GNF organises virtual 74th Naga I-Day

DIMAPUR | Publish Date: 8/15/2020 12:09:30 PM IST

Global Naga Forum (GNF) organised a virtual “74th Naga Independence Day” celebration on August 13, 2020 with Dr. Visier Sanyü, president of Overseas Naga Association (ONA) and professor Paul Pimomo of Central Washington University as speakers.

Speaking on the historical perspectives of the Naga political struggle, Dr. Visier Sanyü said that Nagas were not “anti-India and not anti-Burma”. Dr. Visier said that Nagas started their national movement to protect their identity and their nationhood. However, he said that in the process it was the movement that has given the Nagas an identity. “The world knows us because of our national movement and we have faithfully stayed with it,” Dr. Visier said. He said that Nagas would continue to grow as a people and as a nation no matter the outcome of the agreement. Unlike other national liberation movements in the region, which joined the Indian union, he said the Naga movement has faithfully stayed.

He said that it was time to “search our soul and regain our soul” as in the coming decades “there can also be technological pandemics and cyber wars, and so on” as the world will change and “India and Nagas will not remain the same given the rapid technological and other changes.” 

Professor Paul Pimomo speaking on the topic, “Towards a just peace, respecting Naga rights and dignity” said that the fractured political relationship with India has been so long coming, for over seven decades, and the latest talks with the Government of India are stuck yet again. He was of the view that “now it seems the much awaited Final Settlement, which has been in gestation for 23 years, is headed for a forced still-birth next month, this September.”

While India as the largest democracy was double-talking and wrangling over a flag and a state constitution with a small indigenous group of people at its borders, professor Paul pointed out that Nagas already have a flag because “our forebears had the courage and the foresight to stand up for their and our right to exist as a people, just as Indians had done for themselves against British rule.” 

Pointing to the controversy surrounding interlocutor and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, professor Paul was of the opinion that what Ravi said and did in the negotiations was calculated to precisely produce the contradictory stances from Nagas across the board. He also noted that Nagas were not interested in repeating the violence of the past but wanted peace and added “what the GoI chooses to do is another question, but we are convinced that past wrongs can be righted, to a degree of healing, within the realities of the present context and toward a visionary future for mutual benefit.” He was optimistic that given the vibrant social energy and individual talents, especially among the younger generation, the future holds exciting possibilities for the Naga society. Other participants included Dr. Rosemary Dzuvichü and Chuba Ozukum, members of Global Naga Forum.

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