Post Mortem

Nagas hills tribal struggle for sovereignty from India

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/8/2019 12:35:47 PM IST

 The Nagas have originated from mongoloid race and settled down in the hilly no man’s land area since time immemorial which had never been occupied by any human being since God’s creation. It is to be mentioned that Buddhism had already been accepted by almost all the South Asian people by 3 century BC as such Nagas migrated from China and settled down in the land they occupy now long before Christian Era. According to the historical records of the Ahom kings, in 13th century when Ahom prince Sukhapa marched across the Bu through Patkai hills they had fierce encounter with the Naga tribes who were already settled in the hills. So the Naga are the first settlers in the land they occupy now. During the early invasion of the British in north east India, neither the Ahoms, manipuries, Kacharies Burmese nor the British ever entered Naga area for occupation and it is a clear indication that the Nagas were not under any of her neighbour’s kings or rule. In the course of migration though the Naga families have spread in different directions and hence developed their own languages and cultures. The following are the identified tribes of Naga Hills Tribes: 1. Angami, 2. Ao, 3. Anal, 4. Chang, 5. Chakhesang, 6. Chiru, 7. Chote, 8. Chirel, 9. Chirr, 10. Heimi, 11. Hewa, 12. Htangam, 13. Inpui, 14. Konyak, 15. Kiamungan, 16. Kharam, 17. Koireng, 18. Kayo, 19. Khaklak/Hkalak, 20. Kengu, 21. Lamkang, 22. Liangmai, 23. Laihe, 24. Lainung, 25. Lotha, 26. Maram, 27. Mao, 28. Maring, 29. Moyon, 30. Monsang, 31. Machary/Makury/Makhori, 32. Malang, 33. Nokho/pNoko, 34. Nokte, 35. Nolang, 36. Namsik, 37. Pakang, 38. Phellongri, 39. Phom, 40. Pochuri, 41. Phango, 42. Phankhem, 43. Pangmi, 44. Pangu, 45. Para, 46. Poumai, 47. Rangpan, 48. Rasit, 49. Rekho, 50. Rengma, 51. Rongmei, 52. Sangtam, 53. Saplo, 54. Shangphuri, 55. Singpho, 56. Sira, 57. Somi, 58. Sumi, 59.Tarao, 60.Tangkhul, 61.Thangal, 62.Tangsa, 63.Tikhir, 64.Wanchao, 65.Yimchunger, 66. Zeme, 67. Zeliang (Reference: The Nagas with the three great nations, by Kibangwar Jamir).

Although all these tribes have been living within their own well demarcated boundary the Naga villages were all contiguous and helping each other as and when required. However the British, for their own administrative convenience divided the contiguous Naga areas into different administrative units and kept them under different provinces in the districts of Manipur and Assam. The Ahoms and the British were the first outsiders who entered Naga territory and third group of outsider were the American missionaries who had come in good faith to give civilization and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christianity was first accepted by the Ao community from Molung Village and later on it spread like wild fire to all the Naga areas followed by educational and religious upliftment.

After the 1st World war, the Nagas submitted a memorandum to the British requesting not to merge the Naga areas independent from the British India rule and accordingly the British excluded the Naga areas from British India, vide the government of British India Act, 1935. However, after the end of Second World War the British did nothing for the sovereignty of the Nagas from the Indians and thus Nagas were left under the rule of Indian government creating Indo-Naga political problems.

A British officer decided to help the Nagas to form Naga Hills Tribal Council in April 1945 with the objective to unite all Nagas and to reconstruct Naga Hills and later on it was converted into Naga National Council (NNC) led by Shri. T. Aliba Imti as president. In the early part of 1947 the NNC submitted a memorandum as the “Nine Point Agreement”. Later on different political parties came up meanwhile the first Indian general election was held in January 1952 but the Nagas boycotted this election and abstained from participating and casting vote.

The 16 Point Agreement was passed on the third Naga Peoples’ Convention held in October 1959 led by a group of political leaders viz, NPC president Dr. Imkongliba Ao, Mr. Jasokie, Mr. Chubatoshi Jamir, R. C. Chiten Jamir, Mr. Kelhoshi Sema, Mr. Etsorhomo Lotha, Mr. Sentsi Rengma, Mr. Lakimong Yimchunger, Mr. Litingse Sangtam, Mr. Panthung Phom, Mr. Putimo Chakesang, Mr. Imtichba Chang, Mr. Thangwang Konyak, Thiowholie Zeliang, Mr. T. N. Angami, Mr. Sashimeren Ao etc. however among these dynamic leaders only Mr. Chubatoshi Jamir is alive with us now.

United Naga Democratic Party (UNDP) Nagaland longtsasangtam@gmail.com.

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