72nd ‘Naga Independence Day’ Speeches by Various Groups
Speech by Thinoselie M Keyho, President Naga National Council
My beloved countrymen,
On the occasion of the 72nd Naga Independence Day, I salute you all.
The Naga Nation started from almost zero position, but we managed to survive all these years and reached this day, the 72nd anniversary of our “Independence Day”, how wonderful it is. This is possible not because of our strength but because of the love and grace of our Almighty God, we praise and give thanks to Him.
My dear Nagas, never misrepresent the rights of the Nagas either in our speeches or in writings. Never exchange our rights with the wrongs of our adversaries!
Many people write or say “demanding, fighting for, struggling for Independence….” but this is wrong. The Nagas declared Independence before India, it was declared on 14th August 1947 and therefore, from that day onward we are an Independent Nation. Once born, can it be said that it is yet to be born?
Our fight with the Government of India is because the Indian Government refused to recognize our sovereign right and started to invade us. Our fight is to defend and protect our sovereign right to continue to remain as an “Independent Nation”.
If the Nagas were to be defeated, it might have been at the nascent stage of our nationhood. Had the NNC surrendered or had the Government of India crushed or defeated the Federal Government of Nagaland, the fate of the Nagas would have been doomed. Had that happened, the former British Naga Hill District may still continue to remain as a district in Assam. Likewise, the other Nagas too may continue to live as they had lived during the British days. However, we have found the favour and grace of God, if we have won. So let us not be afraid.
Government of India have no moral right or authority to govern us. Therefore, the Indian Government is applying the policy of “divide and rule” to split Nagas into groups and engineered fights among us, this is how they are playing with us. GOI had even nurtured some groups to support them and taking advantage of these groups, forcefully occupying Nagaland against the desire and aspiration of the Nagas.
If the GOI were to review its action, it will find that all the actions they had taken ostensibly to find Naga Solution were counterproductive. By penning down the 16 Point Agreement of 1960 or the Shillong Accord of 1975, did the Naga National Movement disappear? By signing these agreements, could the problem be solved or any solution found? Even if GOI is to finalize the Framework Agreement devoid of sovereignty, it will end up the same way as before. Even if the present-day National Workers phase-out, it can be seen that a much bigger, stronger and wider generation is coming up again.
I, therefore, beseech the Government of India to recognize the Sovereign Rights of the Nagas and leave Nagaland in the interest of peace and to coexist as friendly neighbours. Now the ball is in the Court of Government of India. Praise the Lord!
Speech of S. Singnya, Federal Government of Nagaland
My beloved Countrymen and women, The Federal Government of Nagaland greet all Naga citizens on this historic occasion of the 72nd Independence Day of our Nation. We are grateful to our Almighty God for His continued protection and guidance. I pray that the same spirit of Nationalism that led and guided our pioneers and forebears will continue to lead us.
Today, the Nation celebrates with pride and honour those martyrs who have made the supreme sacrifice for the Cause of the Nation and the lives of the patriots. We continue to hold onto the same belief as those true sons of the soil who in the call of National duty, gave their all believing that one-day Nagas without any territorial limit will be free from the yoke of the powers that sought to throttle the voice of freedom and liberty.
The historic declaration of Independence of 14th August 1947 and the momentous action of the Plebiscite of 1951 have clearly exhibited our historical and political rights to the world. We regard these twin planks as the foundation pillars of our political movement. Our pioneers coined the slogan “Nagaland for Christ”. The NNC/FGN stands to preserve the long-cherished dream of the Nagas. The Federal Government of Nagaland stands firm and resolute on the “historical and political rights of the Nagas.” Our stand has always been for a sovereign Nation having the complete freedom to determine our own destiny, a cause for which thousands of lives have been sacrificed.
Our land was without our consent or knowledge divided and fragmented and our Nationalist Movement was demeaned to that of a secessionist movement and an insurgency; obsolete Draconian laws like Disturbed Area Act under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958 is continued to be imposed in the Naga inhabited areas to suppress and throttle the cry for freedom, under the protection of which the Indian army continues to perpetrate inhuman atrocities on our people. India uses divisive policies and its might and power to suppress and forcefully occupy a small neighbouring nation, quite contrary to what is expected from the largest democracy in the world.
Nagas have always sought to live in harmony with our neighbours. We have never tried to interfere in the issues of our neighbours or attempted to impose our will on others. Nagas regardless of man-made artificial boundaries have the right to aspire, decide and determine and shape our future and destiny. We do not need the permission of others to live as we desire. So also others do not have the right to interfere in the issues that concern us. The desire of the Nagas to live in peaceful coexistence with our neighbours should not be misconstrued as a sign of weakness.
The NNPGs have come together to exhibit to the world that Nagas are one and have a strong desire to remain as one and also because of the realization that without this basic unity it is inconsistent, dishonourable and shameful on the part of the Nagas to talk about our common goal. The NNPGs are having Talks with GoI and the FGN as a part and parcel of the NNPGs is participating in the Talks with the hope that GoI of India also has the desire to solve the long Indo-Naga political issue sincerely.
I congratulate all those who have stood resolute and steadfast. My special salute goes to the recipients of the awards and commendations for your dedication and sacrifice.
Let us rededicate and commit ourselves today to what we all hold dear till we attain our rightful place among the nations of the world.
God Bless You. KUKNALIM
Speech by Z.Royim Yimchungrü, President NNC Parent Body
It is with great joy I write this message as we stand together to celebrate the 72nd Independence Day
I understand that our journey has been long and our struggle very hostile but the love and affection that each one of our people has bestowed upon us will not go in vain. I reminisce the past when we Nagas stood together for one common cause and goal regardless of the tribal lines, colour or creed but with a dream of one free Nagaland; our battle for this dream which has claimed countless lives of our fathers and brothers, so also the many tears shed by our mothers and sisters must not be forgotten for any mere “Utopian” kingdom but rather we should still strive harder and fight for the ultimate identity of our people and land. As we celebrate the 72nd Naga independence Declaration Day, I extend my greetings to all the citizens of our Nation with the message of love and gaiety. We thank our Almighty God for his boundless love, through which.we have been able to live as one Nation; different lifestyle but the same vision; different mindset but the same goal. A long journey of 72 years as One Nation and still strong enough to march forward for many years to come. With the march of time, our Nation’s history shall continue to take its own course, which will go to the length and breadth together in a straight path ceaselessly till our goal is achieved and we all have reaped the harvest of what we sowed in the process. So, I call upon our fellow citizens and National workers (especially the Leaders) in particular to continue the journey of truth and justice that we have always stood for. Let us not be tempted with the temporal joy but let us continue to be the defender of Justice and Truth.
Nagas were, are and will be free people. We didn’t give in to the expeditions of the British Government when they tried to annex Nagaland during the years 1833 to 1879. Our leaders repealed and foiled the greedy ambitions of their annexation policy. In 1880, free Nagaland agreed to Great Britain to have a military base in a limited area, which was given the name Naga Hill. Nagaland Government refused to enter into any agreement or treaty to give up its sovereignty over “Naga Hills”. The civilian and original administration over the people of Naga Hills has always been under the control of the Naga National Assembly of 1880 till British India left Nagaland. When the British India Act 1935 came into force, the Naga Hills territory was named as Naga Hills Excluded area in 1937. All these points clearly envisage that Nagaland was never a part of British India at any given time. In pursuance of the above memorandum, the whole Naga areas were left as Naga Hills Excluded area. The British Government and the Queen of England authorized Robert Raid to map out the excluded areas of the Nagas country which include Chin Hills (under Myanmar) to be known a Queen Land Colony. With the support from the British Government, the Naga Flag was hoisted on 14th August 1947 at Mission compound, Kohima with the prayer, “Thy Kingdom Come to Nagaland”.
Acknowledging Christ as the supreme ruler, Nagas embraced the motto “Nagaland for Christ” as our ‘National Motto’. The flag hoisting function was graced by the then Naga Hills district Deputy Commissioner C.R. Pawsey and Rev. Supple. This was acknowledged by U.N.O. in Salt Lake, New York. Such acknowledgement was supported with the plebiscite of 1951 of the Naga History with its unique thumb impressions by 99.9 per cent of the Nagas in support of sovereignty for the Nagas. Despite the desperate cry for sovereignty by the Nagas, the government of India sent a military expedition to Nagaland. After fighting for a decade, in 1964 a cease-fire agreement was made between the Federal Government of Nagaland and Indian Government_ In 1960 under the 16- point agreement, Nagaland was carved out as a part of the Indian state, which was boycotted by NNC. Again, in 1975 various underground organization leaders under the initiative of NBCC signed the fatal Shillong Accord, which is the upshot of NSCN. The accord was condemned by NNC by the Wokha resolution of 1990 under the NNC president Khodao Yanthan and he asked the accordist group to leave the Peace Transit Camp as the campers were receiving rations and salaries from the Government of India, which is against our NNC norms, and it is fatal to our Nation’s history.
All the facts mentioned above prove the uniqueness of Naga history. Nagas are not fighting for something that is not ours. For the last 72 years, we have been defending our land and people, sacrificing lives for our birthright. Many attempts have been made to avert the main issue of the Nagas by a certain section of the people and disunite us, but the torch of truth and justice has been kept alive till today by NNC.
We are not powerless but powerful because we hold on to the truth. We have hope because no power on earth can tear us apart for we are stronger together and we are united. We will not tremble with fear and doubt because God is on our side. Let us not be afraid but let us be strong in God. Let us not hesitate to give for our Nation needs you and me, and together we will continue to carry the torch of truth and justice of our land. Greed for wealth, lust for power and selfishness, should not mar the future of our Naga People but our utmost sacrifice will lay the foundation for our generations to come.
Speech by Yilow Humtsoe, President of Lotha Regional Council and Central Executive Council Member on behalf of NNC Parent Body
Dear Naga People,
I praise and thank God on this auspicious day of our 72nd Naga Independence Day. As directed to address our people today, I on behalf of the NNC Parent Body greets all the Naga people on this joyous day with prayer and thanksgiving to God Almighty. May our living God bless and strengthen each and every one of us as we celebrate the Day.
We are always thankful to God for the declaration of our Naga Independence by the NNC leaders on 14th of August, 1947 which was one day ahead of India’s declaration. It was a political milestone acknowledged by the United Nations as well.
This political right of the Naga people cannot be erased by anybody or any force as it is declared and well known to all the people within the nation and beyond, and both the governments of India and Myanmar as aggressors in particular.
Since the genesis of the Naga political movement, the NNC which was the only sole institution has laid down the political foundation for the entire Naga people and its land. And this is the fact of history.
Today, the NNC remembers the Naga martyrs who laid down their lives for freedom and independence for posterity. May our living God bless the noble souls as the Naga people remember their sacrificial deed for freedom.
The Naga people have every right to officially be recognized by the two-nation (India & Myanmar) who has illegally and forcefully occupied the Naga inhabited free lands knowing fully well about Naga historical and political rights as a people and nation.
Also on the part of the Naga people, it is very unfortunate for the leaders in the past and present as well, for their act of treason, connivance and compromisation of Naga historical and political rights at the cost of the Naga people. It is because of few self-centred leaders that the Naga people and nation are at stake of losing Naga freedom every time. The people in the homeland must understand these serious prevailing situation and come forward to stand for the truth for the greater glory and freedom of the Naga people and its land.
Today we can clearly see and understand the report of the interlocutor for the Naga talks submitted to the India Parliamentary Standing Committee and the official papers report mentioned the article 371(A) as a special status for Nagaland to be accorded and the neighbouring states in a similar way will be worked out. Quote “The Committee was told that with respect to Nagaland, there is already a special arrangement. Article 371(A) of the constitution makes it very clear that they are special and a special status has been accorded to them. A similar kind of status with some local variation and some change to the Nagas in the neighbouring states can be explored.” (Unquote) therefore, this is the outcome of the negotiation of the present talk of a political solution of seven decades-old struggle for freedom with blood & tears then the entire people in the homeland will be condemned outrightly. And the leaders involved will be held solely responsible, accountable and answerable to the Naga people for treason.
Today with a heavy heart I have to mention again the ugly situation that has developed within the NNC set up, as the head succumbed to the conspirators and compromised leaders for self-indulgence and self benefits. Meanwhile, forgetting the Naga people, his own oath of allegiance and commitment for Naga historical and political rights for freedom. And this is self-defeating, shameful and a dangerous trend for the Naga people as a whole. Therefore, in the best interest of the Naga people such disloyal and dishonest leader should be condemned by all.
I must also say that the Naga freedom movement is not a mere worldly politics but spiritual in nature too as it is our living God’s will and purpose for the Naga people. Therefore, whoever defies the plan and purpose of God especially on the part of the Naga National Political leaders will definitely be punished from above. This was seen in the past and thus it is a serious matter for everyone.
Finally, I would say that the only way for the Naga National Political Groups to come, work and negotiate together is to come forward with truthfulness, honesty, humility and with a firm political stand and one voice which will bring the best political solution for the Naga people for good. May God Almighty help and use the Naga people for His Glory.