My beloved Country Men and Women,
It is a great honour and a privilege for me to address you on this historic occasion of the 66th Republic Day of our Nation. I thank our Almighty God for His continued Guidance, Sustenance and Protection. I am immensely grateful to our pioneers for laying a firm political foundation for which we are able to stand up today with pride and dignity.
I salute and pay my homage to the martyrs who have made the supreme sacrifice for the Naga Cause and all the Naga patriots for their visions and sacrifices in pursuit of the long cherished Naga dream. May their unyielding spirit and selflessness continue to inspire, guide and strengthen us.
Nagaland became a Republic 22nd March in 1956 that when the Naga National Council convened the First Tatar Hoho bringing together the Free Nagas represented by the Hongking Government and the erstwhile Naga Hills District represented by the Naga National Council which led to the establishment of the Federal Government of Nagaland. With the National Mandate of 1951 entrusted to them and acknowledging that the Almighty God is the Supreme Sovereign over this world and the authority of the people on the territory is a sacred trust from God, our leaders established our National institution based on the modern principles and ideals of Democracy, Justice, Liberty and Fraternity and instituted the Republic on the concept of the Federal System of Governance.
The historic Declaration of Naga Independence on 14th August, 1947 and the irrevocable pledge of the Plebiscite of 16th May, 1951 created the foundation and shaped the political course of our people. Naga nationalism was founded on courage, the courage to believe that Nagas are different and unique as a people and as a nation founded on the historical and political reality of the time. We chose to determine, forge and shape our own destiny with freedom and dignity.
As we commemorate the 66th Republic Day, we celebrate the exemplary lives and courage of the pioneers. Our history is our inheritance but we have to place ourselves within the historical framework of the past and follow the path till our historical rights are expressed in full. The Federal Government of Nagaland believes that we must travel back in time to the past to reclaim our rights that was declared in unity and trust. In the midst of opposition from others, we must free ourselves of the distrust from within, unite and with strength proceed forward. I believe that there is a future ahead of us and that future is waiting for those who are morally strong, determined and resolute to make it their own.
The Nagas as a people have an ardent desire to live in peace and harmony and have always sought to live in peaceful co-existence with our neighbours. For Peace to prevail and for a peaceful resolution of the Indo-Naga political issue, the Federal Government has been involved in political dialogue with Government of India as an entity of the NNPGs Working Committee to arrive at a political settlement which is honourable and mutually acceptable. But we have to be brutally honest with ourselves and we have asked ourselves many times, “Is India really concerned about the wellbeing of the Nagas? Is India prepared to be honest with her commitments? History has made us to doubt these questions.
Our ancestors were honourable people and their words used to be their law. It’s shameful and disgraceful to dis-honour their own words. The British recognized this custom and treated the Nagas as honourable people. Despite several conflicts and agreements between the two, no written document was necessitated. And so we respected each other for what each was. But when the Indian leaders made the first agreement with the Nagas, they neither honoured our customs nor their promises. We had to make a written agreement – the 9 point agreement (Hydari agreement).Even after getting written assurance from the representatives of the GoI, a letter signed by Bordoloi and Hydari themselves, the agreement never saw the light of day. Successive Indian leaders have faiedl to uphold even the promises made to the Nagas by their most venerated leaders like Gandhi and Rajagopalachari.
It has made us to wonder what are we up against, a people whose honour is questionable. To cite few instances – India never honoured the Hydari agreement; India betrayed the Peace Mission of 1964; India divided the Nagas even after her promise to bring the Nagas under one political umbrella; India is not even serious about her commitments to the 16 point agreement in all important matters. We are also aware that the conflict between the Nagas and India could have been resolved long ago had the Government of India been really sincere in the desire to resolve it. The GoI in the past has instead of seeking permanent solution rather has basically succeeded in prolonging the problem by manipulating the situations as and when desired by her. It is up to the Government of India whether to restore faith in the Indian system of Democracy make a mockery of the Indian System of Democracy. We Nagas, as a Nation of trustworthy and honourable people expect India to live up to her world image as the largest Democracy in the world; we hope India becomes a self-respecting and honourable country. We have the moral strength to stand, wait and watch as we firmly believe that what is rightfully ours cannot be crushed by might.
May God’s grace be upon us all and His Wisdom continues to guide us and may His Will prevail as we continue our journey.
God Bless My Nagaland. Kuknalim.
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