Post Mortem

Naga boundary and history

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/27/2020 12:12:37 PM IST

 The past history says that after the first World War the British Government decided to grant dominion status to its empire nations and particularly to the British India, it sent Simon Commission under Sir Clement Attlee, MP, who visited Kohima in 1929 to seek the views of Naga leaders whether they will agree to be brought under India Dominion Act of 1935. Accordingly, after thorough discussion the Naga Club submitted the famous memorandum of 1929 - in which it was clearly stated that Nagas were free and independent before the advent of the British Empire and was never under the Indian Raj. Therefore, if the British have decided to go back, Nagas should be left free to decide its own future. Moreover, half of them hate us for our beef and the other half hate us for our pork. Therefore, the question of joining the teeming millions of Indian does not arise at all.

Consequently, therefore when the Dominion India Act of 1935 was passed the Naga areas were classified as excluded areas. Again during the 2nd World War because of having received the full support in the war effort by the Indian Army, the leaders of India was promised full independence after the war.

Incidentally, after the war, Sir Clement Atlee became the Prime Minister of Great Britain, therefore, Atlee advised Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then interim Prime Minister of India, throughSir LordMountbatten, the then Governor General of India, to contact the Naga Tribals of the North East before declaring India Independent. Accordingly, the interim Government of India entrusted the emissaries in the person of Sir AkbarHydari, the then Governor of Assam Province and Sri.GopinathBordoloi, the then premier of Assam province to meet the Nagas. For this purpose, the then DC Naga Hills Sir.CR Pawseyhas organized the Naga Hill Tribal Council (which was later transformed into Naga National Council). The first meeting took place in Jan 1947 followed by a number of parleys. Finally, the NNC was asked to submit itsviews in writing which was submitted in the form of memorandum on 26th June 1947.Following which a marathon meeting took place from 27th to 29th June resulting in an agreement known as “Hydari Agreement” also better known as 9 Point agreement on 29th June 1947. This agreement clearly stated that; Naga traditional, cultural, customary usages will be respected and all its historical territories will be brought back to Naga Hill district. These assurances were re-affirmed a number of times whereas in the enactment of the Constitution of India in 1950 no mention was made about the Naga historical integrity. This led the NNC to declare unilateral plebiscite in 1951 which clearly affirmed that Nagaland (territories) belong to the Nagas.

The GoI instead of acknowledging its failures in fulfilling its own commitment, took affront to the declaration and imposed many draconian laws and using its armed forces kill thousands and thousands of innocent Nagas, raping women, burning of villages and inflicting untold miseries and suffering on the Naga people. 

The situation has been clearly described by no other than the former Governor of Himachal Pradesh Sri Hokishe Sema-in his book ‘The Emergence of Nagaland’ that due to the GoI non fulfillment of its promises, emanates insurgency in Nagaland. Also the reason why GoI failed to fulfill it promises will be contained in the book “My day with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru” by B N Mullick, Personal Secretary to PM Nehru from 1947 to till his death in 1964, who was also Director of Indian Central Intelligence Department. Here Sir Mullick has clearly stated that the 16 point memorandum submitted by Naga people conference in 1959 contains two points (No.12&13) which were not according to the draft submitted by Central Intelligence Agency (by the then Deputy Intelligence Officer North East India, Sri S N Dutt). In the book above it was mentioned by the then PS to PM India that Point No. 12 and 13 was added by a devil officer. By now everyone is aware of who was that devil officer, he was none other than Sri. A Kevichusa the first IAS (Retd) officer among the Nagas, he was made the chairman of the Drafting Committee appointed by NPC during its conference at Wokha before submitting 16 points memorandum to the GoI.

It needs to be pointed out that point no 12 and 13 is the reiteration of point no 6 of the 9 Points agreement. This deals with amalgamation of all Naga inhabited territories and retransfer of all Naga forest and mineral resources which were arbitrarily transferred out of the Naga Hill district by the British Government for their own conveniences.

Furthermore, it is also interesting to note that at the time of meeting with NPC, the then Central Intelligence Director has advised the then PM Nehru to be away and also not depute none of his ministers to represent him except his Personal Secretary and Secretary External Affairs Ministries. This 16 Points memorandum was discussed between NPC leaders and Secretary External Affairs and Director of Central Intelligence Bureau who was the Prime Minister’s Personal Secretary. The meeting went on quite well on all points except point no 12 and 13 for which no decision was taken on the excuse that it will take time. Till now no action has been taken.

In the meantime, Assam Government has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court in 1988 Civil Suit No.2/88 requesting that the Inner Line should be declared as the boundary between Assam and Nagaland. The Civil Suit involves as under- 1) Assam Govt. 2) Election Commission and 3) Governmentof Nagaland. This matter was first heard by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, later by the Local Commission and then by the Mediator Commission, both appointed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. During the last hearing by the Mediator Commission in 2012 it was clearly pointed out that Nagaland State was created in 1962 by an act of Parliament of India but without boundary. This was confirmed by the Chief Secretary of the Assam Government, the Joint Secretary of the Government of India of Home Affairs and then by the Surveyor General of India, who stated that the first map of Nagaland State was drawn by them but underneath the same map was written - “boundary not verified”. It may be noted that under Art 3 & 4 of the Constitution of India; the Government of India is duty bound to demarcate the boundary of the newly created state which was never done in the case of the State of Nagaland. Again it was pointed out under Art.363 of the Constitution of India that no court can interfere in matters on which the Government of India has entered into an agreement with any authority even prior to the declaration of Indian Independence. Therefore, this writ petition is out of the purview of even the Supreme Court and therewith the hearing ended. Accordingly, the Hon’ble Supreme Court disposes of the writ petition by passing an order directing the Government of India to take steps in 2014.

Therefore, in view of the above, it will not be possible to find a solution or peace without first taking steps for integration and amalgamation of all the Naga territories as promised by the Government of India as directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

Vihielie Sekhose, IAS (Retd.) Former Advisor Border Affairs Nagaland


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