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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What Naga Club deserves?

Wednesday, 03 January 2018 11:45
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There are two modern versions on how the Naga Club was formed at Kohima 100 years ago. It is learnt that some 2000 Nagas were drawn from different communities in the then Naga Hills to be part of Naga Labour Corps. One version goes that some of the returnees of the members of Naga Labour Corps from France at the end of the 1st World War(1914-1918) formed the Naga Club. The other version goes that those of the Nagas who worked under the erstwhile British Administration at Kohima were motivated to form exclusive Naga Club similar to that of the exclusive British club at Kohima. Having read the limited pertinent materials, I found that some France returnees along with the Naga employees of the British administration, who were the first enlightened few Nagas, jointly formed the Naga Club at Kohima in 1918 learning from outside and from the white administrators at Kohima of how they ran their club at Kohima. The Naga Club was formed 46 years after the advent of Christianity at Molungkimong in Ao are in the then Naga Hills. I also wonder as to whether the Naga Club members, at least some of them, became Christians or not at that time. Nevertheless, the Great God Jehovah was with the members of Naga Club.

In the 11th year of Naga Club's existence, the Simon Commission from Great Britain led by Sir John Simon accompanied by the Commission member Mr. Clement Atlee officially visited Naga Hills in 1929 in connection with the New Reformed Scheme of India. During this very period, Mr. J.H. Hutton was the D. C. of Naga Hills at Kohima who indirectly inspired the Naga Club through Mr. Rheichalie Peny?, Peshkar in D.C's office as to how they can write to Simon Commission for what was desired by the Nagas post the promulgation of the Reformed Scheme. As everyone is familiar now that Master R?zh?khrie Sekhose drafted the representation signed by 20 members of Naga Club which was submitted to Simon Commission on 10th January, 1929. This representation was the first ever official document as for Naga political aspiration is concerned.

The Naga Club, in its representation, demanded that on the eve of the departure of British from Naga areas, the Nagas should be left "alone to determine ourselves as in ancient times." The Naga Club also asserted that they had represented not only those communities within Naga Hills but including all the Naga regions as the last sentence of the representation runs:  "We Claim not only the members of the Naga Club to represent all those regions to which we belong, viz., Angami, Kacha Naga, Kukis, Semas, Lothas and Rengmas, but also other regions of Nagaland." What an inclusive language articulated from the magnanimous and great hearts of those 20 humble souls who had sown the first political seed for the posterity. We cannot but simply appreciate their political acumen and their farsightedness. The event became the first landmark in the political history of the Nagas and I believe it was designed by God. 

What then the present generation Nagas must do to Naga Club? Is there any Naga who accepts the Representation to Simon Commission dated 10.1.1929 and not the Naga Club? Whose work was that Representation had it not been the members of the Club and under the very aegis of the Naga Club? Would the representation of 20 signatories carry wattage had it not been in the name of that common platform called Naga Club? Is there any Naga who tends to erase the name 'Naga Club' from the event of Naga encounter with Simon Commission in 1929 just for the reason that Naga Club became dormant for a period of time? Is there any Naga watching and waiting for the lowest ebb of Naga Club to come and then dilute its originality? Whose fault and responsibility any Naga thinks for the dysfunction of the Naga Club? Is there any Naga trying to take undue advantage on the existing Naga Club comprising of not the rich and powerful but of the lowly few? Whom does one think to get benefit when Naga Club is battered, sidelined, insulted and demeaned? Whom does one think will be decimated or who will incur loss when Naga Club is acknowledged and popularised? Is there any Naga expecting to gain out of the distortion of Naga Club's history?

Is there any Naga belittling the achievement of Naga Club for the mere reason that those 20 signatories belonged to the erstwhile Naga Hills alone? Is there any Naga refusing to accept the Naga Club's representation as the common history despite of such inclusive language? Is there any Naga intending to replace the original Naga histories with re-written pseudo histories? Is there any Naga contemplating to demolish the Naga history and then create or recreate new histories? Is there any Naga therefore considers the nomenclature Naga Club a hindrance to such scheme of re-writing Naga history? Does any Naga believe that Naga original histories have become obsolete and irrelevant and therefore needing substitution or replenishments? 

Neither the 20 signatories nor the few communities to which those signatories belonged are the sole proprietors of Naga Club and its achievement. Naga Club is the common property of all the Nagas without borders, so also its representation to Simon Commission. There had never been any instance of dispute over the issue of ownership and there is no chance either in future. Therefore, preservation and safeguarding of Naga Club and its history and all those historical landmarks as 14th August, 22nd March and 16.5.1951 of Naga Plebiscite are the bounden duty of the present generation in the interest of Nagas wherever they are. Appropriately, Nagas without borders must fight against flattery, speciousness, plausibleness and distortion of facts. When are we going to get tired in the indulgence of obduracy? Nagas without borders and specifically those who profess themselves to be peace makers must stand for truth and resist to be trapped in the snares set by unscrupulous people to commit errors after errors. The peace makers are not expected to multiply social and political problems. Let 2018 be the Naga year of Introspection and Realization. 

Z. Lohe

  Imkong L Imchen on deferment of Assembly polls Dear Nagas, is it change you want?