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Naga Club’s Memorandum to Simon Commission in 1929

Dated, 10 January, 1929
The British Statutory Commission; Camp-India
Subs: Memorandum of the Naga Hills

We the Undersigned Nagas of the Naga Club at Kohima, who are the only persons at present who can voice for our people have heard with great regret that our Naga Hills is included in the Reformed Scheme of India without our knowledge, but as administrator of our Hills is continued to be in the hands of the British Officers and we did not consider it necessary to raise any protest in the past. Now we learnt that you have come to India as representative of the British Government to enquire into the working of the system of Government and the growth of education and we beg to submit below our view with prayer that our Hills may be withdrawn from the Reformed Scheme and placed outside the Reforms but directly under British Government. We never asked for any reforms and we do not wish for any reforms.
Before the British Government conquered our country in 1879-80, we were living in a state of intermitted warfare with the Assamese of the Assam valley to the North and West of our country and Manipuris to the South. They never conquered us nor were we subjected to their rules. On the other hand, we were always a terror to these people. Our country within the administered area consists of more than eight regions quite different from one another, with quite different languages which cannot be understood by each other, and there are more regions outside the administered area which are not known at present. We have no unity among us and it is only the British Government that is holding us together now.
Our education is poor. The occupation of our country by the British Government being so recent as 1880, we have had no chance or opportunity to improve in education and though we can boast of two three graduates of an Indian University in our country, we have not got one yet who is able to represent all our different regions or master our languages much less one to represent us in any council of a province. Moreover, our population numbering 1,02,000 is very small in comparison with the population of the plain district in the province; and any representation that may be allotted to us in the council will be negligible and will have no weight whatever. Our language is quite different from those of the plains and we have no social affinities with the Hindus or Mussalmans. We are look down upon by the one for “beef” and the other for our “pork” and by both for our want in education, is not due to any fault of ours.
Our country is poor and it does not pay for any administration. Therefore if it is continued to be placed under Reformed Scheme, we are afraid new and heavy taxes will have to be imposed on us, and when we cannot pay, then all lands have to be sold and in long run we shall have no share in the land of our birth and life will not be worth living then. Though our land at present is within the British territory, Government have always recognized our private rights in it, but if we are forced to enter the council the majority of whose number is sure to belong to other districts, we also have much fear the introduction of foreign laws and customs to supersede our own customary laws which we now enjoy.
For the above reasons, we pray that the British Government will continue to safeguard our rights against all encroachment from other people who are more advanced than us by withdrawing our country that we should not be thrust to the mercy of other people who could never be subjected; but to leave us alone to determine ourselves as in ancient times. We claim not only the members of “Naga Club” to represent all those regions to which we belong viz, Angamis, Kacha Nagas, Kukis, Semas, Lothas and Rengmas, but also other regions of Nagaland.
Signed by
(1) Nihu Angami, Head Interpreter,
(2) Hisale Peshkar,
(3) Nisier Angami, Master,
(4) Khosa Doctor,
(5) Gebo Kacha Nagas, Interpreter,
(6) Vipunyu Angami, Potdar
(7) Goyiepra Angami, Treasurer,
(8) Ruzhukhrie Angami, Master,
(9) Dikhrie Angami, Sub-overseer,
(10) Zapuzhulie Angami, Master,
(11) Zapulie Angami, Interpreter,
(12) Katsuno Angami, Interpreter,
(13) Nuolhoukielie Angami, Interpreter,
(14) Inzevi Sema, Interpreter,
(15) Apamo Lotha, Interpreter,
(16) Resile Rengma, Interpreter,
(17) Lengjang Kuki, Interpreter,
(18) Neikhriehu Angami, Interpreter,
(19) Miakrao Angami, Chaprasi,
(20) Levi Kacha Naga, Clerk.

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