Kohima, August 14: Naga people today observed unrecognized Independence Day amidst mixed feelings and apprehension about the ongoing peace process.
Naga flags were seen flying high in many places in Naga inhabited areas despite restrictions orders issued by the Governments of Nagaland and Manipur considering it anti-national. Defying the orders student organizations hoisted Naga flags in several places in Nagaland and Manipur and observed the day.
It was on this day, the Naga National Council (NNC) declared independence of Nagaland, one day ahead of India’s independence in 1947. But the August 14 Naga independence was neither accepted by Government of India nor recognized by the international community.
The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) ordered all units to observe the day by hoisting the Naga flags in their offices. In the State capital, the day was observed at Naga Solidarity Park where Naga peace activist Niketu Iralu was the chief guest.
According to reports, the day was observed in a befitting manner in Naga inhabited areas of Manipur State. Government offices and educational institutions remained closed for the day, according to sources.
Chairman of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN), Q Tuccu said August 3, 2015, Framework Agreement signed with the Government of India has become an important foundation and mutually agreed competencies would define the nature of relationship of the two entities.
Addressing 73rd Naga Independence Day at council headquarters, Hebron, Tuccu insisted that the two entities must exercise their best political wisdom and resource to emerge from the impasse over some of the core issues. “The challenges are great yet, I believe that no problem is too big to solve through mutual respect,” he asserted.
He said an honourable political settlement of the two entities is the only way forward towards lasting peace in the region.
“The 16 Point Agreement and the Shillong Accord of 1975 were no solution at all; rather they were historical blunders that led to further confrontations. Hence it will be a great tragedy to repeat the same mistake again,” Tuccu said. He called all sections of Naga people in different camps to come onboard for the final solution adding every issue with the neighbours should be resolved through respecting each other’s history.
He said Nagas, wherever they are, are one and they will move forward to resolve the Naga issue honourably respecting their unique history. “They shall stand true to the end, come what may, till an honourable solution is arrived at,” he added.
General Secretary of GPRN/NSCN and Convener of Working Committee of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), N Kitovi Zhimomi in his address during the celebration of Naga Independence Day at Khehoi camp said the solution at hand is not just for Nagas of Nagaland state alone. “There will be clear and lucid political arrangements and governance for our people beyond the artificial boundary. By this I put to rest all baseless rumours of WC, NNPGs limiting itself to Nagas of Nagaland state,” he said.
“In the final days of negotiations between the GoI and Nagas, having extensively dwelled on all contentious issues and having in principle on all major issues, there may remain elements who would brazenly attempt to belittle, initiate blame game, hatch deceitful policies to thwart the common aspiration. Our people may encounter a wave of disgruntled men who behaved and dreamt that the seven decade old Indo-Naga political struggle and its settlement would become a business empire, a corporate house, a private firm run by few in the grab of a national movement and national principle,” Kitovi said.
He said time has come for Naga people to prepare and embrace a political settlement where all Nagas can participate and redefine their destiny afresh as people. “We must prepare our generations to face greater challenges in the future. We believe we are on a path to unveiling a future where our identity, history and political right – the very ideals our forefathers defended with their lives, will be reaffirmed, entrenched and institutionalized,” he said.
“We have great faith in our future. Thus there is no major issues left between WC and GoI and therefore could arrive at a solution at any given day,” the GPRN/NSCN general secretary announced.
“We are closer than ever towards our goal. More importantly I speak as a Naga and therefore will not hesitate to inform our people what to expect in the days ahead,” he said. He said they will choose a political settlement that is well protected against future parliament or constitutional intrusion by Government of India, that which guarantees absolutely power and authority over our competencies, foreseeing a dignified and prosperous future for younger generations, making no compromise future whatsoever with respect to Naga people’s identity, culture, history and political rights.
Both NSCN and GPRN/NSCN thanked Naga organizations and churches for constantly supporting them in their endeavours.
(Page News Service)