment, these second Colonial powers are dolling out a lot of their money for our so called development. But mind you, in the long run, they will eventually reap back hundred folds of their spent money through doing business with western Nations exploiting our economic wealth. (Unfortunately, some of our present political leaders are lavishly enjoying these dolled out money and think that their fenced walls and the accumulated wealth within, is the end of economic growth in south Asia) !

But despite these short sighted and day dreaming political leaders, when this second economic invasion of our lands come, we all must stand together as a federated Union and confront the Western European Nations and collectively say; “The land that you now tread with economic interests is not Indian or Burmese lands. We are the rightful landowners of this portion of south Asia. Therefore if you want to do business, talk with us.” Such a stand and confrontation is historically, politically and legally valid and viable. It can also be defended in any international court of law. Such an act on our part may also politically rectify the historical injustice inflicted on us by yesterday’s European Colonial powers. Fellow South Asians, sixty years of political oppression caused by a collaborated act of the Indian, Burmese and Pakistani politicians along with the British Colonial powers of yesterday must finally end through such a concerted act and stand on our parts. Indeed it is high time for us to make a collective stand and free ourselves from both colonial as well as post colonial tyranny.

The Moderate Nagas and the Underground

Er. Albert Ovung

In reply to “Harsh world of reality” by Khekiye K. Sema IAS (Rtd) Vs Kaka D. Iralu

Following its independence, India has faced a series of guerrilla insurgencies in the hills along its Border with Burma and East Pakistan. None has proved so difficult as the ugly guerrilla war which has raged in the Naga Hills since 1953. The Political turmoil in Nagaland has gone all but unnoticed outside of India, in large measure because of a cease-fire agreement between the Indian government and the guerrillas which took effect on September 6, 1964. For two years, the Indian representatives and the Naga guerrillas faced each other at the peace table, but the conflict was never resolved in a formal peace agreement. Y.D.Gundevia, the Indian negotiator at the peace talks, concluded regretfully in 1965 that the talks had led to “a truce without a political settlement”. In the years since then, Nagaland has repeatedly faced the prospect of the resumption of full scale hostilities. Yet, despite important changes in the political situation, a delicate equilibrium has been maintained which has kept violent outbreaks at a fairly low level even though a political settlement seems to be as remote today as it appeared in 1965.

Politics in Nagaland cannot be understood as merely a contest between Indians and Nagas, or between the Indian Government and some “misguided” Nagas. The cease-fire could hardly survive from 1964 to the present without any progress toward a political settlement if there were only two sides each dedicated to eliminate the other. Instead, the present situation maybe better understood as a very complex set of relations between a number of “parties” who have differing objectives, strategies and capabilities. As a result, a precarious equilibrium has been maintained over the past so many years being violated systematically and continuously.

It is the purpose of this article to present a brief activities, tactics and objectives of the major participants in Naga politics .I tried to collect as much data, record as I could mostly taken from various source specially the Assam tribune, Naga chronicle, citizens voice, archive for the Naga people during those days, invite Naga people to judge and correct the Naga history.

Naga National Council (NNC)- Political Movement
Inspired with the success of Pakistan movement a section of educated youth under the inducement of some Christian missionaries and support of some foreign powers expressed their reservation against amalgamation of Naga territory with Indian Union. When departure of colonial Government from India became a reality, they also started pleading that Nagas are a separate nation and demanded secession of their territories on the line of Pakistan. Accordingly they converted the Naga Club into a political organisation known as Naga National Council (NNC) in March 1946 with Imti Aliba Ao as its first President.

The NNC that was the first political organisation of Nagas to submit a memorandum to the Cabinet Mission on June 19, 1946, when it demanded autonomy to Naga Hills. They demanded separate sovereign political geography comprising of Naga inhabited areas of Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Myammar (Burma). This was the beginning of political conflict between Nagas and the Government of India. Again on May 19, 1947 the NNC sent a memorandum to British Crown demanding Independence of Naga Hills for ten years. They expressed that after ten years Naga people will decide whether to become the part of Indian Union or to maintain their sovereignty. They reiterated their plea that Naga people never accepted the subjugation of the British as they fought for their sovereignty by occasional revolt against them.

A.Z.Phizo (Qaid-e-Azam of Nagaland)
The leader of the Naga underground forces is Angami Zapu Phizo. His formal claim to the leadership of the guerrillas is derived from his position as the elected President of the Naga National Council which declared Naga independence from India and later became the founder of the underground Naga Federal Government (NFG). For a number of years Phizo led his guerrilla forces in battle against Indian Army, but in June 1960 he arrived in London to enlist world opinion and solicit foreign assistance for his NFG guerrillas. In the intervening years, Phizo has tried to exercise direction and leadership of the guerrillas from his home in Bromley, near London. However, since the insurrectionary Naga Federal Government has its own political and military leaders who continued to function in Nagaland, Phizo’ leadership of the underground has increasingly depended upon his ability to deliver foreign assistance in one form or another to the NFG. Over the years the charismatic appeal of Phizo’s name has lost some of its lusture, but he remains a key actor on the Naga scene by virtue of his capacity to enlist public sympathy and foreign aid for his cause.

The desire in Nagaland for a peaceful resolution of the conflict has frequently focussed on the role of Phizo. Through the years, Nagas of various political persuasions have come to London to discuss politics and possible terms for ending the war. Phizo’s tacit approval made possible the cease-fire agreement and the formation of the Peace Mission in 1964. However, once peace talks began, Phizo counselled the NFG negotiators against accepting as a tactic to ensure his return to Nagaland as the sole spokesman for Naga political objectives. A series of overtures were made by Phizo to pave the way for his participation in the negotiations with the Indian Government, but they were opposed by the Indian Government, by Moderate Nagas in the state government as well as by some guerrilla leaders in the NFG.

Rebuffed in his bid to recover his preeminent position in Naga politics Phizo was put in the position of having to demonstrate to his supporters that following his leadership would lead to greater dividends than to follow alternate courses charted by his political rivals in Nagaland. Unwilling to capitulate on the issue of Naga independence, and fearful of the political costs of immediate resumption of full- scale military operations, Phizo decided to follow a strategy which he believed might rouse western powers to support his cause. Early in 1967 some NFG guerrilla units were instructed to send a selected contingent to China via the mountainous jungles of North Burma. Two groups of guerrillas totalling about 300 men reached China about April 1967, just as Phizo arrived in the U.S to plead for assistance on the argument that otherwise his guerrillas would be forced to rely upon communist support and arms. As far as is known, no U.S officials gave him sympathetic hearing, and he returned to London empty handed. The vague but optimistic accounts of his trip which he sent to the guerrillas in Nagaland gave assurance that support from the U.S and the U.N was only a matter of time. Over the next year, groundless rumours circulated in Nagaland of promised covert support for the NFG by the Central Intelligence Agency if Nixon were to win the U.S presidential election. These rumours intensified after Phizo successfully arranged for a foreign journalist to be smuggled in and out of Nagaland by the NFG.

The failure of Phizo’s international power play left him more reliant than before upon Communist China and Pakistan, if only because he had promised much and therefore had to deliver. Furthermore, his uncompromising line on the peace talks and his flirtation with communist China triggered major defections from the NFG which had the effect of weakening the military and political power of those following his directions. Thus for a variety of reasons, Phizo was driven to adopt his alternate tactic of soliciting massive Chinese and Pakistani military assistance to build up the NFG guerrilla forces for the eventual resumption of hostilities should the Indians not agree to Naga independence and the transfer of all power to the NFG under his leadership. (This is where NNC political movement got defunct and a government “NFG” took over). In the years since 1967 Phizo’s tactics have changed very little followed by various factions in Nagaland.

The Naga Federal Government–Revolutionary Government
Disappointed from his meeting with Nehru, Phizo returned to Naga Hills and mobilised the various rival sub-tribes of Nagas with the slogan of Naga Nationalism. He also set up various front organisations like People’s Independence League, the Naga Youth Movement and Naga Women’s society and accelerated his movement for creation of a sovereign Naga State comprising Naga Hills, Tuensang and other Naga inhabited areas in India and Burma (Myanmar). With the support of Christian Missionaries like Rev. Michel Scott and others Phizo emerged as the supreme leader of Nagas by arousing political consciousness among them. He mobilised his people as freedom fighters for liberation of their territories from Indian occupation and gave a call for boycott of first General election in Naga Hills. Boycott of election followed by his politics of militancy was a direct challenge to the Government of India, which compelled the latter to declare Naga Hills a disturbed area.

During the period of hostilities, the Naga guerrilla organisation was a rather loosely knit conglomerate of regional and tribal guerrilla bands which acknowledged the authority of the Naga Federal Government. The autonomy of each guerrilla band became more of a problem after ceasefire in 1964, since the NFG commanders could meet more regularly and consider policy and tactical issues raised at the peace negotiations. When it became apparent that the Indian Government was unwilling to consider complete independence for Nagaland as demanded by the NFG negotiating Team, a number of tactical and policy questions had to be faced. The most difficult question, however, became the authority and leadership of A.Z.Phizo.

In May 1967 two underground leaders, R.Suisa and Vizol Angami, travelled to London to discuss strategy with Phizo. They returned to Nagaland the following Month with Phizo’s report of his accomplishments abroad as well as endorsement for the earlier decision to seek Chinese communist military assistance for the underground forces. The strategy proposed by Phizo set off a bitter and continuing dispute within NFG. Some Nagas objected because it appeared to violate their professed Christian values to seek assistance from a militantly atheistic state. Others were concerned lest they suffer the fate of Tibet in the course of becoming dependent upon the Chinese. However the biggest practical concern involved the fear that Communist Chinese assistance would trigger a massive Indian response and plunge Nagaland into intense terrorism, repressive counter –insurgency operations and atrocities characteristic of vicious guerrilla warfare. In short, the main issue attitudes toward violence and the tactics which risked violence.

The first guerrilla leader to openly challenge the power and directives of Phizo was General Kaito Sukhai. He had held the post of Commander in Chief of the NFG army from about 1953 until 1963, when he travelled to London via Pakistan to discuss strategy with Phizo. Shortly afterwards, General Kaito was removed from office at Phizo’s command and replaced with General Mowu Angami, Phizo’s nephew. General Kaito out of office remained inconspicuous until the ceasefire, at which time he spent most of his time in Kohima fairly close liaison with leaders of the elected “overground” government of Nagaland, and he came to appreciate their political objectives, even though he retained his affiliation and contacts with the guerrilla troops he had led during the most difficult years of the fighting. When Phizo enunciated his “China tactic” General Kaito decided to act. In July 1967 guerrilla troops loyal to Kaito seized the NFG treasury (reported to have contained Rs.110,000), all sixteen military radio transmitters and the bulk of the guerrilla arms caches. The press reported that of the 2,000 guerrillas fully mobilized, 1,500 had opted to follow Kaito’s leadership. The anti-Phizo coup had entailed no bloodshed, and was immediately followed by negotiations between the rival factions to prevent an open clash. The President of the NFG in 1967 was Kaito’s brother, Kughato Sukhai, who remained loyal to Phizo and thus represented the pro-Phizo faction in the protracted negotiations with Kaito which followed the Coup.

The immediate political effect of Kaito’s anti-Phizo coup was to place the pro-Phizo faction in a more desperate situation and make them even more eager than before to replenish their empty armoires with weapons from foreign sources. As a consequence, the impetus for sending guerrilla contingents through Burma to China was intensified, and over the next sixteen months several pro-Phizo guerrillas left for China to get new weapons and training in guerrilla warfare.

In October 1967 the Naga Federal Government was rocked by a new internal crisis. A long series of negotiations between the NFG and the Indian Government had broken down following talks in New Delhi between Kughato Sukhai and Indira Gandhi. Faced with the stalemate at the peace table, the NFG leaders had to choose between intransigence and accepting some compromise political settlement as the basis for more permanent peace. Once again factional differences arose partly as a result of Phizo’s admonition to hold out for complete independence and partly as a result of a new attempt by Phizo to shift power to NFG to “more dependable” leaders.

The NFG Tatar Hoho (parliament) was convened in October to resolve factional differences and promptly proceeded to elect a new President and Vice-President, both of whom are known to be dedicated “Phizo’s men”. Immediately upon taking office the new President, G. Mhiasiu, supported by Vice President Imkongmeren Ao, declared “President Rule” thus suspending the NFG constitution and assuming the powers exercised by Prime minister Kughato Sukhai, suspected by the Phizo faction of sympathy for his brother’s political views and believed to be too compromising in negotiations with India. This manoeuvre removed from office in the NFG the mild critics of Phizo’s tactical line, including nearly all the negotiating team in the peace talks with India. The defeated NFG president Scato Swu, announced that he was taking a “two year’s holidays from politics” and added:

“Let Mr .Phizo and others try it if they can have better terms from the Government of India than what Mr.Kughato Sukhai and I were obtaining.”
President G.Mhiasiu’s assumption of authoritarian powers in the NFG created further factional splits in the underground, and over the next few Months some guerrilla units defected to General Kaito’s faction, while one group merely announced that it was “seceding” from the Naga Federal Government. Mean while, Kughato Sukhai and his ousted Foreign minister, Issac Swu (Present Chairman NSCN (IM)), mounted a campaign to wrest power in the NFG from G. Mhiasiu by “Constitutional” means. Because of the cease-fire both leaders could campaign openly at public gatherings in various towns and villages against president Mhiasiu’s “China policy” and the lack of democracy in the NFG under his ‘Presidential rule”. Under the pressure of Naga public opinion, President Mhiasiu’s finally agreed to convene his appointed NFG Council to consider Kughato Sukhai’ demand for a return to “Parliamentary government”. The motion which would have returned Kughato Sukhai to power was rejected by the surprisingly close vote of 16 to 15. To subdue his critics, G.Mhiasiu was forced to promise a new NFG constitution. The Moderates who hoped for “Democratic reforms” were sadly disappointed when the new constitution was finally promulgated by President Mhiasiu, for it provided for “parliamentary government with president rule” and merely restored some of the trappings of the NFG representative system while reinforcing the control of the pro-Phizo faction over the NFG.

Each time the NFG faced a crises over Phizo’s leadership role, his tactics, or the legitimacy of the NFG “representative” institutions, the support for General Kaito’s “anti-Phizo” faction grew. At the same time, the military power of the pro Phizo faction was also growing as the first Contingents of guerrilla troops returned from China with new weapons and improved training. For the future of the area, it became increasingly critical whether the defections from the NFG or the influx of newly armed guerrilla units tipped the balance of power in the underground one way or the other.

Fearing the increasing military build up of the pro-Phizo underground, General Kaito initiated a vigorous “recruiting” campaign which quickly degenerated into a series of skirmishes between his forces and those of the NFG. By the end of 1968 Kaito’s forces controlled Most of the Sema, Angami and Mao areas, while the Pro-Phizo faction had its strength in Eastern Angami, Chakesang, Wokha areas, Thankhul and the Zeliang areas of present Manipur. As the rivalry became more intense, the incidence of violence and selective terror increased. In a dramatic raid on NFG headquarters, Kaito’s troops kidnapped the Acting Commander in Chief of the NFG, General Zuheto. The latter was accused of planning to assassinate Kaito, but was released when he defected to the Kaito faction, only to be recaptured a short while later when his “defection” appeared to be spurious. Perhaps in retaliation, two months later General Kaito was assassinated while he was walking alone and unarmed. Although the assailant was never formally identified, rumours circulated that General Kaito was murdered on Phizo’ orders, and that the assassin was killed a few months later in a skirmish with the Indian Army.

The revolutionary government of Nagaland
The murder of General Kaito made the cleavages within the underground even more irreconcilable .Within a few weeks most of the ex-NFG officials who had been in office the previous year issued a call for all underground leaders to attend a “Council of the Naga People” at Satakha. When the NFG incumbents refused to attend, the anti-Phizo faction raided the NFG headquarters at Chedema and Kidnapped President Mhiasiu and NFG Home minister Z. Ramyo. When the Council of the Naga People convened a few days later, Kughato Sukhai declared that the Naga Federal Government had been “Dissolved”, and shortly thereafter the announcement was made that in its place a new Government had been formed called the Revolutionary Government of Nagaland (RGN), with Kughato Sukhai elected president of the council, Scato Swu, Prime minister and Iesum, President of the RGN.

The formation of the Revolutionary Government did not eliminate the Naga Federal Government. Instead, NFG vice President Chumbeo Murry declared a “State of emergency” and claimed the vacant post of the NFG presidency from the Kidnapped G.Mhiasiu. For the time being, he was content to wait for NFG military contingents to return from China with new weapons before attempting retaliation or mounting a raid to rescue the NFG leaders detained at the Zungti headquarters of the revolutionary Government.

As the security situation became more critical, the Indian Army intensified its operations against suspected guerrilla bands as they returned from China. By contrast, the Indian army made no sustained effort to engage in search operations against the Revolutionary Government which had promised not to seek foreign assistance and professed to favour peaceful negotiations for settling the “Naga Problem”. Because the RGN was almost as eager to intercept the returning NFG guerrillas as the Indian government, it is possible that RGN leaders reached some understanding for limited co-operation with the Indian authorities or the overground Nagaland government. At a Minimum, it is clear that the provisions of the ceasefire were honoured between the RGN and the Indian security forces, but between the NFG and the Indian Army the cease fire was inoperative.

When Phizo enunciated his “China Tactic” he apparently failed to take into account the reaction of Burma. One of the first NFG groups to go to China engaged in a minor skirmish with a Burmese security post, and when the guerrillas returned later in the year armed with better weapons, they decided to take retaliatory action. The severity of the NFG attack on the Burmese outpost forced the Burmese Military to shift from a posture of indifference to one of extreme hostility.

By 1969 the journey across North Burma to China was extreme hazardous for Naga guerrillas. When the NFG commander in Chief General Mowu, leading 600 guerrillas, attempted to return to Nagaland through Burma, he met determined opposition from the Burmese and his troops were reported to have suffered the loss of about 300 men in a series of running battles. Tia Ao, the son of the NFG “elder statesman” Imkongmeren Ao, was killed in this encounter. At the same time NFG guerrillas looted the two Burmese towns of Tiddim and Falam and were reported to have stolen Rs.100,000 in currency. When the guerrillas reached the Border of Nagaland they found the access routes effectively blocked by the Indian Army. At the same time RGN scouts apparently made contact with General Mowu’s band and persuaded him and his forces to proceed to the “Sanctuary” of the RGN camp (protected by ceasefire agreement). While the full story has not been told, it appears that the Indian authorities learned the arrival of General Mowu and his NFG men. Whether the capture of General Mowu and his band of 162 men was accomplished by the “treachery” of the RGN is difficult to determine, and may indeed depend on how one defines the word. In any event, General Mowu and his men were captured by the Indian army without a fight when they found themselves in an untenable situation. Shortly afterwards, part of a second contingent of China- trained guerrillas was also intercepted and 83 were captured ,but the leader ,Issac Swu and about 100 men eluded security forces managed to slip over the border into the Naga Areas of Manipur.

The capture of large contingents of NFG guerrillas substantially altered the political balance in Naga politics. Morale in the NFG dipped to a new low, so that the RGN was able to recruit additional NFG defectors. The RGN leaders who desperately wanted to get peace talks started again soon discovered that the Indian Government saw no reason to resume the talks, particularly when the underground was hopelessly fragmented and the security situation was improving. As a result, neither the Tactics of the NFG nor the RGN appeared to facilitate a negotiated settlement on terms acceptable both to the underground Nagas and the Indians.

Shillong Accord
Before the Shillong accord was signed and surrendered in 11th Nov.’1975 by the Naga Underground in Nagaland and Manipur, The Indian government announced that 800 guerrillas had surrendered from October 1968 to March 1969 and that 2316 guerrillas had surrendered in the two year period ending on December 16,1969.”See Citizen’s Voice December 18.1969 page 1”.

Conclusion:
The most interesting part in Naga History is that Naga elites associated with the NNC which played a major role for Naga independence, after the Second World War but when military operation intensified Moderate Nagas formed the Naga Peoples Convention in 1957 which played a vital role for a full fledged state. The first Naga People’s Convention was held at Kohima on August 22, 1957 with Imkongliba Ao as its President and Jasokie Angami one time associate of Phizo as General Secretary. The convention resolved for a satisfactory political settlement of Naga Hills within Indian Union. Responding to the demand of the Naga Peoples Convention Naga Hills, which was a district of Assam was brought under central administration under Ministry of External Affairs with a nomenclature of Naga Hills Tuuensang Area (NHTA). In its second convention at Ungma in May 1958, it constituted a committee to contact the Naga rebels and win them over. In its third convention in 1959 the resolution included the demand for a separate statehood for Naga Hills within Indian Republic. From December 1957 to February 18, 1961 remained under the administration of NHTA.

The sixteen-point agreement between the Naga Peoples Convention and the then Prime Minister of India in July 1960 paved the way for creation of Nagaland as a separate state within Indian Union. Naga Hills was accordingly placed under the Nagaland (Transitional Provision) Regulation 1961 with an interim body consisting of 45 members elected from different sub-tribes of the Nagas. While democratic process for the proposed new state was in progress, some of the hard core gunned down two moderate leaders namely Imkongliba and PhantingPhong on August 22, 1961 and August 29, 1962 respectively.

The interim body was dissolved and Nagaland was formally declared as Sixteenth State of Indian Union on December 1, 1963 with Shilu Ao heading a five-member caretaker Government. The Naga peoples convention after statehood transformed into a political party called the Nagaland Nationalist Organisation (NNO).

In January 1970 the Nagaland Nationalist Organisation (NNO) enunciated the following policy toward the guerrillas:-
“……the NNO accepts the underground Nagas as inalienable part of the Naga community and thus, they must have a say in the final settlement. This party is convinced that Naga problem has to be solved by the Nagas themselves and this can be done only when there is peace and unity among the Nagas. This party, therefore, appeals to all contending groups and parties to observe strictly the ceasefire agreement.”(India weekly (London), November 5, 1970 and refer also 1969 election manifesto of the NNO “pamphlet”: N.Bendang Ao.)

The opposition NUF (Nagaland United Front) elections campaigning with the slogan “A vote for UF is a vote for permanent peace”
“The NUF stand for peace includes everyone; even those “hard core” who have gone over to China .We do not advocate their total annihilation because we know peace cannot be obtained by such means.

We know that the spirit of Nationalism once aroused can never be suppressed by force. Violence only breeds more violence.
It is unnecessary to deny that we are pro-Phizo.” Assam tribune, January 28,1969 page 1.
In the similar line Congress party have declared to maintain equi-distance to all the guerrillas faction in Nagaland as well as the NPF party declared to maintain equi-closeness.
It is very interesting and sad to see that the Moderate Nagas could not stand to a single party (NNO) but with the passage of Time it broke to many other political party like the FGN(Phizo) broke down to various faction. Most of the key players in either the Moderate Nagas or the UG remain the same in principle and ideology. It is for the Nagas to judge and let not the History repeat itself.