Post Mortem

Naga Independence Day speeches

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/13/2019 12:36:15 PM IST

  (Gen. (Rtd) T. M. Keyho, President NNC) 

This, the 14th August is a great day, a day of liberation and a foundation day for the Naga nation to live on in our own unique culture of the “purest form of democracy” in peace for proper growth in all dimensions of life and progress without class or caste system or interference from any other nations. 
The Nagas are a people and a nation on the basis of undisputable facts which are a matter of record of their political history. The validity and legitimacy of the claim of independence and sovereignty of the Naga nation stems from the unquestionable historical fact that they vigorously fought against the British invasion of their homeland for over half a century to defend their sovereignty, land and dignity till they were somehow pacified and a “No More Fight Agreement” was amicably and sincerely made in our Naga tradition with our own terms and conditions without “Any Treaty” in the last quarter of the 19th Century. 
However, some years later this friendship agreement was unilaterally interpreted by the British in their favour by making a “Very Small Portion” of western Naga areas as a part of the eastern edge of the then British Empire in India and making the said small portion as a District of Assam of British India without our consent. As such, Nagas once again reaffirmed their political position absolutely clear in 1929 to the British Simon Commission that they retained their right to decide their own future on the departure of the British from their Empire in South Asia.
On August 14, 1947, one day before India’s independence, the Nagas under the political banner of Naga National Council (NNC) reaffirmed the stand their elders had declared 18 years earlier. The position on sovereignty taken by the Nagas is not because Nagas are against or anti-India. 
The Nagas rightfully and sincerely regard themselves as one of the honourable neighbours of India by virtue of unchallengeable facts of their political history and political rights inherited from their forefathers.    
The NNC is the only mandated political institution of the Naga nation and the undisputable mandate in favour of NNC was reaffirmed by the plebiscite of 1951 with 99.9 percent of its people by democratic means for the welfare and interest of Nagas as a whole. The 1951 plebiscite further irrevocably reaffirmed and declared that the Naga nation shall defend its non-negotiable sovereignty at all costs. 
Therefore, no Naga settlement or political movement today can become unique, historical, acceptable and honourable, if the plebiscite of 1951 is subtracted or compromised in any manner. In this connection, the NNC is pleased to state that the civil society of the Nagas till date stands committed to the 1951 plebiscite which is also the only mandated stand of the Naga nation.
A Z Phizo, President NNC in his Naga Plebiscite Day speech on May 16, 1951 said: “The position of Nagaland and the Naga case have no comparison anywhere in the world where a human race newly emancipated like India tried to usurp its neighbour country of a sovereign state like Nagaland…We want Indian brothers and sisters to know that we are not their enemy...We never feared India; and, of course, there is no reason for the Nagas to fear India in this human struggle for maintaining our political independence ….God our Creator is with us and guiding us. 
What is there for us to fear? Only a people of evil intent can have fear and suspicion … We do not belong to a criminal race….The Nagas do not ask independence from India; indeed, we do not want anything from India…. We are independent and sovereign in our own national right.  What we ask is not to interfere in our administration but leave us alone and allow Nagaland, to continue to exist in peace and make progress without hindrance.” 
Nobody can deny the heinous political crime of the signatories of Shillong Accord, because they have accepted the Indian Constitution on their own volitions. Judging by this yardstick, there are already three series of Shillong Accords; all of which have accepted the Indian Constitution as recorded in our political history of the Naga national movement for self defence. Firstly, the so called 16 Points Agreement signed by Naga Peoples Convention, secondly, Revolutionary Govt of Nagaland that was launched, dissolved and accepted the Indian Constitution and lastly the Shillong Accord of 11th. Nov.1975 signed by the Representatives of Underground Organisations. These are the most treacherous Accords in our national history ever recklessly signed by some groups of veteran Nagas, representing their so called respective Organisations accepting the Indian Constitution. However, none of these Organisations have the mandate of the Naga nation. Therefore their acceptance to the Indian Constitution has never changed the status of the Naga nationhood in any manner. These treacherous Accords were signed with India, and they practically have surrendered to the Govt of India, most of them along with their weapons. Hence, know all men; it is not deniable fact that, those who were part of these Accords are already Indian by their own volitions and they are back-stabbers and double-crossers of Naga national movement and 1951 Plebiscite. They have committed the most severe act of betrayal and therefore, charging them with the charge of highest treason is fully justified. They have forfeited their rights to talk about the Naga Political issues and cannot represent the Naga nation at any level.
The NNC, together with other political groups, after utmost commitment in resisting India’s illegal and forceful occupation of the Naga homeland with just its military might for over 70 years has understood that it is too difficult for India to negotiate for the recognition of Naga sovereignty and integration in the present situation, in spite of our aforesaid unique historical facts and political rights. It is a fact that the Naga sovereignty is a bigger problem for India than the Nagas, which is severely damaging its image day by day in the world community however, India’s problem is India’s responsibility. The Nagas cannot and shall not throw away what is most important for their proper growth in all dimensions of life just because it is too difficult for India to discuss the matter today. 
The NNC for and on behalf of the Naga nation as being faithfully mandated has hereby reaffirmed its stand and clarified its position once again for all that under whatsoever situations and circumstances, it shall never - ever involve or endorse anyone for any talk or settlement with any Govt, if the famous plebiscite of 1951 is to be subtracted or compromised. The NNC shall never betray its people for both the living as well as the death and shall continue to defend its mandated national stand of the Naga sovereignty under any circumstances by absolutely non- violence, peaceful and democratic means. 
 
M. Kiumukam Yimchunger, President, NNC/GDRN (N-A)
Dear fellow Nagas,
In the name of our Almighty God, I take the privilege to greet all of you at this auspicious occasion of 73rd Naga Independence day. The Naga National flag we unfurl today symbolizes “peace” and stand sacred to all of us. It reminds us of our parents and elders pledged to be the children of God Jehovah and partaker of his covenant as a Nation. It is a day to reminisce of what the first generation leaders have sacrificed for us and also a moment to think what we can prepare for the younger generation to uphold and build our new Nation at par with the rest of the world.
We, the Nagas, following the withdrawal of the British from our Country declared Independence on 14th August 1947, a day just before India got freedom from British imperialism. 
The event marked the culmination of almost eighteen years of struggle since our revered freedom fighters first submitted a memorandum for Naga Independence to Simon Commission in 1929. We are fortunate to have inherited the legacy of such remarkable patriots in leaving us with this birthright to carry on. But, we are also left with an unfinished task that is to liberate our people from occupational forces who have invaded our land by the mid-1950s.  In the much prolonged struggle for freedom and justice, thousands of freedom fighters from all tribes, all section of society representing different strata of social and economic groups have already laid down their lives. Not only did they sacrificed a life of relative comfort and possibilities but gave their all for the cause of the Naga people. We must, therefore, carry on the mandate that is equally relevant to our elder’s supreme sacrifices for a just future. 
We must retrospect ourselves and develop the spirit of emulating good example even between two individual National workers and embrace the search for an ethical voice in a manner that posterity could be proud of. In the end, after all, it is only the good example of life that will remain inspired. 
As far as our fight for sovereignty is concerned, the historical truths are self-evident and so our political demand also has achieved profound responses from many great Indian leaders over the course of our political movement. 
The great Indian freedom fighter Subash Chandra Bose came into understanding with A.Z Phizo and said that “once British leave the Indian subcontinent India shall allow and respect Naga people and her sovereign Nation”.  Mahatma Gandhi, a qualified lawyer and the father of the great Nation India also assuredly said “Nagas have every right to be Independent” besides, we have witnessed views and opinions of many former Indian Prime Ministers such as Shri. P.V. Narishima Rao, Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Shri. Deve Gowda, Shri. Inder Kumar Gujral, Dr. Manmohan singh who all stood for peaceful political solution with the Nagas. Further, there are accounts of many high ranking officials of the Indian government, who at certain point of time, has courageously asserted that the Indo-Naga problem is political. Even on the ongoing negotiation, the interlocutor for Naga peace talks Governor Shri. R.N.Ravi has clearly mentioned that any final agreement could even be signed “tomorrow”, if the “Naga negotiators reciprocated with pragmatic flexibilities”. 
This clearly means that the Indo- Naga issue is politically negotiable. And for which I also extend my appreciation to the Indian statesmen, both past and present, for having weighed the evidences concerning Naga unique history and to have acknowledged the unalienable right of the Naga people. My special gratitude goes to the Indian leadership of the present Government for striving to translate all theoretical lingoes into practical solution with the Nagas.   I am happy that the Indian government has initiated peace talks with NNPGs through people-focused approach to security. It was indeed a new juncture in our history that is somewhat different from any period we have so far experienced. In this regard the present Prime Minister of India Shri. Narendra Modi is appreciated for taking the step forward with much expectation to have final settlement with the Nagas. To my conscience it is an appropriate step any two neighboring nation can take in the modern Interdependent world. 
Therefore, I appeal to all section of Nagas to strengthen the forces of peace and hammer out an honorable and lasting solution to the long-standing problem with India, acceptable to all concerned.
Countrymen, by the time the Naga declared its Independence in 1947 there were only 95 sovereign nations around the world and today the number is 196 which has been doubled.  It is now 73 years to have declared Independence Day which is a very long period and sufficient enough for us to be matured in all aspects of life. Therefore, while we talk of political settlement, we must also commit ourselves and create conducive environment to boost the process for final settlement. Otherwise, it would, for us be difficult to catch up with the fast changing ethos of the modern world.
In conclusion, I once again take this opportunity to say thank you to all the indomitable freedom fighters for nurturing this solemn occasion and making our nationalism spirit live.  As we have been called to build a noble history upon the sacrifices of the bygone patriots, May the Almighty God of heaven and the earth guide each one of us until our aspiration is fulfilled.
KUKANLIM
 

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