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Op-Ed

A comparison of the Nagaland state with the French vichy government of 1940

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By EMN Updated: Jan 20, 2015 9:15 pm
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Kaka D. Iralu

[dropcap]D[/dropcap]uring the 2nd World War, when France fell to the German invasion in June 1940, a puppet German France government called the Vichy Government was set up in the southern portion of France. The territory of this Vichy government comprised of two fifth of France territory and the German puppet state was set up under Marshal Philippe Petaine, a 1st world war hero of France. This new puppet government was established following the Franco-German Armistice of June 22, 1940 with some supposed concessions of autonomy and sovereignty still in the hands of the Franch people. This government was allowed to maintain an army of about 100,000 armed troops but without tanks, atrtillery, air force or even proper vehicles. The troops were allowed for supposedly maintaining internal order. As for the two million captured France army, they were deported to Germany for forced labour in the German war efforts. The Vichy Government was also allowed a Police force of 35,000 personnel under a German appointed Director called Joseph Darnand with a Waffen SS rank of Sturmbannfuerer. This secret police force called the Millice actively colloborated with the German Gestapo in hunting down and eliminating the France patriotic Partisans. They also actively helped in deporting and killing more than 77,000 French Jews in the gas chambers of Auswitch, Dachau, and Buchenwald etc.Unfortunately, many of the French public who were caught in the invasion initially supported the Vichy government seeing it as necessity for maintaining some degree of France autonomy and territorial integrity. As for the rest of the France patriots like General de Gaulle, Leclerc and many others, they either fled to England to form the Free France government in England or disappeared into the mountains to carry on the fight for the re- liberation of France from the German invasion and occupation.
When the Allied troops landed in Normandy France on June 6, 1944 and France was liberated, the Vichy government was disbanded. Many of the officials were hanged by France citizens themselves and the others fled to Germany.
When we compare the Vichy government with the present Nagaland state of Inda, we find so many similarities. The puppet Nagaland state of India was also born at a time when over 100,000 Indian troops had invaded Nagaland and established an army camp at almost every Naga village. Behind the invasion of our beloved lands, the Indian troops left behind, over 100000 Nagas dead as they burned our villages and compelled almost the whole population to flee into the jungles. Thousands died from starvation and desease from this forced dispersion. When the villagers returned on the offer of general amnesty, almost the entire population was again herded into consentration camps in the grouping of villages.
Our Naga army, never the less, fought back with heroic tenacity.
But in the midst of all these sufferings and sacrifices, some of our own leaders’ in collaboration with the invasion forces set up a Vichy type of puppet government in our lands. Like the Vichy government, this government too has its own Police forces under a Director General of Police. It also has many soldiers serving in the Paramilitary forces like the Indian Reserved Police, Assam Rifles, CRPF and even the regular Indian army. From 1963, after statehood was granted, many of these Naga Police forces and Paramilitary forces assisted the Indian army in what was branded as counter insurgency operations against the true Naga patriots. These operations resulted in many Naga patriots’ deaths from the hands of Naga bullets fired under Indian army uniforms. Over the years, many of its civil administrators have also issued arrest warrants as well as prison terms against patriotic Nagas from both the civil as well as army wings of the Fedral Government of Nagaland.
In the civil branch of this Vichy type government in Nagaland, it has many intelligence departments to keep a watchful eye on all Naga affairs and activities. All these activities are scrupulously carried on in secret so that like the German government of yesteryear, the Indian government of today can rule us without international condemation or intervention.
Conclusion: The Vichy government of Philippe Petain was hated by all true citizens and patriots of France. When liberation came, many Ministers of this government were hung in the streets of Paris through mob fury. Many of the prostitutes who had had a very comfortable life under the patronage of both the German government and the Vichy government were stipped almost naked and paraded through the streets of Paris- their hairs shorn off by angy French citizens.
In comparison, and to our shame, how we Nagas love our Indian Vichy government and it’s so called Ministers. How we stand in awe and respect when they visit our villages on special ocassions and hand out their bosse’s money to us. How we fete them and listen to them when they tour our villages during election times. And now, when they are presently tearing this Vichy government to pieces in their lust for power and money, how concerned are we? One sincerely hopes that at this juncture, the Church in Nagaland, will not call for a day of fasting so that this Vichy government can go on ruling us without internal problems. May the Churches’ call for free and fair elections to this Vichy government be the end of our sins and folly.
The hated France Vichy government lasted only for four years from 1940 to 1944. On our part, is fifty one years of our own Vichy government in Nagaland still not enough for cowardly Nagas who have all been desperately seeking their fortunes under this foreign government? How much longer shall we be obedient citizens of this Indian Vichy government in our lands?

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By EMN Updated: Jan 20, 2015 9:15:59 pm