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Naga rebellion Memories: What were Phizo's last words to Khodao Yanthan?

Nirendra Dev *



There are many stories of friendship between A Zapu Phizo and Khodao Yanthan. Legendary Phizo expired on April 30, 1990. A year later, his fellow compatriot of many years, Khodao claimed the last meeting between the two was on April 28, 1990.

Notably, Phizo's last words to friend Khodao were -- "Khodao, what shall we do ?"

In his obit on Phizo a year later (published April 24, 1991, 'The Weekly Journal' of Kohima) - Khodao said - "I understood it all".

Khodao, who later headed a faction of the NNC also wrote - "Most of the Nagas have not seen him in life, but surely you would share the Naga freedom that he (Phizo) fought for the Naga people".

Recalling his long and strong bond with Phizo, Khodao also stated: "To me, I lost a friend second to none in life. For 40 years we worked together and ate together from the same bowl and romped back and forth Nagaland. We even had fun together in the jungles of Nagaland and escaped death together many times".

On a few months earlier in an article published on Oct 1, 1990 (Nagaland News Review, Kohima); Khodao is quoted as saying - "Nagaland is today in the hands of the devil .....Nagaland is today suffering from two kinds of ailments. One is an internal disease called Nagathemis - that is tribalism, division and greed for money".

Khodao, according to that report, also had said that - "Prayers, moral support and being Christians alone would not save the Nagas".

In the article it was also stated that Khodao along with Phizo and another compatriot Yongkong went abroad in 1956 with the 'power' to seek help from outside.

On this, Khodao is quoted in the article as stating - "As far as outside contract is concerned, we have done all what we could". Khodao also stayed in London for long but till the death of Phizo had kept a low profile.

Khodao Yanthan was also conferred 'the Burma star' recognition by the Britishers, it has been claimed. Born August 25, 1923, Khodao expired on March 1, 2010.

Long back once on arrival in London in 1962, Khodao Yanthan along with Gen. Sukhai Kaito, Maj. Gen. Mowu, and Yongkong were briefly detained at the London airport. On September 11, 1962, they were freed from detention and admitted as 'citizens of the British Commonwealth'.

The four leaders had planned to travel to the United Nations to attempt a hearing on the Naga issue before the General Assembly.


* Nirendra Dev wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at nirendev1(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on September 25 2022 .



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