TODAY -

E-Pao! Opinions - On sovereignty and what the Naga struggle is all about

On sovereignty and what the Naga struggle is all about
By: Kaka. D. Iralu *



Having written about the Naga struggle for over nine years and having written over one thousand pages about it, some fellow Nagas (and perhaps even Indians) may already be fed up with me and my opinions. I am also quite aware that I have repeated myself on many occasions. However, allow me to once again express myself with the following article.

Yes, what is Sovereignty and the Naga struggle all about? Here I would like to emphatically restate again that our struggle is to be sovereign and Independent.

In other words, it is to be a nation among the nations of the world. This assertion on our part is based on irrefutable, historical, anthropological, political and legal facts that bind all nations on earth.

Now, on the basis of these universal facts, what is the meaning and implication of sovereignty and independence with relation to the Naga struggle?

In the present Naga context, though the ordinary Naga soldiers and villagers are quite clear as to what sovereignty is and what they are fighting for, our leaders on the other hand – both overgrounds as well as undergrounds – seem to be totally confused as to what sovereignty is all about.

For example some of our senior Nagaland (Indian) State politicians are now saying that sovereignty has changed its meaning over the years and that economic sovereignty has now overtaken the meaning of political sovereignty. They go on to say that in the peculiar North Eastern context, we have to redefine the meaning of sovereignty and adopt one that will suit our own context.

Then there are some of our national leaders who, despite the fact that India had invaded our sovereign lands in 1954, and despite the fact that ever since, a foreign Indian flag and Burmese flag have been flying over our lands; they are still continuing to insist that sovereignty of the Nagas is still with the Nagas.

These leaders are now talking about a Federal relationship with India - the invader country. Now to clear up all these confusions created by our own leaders, let us examine the meaning of the word Sovereignty in its linguistic and political context:

Here, let us begin by stating this linguistic truth that: "Words" apart from their association to material objects has no meaning in themselves.

For example, if I, an Angami Naga is talking to an African in my own dialect, and I am saying " This is my mouth," ( Haw ame) without pointing to my mouth , the African gentleman will not understand what I am saying. All that he will be hearing will be some phonetic sounds with no meaning whatsoever! However, if I point my fingers to my mouth and say "This is my mouth;" then though he doesn't understand my language, he will comprehend that I am talking about my mouth.

Words therefore have no meaning in themselves apart from their association to material objects. This is true of any words and their association to material objects, whether it is in relation to the stars, the moon or the whole planet earth and all that is in it.

Conforming to this linguistic law, the word sovereignty too, has no meaning apart from its association to material geography and material human beings. Now in the context of this linguistic truth, what is the meaning of the word "Sovereignty" or its synonym – "Independence" in relation to the Naga struggle?

In the context of political science and sociology, to be sovereign is to be self governing in one's own geographical territory. It is to be free and independent of any other nation's political dictates or Constitutional control.

Here, like the word "My mouth," the word "Sovereignty" also has no meaning apart from its association to a concrete material geographical land and a material self governing people inhabiting that land with their own distinct history, culture and laws.

That being the definition of sovereignty and independence, a people and nation like the Nagas whose lands have been invaded by two other sovereign powers is no longer a sovereign country. After all, when the writ and laws of India and Burma are controlling our national affairs and when their flags are flying in our national lands, how can we claim that we are still independent?

We have in fact become "Subject" nations of these two invading nations. In such a situation, the only option left for the citizens of the suppressed nation is to take up arms to defend their declared sovereignty against the occupational forces. In this context such armed, self defence activities of a suppressed nation can never be termed as "Unlawful Activities." Far from it being "An unlawful activity," it is in fact the most "Lawful activity" waged against the "Unlawful activities" of the aggressor nations.

In our case, these two nations are India and Burma who are, against all political and international laws accusing us of indulging in "Unlawful activities" under Regulations like the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act of 1967 etc. This is exactly why Naga citizens and its soldiers have been waging a war of self defence against the invasion forces of India and Burma for the past 60 years (1947-2007).

Now, on the basis of the above stated facts and also in exercise of my Naga traditional democratic rights, allow me to address the following questions to both our respected over-ground as well as underground leaders of our nation.

I am posing these questions to you because confusions over political terms and their meanings have brought us into a state of fratricidal killings and even the bleak prospects of a very bloody civil war among ourselves:

Questions to our over ground (Indian Nagaland State) leaders.

  1. What do you mean by saying that as long as we improve our economic and human resources, we can become sovereign within the Indian Union?

  2. While appreciating the importance of economic sovereignty of a nation, is there one single nation in the whole modern world where such a particular nation has complete economic sovereignty to the extend that, that country does not need any imports-technological or material- from any other countries for their economic survival? Also, can economic sovereignty be equated with political sovereignty?

  3. Are not political sovereignty and economic sovereignty two different issues altogether? In my understanding, political sovereignty means a country that is politically independent from any other nation's interference in their national affairs. As for economic sovereignty of a nation, it means the economic self sufficiency of that particular nation.

    In other words, in a general sense, when we talk about political sovereignty and economic sovereignty, we are talking about "Freedom" (Political and legal in nature) and "Food" (Material and physical in nature). In this politico-economic context, as far as I am concerned, a full stomach will not automatically result in a sound sleep if, as in our case, the Indian Army under AFSPA can enter our houses and even shoot us to death on mere suspicion.

  4. Can we Nagas, spitefully redefine such an important and universal political term as "Political sovereignty" into "Economic terms" so that our compromised political stand- caused by the 16 Point Agreement- can be justified before India and the world? Some of our over ground national leaders indeed betrayed our political sovereignty in order to gain economic benefits from India, when they signed the 16 Point Agreement in 1960. Here, please do not try to justify that treacherous betrayal by mixing political terms with economic terms.

    If we, a small nation try to do that, then the rest of the world can sue us in an international court of law for trying to twist political terms that are crucial for the political survival of any nation on earth. After all many nations have gone to war with many other nations when their political sovereignties were threatened by external invasions. Here we have absolutely no right to redefine political terms with economic terms and insult the sacrifices of other nations who have also suffered like us in human history.

Questions to our Naga national leaders.
  1. As you go for final crucial talks with the Government of India for a federal relationship with her, what do you mean by a "Federal relationship with the country that has invaded our lands?"

  2. Do we not already have a Federal relationship with India because of our over ground leaders who treacherously signed the 16 Point Agreement and made Sovereign Independent Nagaland into an Indian State in 1963? Are you trying to further consolidate this betrayal and condemn all future generation of Nagas into Indian citizens and Indian subjects?

  3. When our Naga Yehzahbo in Article 1, with reference to the integrated Naga territories of Nagaland had clearly stated that "The territory of Nagaland shall comprise of all the territories inhabited by the Naga tribes…," what integration of Naga territories under the Constitution of India are you talking about with India? Does one sovereign nation ask another nation to demarcate its national boundaries and integrate its people under the political umbrella of that other nation?

  4. What do you mean when you say "We have not given up sovereignty; sovereignty is with the Naga people?" When a foreign flag is flying in our country and foreign soldiers are empowered to even shoot us to death on mere suspicion, can sovereignty of the Naga nation be still with the Naga people? Is political sovereignty a feeling or a spirit that can still reside in the hearts and minds of a nation even when their leaders have surrendered their political freedom and political geography in a federal relationship with the invading nation?

  5. At the beginning of the present peace talks, India had clearly stated that independence of the Nagas is an issue that cannot be discussed in the talks. What then have you been talking for the past nine years? When the real issue is not being addressed, can there be a solution to the issue? "When will this nine years' 'diplomatic dance' with India finally come to an end?"( The phrase; "diplomatic dance" has been borrowed from an African lady who recently spoke in the CNN over the Darfur imbroglio where the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the UN have been talking and talking diplomatically without bringing out any concrete solutions for the suffering millions of the Darfur tragedy).

  6. I for one will salute you, if you walk away from this nine year 'diplomatic dance' with India, if the present Indian leaders will continue to refuses to address the issue of Naga independence. Thousands upon thousands of both Nagas and Indians have already died over this issue in the span of the past 60 years. If however, Indian leaders will still try to evade the issue, then what is the point of having any further dialogue with India?

  7. In a deadlock of the present peace talks, I fully realise that the only alternative will be for Nagas to unite and go back to war against India and Burma with the assistance of other nations. But won't that be a far better option then the present trap into which India has trapped us by effectively dividing us into factions and are compelling us to fight among ourselves rather then with her?

The Naga struggle for independence will have to go on until our freedom and liberty is finally achieved. In that struggle, let us remember that India and Burma are not the only two nations on earth. We can surely over rule their arrogant attitudes and stance with the assistance of other nations that are much more powerful then they.

In conclusion, pardon me for the very blunt and uncomfortable questions that I have posed to you. But please understand that my generation – your sons and daughters – have also suffered with you for the past half a century.

Please therefore do not condemn us into a bloody civil war by compromising the sovereign independent status of Nagaland at the end of 60 years of blood and tears.

After all, all those sacrifices were freely given by our own kith and kin so that Nagaland can become a Nation among the nations.


* Kaka. D. Iralu, Noted writer and outspoken social figure of Nagaland, wrote this article for The Sangai Express . This article was webcasted on August 22, 2007 .


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Arts Exhibition @ MU #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Women's Film Festival 2021 at MSFDS
  • Totem of natives of North East India #2
  • As I see the world in one page :: Poem
  • AMWJU Meeting Resolutions : 05 March 2021
  • Breaking down silos to look beyond exams
  • Mova Cave @ Hunpung, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • PROMYS, a summer program in mathematics
  • Meeting of AMWJU : 05 March 2021
  • Dissecting Bird flu
  • Will Bengal vote for a poroborthon ?
  • Job @ Cobigent Technologies
  • Film : Is it a medium or an art form? #2
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Emergency Meeting of AMWJU : 04 March
  • Golden Jubilee of Manipuri Cinema
  • Impact of Climate Change in Agriculture
  • Paradigm shift in role of public sector
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • The God Lainingthou Thangching Koylellai
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • When all goes wrong
  • Are we failing children in the HIV response?
  • Counter-cyclical fiscal policy
  • Where will ST demand stand in next election?
  • Ningtham Kummei: Dance Drama #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Wungreikhan, Chao Shang Un: eMing
  • Empowered teachers for local efficiency
  • First step towards regulation of social media
  • Of resignation dramas & disqualifications
  • Today's Manipur as reflected in media
  • Bongbal Kholen, Kpi District #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Totem of natives of North East India #1
  • 5 days with Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami
  • National Science Day 2021 at Lilong
  • Themes & objectives in National Science Day
  • More teeth to war against drugs
  • Mayang Imphal Keithel #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur COVID Vaccination Report : 26 Feb
  • March Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Road from Imphal to Yangkhullen #2: Gallery
  • Best Panel Lawyer, Best DLSA in Manipur
  • Sustainable Agriculture: Key to Food Security
  • Film : Is it a medium or an art form? #1
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Buyer Seller Meet @ Hotel Imphal: Gallery
  • Job @ Makok Technologies, Keinou
  • Should Meetei belong to Minority or ST #2
  • Colour your hair, limit the damage
  • Medical camp at Lamlaba Village, Tamenglong
  • Japan Lan: Life In Kangla Sangomshang
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • AMWJU Meeting : Resolutions [Feb 25]
  • Positions @ KIIT-Tech Business Incubator
  • 'Seeding Gampreneurs' transforming villages
  • Orchidarium at IBSD Shillong is reopened
  • Cracking down on 'errant' teachers
  • Chadong Village/Chadong Lake #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Folktales of Mao Maram & Poumai : Gallery
  • Guwahati Session : World Meetei Convention
  • HIV science has advanced but ...
  • I will rise :: Poem
  • Not the time to let the guards down
  • Journalism is not everybody's cup of tea
  • Foot bridges in Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • AIFF recognised Andro Girls Team : Gallery
  • Relief @ Songlung, Kangpokpi : Gallery
  • Lecture on medicinal plants at IBSD
  • Jobs @ Neopath Technologies, Imphal
  • Students on the protest path
  • Ignoring the core issues
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #18
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Implementation: Climate Change : Gallery
  • KAPU Meet: Tribute to Late Benny Khongsai
  • Career options in beauty industry
  • Meet on capacity building on energy efficiency
  • Need to establish cause of death
  • Don't break the bone
  • Shirui Lily Festival 2019 #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Nakamh-Riangsuanneic - Folklore Film Fest
  • Should Meetei belong to Minority or ST #1
  • Aspergilloma of lung
  • From wetlands to dry lands
  • Ipudhou Pakhangba Puruksoubi #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Sit-in-protest against bomb threat : Gallery
  • Young Generation and Modernization
  • The Mansion :: Poem
  • Netaji's DNA & INA Moirang
  • Demonstration demanding to cut Price Hike
  • 'Condemn hurling grenade at Governor'
  • Fulfilling the long cherish dream
  • Churachandpur Profile
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Paoyi villagers with CM : Gallery
  • Predicament of Journalists & Media Houses
  • A day of stardom for Thoiba Singh at Seoul
  • Lay off hands on the media
  • Smiles of the Emas
  • Cherry Blossom at Mao #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Basak: A dying art form
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #2
  • Meeting of AMWJU : Resolutions [Feb 18]
  • CM & Governor urged to cut down price hike
  • Union Minister for Social Justice meet CM
  • Seram Neken joins Congress party
  • Snowfall at Shirui, Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Meitei-Pong Relations & Conquest of Khampat
  • Dying of Yongchak: declare National Disaster
  • Protection of tribal land in Manipur #2
  • Is policing pandemics different... ?
  • Home remedies for winter hair problems
  • Facets of human trafficking in Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Road from Imphal to Yangkhullen #1: Gallery
  • Understand prerequisits for ST tag
  • When all goes wrong
  • Centre Head @ JCRE School of Hospitality
  • Khamba Thoibi Jagoi #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Re-Opening of Ima Keithel : Gallery
  • Emergency Meeting AMWJU: Resolutions
  • ICERME-2021: Intl Conference on SDG-7
  • Law in Motion : Basics of Law
  • Discussion on Koubru Chinggoirol #2
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni - Naga Seed Sowing Festival
  • Wung-Hao of Tangkhul & Chinese Counterpart
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #1
  • 3rd Jump Rope Championship : Result
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #17
  • Book: Manipur-Myanmar connections: Gallery
  • Mushroom training at Tentha Heibung
  • Workshop on GeoGebra at IISER Bhopal
  • Indian Women & Maths annual conference
  • Walking through final lap of my life :: Poem
  • Can BJP strategy win in Tamil Nadu ?
  • Granting minority status to Meitei
  • Snowfall at Shirui, Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Shanti Thokchom's Life Experiences #44
  • Inspection at Kangla & Cheiraoching : Gallery
  • Protection of tribal land in Manipur #1
  • Oxford and Aatmanirbharta
  • Education in Mother Tongue will strengthen
  • Impressive shows from young MLAs
  • If it is for the people...
  • Ipudhou Pakhangba Puruksoubi #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Relief at Yangkhullen, Senapati: Gallery
  • Restored Wetland : Yaralpat
  • Appeal: WG to monitor crime against women
  • Distress Relief at Yangkhullen, Senapati
  • Sensitization on constitutional obligation
  • ST demand for the Meiteis
  • Democratisation of Education
  • Licypriya in 'Forbes 30 Under 30' List 2021
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Sushila, Indubala selected for Asian Judo
  • RIST Talk 48 : Microplastic is everywhere
  • Productivity revolution of farmers in Manipur
  • NEC Secretary meeting with CM Manipur
  • Valentine's Day beauty tips
  • College teachers on strike!
  • Are you fooling people of Manipur Mr FM
  • RK Jhalajit's contribution in historiography
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Keibul Lamjao: today in deplorable state
  • Nadda's hailing 'War On Drugs' Campaign
  • Sachi Gurumayum called on CM
  • She really can be trusted for fiscal prudence
  • Child Marriage: Stigma for a civilized society
  • Fate of hostellers
  • Ema Gi Wari by Imphal Talkies : Review
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Projects Inauguration - Tamenglong: Gallery
  • Budget: Perspective on Gender Budget
  • NPF meeting with NSCN (K-Niki)
  • Mushroom training program at Nagamapal
  • Solace me, chap ! :: Poem
  • Active cases below 3 figure mark
  • Mother Nature is still unhappy
  • Discussion on Koubru Chinggoirol #1
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Packaged Organic Product launch : Gallery
  • Naga American announces Scholarship
  • Prize distribution for 9th MANIFA held
  • Range of options to prevent HIV is key
  • Paoyi village setting an example
  • Churachand Maharajgi Imung : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Churachand Maharajgi Imung published
  • Grab the given opportunities
  • A poet :: Poem
  • Supports farmers' movement call
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Financing burden of lifestyle diseases in NE
  • A budget that lays foundation for growth
  • Sports & Physical Fitness as career choice
  • Volunteers' Meet at Irong Bazar
  • Limping towards the New Normal
  • Is India prepared for Chinese aggression?
  • Re-openning of schools #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Is Compulsive Shopping a Mental Disorder ?
  • Ex-Tempore Competition at Lilong
  • My hundred deaths :: Poem
  • Fragile - Handle with care !
  • Stand off over taxi, auto fares
  • Restructuring the society without disparities
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #16
  • The ring has finally arrived!
  • Study of growing traffic congestion in Imphal
  • World Wetlands Day 2021
  • Bringing Equality for Women in Armed Forces
  • Ima Keithels: Closed since March 21
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Understanding panic disorder
  • Life, It is ! :: Poem
  • A pinch of blessing with a tonne of a curse
  • COVID-19 combine to clobber MSME sector
  • Single digit spike of just 4 in last 24 hrs
  • Impact in India after coup in Myanmar
  • Remembering Kuki singer Benny Khongsai
  • Was Netaji really in Manipur ?
  • Environmental impacts of COVID-19 pandemic
  • Memo to CM concerning transportation
  • Fertilization in cultivation of broccoli
  • Need to stop meddling with nature
  • Learning to live with changing time
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Helicopter Service in Manipur
  • Pray for 2021 to be peaceful
  • Dwell in me - Oh ! human :: Poem
  • Adverse impact of rampant use of plastic
  • Studying prospects ahead of 2022
  • Re-openning of schools #1 : Gallery
  • Edu'treat 2021 in Ukhrul concluded
  • Exhibition @ Fine Arts, MU #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #1 : Gallery
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Food items @ Waithou Keithel #2 : Gallery
  • Narcotic Drugs disposal @Lamlai #2 : Gallery
  • Prison Diary of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba
  • Nine Hills, One Valley : Special Film award
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #1 : Gallery
  • Day light Thabal Chongba #3 : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #6: Gallery
  • Sory Wahengbam - Actress Gallery :: eRang
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS