The Naga story of disempowerment and garrisoning of their hills began as early as the 1830s when villages were burned and destroyed by the British military expeditions. With the imminent retreat of the British colonial power from the Indo-Burman region, the Nagas expressed their will to be left on their own declaring independence on 14 August 1947, and a telegram from Kohima was sent to the Indian Government and to the Secretary-General of the UN. After the British retreat, negotiations with India continued but failed, and the postcolonial subjugation of the Nagas began, with the newly independent nations of India and Burma, splitting and integrating the Naga ancestral territories into theirs. The Nagas organized themselves politically to protect their right to self-determination. Negotiations were attempted and diplomatic memorandum sent to the UN (1947, 1951). However, India with the help of Burma responded militarily and by 1955 the Indian army was sent to the Naga hills in an attempt at genocide, leading to wide-spread deaths, torture and human rights abuses; many of which went unreported.
In 1956 an armed resistance body of the Nagas was formed. There have been attempts to negotiate and broker peace but these have not been fruitful to this day. Support for it has witnessed both waxing and waning depending on the particular historical and political circumstance.
With the realization and recognition of the need for solidarity, the Nagas continue to be a part of Indigenous Peoples struggles and Movements. Much has been learnt and shared between the various struggles that form the Indigenous Peoples movement, which has been critical in bringing the Movement this far, but an urgent need for cooperation and knowledge-sharing takes center-stage, given the growing persecution and the confluence of current events in the local and global arenas.
We hope that this Morung Dialogue will help shape the normative ideals that inform our goals and also provide a platform to share strategies and solidarities.
Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: The Naga story in the Indigenous Peoples movements
Time: Sep 1, 2020 03:30 PM India
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Meeting ID: 869 8958 6422