More than seven decades ago when our founding fathers first formed the Naga Students’ Federation, they had the twin vision- to articulate the noble aspiration of youths through a common platform, and to respond to any issues which confront the students and the Nagas as a whole. Thus, the Federation was formed, committed to the “intellectual fight” against any forces that threatens the existence, right, freedom and identity of our people and I say with conviction that the federation is committed to take on the responsibilities, so that our younger generation especially the student communities future, hopes, dreams and aspirations of a better quality of life are fulfilled. We are all aware that the journey ahead is a difficult one but we assure you that the federation is determined, dedicated and will sacrifice our everything to move the extra mile, to achieve our organisational vision for a better Naga future.
We are the voice of the younger generation that have witnessed so many generations of conflict. We are a generation which have been tempered by war, torn apart and disconnected by territorial lines, and beaten down in numbers by decades of bloodshed and violence.
It is in this light that today we observe our Independence Day to express the will of the Naga youths in good faith and prayer that the World shall bear witness and in fair judgement, honour our unique history, our identity, our culture and our political goals.
On this day, let us reflect back on all the past leaders and martyrs on whose sacrifices we now stand. Yes! We have all suffered the loss of our loved ones. And it is with great pain in our hearts that we acknowledge, ‘there is no greater sacrifice nobler than laying down one’s life defending one’s identity and for freedom from any forceful subjugation.’
We shall remain indebted forever for the sacrifices made by our Nationalists in the past who gave up their lives for the identity and sovereignty of the Naga people. Their blood and tears will continue to inspire through generations to come in the temple of our memories. We express our gratitude and extend our solidarity to the Nationalists at present who have dedicated their lives in pursuing the aspirations of the Naga people. It is our belief that Sovereignty and Integration of the Nagas is a vision that has been bestowed upon us by the Almighty God.
Let it be known to each and every individual that our right to self determination is justified on account of our unique history, culture and political goals as declared to the world on the 14th August 1947, when the Nagas declared themselves free from any imperialistic forces and on 16th of May, 1951, through the Naga National Plebiscite when 99.9% of the Nagas reiterated our right of a sovereign independent Nation under the noble leadership of Lt. AZ Phizo. We once again urge the governing bodies of the world to honour the Naga Historical and Political rights and restore the pride of the Naga people.
Today we carry a message from the hearts of every Naga youth to convey that – we have placed our confidence in the ongoing peace process to take the aspirations of the youths for an inclusive and honourable solution. We urge the Naga people to take advantage of the present situation on the promises of a solution made by the Honourable Prime Minister of India and considering that the GOI has acknowledged the fact and reality of the unique history of the Nagas for an honourable solution and is working on the principles of Co-existence as we all need to understand the ground zero reality and global scenario of interdependence, such provisions which are mutually and strategically beneficial for all the negotiating entities, to accommodate each other, setting aside all egos, personal differences and enmity in bringing about an amicable and honourable settlement to the protracted Indo-Naga Political issue.
Over 70 years have elapsed under the political control of the Government of India and we have been deprived of much developmental progress in our land. What the youths and the Nagas need today is economical, cultural, geographical, infrastructural development and political stability in our hills and plains. We must have educational and medical institutions equipped with state of the art infrastructure and facilities, we need to reform our agricultural method with advanced technological tools and implements, we need adequate air connectivity, roads and highways leading to every villages and towns, and our youths must be amply provided with entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.
We, the Naga youths long for a peaceful future. A future without war and conflict. We long to live in peace and at par with the rest of the world. This will only be possible provided all political groups communicate with each other, share views, accept each other and clear their ambiguity as the journey is a single road for a better Naga future. We all need to take the responsibilities together with all stakeholders and strive for what is honourable and acceptable to all Nagas paving a way for peace.
On this day, the 73rd year of our Independence, to every Naga, both young and old, let us take a pledge and proclaim ourselves free, free from the shackles of corruption and ism, free from the errors of our society, and free from the control of any external forces that threatens our existence and identity. It is our outbound duty to protect the interests of the Nagas from threats both from within and outside.
Let us free ourselves from the shackles of corruption and ism, in our homes, in our institutions, Justice and Administration, and in our selves, only then we will be truly free.
Alone you can do little, but together we can achieve so much more, let us be all clear that Naga areas can be developed only by Nagas. Kindly don’t expect others or continue complaining, but become professionals in various fields to participate in the process of growth for a better Naga future. So, lets all take this pledge today to continue dedicating our lives and contribute to ensure that the lives of the younger Naga generations are secured.
Eno NinotoAwomi, President, NSF
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