Jotsoma, October 30: A lead-in general public meeting to the centenary of Naga Club held at RCEMPA Hall, Jotsoma today emphasized the need to forgive and forget the past differences within the Naga society and come together to reaffirm the unique Naga history.
It was the 20-member Naga Club who first submitted the Naga Political Memorandum to the British Statutory Commission led by John Simon on January 10, 1929 which stated “We have no social affinities with Hindus or Mohammedans… leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient time”.
Various tribal bodies including Chakhesang Public Organisation, Lotha Hoho, Pochury Hoho, Sumi Hoho, Central Nagaland Tribes Council, Naga Council Dimapur and ACAUT attended the lead-in general public meeting convened by the organising committee of centenary celebration of Naga Club.
The actual celebration will be held on November 29 at the local ground here.
Speaking on the occasion, tribal organizations and Naga elders emphasized on the need for Nagas to once again come together to raise the common voice of Naga rights, instead of being more divided in the name of groups, tribes and organizations.
President of Naga Club, Krurovi Peseyiein in his keynote address paid tribute and thanks to the founding members of Naga Club and the signatories of the Naga National political memorandum of 1929.
“The founders of the Naga Club were perhaps not well educated. However, they have created the most important and famous political history of Nagas with great wisdom. Though with limited resource, they were rich in heart and soul. In all humility, they founded a great legacy of Naga National political foundation and passed it on to the present and future generations and the legacy of which, even the more civilized neighboring countries could not imagine then. When we go through the records of Naga club, we can clearly know that the Naga club has never been defunct, but only remained inactive sometimes,” he said.
On the on-going claims and counter claims of Naga Club being defunct, Peseyie said “when we go through the records of Naga Club, we can clearly know that the Naga Club has never been defunct, but only remained inactive sometimes”.
Nonetheless, he said that with the imminent approach of centenary of the club, some well meaning and concerned Naga elders after having several consultative meetings, held a meeting of Naga tribes on June 2, 2017 at the Naga Club Building Kohima and elected some office bearers of Naga Club on ad-hoc basis who were regularized on August 17, 2018 by the tribal representatives.
He affirmed that the present Naga Club stands committed on the principle of the founding members which says, “The Naga club belongs to the Naga people as a whole.” The Naga Club shall remain as the foundation of our unity and aspiration, he said, adding that as members of the Naga Club, “we strive for what is right and just”.
“The noble deeds of the Naga Club founders and the signatories of the famous memorandum of 1929 are worthy of honour and remembrance for all times, now and in the days to come, in our journey towards self determination,” Peseyie added.
Sharing a brief reminiscence, Caretaker of Naga Club (1964-1969) and former Rajya Sabha MP, Khyomo Lotha recalled that the Naga Club building was not at the present site which is housed by NSF but it was in the old Kohima Town Committee (present Ozone Café) which was then in a very bad shape so donation was raised through some elders, and I had to see that it was renovated and repaired.
He also recalled how on Dr Neilhouzhü approach, a portion was allotted to KTC and than for Kohima College Kohima in the interest of public.
“Those who came then were few. Today after seeing this, I feel like crying because those days we didn’t have meeting. There were few members, there were no registered members. They were not registered even to me. It was just an empty house. But what I understood and what they said was that we have to keep this Naga Club alive,” asserted Lotha.
“I never imagined that I will see again an honorable crowd, elders, political leaders, tribal leaders coming together and to celebrate the centenary,” he said.
Affirming that Naga Club still exists as formed by the founding members, Lotha said “the legacy of Naga Club has never been handed over to the any organisation”.
Renowned activist for peace and change, healing and reconciliation, Niketu Iralu, founder Principal Emeritus, Patkai Christian College (Autonomous), Rev. Dr Tuisem Shishak, vice president of Joint Christian Forum, Nagaland, Rev. Dr N Paphino also spoke on the occasion besides other than the tribal organizations and civil society leaders. (Page News Service)