Naga Self Determination

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A few weeks back, Naga People celebrated Centenary of the formation of Naga Club. At the time British decided to give up her Empire entire British rule, therefore Statuary Commission popularly known as Simon Commission come to Kohima to know the opinion of the Naga people, Naga people submitted Memorandum. Thus, memorandum after outlining the historical, political, and culture background of the Naga.
In response to the on 10.1.1929, the British House Commons declared the various of Naga Tribe inhabitant Area “Excluded” Area. Thus British government directed the Governor of Assam Province for care taker.
When the British Cabinet Mission came to India the ICNC sent a delegation to Delhi and gave them a memorandum. The Cabinet Mission was sent to study the political situation in the Indian sub-continent in the light of the impending transfer of power that was to take place soon. In the memorandum, the NNC declared that the future of the Nagas would not be bound by any arbitrary decision of the departing British Government if such decisions were taken without the prior information and approval of the Naga people. The memorandum was submitted to them on 9th April 1946
Following this memorandum to the Cabinet Mission, the NNC also published a book where the Naga desire for full independence was clearly outlined. Orient Press of India published this book on 23rd December 1946. In a subsequent interview with a correspondent of the Azad, Messrs, AZ Phizo and T. Sakhrie clearly told the Indian Press that the Naga stand was for complete independence from India. This event was later discussed in the Indian Legislative Assembly where Nehru replied in the affirmative but later brushed the issue aside saying that the statement had no particular importance nor was supported by a substantial opinion.
Following these declarations another memorandum was submitted to the departing British Government and the incoming Indian Government on 27th March 1947. The memorandum was entitled Memorandum of the case of the Naga people for self-determination and an appeal to the H.M G and the government of India.
This memorandum after outlining the historical, political and cultural background of the Nagas requested the two Governments for granting an interim Government for the Nagas for ten years after which the Nagas would be free to decide their own political future. The purpose of the memorandum was stated thus:
The memorandum seeks to present the case of the Naga people for self-determination for the realization of which an appeal is made to HMG and the Government of India to set up for the Naga people an interim Government for a period of ten years, at the end of which the Naga people will be led to choose any firm of Government under which they will live.
Copies of this memorandum along with personal letters were also sent to Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of England, Lord Simon, Member, House of Lords and Winston Churchill. A part of the letter to the House of Lords read:
No argument is needed to show that the Nagas are a separate people with their own customs, traditions and culture: and to say that British Government has decided to handover to the Indian hands complete authority for governing of even Nagaland, in complete inconsistence with the policy of administration hitherto followed in the hills and in violation of implied but clear pledges on the past years, without even asking the opinion of the Nagas is not only unjust but immoral.
When no favourable response was forthcoming form the British Government, A.Z Phizo led another delegation of the NNC to meet Lord Mountbatten, the then Governor General of India with a suggestion that the new Indian Government should act as the Guardian power for ten years after which the Nagas would be free to determine their own political future. Part of the suggestion submitted to Lord Mountbatten read thus:
1.The interim Government of the Naga people will be a government by the Naga people over all the people of Nagaland, having full powers in respect of legislation, executive and judiciary.
2. Nagaland belongs to the Naga people and will, be inalienable.
3. The interim Government of the Naga people will have fill powers in the matter of raising revenue and expenditure, an annual subvention to cover the deficit being given by the guardian power.
4. For defence and for aiding the civil power in case of an emergency, a force considered necessary by the NNC will, be maintained in Nagaland by the guardian power. That force will be responsible to the NNC who will in turn be responsible to the Guardian power.
Then, Akbar Hyder Ali and representative came to Kohima and agreed the term and promised to abide the decision. But he died soon and the matter took different shape. Indian used force and sent 3 Divisions of Army and Assam Rifle, and police to crush Naga people but the situation turned to worse and ten and thousand people died for Naga political freedom.
Now, Indian leader know that Naga fought on with great determination, they try to appease Naga people. At that time, a brilliant intelligent officer S.M. Dutt was deputed at Shillong, who recommended to the Government of India to suppress the Naga Political Movement. But soon, he was convinced that the solution of the Naga problem did not lie only in fighting but needs a political solution. From the Indian point of view, Dutt had become a great value. Without wasting time, he contacted a few government officers and with the help of some moderate Naga over-ground groups, he prepared a draft of the resolution to be moved at Naga Peoples Convention. At the same time, he prepared a draft of separation from Assam Government. Dutt then explained his scheme at the meeting of Governor, Chief Minister, Cabinet Ministers and senior officers of Assam at Shillong. Dutt’s scheme suggested that the request should come from the representatives of Naga Convention and the Government of India should generously accept it as a token of good faith toward the Nagas. (B.N.Mullick, p.315). The Prime Minister and Home Minister were extremely happy and congratulated Dutt on his brilliant move and acted according to Dutt’s advice. This proposal is to appease Naga People.
Basing on the scheme, the First Naga Peoples Convention (NPC) was convened on 22nd August 1957 at Kohima. Then, NNC warned the Naga Peoples Convention. It was hard for the leaders of the Naga Peoples Convention to kick against the pricks of 1951 Naga Plebiscite. But NPC pursued the scheme of separate state and endorsed it in the Third Naga Peoples Convention at Mokokchung on 22nd May 1959. Accordingly, an interim body took place with 16 Points Agreement. Then the first election was staged in 1963, where the Naga National Organization (NNO) came out with absolute majority by winning 33 seats; whereas the Naga Democratic Party (NDP) won only 11 seats.
Just a week back 55 years of Statehood was celebrated with Hornbill festival. Battle and festival does not go together. For last 55 years we have been given by different political party with a promise to bring Naga political solution but in vain. 2018 Election is for solution, I said it is false. According to Youth Net, The Morung Express, December 15, 2018, highest spending candidate spent average of Rs. 30 crore. Nowhere in India had election voter come 80% whereas Nagaland Election come 90% voters cast their vote. Where Naga honesty where we support 99% for Naga Sovereignty at the same time, we support Naga land statehood.
Naga voted 90% Statehood there is reason why Elijah the prophet of e Century challenged the nation, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21).
Naga People aspiration and Self-Determination is hanging for last 100 years. If Indian leaders have political wisdom by now India could have been peaceful Country. They believe that liberated Bangladesh from East Pakistan is right, but using force to suppress Naga political movement is also right.
They believe that Naga political movement must be honorable and acceptable from both sides. Therefore, three times Cease-Fire was signed and last cease-fire with NSCN (IM) 10 years talk is still in darkness.
Let us believe what Mikhail Gorbachev, Former General, Secretary of Communist Party of Soviet Union.
“It is possible to suppress, compel, bribe, break, or blast, but only for certain period; from the point of view of long term big time politic no one will be able to subordinate others.”
Rev Dr. VK Nuh

* Disclaimer. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and participants on this page do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Nagaland Page.