Retrospecting the Aspiration of the Naga Ancestral Freedom Movement with the Present Naga Political Trend

K. Tamrei Zimik *

At the outset, the ancestral struggle for the Naga independence movement from its inception wasn't a demand within the constitution of an Indian state. The Nagas existed as an independent and a sovereign nation and had never been disturbed on its existence by any nations or forces before the advent of the colonial forces of the British government that interfered its free and democratic type of government being exercised and enjoyed by every villages of the Nagas within the Naga state.

And even when the British were about to leave the Indian and its neighbouring countries, the British Government send Sir John Simon in order to ascertained the desires and the wishes of the Naga people, whether they were willing to joined the union of India? But the Naga delegates under the aegis of "Naga Club" submitted a memorandum that clearly stated that "the Nagas do not want to joined the union of India, and to leave the Nagas alone to determine their own future as had been in the past".

And in continuation to the Simon commission the naga delegates under the aegis of NNC met the Indian leaders in 1947 where the Naga's delegates conveyed again their standing resolution of not Joining the union of india, and in response to the nagas aspiration the Indian leaders responded that.... "if the nagas do not want to join the union of india no one will force you, the Indians do not want to be under the control of the British colonial forces.....".

Having the assurance from the Indian leaders the Nagas declared its independence on 14th of August 1947 one day prior to the declaration of the government of Indian independence day which is celebrated every year till today but under the threat of the Indian occupational forces.

But even though, the nagas declared its independence on 14th of august, the government Of Indian and the NNC leaders signed a nine point agreement generally known as "Sir Akbar Hydari agreement or Naga-Hydari Agreement" where a condition was made that the terms and condition of the agreement would be observed by the governor of Assam for ten years and that at the end of this period the Naga council will be asked whether they required the agreement to be extended for a further period or a new agreement regarding the future of Naga people arrived at.

But when the Government of Indian betrayed the nagas by not honouring the conditions made in the agreement, the nagas under the leadership of AZ Phizo, the then the President of NNC conducted a plebiscite on may 16, 1951 where 99.9 percent voted in favour of reaffirming the declaration of an independent and sovereign Naga nation on 14th of August 1947.

And when the Naga leaders continue to seek every means to work out its legimate right to exist Naga nation as an independent nation before the world through political confrontations the Government of India began to used its occupational forces of police and para military to subdue the rights of the Nagas, its leaders and their movement. This led to a fierce confrontation between the Indian occupational forces and the Naga army where thousands of Naga people lost their lives including innocent children, women, youth and old.

The history clearly gives the evidence that right from the very beginning of the naga political movement the government of India had been discriminating the Nagas on all the areas of human rights even on the rights to exist as a Naga on this earth. For this reason the Nagas had been resisting the occupational forces of the government of Indian with all means and its police and military forces with arms as well, but had never asked an inch of land from the government of Indian and that had been clearly stated before the United Nations, and the UNPO had clearly stated that the Nagas have every right to be an independent nation.

The government of India had tried its best to subdue the Naga's rights to be a sovereign nation by offering a puppet gift like statehood and an agreement within the constitution of India with threat and intimidations where some of the vested Naga leaders accepted the puppet gift from the government of India leading to a wide spread of killings among the Naga brethrens.

The worst of all occurred when the peace committee of Naga representative singed a sixteen point agreement on 26 July 1960 which led to the formation of the present so called Nagaland state in the year 1963 and the infamous agreement of Shillong accord on 11 November 1975. Signing of such agreement as an alternative means for a sovereign Naga nation had been bluntly rejected with fierce confrontations by all the right thinking people of the Nagas and had even brought a bitter relationships among the Naga brethrens because of the fratricidal killings that ensued due to the confrontations that followed after such agreements.

Such confrontations led to the formation of different Naga political groups though most of the group unanimously stood for the same goal (i.e. Naga sovereignty and not any sort of an agreement within the constitution of India). But the first and the foremost group that was formed after the condemnation of Shillong accord of NNC was the NSCN among all the other Naga political groups that are existing today.

It was formed under the leadership of Th. Muivah, Isaac Chishi Swu and SS. Khaplang to advocate the voice and the aspiration of the Naga public and the ancestral rights of the Nagas as a sovereign and an independent nation and to resist the occupational forces of the Indian state in the year 1980.

Through the formation of NSCN the Naga as a whole look forward for an honourable solution with the government of India i.e. a full fledged sovereign nation without accepting the constitution of India at any cost in the same way as they had condemned the sold out agreement of the Shillong accord and the formation of the present Nagaland state within the constitution of India.

The Naga public hoped and believed that the newly formed Organization of the Naga political group will not despair the Nagas with any sort of agreements within the constitution of India again which they had condemned with lots of bloodshed among the Naga brethrens in the past.

And even though the NSCN parted as NSCN (K) and NSCN (IM) in the year 1988 due to some unavoidable circumstances, the ultimate group to bring an honourable solution as expected by the Naga public is NSCN (IM) since it is the only group after the NNC that had reached to an international forums to exegete the voice of the Nagas rights and whereby the world in response had supported for an honourable and an amicable solution.

But fortunately or unfortunately on 3rd of August 2015 the NSCN (IM) which the Naga public as a whole apart from the few supporters of the other Naga Political Groups supported with all heart had signed an agreement with the government of India which is commonly called "Framework Agreement", whereby the agreement is officially remained as a concealed and an unknown agreement about the full content of the agreement to the general public of the Nagas had brought a lots of confusion even among the Naga brethrens apart from the other ethnic groups who do not support the solution of the Indo-Naga talk.

The Nagas as a whole looks forward for a solution at the earliest but there are some curious speculations among the Naga brethrens i.e. whether the NSCN I-M could really bring an honourable solution which is a sovereign Naga nation outside of the constitution of India or will they also fall into the seductive snares of the government of India to accept an agreement within the constitution of India as the NNC did in the past?

This curious speculation has become the voice of the Naga public with one accord, since the NSCN I-M had stood tooth and nail to eliminate everyone as "anti-Naga" whoever tried to accept an agreement within the constitution of India as a solution for the Naga political movement in the past.

And at this juncture the atmosphere is likely to be detected that, most of the Nagas from every region (Naga inhibited Areas) as a whole are ready to joined hand in support with the NSCN I-M regardless of the mistakes and the wounds that had inflicted to each other due to some unavoidable disagreement that had occurred in the past, but only if the agreement were for an honourable solution with respect to the ancestral demand of the Nagas i.e. "to withdraw all the Indian occupational forces from the sovereign Naga soil and to allow the Nagas to exercise its rights as an independent nation".


* K. Tamrei Zimik (M.Th.) wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on May 08, 2019.

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