Post Mortem

The living legend

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/19/2018 10:55:58 AM IST

 As one more Nagas’ hero died, a new living legend in Naga history is born.

This December, Nagas bid tearful farewell to our dearest Baba Gen (Retd). Khole Konyak, the man who steadfastly hold true to the cause till his last breath without wavering amidst all the storms and tides that rage against the very cause that he hold so dear for his fellow Naga brethren and for the future of the Naga nation. As the curtain came down on the life journey and eventful career of Khole Konyak, Nagas has every reason to thank God for blessing such a wonderful human being for the Nagas, and to celebrate his life and achievements as he lead the Nagas to the right path, giving us the right perspective about what it meant to be a Naga, and the rightful and legitimate place that had been stored for us by Providence and the price that we need to pay for claiming that honorable place.

From a very humble origin from a small village called Wangshu, under Tobu sub division, the life story of Khole Konyak and his commitment towards achieving Naga sovereignty epitomized how the Naga Nationalism for a free sovereign nation was given a decisive shape from different villages by groups of dedicated villagers from all over the Naga Hills which is a unique form of national movement in the history of the world. Khole was among “the cream of the Naga society that would vanish overnight into the jungles to fight for independence.” (Nirmal Nibedon. Nagaland: The Night of the Guerillas, Lancer Publishers 1983). From the Naga Hills, the fight for independence takes these “plain and simple villagers” (ibid) including Khole to the many jungles traversing rough and hilly terrain of Burma and reaching till China, not just fighting against their oppressors but also mobilizing international support for the cause they represent (I had a rare opportunity of seeing some of the remnants of their presence in a historic place like Tiananmen Square and Great Wall during my visit to China this summer).

At the time when many of his contemporary Nagas, especially the educated class, were swayed away by wealth and riches of the oppressors, compromising the Nagas’ cause in exchange for political position, status and material possession, few Naga nationalists like Khole refuses to abandon their commitment and could firmly withstood the temptatious tide that was raise against the right of the Nagas. In fact, Khole and his associates comprising of dedicated nationalists are credited in taking the Nagas and the Naga nation beyond the scope of the 1975 controversial Shillong Accord and give sense of optimism to the Nagas towards restoring our right to self determination, as they refused to bowed down to their enemy’s conspiracy. Naga national movement would have been long gone to be forgotten in history had it not been for the people like Khole who risk everything and take the courage to defy the verdict born out of betrayal and injustice. 

The reason why Nagas should be eternally grateful to Baba Khole Konyak is because the cause that he represent through out his entire life was and will always be the best for the Naga nation and that no counter view to Khole’s philosophy can do good for the Nagas. There cannot be a better vision for the Nagas than to envisaging the ideal world where Nagas can live together and peacefully in a free country of their own, and also live harmoniously with their neighboring countries. This is exactly the cause that Khole Konyak was dedicated to, and this will be the best and the most beautiful things that can ever happen for the Nagas. And for this golden day of Nagas to be realized, it depends on the ability of the Nagas to mustering the courage to take the same trail, a rugged path, which Baba Khole and his fellow comrades chooses for the cause of the Nagas, leading us thus far.

The decision taken by the delegates of Indigenous Group, representing many indigenous and tribal groups in India, during its conference at Kolkata, to offer condolence at the passing of the great Naga General bears testimony to the fact on the mighty influence that Baba Khole had, far and wide, as his life of commitment and dedication could inspire, motivate and strengthen many people and many oppressed groups to willing to rise to the occasion to sacrifice and fight for their right that has denied to them by their oppressors. At the time when discrimination, persecution and injustice against the minorities by the superiors highly prevail around the world, his life is an inspiring demonstrations to the world that humanity, no matter how small group of people we may represent or powerless we appear, are still capable of fighting against such form of inhuman treatments. He holds true to the vision of a great human right activist Martin Luther King Jr. who famously said, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressors; it must be demanded by the oppressed”.

If he can inspire and influence the world this much, then it will be senseless on the part of his own people, especially the new generation Nagas, if his life and message fail to move their heart. For the Nagas the cost will be high should we choose to go against the will and wishes of a man who had given and sacrifice his all for the cause of the nation. The risk of going against Baba’s vision for a sovereign nation is that we will be heading for a situation where we will be assimilated to a political system where only numbers counts and where the culture of hate and prejudice rule. This scenario will be disastrous for the Naga people as we will be submerged to a country and a system where we will become an insignificant and lost people. And the only means to prevent this impending catastrophe for the Nagas is for us to dedicate anew and strive towards realizing the dreams of our great legendary leaders like Baba Khole Konyak.

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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