TODAY -

UNC observes Naga Martyrs' Day
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Senapati, August 27 2020: United Naga Council (UNC) has said on Thursday that the incident that happened at Mao Gate in 1948 has also become a landmark in the history of political movement of the Nagas.

The UNC was giving a solidarity message on the 72nd anniversary of Martyrs' Day organized by Mao Council under the aegis of the UNC on Thursday at Song Song Youth Club Hall in Mao Gate.

The programme was organised 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 grievously wounded and later succumbed to bullet injuries from the indiscriminate firings of the security forces on August 27, 1948 .



UNC observes Naga Martyrs' Day
UNC observes Naga Martyrs' Day


The UNC solidarity message was delivered by Athili who is the Finance secretary of the Naga body.

According to the UNC, as the story is told and retold down the year, it is continuing to reinvigorate and inspire the Nagas "for future with dignity and honour as a people" .

It then said that the "presence of the nation stands on the foundation that has been laid on the lives of the freedom fighters" .

It then added, "These martyrs sacrificed their lives to ensure that the future generation gets the freedom..." .

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 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 August 27, 2005, the UNC added.

The UNC 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 FF Pearson, 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 A Daiho 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 A Daiho 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 FF Pearson, 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, DC 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 in the state 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.

Meanwhile, several organizations including the All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM), Naga Women Union (NWU) and several other organizations attended today's programme.


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