Post Mortem

Irony of Naga nationalism: An observation

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/28/2019 11:42:43 AM IST

 (From previous issue)

And the question of whose picture would be in the Naga currency keeps me confused because I honestly have not come across one soul who replicates what Mahatma Gandhi had shown in India’s struggle for independence from the British rule. Maybe I am being too narrow in my understanding of what a true freedom fighter is. But I have always admired Mahatma Gandhi for his non- violent freedom movements like non-cooperation, civil disobedience, and the Dandi March, etc. And because I have seen and heard enough of bloodshed in the name of Naga Nation, I can’t help but romanticize about having/starting a non-violent movement like Mahatma Gandhi. Not necessarily because I want a separate Naga Nation per se, but enough of lives have been lost and families ruined for the cause that will probably never come to pass. It is even more upsetting because the fight is no longer only with the Indian Government, but it is also among the innumerable groups within the Naga Nationalist movements.

If Nagas truly want to be separated from India and does not want anything of India (which we reverently claim), why can’t we stop getting all the benefits from the Indian Government instead? Why is it taking so long for the pro–Naga Nationalists to start something like Mahatma Gandhi’s Civil Disobedience Movement? Gandhi’s Movements was a milestone in the history of the Indian Nationalism. So far we have not seen anything from the Naga Nationalist Movement besides splitting away from every split factions and then further splitting from the already split factions, which is really sad.

 My understanding of Naga nation is complete “Naga-ness,” by which I mean everything, literally everything of the Naga Nation. No speck of anything Indian, produce or products should be associated with the Naga-ness. Don’t we take pride in calling ourselves head-hunters, who lived as an individual noble republic? Then why can’t we do away with anything Indians? Like literally anything. It is not going to be easy, I understand, but somewhere it has to start. I presume there are Naga Nationalist leaders and others who also draw the same kind of inspirations like I do and maybe hoping to start something like Mahatma Gandhi’s movement, but are holding back for fear of not having enough support from the Naga public because who wants to give up all the comfort and luxury that we are enjoying. I hope this is just my narrow presumptions. But to be blatantly truthful, I am very confident to say that I am correct in my estimation that most Nagas secretly would not want to give up the perks of being Indian citizens, and of course the benefits of being the schedule tribe of the country.

This is just one tip of the iceberg; one of the greater ironies of the Naga Nationalist Movement is that the so-called Naga Nationalists or Patriots are the ones encouraging their own children to get Indian Jobs—to be more specific: crack the civil service exams, get a state and central government jobs, get central and state government contracts, join the state police, etc. In fact, they are spending all their earnings (of course, in the name of Naga Nation) to send their children for all sorts of coaching available to enable them to become Indian Public servants. Isn’t that ironic? And we happily chant here, “we are Nagas,” “our history is unique,” and “we were never conquered by any intruders,” so on and so forth. While on the other hand, you are preparing your children to serve the Indian Government from whom you are demanding independent?

 I am not blaming anyone here nor judging because I know for a fact that everyone has their own justification (We all have done our PhDs in doing that) as to why and what they are doing. But I truly hope that a day will come very soon when the Nagas will be enlightened from this pseudo-Nationalist movement.


Pakinzinliu Chawang Salikyu

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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