Post Mortem

NPF rejoinder to NDPP

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/4/2019 12:29:47 PM IST

 Apropos a news item under the caption, “NDPP responds to Dr. Shürhozelie” that appeared in the Post-Mortem column of Nagaland Post, dated the 2nd  Feb. 2019, I want to clarify my stand on few charges as demanded by Mr. Chingwang Konyak, President of NDPP. 

I have all my respect for Mr. Chingwang Konyak as an elderly man, but I am sorry to find out that he did his best to demean me in his writing from the beginning to the last. He was more personal than presenting his argument as the President of NDPP. He mentioned six points in his long statement based on few lines of my written speech dated the 31st January 2019 about their motto and symbol.

In my speech, I have mentioned about 9 political parties like National Convention of Nagaland; Naga People’s Party; Naga National Democratic Party; Democratic Labour Party; Nationalist Democratic Movement, United Naga Democratic Party etc. which were formed at different times during the last five decades by Naga leaders, but all these political parties disappeared again one after another, reason for their disappearance may be attributed to lack of political ideology. As for NPF, we survive for 56 years now against all odds because our political ideology is deeply rooted in the unique history of the Naga people. 

While mentioning about those political parties that appeared and gone again one by one, I have also mentioned NDPP to be one of such parties. I have said, “Today, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) is ruling the State. This Party is not a regional party as its name indicates. They own the Globe to be their empire and as such they have no program for Nagaland. ‘Facta non Verba’ (deeds not words) is the motto of St. Edmund’s College, Shillong. I am aware of it because I was a student of St. Edmund’s College once upon a time. Looking back from the literary perspective, if they have not taken permission for its use, their motto is to be treated as a stolen good.” If they have taken care of the established norm while adopting it, matter ends there. There is no point for anyone to become allergic. 

I failed to understand his intention when he talked about French flag. The colors of French flag may be same with NPF flag. But my flag is horizontal whereas French flag is vertical. Horizontal and vertical are two different things. But even if one presumes it to be same, what is the point of argument? He said that Cock symbol is a universal symbol used by several institutions. Let it be so, but as for us, Cock is a sacred bird for the Naga people which every Naga will agree, and this needs no further explanation. 

He further said that I was unceremoniously removed as Chief Minister. I agree with him because it was, indeed, unceremonious. But let me tell him that I have no regret for it because I have never asked for that chair. But I was rather compelled to take up the job to save the situation created by some one in which we have lost precious lives and more than 20 Government offices were burnt down in the Capital etc. Though I was not a member of the NLA I am aware of the Constitutional provision and, therefore, I have taken the stand to face the challenge. It was not me but because of the Providence hands, I have successfully brought back the situation to normal in one month’s time. I had serious meeting with all agitating groups and talked to them as man to man and I did my best to remove the irritants to save the situation. I must express my appreciation to all the agitating groups for their understanding. I have done my job to the full expectation of the people. Therefore, I have no regret for my removal as Chief Minister. Whether Mr. Chingwang knows about the reason behind my removal by BJP Government at the Centre in connivance with some tall leaders in Nagaland. I do not feel bad even if any one mocks me in this manner like he does because I believe in the wisdom of my people who understand the very reason in this drama. 

He continued to talk about my relationship with BJP. In 2003, when I had invited all non-Congress political parties to join me to fight against Congress rule in Nagaland, BJP along with NDM and few other national parties including some leaders from Congress party joined me. BJP was in opposition in Delhi that time. Since then BJP was with me for 15 years. I repeat, they were with me and they survived under my protection. During this period, we were on our own and they were on their own without any interference or imposition as far as party matters were concerned. So, your (NDPP) association with BJP today and my (NPF) association with BJP in the past are quite different. I always pay due respect to all political parties including national parties but I never worship national parties in my life because I am regional in everything and my commitment is to defend regional interests. Mr. Chingwang knows that his party is now running a de facto BJP Government in Nagaland whereas in the past, BJP was attached to us with one or two MLAs or sometime without any MLA, and that is the difference. I had never conceded a single seat to BJP in election during the past 15 years but his party had conceded 20 seats to BJP the same evening they wedded together; and that is the difference. I want to bring another information to him which he is well aware is that his party filed case against me just because I have said that I would defend the Christian faith in Nagaland. They interpreted my speech as communal and filed case against me. That case is still lying pending in the court. Let me remind my friend once more that I will continue to defend my faith in Nagaland, however unworthy I am, in as much as we allow other religions to enjoy that freedom in Nagaland. This is in reference to Article 25 of the Constitution of India. I am very clear of my stand and I sleep well at night. 

I quite agree with Mr. Chingwang that today Naga people are fed up with the politics of lies and propaganda. Let no political party takes the Nagas for a ride. Let truth prevails. I am sorry to say that I hate paper war. Therefore, if need be, I want to throw an open challenge to have public debate on the whole matter. 

Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu, President, NPF

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