Post Mortem

Speech of Gen (Retd.) Thinoselie M. Keyho, (president, Naga National Council)

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/15/2019 11:40:37 AM IST

 My dear fellow Nagas, on behalf of the Naga National Council I convey my grateful greetings and best wishes to the Naga People.

Today is Naga Plebiscite Day. 68 years ago on May 16, 1951, the NNC organized and conducted the historic event. The outcome of the referendum demonstrated the Naga peoples’ massive support of the declaration of the independence made 4 years earlier on 14 August, 1947, one day ahead of India.
The voluntary democratic exercise of that day was daring, imaginative and visionary, strengthening the foundation of our struggle with a legacy of indisputable, lasting significance. It revealed how much our pioneers had thought about all that the changing world had brought to them and what they were to do with the new dangers and opportunities in order to go forward in the years ahead. I believe divine inspiration guided them as they dared to claim what their history,  as understood by them, fully justified and entitled them to claim for the Naga people, namely, to be “a nation among nations”. We salute them for opening wider the door in front of them for the greater good of the coming generations. We are grateful to our pioneer leaders for their far seeing thinking and courage. We are justly proud of them.
Let us know that the landmark historical facts of the Naga struggle are,
(1) The No More Fight Agreement of 1880,
(2) The memorandum of 1929,
(3) The independence declaration of 1947,
(4) The Plebiscite of 1951 and,
(5) The total boycott of the Indian General Election a year later in 1952, which powerfully restated the verdict of the Plebiscite to India and the world.
(6) The ceasefire agreement of 1964.
The above facts reveal how early the thinking of the struggle started and how correctly down the years our leaders have preserved our integrity of the Naga struggle and brought it intact up to where we are today.
Like so many others of my generation I too counted it a high honor and privilege to defend the legacy of the Naga cause. We gave the best years of our lives as soldiers and national workers of the struggle.
We have seen India showing no hesitation to do the worst to obliterate the very consciousness the Nagas had developed about themselves. We must not be surprised the power holders  of the new India underestimated us because the India before the British came just did not know we existed. Nagas also virtually did not know anyone else existed except themselves for all practical purposes.
Nagas have abundantly demonstrated they meant what they believed and declared it at the right time . and it is because of the unchangeable historical facts cited above that India has no legal basis to treat the Naga struggle  for their fully legitimate goals as illegal, secessionist or anti-national. India’s policy thinkers have started to show signs of recognition that the Naga question and position is unique for India. Atal Behari Vajpayee as Prime Minister said so in Kohima. The credit for this goes to all Naga national workers from the beginning up to today who have sacrificed so greatly to defend the right of their people and their history.
After this brief review of our history and what we have achieved, we should today focus our attention more on how we preserve what we have achieved together for the sake of the future.
All struggles for human aspirations are the result of human beings wanting and needing to grow and rise higher in every way. The struggling and the growing produce serious mistakes and failures by all peoples. We all know this is true about the Naga struggle also. We too have blamed and become distrustful of one another which have produced hatred, fear and increasing selfishness. Yet we all know in our conscience put inside us by our Creator that it is not true others alone are to blame for the present crisis that threatens to undo whatever we have achieved together thus far.
We are now familiar with the call of reconciliation so that we may not destroy ourselves but to bring about unity in the right path. I believe by God’s grace we all know now the reconciliation we need will start only if we can help one another to do together what needs to be done, instead of continuing to blame others for what has gone wrong. Blaming is never the complete truth. For the sake of passing a legacy on which the coming generations will be able to built a dignified society that will succeed as a people and a nation. Our grievances against one another are real. All hurts and provocations that have produced the grievances are real. But we have to reach out to one another to ensure that our struggles takes us forward instead of destroying us.
Our situation demands that we now start to learn to appreciate one another’s sacrifice and thank God together for what has already been achieved by the Nagas, instead of blaming one another for what has not been achieved yet. This will be simple wisdom.
On the core issue of sovereignty Nagas have over the long years of struggle that it is too difficult for India to handle. However, the 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. Further, that of India’s problem 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.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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