TODAY -

Successful talks with IM have started new journey: Modi
Source: The Sangai Express / Agencies

New Delhi, August 24 2015: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that "successful" talks with NSCN (IM) have started a journey of "walking together" and will lead to the development of not only Nagaland but the entire northeast region.

The Prime Minister also said successive governments have made efforts to bring peace and stability in the region though these have seen various ups and downs in the past.

"The credit does not go to any particular government and neither should they take it.

Everyone contributed towards improving the situation.

It is the result (of these efforts) that today in Nagaland there has been a successful dialogue with those people (NSCN(IM) leaders) .

"Everybody has seen the dream of development and joining the mainstream in not only Nagaland, but the entire northeast and the country.

I am confident that the journey that has begun of walking together will bear best of results and the country will achieve greater heights," he said referring to the accord reached between NSCN (IM) and the Centre.

Addressing a function here to commemorate the birth centenary of Rani Gaidinliu, a spiritual Naga leader who was born in Manipur and fought for India's independence, Modi said the push of his government has been on the development of infrastructure of the northeast region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the commemorative function
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the commemorative function


He said if the issue of connectivity is resolved then development would not be a problem.

He said efforts were on to provide railway connectivity to state capitals in the region.

Referring to pineapples grown in the region and chillis in Nagaland, he said the northeast can become the "organic capital" of the country.

The development of the region was vital for the country's growth, he said.

The function was also attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Nagaland Governor PB Acharya and Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Manipur T R Zeliang and O Ibobi Singh respectively.

Referring to the the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, Modi said it would help improve connectivity of the region with the rest of the country.

He lamented that years after India attained Independence, many "brave soldiers" who fought for the freedom, are missing from the portals of the country's history.

"It is the responsibility of the society to preserve the treasures of history...In most places the history is limited to royals and the rulers.

But in India, the efforts of the common people are valued as it is part of our philosophy," he said.

Blaming lacunae in the system, the Prime Minister lamented that "either we forgot about some great personalities or they were deliberately forgotten".

He said the northeast has given birth to several great personalities and had people learnt about their contribution, issues like alienation would not have crept in.

Modi said that even after India got Independence, the "Rani maa", as he referred to Rani Gaidinliu, was kept in jail for another three-four months.

She was put behind bars by the British during the freedom struggle.

The Prime Minister said she could not go to her village for "political reasons" as she was a nature worshipper.

"Her philosophy has the answers to the issue of global warming and other environmental matters which we face today," he said.

He also recalled her contribution in spreading Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy in the northeast region.

He termed as "important" the decision of the Congress party then to have passed a resolution for her release from jail in its Haripura session in 1938.It was Jawaharlal Nehru who gave the name 'Rani' (queen of the people of the northeast) to her, speakers at the function said.

A brochure brought out by the Culture Ministry said Rani Gaidinliu was also associated with organisations such as Kalyan Ashram, VHP and Vidya Bharti.

The Prime Minister also released Rs 100 commemorative coins and Rs 5 circulation coins on Rani Gaidinliu on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang hoped that the celebrations would go beyond "mere symbolism" and help remove "ignorance and misconceptions" about the people of the northeast.

He said that inspite of her contribution, Gaidinliu has been ignored by writers and she remains "largely absent" from school and college textbooks.

He hoped that the "records will be rectified" .

His views were echoed by Manipur CM O Ibobi Singh who urged Modi to ask the HRD Ministry to include her contribution in NCERT textbooks.

Nagaland Governor P B ACharya said the programme will send "right signals" to the people of the northeast.

Finance Minister Jaitley said the two Chief Ministers are right that the "history of the role models needs to be retold to the whole country".

He said the forgotten chapter of history is being re-recorded today.

Jaitley also said the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh and the accord reached with NSCN (I-M) were some of the key initiatives taken by the Prime Minister for the northeast region.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said though he would not like to say much on the agreement with Dhaka, the Naga accord will usher in peace and the wish of Rani Gaidinliu of a prosperous and peaceful northeast will be fulfilled.

He said the government is addressing the concerns of the people of the region against the backdrop of a sense of alienation triggered by anti-national elements.

In his speech, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh conveyed his sincere appreciation to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Ministry of Culture for the grand function organised to pay their sincere gratitude to the leader from Manipur who had played an important role in the freedom movement of India.

He elaborated that Gaidinliu was a Naga leader who led a revolt against British rule in India.

In 1927, at the age of 13, she joined the Heraka religious movement of her cousin Haipou Jadonang.

The movement later turned into a political movement to drive out the British.

Within the Heraka cult, she came to be considered as an incarnation of the goddess Cherachamdinliu.

With the arrival of guns from Cachar, it turned into an armed rebellion against the British policies of forced labour and ruthless oppression.

Persuaded by Jadonang's ideology and principles, Gaidinliu became his disciple and a part of his movement against the British.

In three years, by the age of 16, she became a leader of guerrilla forces fighting against the British rulers.

After Jadonang was arrested and hanged by the British in 1931, Gaidinliu emerged as his heir, he said.

Manipur Chief Minister narrated that Gaidinliu openly rebelled against the British rule, exhorting the Zeliangrong people not to pay taxes.

She received donations from the locals, many of whom also joined her as volunteers.

The British authorities launched a manhunt for her.

She evaded arrest by the police, moving from village to village in what are now Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

The Governor of Assam, British India dispatched the 3rd and 4th battalions of the Assam Rifles against her, under the supervision of the Naga Hills Deputy Commissioner JP Mills.

Monetary rewards were declared for information leading to her arrest: this included a declaration that any village providing information on her whereabouts will get a 10-year tax break.

Her forces engaged the Assam Rifles in the North Cachar Hill (February 16, 1932) and Hangrum village (March 18, 1932) .

In October 1932, Gaidinliu moved to the Pulomi village, where her followers started building a wooden fortress.

While the fortress was under construction, an Assam Rifles contingent headed by Captain MacDonald launched a surprise attack on the village on October 17, 1932.Gaidinliu, along with her followers, was arrested near the Kenoma village.

She was taken to Imphal, where she was convicted on the charges of murder and abetment of murder after a 10-month trial.

She was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Political Agent's Court for abetment of murder.

From 1933 to 1947 she served jail term at Gauhati, Shillong, Aizawl and Tura jails, he added.

Chief Minister O Ibobi said that the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru met her at the Shillong Jail in 1937 and described Gaidinliu as a daughter of the hills and he gave her the title 'Rani' or Queen of her people.

Nehru wrote to the British MP Lady Astor to do the needful for the release of Rani Gaidinliu but the Secretary of State for India rejected her request stating that trouble may rise again if Rani was released.

She was released in 1947 after India's independence, and continued to work for the upliftment of her people.

She was honoured as a freedom fighter and was awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1982.In 1991, Gaidinliu returned to her birthplace Langkao, where she spent her last days, he added.

Ibobi said, "The life history of Rani Gaidinliu is an inspiration to all young Indians.

This is, in particular, an embodiment of women power of India which all of us must respect" .

The Chief Minister drew the attention of the Prime Minister of India for recommendation to the Human Resource Development Ministry to include age appropriate texts on the life of Rani Gaidinliu in NCERT text books of classes I to X.He said, "This will go a long way in promoting national integration, as well as women empowerment." He further stated, "Observing the birth centenary celebrations of Rani Gaidinliu will make her contributions in the freedom movement of India known to all the people of our great country India." During the function, Prime Minister of India released the denomination of coins of Rs 100 and Rs 5 to commemorate the birth centenary of Rani Gaidinliu.


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