Post Mortem

The Apex Hoho as the collective Strength (Voice) of the Nagas

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/19/2019 11:39:29 AM IST

 (From previous issue)

The 4th Summit at Mokokchung on 26-7/2/1997:-The Mokokchung session was expected to be a landmark as the Nagas from other states were to formally admit into the Hoho Body. However, the delegates from Mon-Tuensang boycotted the session which had dampen the high spirit. Nevertheless, Nagas from Manipur were admitted. Their admission was further reaffirmed by the Naga Hoho on 26/8/1997 at Kohima in which bringing in of the Naga tribal contiguous area in Manipur under one political roof with the rest of the Nagas in Nagaland.
The 5th Summit at Zunheboto on 10-2/3/1998:- At last in this summit,  a full- fledged Naga Hoho Office Bearers were elected with Mr Vero X-MP as the first president. Vice president were- Gaigam Zeliang, Shanglao Konyak and Gen Sani Ao. Vihuto Yepthomi  as Gen Sey and Krurovi Angami as speaker and other officials. 
With the full-fledged formation of the Apex Naga Body, the Hoho officials had involved wholeheartedly in discharging their responsibility and made many noteworthy interventions, such as, preventing violent factional clashes and fratricide killings; inter tribal clashes like Yimchunger – Tikhirr of Kipheri District. Peace initiative during an indiscriminate Indian Army atrocities committed on civilian in Oinam area of Senapti District of Manipur after an   armed clashes between the Naga UG and Indian Army was praise worthy. A number of delegations of the Hoho had met national leaders in N Delhi and elsewhere concerning the Naga political issues as well as other socio-economic matters of public interest. So long the Apex Hoho was united and strong; its opinions were well received with respect as the collective voice of the Nagas in the national and in the international fora as well. It’s a clear proof of strength in unity.
The Naga Hoho now:- Lately, as it is seen, the Apex Hoho  had gone out of tract and become controversial. The Hoho functioning was accused of being highly politicised losing its neutrality and impartiality losing its own identity which was the main sustaining strength and rallying power of the Hoho. The fact is,  for one reason or the other the  Hoho organisation  is badly paralysed owing to the  withdrawal by many tribal hohos mainly from Nagaland state  rendering the Body truncated thereby sapped away its inner  strength and reputation  like the famous proverbial- biblical figure  Samson’s  tragic death due to his own folly. The present truncated Hoho will not be able to authoritatively represent as the collective voice of all the Nagas as it has lose its strength and respect commanded earlier. Therefore, now the priority task for the Naga Hobo is to regain that position if it has to survive as the Apex Naga Collective Body transcending the geographical, political and mental barriers. The question is how? The Hoho functionary needs to go to the people by create conducive atmosphere to enable those tribal Hohos whose membership are withdrawn at the moment are return back. The reason for their departure is studied and reconciliation measures are  taken up immediately before the damage become permanent.
It should not be forgotten that the Hoho is a voluntary socio- political organisation collectively formed by Tribal hohos for the purpose of promoting mainly the matters of common interest beneficial to all the Nagas tribe. It is non-political organisation but can involve in Naga political issue on merit in shaping the Naga political future through collective effort. The Hoho can strongly indulge in preservation and promotion of cultural aspect of the Nagas. Thus, the success and failure depend much on the willing participation of the constituent units (the tribal hohos). That united association can only be maintained as long as the constituent members are happy with the functioning of the Hoho. Once that trust is lost, crisis will be there like at the present moment. 
 The Hoho ideally represent the ultimate sum total wisdom of all the Nagas. It should be a source of strength and inspiration for all the Nagas from within and outside of Nagaland (like the recent appeal made by the Nagas from Myanmar and Rengmas of Assam to strengthen the Hoho for our common benefit). Therefore, it should necessarily be neutral to party politic as well as factional interest but courageously uphold, protect and promote the just cause of the Nagas basically and people in general. Only then, I believe, the Apex Hoho will survive and serve its main purpose. 
At this crucial moment in Naga history, when the long arduous and tough journey of political movement is reaching a final stage, it is a sad commentary to see the Apex Naga Together (Hoho) which had played a tremendous pivotal role in shaping and determining the Naga destiny over the years of struggle, is coming to such helpless, controversial and insignificant position.  Nagas need each other at this crucial testing time and we need to come up to counter the force of negativity.  We all need to make voluntary sacrifice to enable us to create conducive atmosphere to transform the Apex Hoho which can take care of the larger challenges transcending political and geographical boundaries in the larger interest of the people which the Nagas has been inspiring all these years.
 In this direction, in order to make the hoho once again dynamic and effective Body, the structural and functional changes of the Hoho suiting to the need and thinking of the day is call for. For this, even the constitution of the Hoho can be amended suitably.  The structural change should clearly define the appropriate role dividing between the Apex Hoho and constituent units in conformity to the contemporary reality. In this, broadly, issues of local nature be left to the local hoho/group while the matter of requiring common platform be assigned to the Apex Body to avoid any overlapping function as well as avoid inter- tribal/group jurisdiction. It requires complete transformation to be relevant to the demand of changing time and be a real change agent for the Nagas future.
 The Apex hoho must be a Federated Pan- Organisation of Regional grouping including the group from outside Nagaland including from Myanmar. We cannot effort to allow the Apex Naga Body which had brilliantly shaped and represented the strength of Naga Togetherness right from the formation of the Naga Club way back in 1918 and down the line of a long journey should not be allowed to come to such impotent Body which is a lost to the Naga at last. WE the Naga people need it for all of us. 
(For any factual error or disagreement with the observation therein only I am responsible) 
 T. N. Mannen IAS (Rtrd)

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