The Naga Independence Issue: A Demand Issue Or A Defence Issue?


In what I consider as a most important talk with an Indian Interlocutor, I was told by the gentleman that I had not understood a very important issue in the present Indo-Naga Peace talks. He told me that India cannot grant Nagas their independence, lest in doing so, India disintegrate into pieces with Punjab, Kashmir, other North East Indian states and Southern Indian states demanding the same independent status. This remark came from his mouth after I had given him a brief review of our history dating back into the B.C. as well as early A.D. eras from neighbouring historical records as well as our own records of the many battles fought with our immediate neighbours stretching into hundreds of years.
As soon as he blurted out his remark, I retorted: “Sir, you have got it all wrong if you think we are asking our independence from you.” I went on and said; when we had stated our independent stand even as far back as 1929 to the Simon Commission and also furnished the same stand in 6 memorandums to the British before the transfer of Power in 1947 and also over 10 memorandums to the Indian people and declared our Independence on 14th August 1947 before India became an independent nation on 15th August 1947-what makes you think that we are asking our independence from you?
I also added, surely India did not ask Chinese or Russian permission to hoist their national flag over their own national lands. After all, the hoisting of one’s national flag over one’s own territory is an exclusive prerogative right of that particular nation. So I told this Indian gentleman; we are not asking our independence from you or Burma or for that matter even from the U.N.O. We are simply demanding that you (India), Burma and the U.N. recognise our Independence which was declared on 14th August 1947 over our own territories. I made it clear to him that our independence issue is not a DEMAND issue but a DEFENCE issue.
This Indian gentleman also now knows that British records dating as far back as 1841, clearly shows demarcated Rengma Naga territories in the former Ahom kingdom of Assam. The gentleman therefore knows that the Nagas had already been inhabiting the plains of Assam long before the Ahoms established their kingdom in the early 13th century. The Ahoms actually crossed the Naga Hills only in 1228 A.D. on their way from their Tai kingdom in upper Burma to the plains of Assam.
Now with, all these historical facts and their knowledge in the heads of Indian interlocutors, one wonders what these interlocutors are going to grant to the Nagas regarding their future. After all, history can be twisted with so many lies, but the real facts of history can never be erased or re-written by any Tom Dick or Harry -however powerful they may be.
Kaka D. Iralu.

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