Post Mortem

Open letter to R N Ravi

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/22/2019 11:55:45 AM IST


Dear Sir,
We, the undersigned for and on behalf of Naga National Council (NNC), under the leadership of NNC President, Gen. (Retd) Thinoselie M. Keyho wish to state that we are extremely grateful for your honest public declaration of India’s position on behalf of Govt. of India on “Naga politics” at Pune as Chief Guest at the General Lachit Barphukan Memoral Lecture, as published in the Nagaland Posts on 21st December, 2018 quoting from “Times of Assam”. The same is hereby quoted as under (quote) “the Naga Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN (IM) was within the Constitution of India and the final settlement would be done considering all groups and neighbouring states, not just the Naga group alone…. . they have no option but either to keep fighting or surrender.. … the message was clear to those groups ……” (unquote). Mr.Ravi, your often repeated offer on behalf of Govt. of India for “sharing of sovereignty” with a provision for the “Naga Yehzabo” (constitution) and “Naga flag” under the Indian Constitution treating the Naga Nation as just an NGO is crystal clear, so we are to state that those offers and the threat to surrender along with the offer of lucrative rehabilitations are unacceptable insults absolutely irrelevant for the NNC, the only mandated Political Institution of the Naga Nation, hence we flatly reject it. We hereby apprise you of our irrefutable stance for your information.
1. We can understand your position as the Representative and Interlocutor for the Govt. of India. In your statement as quoted above, you have honestly and faithfully made India’s position clear without any ambiguity for the Naga people to understand, which we assumed was made for the welfare of the Naga people to avoid further miscommunication with the Govt. of India that Nagas may not be deceived repeatedly is highly appreciated.
2. Nagas are aware that from your long years of dedicated and intelligent study, which was part of your professional responsibility, you have a thorough grasp of the facts of Naga history which needs no further elaboration in this open letter.
3. If we put ourselves in the shoes of the Govt. of India we, the Nagas can see that India cannot be blatantly blamed in the first place for defending the disputed map of the new independent India which was made by the then British India without the consent of the Nagas. It may be noted that a small portion of Naga homeland was unilaterally made by taking undue advantage of our hospitality and simplicity as a District of Assam in British India which was passed on to India’s new rulers when Great Britain terminated her Empire in the Indian Sub-Continent.
4. And if India were to put herself in the shoes of the Naga pioneers - defenders of their history, India should see that India cannot blame the Nagas in any case for taking the position they took in 1929 and 1947 before India became an independent nation, which they defended resolutely unwaveringly up to this day by making huge sacrifices due to the declared India’s wrong stand mentioned above as “either keep fighting or surrender’. Delhi has maintained this wrong stand for over 70 years. Without recognising the historical facts and use of military power by the Govt. of India on the innocent Naga people as it is in the present case, we can clearly see that there can be no honourable, sustainable and acceptable solution to the Naga issue.
5. The Nagas were not and are not against India or being “anti-India” when they declared themselves to be a sovereign, independent people and a nation, because the position was justified by the facts of their history. The people of India should know this that the Naga people simply chose to be true to themselves and to dare to claim the right and privilege their history entitle them to claim and their defence of the stated status at immense sacrifices till date clearly shows what their struggle means to them.
6. India has no justification for treating the Nagas as if their struggle is “secessionist”, “hostile” or “anti-national” because Nagas chose to reclaim their pre-British status before the British left India. The Nagas were never a part of India or any other neighbouring nations or even the then British India before they made a “no more fight agreement” in their own terms and practices in their favour to restore peaceful co-existence with the British in 1880 after 50 years of battle to defend their honour, dignity and land. However, many years later, this agreement was unilaterally interpreted by the British by making a small portion of western Naga areas as a part of the eastern edge of the then British Empire in India and making the small portion of that Naga homeland as a District of Assam of British India without our consent. As such, the Nagas by absolutely non- violence and democratic means re-affirmed their stance in writing in form of a Memorandum and declared on behalf of all the Naga people to “ Leave us Alone to Determine for Ourselves” before the British Statutory Commission headed by John Simon in 1929. It undoubtedly means to say that the British were to “leave us alone for Sovereignty” as and when their departure from their South Asian colonies took place. 
7. Therefore, under these premises, it is clear that Nagas demanding anything that is not theirs from India does not arise. We are not asking India to give sovereignty or anything to us. We only expect and humbly ask India to recognise the true facts of our unique history and leave us alone to determine our future by ourselves. In doing so India will not be losing anything that was part of the new India created by the British. We earnestly urge India not to unwisely use force to treat us as a people who “have no option but either to keep fighting or surrender”. You must mark our words today that we definitely have an option not to fight militarily but shall never-never surrender as threatened. Do not treat us as a part of the new India in any way which is terribly wrong on your part because we are not Indian and our territory was and is not a part of the new Indian Union as aforesaid. We had to resist mighty India just in self-defence because we were compelled to protect our history, land, culture, dignity and identity not because we thought we could match India’s vastly superior force. Moreover, Nagas cannot 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. We can understand India’s problem who fail to understand the facts of our political history made before God. But that does not mean we are to treat our history as if it is not true or not important for our proper development in our own unique culture “the purest form of democracy” without any class system or caste system, as a people and a nation.
1. Tsüpong Ao, Working President, Ao Regional Council, NNC; 2. T. Oren Lotha, President, Lotha Regional Council, NNC; 3. Khriekhotuo, President, Angami Regional Council, NNC; 4. Nüveta Nakro, President, Chakhesang Regional Council, NNC; 5. K. Kent, President, Rengma Regional Council, NNC; 6. Kugasiu, President, Zeliang Regional Council, NNC; 7. L. Musüzu, President, Pochury Regional Council, NNC

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