Post Mortem

74th Naga Independence Day speeches

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/13/2020 1:21:24 PM IST

 Brig. (Retd) S. Singnya, Kedahge, Federal Government of Nagaland 

My dear Countrymen,
It is a great privilege and a big honour to address you as the Kedahge of the NNC/FGN on this historic day, the 14th of August 2020. I greet you on behalf of all the ranks and file of the NNC/FGN. On this day in 1947, our pioneers proclaimed our historical and political rights and took the giant step to declare our freedom and independence to the world. Today, we are grateful to our Almighty God for the guidance, protection and sustenance throughout our struggle.
Our ancestors lived with pride and in full freedom knowing that they are free, free as a people and as a nation. In its memorandum submitted to the British Simon Commission in 1929, the Naga Club, the first Naga organization  stated its request “…to leave us alone to determine ourselves as in ancient times.”  When the status of the Crown colony was offered to the Nagas, the Nagas expressed the desire to remain free but since the British Government remained silent on the Nagas’ right to self-determination at the time of its departure from the Indian sub-continent, Nagas, under the banner of Naga National Council (NNC), declared our Independence on 14th August 1947, a day ahead of India’s declaration of independence which was also made known to the UN. To augment this decision, the NNC organized the Plebiscite in 1951 wherein 99.9% voted for Naga independence. In keeping with this general will to be free, Nagas refused to take part in the first and second general elections of free India which were held respectively in 1952 and 1957. Human arguments and wisdom can never alter the fact that Nagas never wished at any point of time to be part of India.
Our ancestors were honourable people and their words used to be their law. It is shameful and disgraceful to dishonour their words. The British recognized this custom and treated the Nagas as honourable people. Despite several conflicts and agreements between the two, no written document was necessitated. And so we respected each other for what each was. But when the Indian leaders made the first agreement with the Nagas, they neither honoured our customs nor their promises.
We had to make a written agreement, the 9 Point Agreement (Hydari Agreement) in 1947. But even after getting written assurance from the representatives of the GoI, a letter signed by Bordoloi and Hydari themselves, the agreement never saw the light of day. After exhausting all options and with death threat, the NNC had no option but to go underground following the boycott of Nehru and U Nu at Kohima in 1953.
Nagas did not choose the path of violence but having not other options took up arms to defend the honour and rights of the Nation.
A nation is a Dream.  Without a dream, a nation has no soul. Everybody dreams but only the brave and the courageous dare to pursue their dreams. There is no sacrifice greater or nobler than to selflessly give ones live in believing in a dream. We are Nagas, not by choice but by birth and destiny and Naga Nationalism in essence are a movement for restoration of our political and historical rights and not a secessionist movement as termed by our detractors. Three popular slogans inspired and instilled the spirit of Naga Nationalism. Firstly, Tax or March. There is no middle path to escape the call of the nation without becoming a traitor. It means participation in terms of either providing support or be recruited in the national service. Secondly, Ten for One, meaning ten households should support one national worker. They do not only provide cash and kinds but also do the cultivation and other related agricultural works for the one who represents the households or clan. Thirdly, Our Land is ours, the foundation of Naga nationalism. We do not covet the land of others but we would keep what is rightfully ours at all cost.
Today, we have reached a very crucial juncture where our decisions and actions can either make or break our history. The making of history needs wisdom and concerted effort and should not be ruled by emotion. We cannot afford to make any mistakes.  We should not be dictated by what people think is good for us but we need wisdom from God to be able to formulate what will be best for us.  Our past and present must lead us to a future that is secure, prestigious and honourable.  If we fail to do so, “we will all perish as fools”. The sacrifices made by those who had given their lives for what they believe to be true and honourable should also not go in vain. We must conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.
After many rounds of deliberation, consultation and much thought, the NNC/FGN decided and an entity of the NNPGs has been participating in the political dialogues with GoI since 2017, in order arrive at a political solution which is honourable and mutually acceptable. We took the decision because we believed that violence should end and that we should pave the way for peace to prevail in our beautiful homeland which though not of our making or design, has experienced so much violence and bloodshed. With the passage of time the NNC/FGN hopes that GoI is sincere in its desire and commitment to resolve the more than seven decades old political conflict, though we have not forgotten the bitter experiences with India in the past. To cite few instances, India never honoured the Hydari Agreement of 1947; India betrayed the Ceasefire Agreement of 1964; India divided the Nagas even after her promise to bring the Nagas under one political umbrella; India is not even serious about her commitments to the 16 point agreement in all important matters. Moreover, successive Indian leaders fail to uphold even the promises made to the Nagas by their most venerated leaders like Gandhi and Rajagopalachari. It is most unfortunate that even today, even after ceasefires and holding dialogues with various Naga Political Groups, harsh and unjust laws like the Disturbed Area Act and the AFSPA of 1958 continue to be extended and imposed in the Naga inhabited areas; and under the protection of these Draconian laws unlawful raids, atrocities and killing of civilians and Naga National workers continue to be perpetrated by the Indian Army. However, the Naga experiences of betrayal and treachery by the Indian leaders are educative. And as empowered as India is today, with the desire to share responsibility along with the world powers, we hope that India has become a self-respecting, trustworthy and honourable country.
As we celebrate the 74th Naga Independence Day, we also celebrate with pride and fondly remember the contributions and sacrifices of the patriots who selflessly gave their lives for the Nation. I extend my appreciations to all the Naga National Workers for standing true and committed to the National Call. I warmly congratulate all the recipients of the awards and special commendations for their dedication and commitment. God bless you all and KUKNALIM. 
Federal Government of Nagaland
 
Gen (Retd) Thinoselie M Keyho, President NNC
My Dear Fellow Nagas, This is Oking calling! On this auspicious occasion of attaining 73 stupendous years of official Naga Independence, I offer unqualified gratitude to God, Jehovah-Nissi, the One who fights for us. I also most solemnly salute all the patriots of this righteous struggle, both the living and more so the martyrs and related deaths.
All of 73 matured years ago; on 14 August, 1947, one day ahead of India, the Nagas under the far-sighted able leadership of the NNC,officially declared our eternal Independent status for all the World to know, note and reckon with, most overtly evident.
Dear fellow Nagas, I most earnestly entreat you to lend me your undivided attention yet again at this sacred moment. That there absolutely is no logic whatsoever, to be asking for “independence” from India whom we had overtaken in the race by officially declaring ours ahead by one full day of 24 hours, not to speak of those nanoseconds in such hotly contested  races. The biological (read political) fact of “birthing” can never be denied then, now or any other time under heaven; here, there or anywhere else for that matter.
Why, then the protracted confrontation with India, armed and otherwise? Well, RECOGNITION is the crux of the matter. We had all these times been ceaselessly striving to prevail upon India to please lucidly acknowledge the inalienable rights of the Nagas and live peacefully as respectable neighbours. But instead, she chose to most atrociously do her demoniac best in opposing our God-given rights to the evil intent of nullifying them altogether. So the bitter confrontation continues well into the enlightened (?) World of the 21st century; what a crying shame.
To refresh everybody’s memory: From 1946 – 1956 the Nagas pursued the righteous “non-violence, non-cooperation; democratic and peaceful” path in putting across the Naga Rights to her.
But since India had (has!) absolutely no rights and grounds to argue and negotiate with us; she most maliciously resorted to the barbaric policy of ‘might is right’; deploying and employing her brute bestial armed might on us with the sinister aim to savagely bully us into submission; furthering her nefarious intent all the more by actualisingthe most draconianact of invasion. Being thus irrevocably compelled, the Nagas were necessitated to set up, on March 22, 1956, the Federal Republic Government of Nagaland (FGN) and started and never stopped to confront her till date, 2020.
Who in his right senses would have even imagined, much less believed that such an insignificant Nation, even more negligible than “a statistical error”(cfNation of Israel); would be able to prevail in battle against  the giant of a Nation, India, mighty both in power and number, for all of these many years?! God Almighty alone in His great love, enabled us to cling on most perilously yet tenaciously from surrendering our profound eternal rights to the monstrous nation of India; for the magnificent deed of which I bestow all glory and honour to the miracle working Omnipotent God of History. Yours faithfully, the NNC President also extend my most sincere gratitude to all the numberless children of the Soil who have had given their very best to and for this Cause: both the death as well as the living. We have triumphedover India most convincingly in the peaceful chapter and even more so in the physical warfare arena. This is our greatest achievement.
Unleashing her exceedingly great might and power, India is apparently most effective in  rendering us not being able to move on nor able to raise our voices; giving the false outward impression of  being madehaplesslyhelpless, fast-fettered and soundly silenced. But belying all such delusional speculations, Nagas have had actually won the moral and ethical victories in all their totality.
There is no telling as to how much longer the stalemate would drag on. If it is to be much more delayed, the Nagas would continue to suffer indignation and deprivation that much longer. But her political stand and credibility would improve and increase exponentially; whereas India’s fate would continue to weaken and deteriorate at alarming rates, actual downward spiral; mark my word.
Nagas have become an obstinate stumbling block, a yawning pitfall and a fatal snare for India both in the proverbial as well as in actual physical setting, in all likelihood. Until, but more so, unless India acknowledges and admits the truth, the conflict would never be amicably resolved. What then is that truth? That Nagas are not Indians and could never become so, God forbid. Nagas are different and she would most surely continue to be an Independent, Sovereign Nation – that’s the gospel truth divine. The sooner India concedes to this truth the more bearable her fate. Would she set the Nagas free and save her Nation or continue in her parochial arrogance and reap the inevitable ignominious loss for her Nation? Look at the weird moss-covered ball in her court!!
One profound truth for fellow Nagas:  The Eternal God Jehovah in ages past had once pronounced unto His confidant Zerubbabel, “Not by might , nor by power, but by my spirit”, saith the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6); this same axiom is being repeated to the Nagas of today. Therefore my beloved brethren, let us truthfully confess our sins and shortcomings to God the Merciful; repent from our wicked ways and turn to Him, seeking His Face for grace without delay. Nagas shall most certainly emerge victorious eventually. Let ustherefore not lose heart but instead be most eagerly awaiting the blessed Day – oh dawn on us even as we pray! Thank you all. 
KUKNALIM

Kiumukam Yimchunger, President, NNC/GDRN (Non-Accord)
My fellow Nagas,
 
I give thanks to our Almighty God for this opportunity and the promises He has made to the Nagas. Our future is in His hands and it will be fulfilled in accordance with his plan, for His words are both faithful and trustworthy.
I pay homage to all freedom lovers who have laid down their lives for the sake of our homeland.  Their names will forever be etched in the annals of Nagas’ struggle against the occupational forces. We salute and honour them today and always will.
It was on this historic day, the 14th of August, 1947, that our pioneering patriots captured the best moment to make known to the world that British connection with Naga people did not involve with the British Raj in India and Burma (Myanmar). And thus it became a red letter day in the history of our Naga   Nation. The day is observed every year since 1947, though in continued search for peace.
As we commemorate this day to honour and remember the sacrifices of our first nationalist leaders, let  us also remind ourselves of the responsibility to acquaint with the life and work of our forefathers;  their spirit of patriotism, enthusiasm and energy, their buoyant youth, their honesty, talent and workmanship, their self-reliance, their unwavering desire for peace and co-operation with all peace-loving people, and most of all their hospitality and cordiality, all of these qualities are the sincere  expressions of our unique identity which we must try to emulate at all costs.
We must keep renewing the spirit of nationalism and have complete faith that we will achieve our goal as a free Nation in the comity of nations. Nation building lies in our own diligence. Each one of us in our own personal and sovereign rights should work and contribute towards progress and welfare of our nationhood. It is possible for us because we are the descendants of those people who were deeply rooted in self-dependency, self-sufficiency and honesty. The spirit of self-dependency inherent in our people forms the crux of our movement for self-determination and we are committed to carry on the task to our best possible extent; and God willing, till the desired goal is achieved. 
The course of Nagas’ struggle against our mighty neighbour and her occupational forces is a history written with the blood of thousands of martyrs and tears of the bereaved. Endless conflict without victory on either side for decades proved to be a futile exercise. When Megatons can be converted to Megawatts, rationality demands that confrontation should be the least preferred recourse for the Nagas and Indians if we are to co-exist as good neighbours. 
There is no conflict in the world that is beyond redemption if two opposing sides concur to sit across  the table for deliberations.            
Today, with the mandate of the Nagas and as desired by our people, NNC/GDRN (N-A) under the   banner of the WC, NNPGs is a party to the successfully concluded political negotiations with the Govt. of India and awaits the formal signing of the final agreement. We must therefore, not relax this effort, rather, all Nagas must join hands in amity to facilitate the logical conclusion of the Naga Peace Talks.
I am confident that the final outcome of the Agreement will not only ensure the peaceful co-existence   of the two entities, but also usher in a new dawn of enduring peace, progress and security in the   region which our people have persevered and longed for, against all adversities.
At this juncture, I beseech our Naga people across the world for your continuous prayer support, that, permanent peace and tranquility prevail in our homeland; where finally we would be proud to   announce that we have, … beaten our swords into plowshares….. as foretold by the Prophets in the Bible. Kuknalim.
NNC/GDRN (Non-Accord)
 

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