India is to be blamed for defending the disputed map of the new independent India by the use of force which was erroneously made by the then British India without the consent of the Nagas. A very small portion of Naga homeland was unilaterally made as a District of Assam by the then British India and the same was passed on to India’s new rulers when Great Britain terminated her Empire in the Indian Sub-Continent.
The Naga pioneers – defenders of their history cannot be blamed in any case for taking the position they took in 1929 and 1947 before India became an independent nation, which they defended resolutely unwaveringly up to this day by making huge sacrifices due to the declared India’s wrong stand “either keep fighting or surrender’. Delhi has maintained this wrong stand for over 70 years. Without recognising the historical facts and use of military power by the Govt. of India on the innocent Naga people as it is in the present case, we can clearly see that there can be no honourable, sustainable and acceptable solution to the Naga issue.
The Nagas were not and are not against India or being “anti-India” when they declared themselves to be a sovereign, independent people and a nation, because the position was justified by the facts of their history. The people of India should know this that the Naga people simply chose to be true to themselves and to dare to claim the right and privilege their history entitle them to claim and their defence of the stated status at immense sacrifices till date clearly shows what their struggle means to them.
India has no right or justification for treating the Nagas as if their struggle is “secessionist”, “hostile” or “anti-national” because Nagas chose to reclaim their pre-British status before the British left India. The Nagas were never a part of India or any other neighbouring nations or even the then British India, they only made a “no more fight agreement” in their own terms and practices in their favour to restore peaceful co-existence without any treaty with the British in 1880 after 50 years of battle to defend their honour, dignity and land. However, some years later, this friendship agreement was unilaterally misinterpreted by the British by making a very small portion of western Naga areas as a part of the eastern edge of the then British Empire in India and making the small portion of that Naga homeland as a District of Assam of British India without our consent. As such, the Nagas by absolutely non- violence and democratic means re-affirmed their stance in writing in form of a Memorandum and declared on behalf of all the Naga people as to ” Leave us Alone to Determine for Ourselves” before the British Statutory Commission headed by John Simon in 1929. It undoubtedly means to say that the British were to “leave us alone for Sovereignty” as and when their departure from their South Asian colonies took place.
Therefore, under these premises, it is clear that Nagas demanding anything that is not theirs from India does not arise. We are not asking India to give sovereignty or anything to us. We only expect and humbly ask India to recognise the true facts of our unique history and leave us alone to determine our future by ourselves. We earnestly urge India not to unwisely use force to treat us as a people who “have no option but either to keep fighting or surrender”. You must mark our words today that we definitely have an option not to fight militarily but shall never-never surrender to the Indian Constitution as threatened again and again. Do not treat us as a part of the new India in any way which is terribly wrong on your part because we are not Indian and our territory was and is not a part of the new Indian Union as aforesaid. We had to resist mighty India just in self-defence because we were compelled to protect our history, land, culture, dignity and identity not because we thought we could match India’s vastly superior force. Nagas cannot throw away what is most important for their proper growth in all dimensions of life just because it is too difficult for India to discuss the matter today. We can understand India’s problem who fail to understand the facts of our political history. But that does not mean we are to treat our history as if it is not true or not important for our proper development in our own unique culture “the purest form of democracy” without any class or caste system as a people and a nation. Under these premises, the NNC shall never ever betray our people and surrender to the Indian Constitution under any circumstances, we shall pursue our said Naga aspiration till we breathe our last.
Gen. (Rtd) Thinoselie M Keyho
Naga National Council
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