Naga Club was not formed in the style and meaning of European Club, but was formed as an organization for the interest of the Naga People. Mr. A. Kevichusa, one of the pioneers of the club, recorded, and I quote “It was for the general interest of Naga People that the first Naga Club was established by stalwarts like Hisaslie, Krusiehu, Dr Khosa and others, and the same aim should be maintained. The building was not constructed for any particular person. It was constructed in 1946. It does not belong to the Angamis in particular. Neither does it belong exclusively to the Kohima people nor to the Christians but belongs to the Naga people as a whole.” unquote.
Naga Club, as we know, had been taken care of by the successive Deputy Commissioners as caretakers w.e.f 1918 to 1947, and thereafter, by some public leaders w.e.f 1948 to 1969. Mr. Kyomo Lotha Ex MP was the last General Secretary and caretaker of the erstwhile Office Bearers. Ever since, the Club remained dormant from 1970 to 1981. Realizing the need to revive the Club, the Naga Elders Conference convened a Naga Public Meeting on 7th January 1982 at the Panchayat Hall of the Kohima Village and there 6(six) Office Bearers of the Naga Club were elected headed by Mr Azuto Rengma as President. Their tenure cleared the prevalent controversy over the Naga Club Building. However, with no guidelines or constitution of the Club, the members in a meeting declared that the office bearers will shoulder the affairs of the club voluntarily without specific tenure. This must be the reason why there is also no record of any membership drive since its inception in 1918. Further, all of the other Office Bearers of the Naga Club (1982- 2007) except Mr. kewezu Mero, Joint Secretary cum caretaker rest of the other office bearers had expired before 2007. Since then, the Naga Club again remained dormant for almost a decade until February 2017.
Under this circumstance, some concerned Naga Elders comprising of various tribes, understanding and realizing the sacredness and historical significance of the club in regard to the Naga National Movement and Naga nationhood, came together and held a meeting on 27th March 2017 at a Hotel in Kohima through the initiative of Mr Pelhouruo Suokhrie and discussed on the need of reviving the Naga Club; several rounds of meetings followed. To crystallize the objective a meeting of concern elders was held on 14th May 2017 at Hotel Ozone café, Kohima which decided to hold a further meeting comprising all the Naga Tribes of Nagaland. Accordingly, the meeting of the representatives of Tribal Hohos of Nagaland was held on 16th June 2017 at the Naga Club Building which elected a Team of 5(five) Ad-hoc Office Bearers. Realizing the need to regularize the ad-hoc office bearers for full swing activities on the forthcoming centennial celebration of the Club, the general meeting of the Tribal Hoho representatives on 17th August 2018 regularized the ad-hoc body by voice vote. The Naga Club has since then set in motion as to how to observe the centenary celebration by appointing an organizing Committee.
In regard to the Naga Club Building and its Plot there should be neither doubt nor any misunderstanding for all concern. The following facts should clear all mists. On formal return of the building by the State Government to the Naga Club, the NSF under the then President, Mr Vizolie Sorhie, on 4-4-1983, applied for renting some rooms of the Naga Club Building. In a prompt response to the request, the authority of the Naga Club on 7-4-1983 allotted a part of the building to NSF on rental basis, documents of which are available with the Club. However, in regard to receipt of rent payment, if any, there is no record.
Mr Kewezu Mero, the only surviving member of the defunct Naga Club of 1982, as per the record of the Naga club, spent an amount of Rs 27,612/- for the construction of Naga Club Hotel. In order to adjust the said amount, the then Office Bearers of Naga club, on 13-9-1991, allowed Mr Kewezu Mero to run the Naga Club Hotel for a period 10 years w.e.f 01-01-1992 to 31-12-2002. As per this record, his tenant-ship expired 16 years ago.
Basing on the above two documents noted above, all doubts and misunderstandings whatsoever should be cleared and that the properties of the Naga Club should be brought under the full control of the club in a congenial manner before the celebration of the Centennial jubilee.
Chairman, Naga Club
* 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.