TODAY -

Naga Martyrs' Day observed at Mao Gate
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Senapati, August 27 2017: United Naga Council (UNC) President Gaidon Kamei said today that suppression by ‘others’ have been the hallmark of Naga national movement throughout.

He also said that for long "we have been suppressed but all these ill treatments meted out to the Nagas by others have made us stronger." The UNC president was speaking at the observation of the 69th Anniversary of Naga Martyrs' Day at Mao Gate in Senapati district today.

The UNC president then urged the Nagas to remain united .

The programme was organised by Mao Council under the aegis of the United Naga Council (UNC) to honour Asiisii Hepuni of Punanamei, Mahriili Lohrii and Modo Kholi, both of Kalinamei who were shot dead on the spot and Daikho Hesho of Chowainamai Khullen and Obow Adani of Punanamei who were grieviously wounded and later succumbed to buller injuries from the indiscriminate firings of the Assam Rifles and Manipur police force on August 27, 1948 .

According to an earlier paper prepared by the UNC, the observation is in respectful memory and honor of those who suffered and made the ultimate sacrifice for the integration of all Nagas over sixty six years ago during the “No-Tax campaign”.Being a landmark in the history of political movement of the Nagas in Manipur in particular and all Nagas in general, the observation of "Martyrs' Day" was taken up by the UNC with the Mao Council as the Local Organizing Committee since 27th August 2005, the UNC paper added .

The UNC paper also stated that to the dismay of the Nagas, against their wishes to live together with their brethren of the Naga Hills of the then Assam, the Government of India decided to grant a Legislative Assembly in Manipur.

At this juncture, Mr..F.FPearson, President, Manipur State Darbar hurriedly constituted the Manipur State Constitution and the Manipur State Hill Peoples (Administration) Regulation Drafting Committee to work out an interim administrative arrangement for Manipur before the lapse of the British Paramountcy .

“Mr..ADaiho and Mr.Tiankham, representatives of hill tribes in the Committee pointed out that the draft constitution should incorporate the following clause – "the principle of equality and freedom as applied to all without distinction of caste, creed and race shall include the right of any section of hill people to secede at the end of five years period should the condition within the constitution not be satisfactory".

Mr..ADaiho and Mr.Tiankham made it clear that if the clause was not incorporated they would not be party to the constitution.

When the draft Constitution was submitted to the Maharaja of Manipur on 15/5/47, Mr..F.FPearson, Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, drew the particular and personal attention of the Maharaja to the dissension of the representatives of the hill tribes,” it added .

In spite of the democratic demand for consolidation of contiguous Naga areas under one administrative unit and the explicit opposition to the Manipur State Draft Constitution by the tribe representatives, the General Election under the Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 was held in June 1948.The Nagas boycotted the election .

The "NO TAX CAMPAIGN" 1948: A landmark in the history of political movement of the Nagas of Manipur.

Thus the "NO TAX CAMPAIGN" was launched when Maharaj Kumar Priyobrata Singh was the Chief Minister of Manipur.

The Nagas in Manipur refused to pay the annual House Tax to the Government of Manipur and under the aegis of the Naga National League (NNL) submitted their annual house tax to Charles Pawsey, D.C.of Naga Hills of Assam at Kohima, the UNC paper also said .

“It was an act of defiance against the Authority of the State, under which the Nagas of Manipur had been placed without their consent.

It was also a means of putting pressure on the Indian Government for securing the merger of the Nagas in Manipur with the Naga Hills district,” the UNC added .

According to the UNC paper, the Manipur Maharaja, Budha Chandra was in good terms with Sir Akbar Hydari, the then Governor of Assam, who was requested by the Maharaja to send a contingent of Assam Rifles to arrest Mr.A.Daiho.“Sir Akbar Hydari, well known for his anti Naga political stand, gladly approved and dispatched a contingent of 4th Assam Rifles along with State Police equipped with rifles and machine guns, to Mao Gate on August 27, 1948.The Assam Rifles took position in and around Mao Inspection Bungalow in war like fashion and indiscriminately fired at the volunteers/ students of the Mao-Maram Tribal Council (now Mao, Maram, Poumai, Thangal and Upper Zeliang) who were blocking the road leading to the residence of Mr..ADaiho”, the UNC paper added .

Meanwhile, several organizations including the All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM), Naga People's Organisation (NPO) and several other organizations attended today's programme .

A tribute note from ANSAM said, "We also pay respect to and all the victims of brutalities of the day".

It further said that the Nagas' movement is stronger because of their sacrifices.

"We urge all to give their best efforts for Naga unity as unity is the only weapon for us to win peace," the ANSAM message added .

Naga Women Union (NWU) in its message said, "It is a privilege for all of us to work in their footsteps on this day.

We also remember their families.

We thank you to share their life and you are in our prayers" .


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