Saturday, August 13, 2022

GNF on Naga Solidarity Walk

Friends, we want to make a public statement to mark this occasion. The declaration starts with what we oppose and follows it up with what we want. Please join me with vocal affirmation in the second section. Whereas the Naga People have repeatedly declared and defended our right to freedom and self-determination in our ancestral lands in battle and in writing against the British colonial occupation going back to the 1870s and the Simon Commission in 1929.
Whereas ignoring the expressed Naga declaration of freedom from colonial rule in 1947, postcolonial India and Burma continued to impose colonial rule over our lands and our ancestors, so that till today, in 2022, in gross violation of our human and indigenous peoples’ rights, the Naga Homeland lies separated in four states in India and a province in Myanmar.
And whereas thousands of Naga patriots have sacrificed their lives in the seven-decade long struggle for political self-determination against the continuing colonial control of our lands and lives, especially by Indian military forces going back to the 1950s and still operating in our homeland under protection of extra-judicial laws like the Disturbed Areas Act and Armed Forces Special Powers Act, and under which innocent civilians have been and continue to be regularly harassed, imprisoned, and mass murdered, and generations of their families have suffered and experienced irreparable loss, harm, and disadvantage.
Therefore, we believe time has come, yet again, to insist on an immediate peaceful resolution of the Indo-Naga political problem, which must include a constitutional structure and timetable for recognition and implementation of the Peoplehood of the Nagas in a self-determined governance system in an undivided ancestral homeland comprising all the Naga territories. Therefore, we declare the Naga Solidarity Walk of 2022 a necessary peaceful intervention in support of the Naga people’s right to live together in our ancestral homeland. The Walk from Kohima to Tahamzan (Senapati) we just completed is a hopeful physical enactment of a journey toward Naga Unity across the artificial barriers and boundaries put in our way by the powers that be. So we want to make public what we mean by this Walk and what we stand for, going forward. Please repeat “Kuknalim” after me if you agree:
Long live the Peoplehood of the Nagas: One People, One Destiny, in an undivided Ancestral Homeland. May the Naga Solidarity Walk lead to transformative change in our leaders, in all of us, and of the whole society. May it inspire us to reclaim and sustain the better aspects of our collective Naga heritage:
• May the Walk lead us to lasting peace and shared prosperity, without exceptions, throughout the Naga Homeland.
• May the Walk be a Community Celebration of our beautiful and bountiful homeland which belongs to the Naga Family as a whole.
• May we use the Naga Solidarity Walk for justice and noble pro-Naga causes, not against the legitimate rights of other people in India, Myanmar or elsewhere.
• May this positive community-based action inspire every Naga to proudly exercise our right to walk in our God-given homeland, no matter what anyone may say to the contrary.
• May we as members of the Naga Family learn to heal ourselves from the wounds and offenses we have inflicted on one another for the sake of a brighter Future together which beckons us to forgive one another and to bestow the gift of grace even if it may not be deserved.
• May the Naga Solidarity Walk we have set in motion grow in strength and contribute richly to a successful journey of the Peoplehood of the Nagas in a thriving, undivided ancestral Homeland.
• Here’s to the Nagas: One People, One Destiny.
Kuknalim!
On behalf of Global Naga Forum:
Vichutuolie Mere
Convenor
Naga Solidarity Walk Core Committee.

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