State

NSF celebrates Naga Independence Day

NSF celebrates Naga Independence Day
Niketu along with NSF officials, RBCK choir and others. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, AUG 14 (NPN) | Publish Date: 8/14/2019 12:37:52 PM IST

Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) celebrated the 73rd Naga Independence Day at Naga Solidarity Park here on Wednesday in the presence peace activist, former chairman peace committee and NBCC’s former trustee friends of moral armament, Niketu Iralu. 

Speaking on the occasion, Iralu said NNC on behalf of all Nagas had on August 14, 1947 reaffirmed what the pioneers had declared 18 years earlier and NNC leaders were simply staying true to what they had understood about their history up to that time, and staking their right for the future justified by their history as understood by them. He said they had not done it because they were against anyone or had any malicious intent to damage anyone. He reminded everyone of the Naga voluntary plebiscite four years later and all the momentous upheavals that had happened since then up to today for which all Nagas had paid a very heavy price as India used force to suppress the Naga struggle.           

Appreciating NSF for organising the programme, Iralu stressed that the present generation should also understand “our history” as the conflicts within the Naga family had created confusion. He said being from a generation that was well past its prime, he had the responsibility to say honestly to the younger generations what August 14 meant to Naga people. He said the historic day produced Kuknalim, which was about the aspiration of the Nagas and their identity that their history entitled them to claim and nurture. 

The speaker remarked that he was surprised when Prime Minister Narendra Modi ended his speech to Naga people at Kisama in 2014 with the expression “Kuknalim”.

The peace activist said the Naga struggle, both underground and over ground, had been very badly damaged by “ourselves because of our short-sightedness, selfishness and ambitions”. He called upon the Naga people to restore the health of Naga society, be responsible and stop all wrong and unmethodical ways to solve “our problems”.

In his address, NSF president Ninoto Awomi recalled that more than seven decades ago when “our founding fathers” first formed the federation, they had the twin vision to articulate the noble aspiration of youths through a common platform and to respond to any issues that confront the students and Nagas as a whole. Thus, the federation was formed and committed to “intellectual fight” against any force that threatened the existence, right, freedom and identity of “our people”. He stressed that NSF was committed to take on the responsibilities so that “our younger generation”, especially the student community’s future, their hopes, dreams and aspirations for a better quality of life were fulfilled.

Awomi asserted that NSF was the voice of younger generation as Naga society had witnessed so much conflict and wars, torn apart and disconnected by political boundaries and exhausted with decades of bloodshed and violence. 

Mentioning that the Independence Day was celebrated to express the will of Naga youth in good faith and pray that the world would be witness and fair in honouring “our unique history, our identity, our culture and our political goals”, the NSF president called upon the gathering to reflect back on all past leaders and martyrs who had sacrificed their lives for freedom from any forceful subjugation.

He emphasised “Our right to self determination is justified on account of our unique history, culture and political goals as declared to the world on August 14, 1947 when the Nagas declared themselves free from any imperialistic forces and on May 16, 1951 through the Naga National Plebiscite when 99.9% of the Nagas reiterated our right for a sovereign independent nation under the noble leadership of AZ Phizo.” 

He urged the world bodies to honour Nagas’ historical and political rights and restore their pride.

Pointing out that every Naga youth had confidence in the ongoing peace process and lead to an inclusive and honourable solution, Awomi urged the Naga people to take advantage of the present situation wherein Modi had promised a solution based on the reality of Nagas’ unique history and was working on the principles of peaceful coexistence.  

He said over 70 years had elapsed since “our people and our land” had been under the political control of Government of India but regretted that the people had been deprived from development. He stressed that Naga youth today sought economical, cultural, geographical, infrastructural development and political stability in their hills and plains. He stressed on having medical institutions with state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities, reform agricultural practices with advanced technological tools and implements, adequate air connectivity, roads and highways connecting every village and town and providing entrepreneurial skills and employment opportunities to youth. 

Stating that Naga youth wanted a peaceful future without war and conflicts, live in peace and on a par with rest of the world, Awomi called upon Naga people, young and old, to take a pledge and proclaim themselves free from the shackles of corruption, external forces that “threatens our existence and identity” and ensure that lives of the younger Naga generation were secured. The programme was chaired by NSF assistant general secretary Siipuni Ng Philo, invocation prayer said by Kohima Baptist Pastors’ Fellowship president Dr Kevichalie Metha and special presentation by Rengma Baptist Church Kohima Choir, while vote of thanks was proposed by NSF assembly speaker Rite Khutsoh.

Attended by hundreds of students from in and around the State Capital, former NSF leaders, student leaders, public leaders and others, the programme began with unfurling of Naga flag by the NSF president. 

 

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