DAY OF RECKONING: THE IDENTITY
The dawn finally breaks! After the congregation of Tangkhul Village Chiefs (Federation of Haomee) and Meiteis, to restore lost ties, as reported in the media on 10th June 2013, the two communities have declared what the Naga tribes knew all along for decades; the blood relations and the elder sibling status with Meiteis and the decision to jointly defend the territorial integrity of Manipur state. Truth demolishes fallacy and pretentions. Truth could be subdued for generations or decades but it is indestructible in the human psyche. Truth lies low but never out of sight. It is based on fact of history, oral or written, passed down from generations. Naga people do not expect entire Tangkhul populace to erupt in agreement or deny the proven blood affinity with their Meitei brothers. Whether declared by a few or hundred villages, the recent declaration to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur has blown the lid off the bottle of falsehood, laying bare where the Tangkhuls, as a community, historically, politically and administratively belong to. Naga people appreciates the Tangkhul Village chiefs for being truthful to their history and identity without fear. This is important for future generations. Tangkhul families sheltering in Nagaland for decades ought to accept history, trace their root and embrace it with pride for it is not about geography alone but identity of a community. The state of Manipur is the mother of all Naga tribes living in Manipur. The same goes for Nagas of Nagaland, Nagas of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagas of Assam. This is the reality and therefore the Agreed Position signed between WC, NNPGs and GoI on 17th Nov. 2017 becomes even more relevant because it is firmly anchored on historical and practical reality. Nagas cannot thrive on illusion.
The discernment exhibited by Tangkhul chiefs and Meiteis to meet under the theme, “KNOW YOUR IDENTITY” was a long delayed mutual historical truth which was in the offing, urging truthful public affirmation to defend the integrity of Manipur state, side by side with Meiteis. No amount of pretence, propaganda or well scripted narrative can conceal the true historical and political identity. History will record once more that the idea of Naga integration evaporated in the Tangkhul heartland again. First on the eve of Nagaland statehood in 1960 when Tangkhuls refused to join Nagaland. Again in June 2013 by a convention of Tangkhuls and Meiteis under “Know Your Identity”.
LAND, WATER AND PEOPLE
Mr. Rh. Raising, on June 15, 2023, wrote in the local dailies, “Refugees, nomadic people and immigrants, do not have politics of their own. Of course they may be granted members of a political community or citizenship of a country they migrated to. But launching a political movement by a group of refugees or immigrants for a separate homeland or a separate state in other people’s country is an act of aggression on the inherent right of the native people and their land.” He further said, “…planting foreign populations in an occupied territory of a native people is equally an act of colonialism and expansionism to be condemned…”
WC, NNPGs appreciates Mr. Rh. Raising for his statement. The people of Nagaland, the tribes and the hereditary village chiefs and all civil societies have taken note. This is the precise sentiment and feelings the WC,NNPGs would convey to Mr. Rh. Raising and others on the issue of land, people, ownership of resources and transplanting population from Manipur to Nagaland. A person or persons from Manipur cannot and has no right to lectures on the political future of Nagaland. Simply put, their home addresses will always remain Manipur state! Mr. Rh. Raising or any Manipur Naga must desist from commenting on the future of Nagaland in relation to natural wealth like rivers, lakes, forests, minerals etc., as it challenges the intelligence of Nagaland tribes. If Mr. N.KitoviZhimomi, as WC Convener, issues statements declaring nationalisation of minerals, rivers, streams, forests and other resources in and around Ukhrul district of Manipur, according to negotiated status paper agreed with GoI, what would be the reaction of Mr. Th. Muivah, Rh. Raising or all Tangkhul civil societies? Herein lies the inherent foolishness of man and the unending conflicts. The entire indigenous tribes of Nagaland, collectively or individually, have never ever disturbed the political, social and economic aspirations of Manipur Nagas.
It is correct that land, water and people are inseparable. The same undeniable truth has been sufficiently reflected by the Tangkhul village chiefs, swearing to defend their beloved God given land of Manipur. Where does the so-called Nagalim fit in? If protecting the territory of Manipur is in the best interest of Tangkhuls, why would Mr. Th. Muivah and his Nagaland based members oppose or object to the tribes of Nagaland protecting their inherent right? WC, NNPGS would ask Mr. Rh. Raising in the same manner, who is meddling in the affairs of other people’s history and land, especially inIntanki Nagaland. Historical and political foundation of a people or nation can only be retained by defending one’s own native hills and valleys first. One cannot simply write in newspaper columns and enforce rules upon the land or people which they do not own or belong to. It is an offence, an unwelcome intrusion into the social, political and economic spheres of the people of Nagaland, or for that matter Nagas of Arunachal or Assam. A native has every right to defend his land down to a tiny waterhole. Any attempt to perpetuate and create a distorted political landscape in Nagaland is illegal due to the fact that neither Mr. Th. Muivah nor Mr. Rh. Raising own an inch of land in Nagaland by inheritance or lineage. To scuttle the Indo- Naga political solution should not be the sole purpose of existence on earth.
WC,NNPGs’ sincere counsel to all Tangkhul leaders is that expediting peaceful transition to their homeland in Manipur, availing advantage of the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process will most certainly benefit their children, grandchildren and future generations. No amount of aggression will extinguish the clear truth on the subject of people and land allotted to Nagaland by God Almighty.
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USE OF VOILENT TACTICS TO HIDE WEAKNESS
Article 371(A) is in itself a sharing of Sovereign powers with the union of India. A historical and political recognition accorded to Nagaland. It is the very foundation of Nagaland state denoting people of Nagaland are sole owners of their land. This ownership privilege cannot be extended to Mr.Th. Muivah, Rh. Raising or anyone from Manipur state irrespective of how they imagine themselves vis-a-vis land and people. Nagaland shares sovereign Powers with GoI on land, natural resources, customs, traditions and social practices. After signing Framework Agreement (FA) with GOI in 2015, V.S Atem Tangkhul even stated that Nagaland state shall cease to exist. The hypocrisy, envy and delusional mindset is disturbing.
Perhaps fearing that Tangkhul leaders won’t benefit much from Nagaland state in the event of solution, the chorus for separate flag and constitution, elements that defines absolute sovereign nations, became their excuse and a means to perpetuate extortion and exploitation of the resources of Naga people and also a bargaining chip to negotiate resettlement for themselves in Intangki reserved forest area and Hebron camp. The fact is, this area is not a territory of Manipur state. It belongs to the people of Nagaland.
On one hand the historical and genealogical blood relation with Meiteis has forced Tangkhul chiefs in Manipur to openly declare they will defend and protect the territorial integrity of Manipur state. On the other hand, the Tangkhul leaders sheltering in Nagaland keep swearing about Integration, Pan Naga Hoho, shared sovereignty, framework agreement, flag and constitution etc. Even a thief remembers his loving parents but never abandons his lucrative profession for them.
WOUNDED PAST SCRIPTED THE PRESENT
The Agreed Position signed between WC,NNPGs and GoI and the STATUS PAPER thereafter gives clear roadmap on the relationship between Nagas and GoI through practical, honorable and acceptable solution. Although Integration is ruled out nevertheless the political solution encompasses all Naga areas be it in Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh or Assam. Thus, the prerogative lies with the people of Nagaland to decide what is good for Nagaland and likewise Manipur Nagas will decide what is good for themselves so also the Nagas in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
The communist inflamed leadership and subsequent purges in the past left a deep wound in the Naga psyche. The pain, sufferings and bloodbath unleashed upon the Nagas for decades has incurred inter-generational wipeout. The dictatorial and despotic agenda, take-no-prisoner policy spilled over into Nagaland after the 1988 tragedy in Eastern Nagaland. The late 80s and early 90s saw youthful well-to-do generation Nagas of Nagaland being wiped out. They were self reliant and on the verge of transforming Naga society to great heights. All were identified and slain mercilessly and systematically. Their memories remain. These self-made young men did not die for Naga National cause but victims of a savage leadership quenching their thirst with brother’s blood to create fear and hegemony via communist ideology, outwardly painted as Nagaland, later Nagalim for Christ!
In the Naga revolutionary lexicon ‘NAGALIM’ never existed. It was always NAGALAND whether east, west, north or south. Nagalim was not used even in the infamous FA of 2015 because it has no historical basis. A myth created recently to delegitimise the Naga national movement and to associate themselves with the Nagas through insidious entry.
ECONOMIC TOLL ON NAGALAND
It is quite remorseful to observe the Nagaland state Government and few self serving Naga Civil Societies giving themselves lofty names, continue to connive with venomous elements to obstruct and sabotage the Indo-Naga political solution. This collaboration is to politically and economically ravage the land and people all together and cling on to power. The collaborative criminal enterprise has forced the Nagas into servitude and yet they continue the nexus on the pretext of Naga national movement, harping on emotive issues such as Naga flag and constitution.
Nagaland state, Mr. Th Muivah and his tribesmen, must understand, was bought with tears, blood and sweat of the tribes of Nagaland. Thousands had laid down their lives long before the first Tangkhul enrolled in the Naga political movement. As the picture slowly emerges, the FA in 2015 was signed hoping to strip and nullify Art. 371(A) from Nagaland state. They had the audacity to comment Nagaland would cease to exist post solution! If such destructive plans are declared, imposed or initiated, today or tomorrow, every male in Nagaland, young or old, would turn into a head hunter once again because what was his for centuries would now be claimed and snatched by non entities and immigrants. Only people with zero contribution in the Naga movement before statehood would insist on such a policy. Therefore, it is best not to comment or touch the sensitive matters of Nagaland state which predates one’s entry into the political life of the Nagas. Although Mr. Th. Muivah has never missed an opportunity to repudiate sixteen point agreement as a mere sell-out memorandum and yet for more than five decades, he has been voraciously feasting on the fruits of Nagaland state without an iota of gratefulness. They have visibly accumulated huge wealth and properties in Indian cities and abroad too, where every penny is sourced from Nagaland. They have squeezed a poor village farmer in Nagaland as well as the state Chief-Minister at Kohima, denting Nagaland’s economy.
The statement made by the Home Minister of India Mr. Amit Shah on 6th Feb. 2023, during his visit to Nagaland, “…Only outsiders are creating problems in Nagaland…”. The statement is not divisive but an obvious truth. The question therefore is, why would the outsiders, who have no stake in the future of Nagaland hold the people of Nagaland to ransom?
ETHNO-RELIGIOUS MADNESS IN MANIPUR
In recent times hundred of Churches have been burnt to ashes and hundreds of Christians have been murdered in Manipur. Thousands have been displaced. Where is NAGALIM FOR CHRIST? One Rev. SeksimKasar generally announces and declares fasting and prayer programmes for such catastrophic happenings. “Is swearing loyalty to Tankhul-Meitei blood brotherhood and the hatred for Kukis the way to political and spiritual salvation?” What is greater and more important that being a Christian or servants of Christ? It would be wrong to silently hope all Kuki villages would be wiped out and their land taken over, divided between Meiteis and Tangkhuls. Perhaps the slogan ‘Nagalim for Christ’ is kept in semi-retired mode till all the Churches in Imphal valley and surrounding villages are burnt to ashes.
It is idolatrous to claim ‘NAGALIM FOR CHRIST’ while collaborating, extending moral support and assistance to their younger brothers, the Meiteis, to kill Christians and pillage, vandalize burn properties and churches. The silence of Nagalim for Christ propagators becoming mere onlookers as their next door neighbour cries in agony and pain, is astonishing.
Lest Nagas forget, Mr. LENJANG KUKI, interpreter, was one among twenty Naga signatories of the first Political Memorandum for Naga self-determination, submitted to the British Statutory Commission on Jan. 10, 1929. History speaks.
GOD BLESS NAGALAND!
(N. Kitovi Zhimomi)
Ato Kilonser, GPRN/NSCN,
Convener WC, NNPGs.
Co-Convener WC, NNPGs
Ato Kilonser, NNC Parent Body, Co-Convener
NSCN/GPRN – R
Co- Convener WC, NNPGs
President, NNC/ GDRN
Co-Convener WC, NNPGs
Ato Kilonser, NSCN/GPRN-(Isak-Luyanba)
Co-Convener WC, NNPGs
Ato Kilonser, NNC/NPGN,
Co-Convener WC, NNPGs.
Member WC, NNPGs
Member WC, NNPGs.