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Op-Ed

Afraid and ashamed to celebrate your own Independence Day?

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By EMN Updated: Aug 13, 2014 10:46 pm
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Kaka D. Iralu

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n such an auspicious day as 14th August-our Naga Independence Day, my mind takes me back to the 1960’s when on 14th August, our national Rainbow flag used to proudly flutter on top of mount Pulie Badze. Back in those days, on 14th August, our Naga army always used to hoist several of our Rainbow Flag on top of mount Pulie Badze. The act was symbolic and it used to declare to all the thousands of Indian troops deployed in Kohima and Nagaland that we are a nation in our own right.
In those days of undiluted patriotism, there were no four five Naga factions with some negotiating for a Southern Naga State or an Eastern Naga State or a Northern Frontier State under the constitution of India. No, back then, there were no Naga tribal factions, fighting for their own tribal states, using common Naga sacrifices for their own selfish ends.Far from it, back then, our Rainbow flag used to proudly flutter for one sovereign independent Nagaland whose independence was declared on 14th August 1947.Also in those days, an open war was still raging in Nagaland against aggressor India who had dared to hoist their national flag in our own sovereign independent NAGA LANDS. Rallying behind that flag was then, a proud nation of Nagas who, inspite of nearly a decade of fierce fightings, had been able to hold the line and not surrendered to India.The nation’s thirty thousand or so, rag tag army, were then fighting against overwhelming odds of more than a hundred thousand Indian troops who were equipped with light armored tanks, heavy artillery and also often assisted by Jet Fighters and Bombers.
And memories of a then five years old boy are still clearly imprinted in my mind, as we used to watch those light armored tanks firing into the mountains of Pulie Badze, trying to blow off those proud flags from Kohima’s skyline. Yes, I can almost still hear those young Punjabi tank officers shouting orders from their tank turrets; “Seventy five degrees, Fire;” “Eighty degrees, Fire”, as their tank shells fell short of the summit and exploded just below the mount.
Yes, in those days; on 14th August none of us used to attend classes and all citizens of Nagaland used to abstain from any kind of physical work in order to celebrate our independence day. In those days, we were still a nation of proud patriots with our heads held high and UN-ashamed to call ourselves Naga citizen of a free Independent and sovereign Nagaland. And despite the many flags that were blasted away by armored shells from the peaks of Pulie Badze, our patriotic Naga soldiers, relentlessly fought on, until a Ceasefire was achieved on 6th September, 1964. And despite the breakdown of that ceasefire, true Naga patriots are still holding the line and continuing to defend our declared independence which was declared on 14th August 1947 in consonance with all international laws and procedures.
But what of the majority of Nagas today who have stopped celebrating their own Independence day? Are they afraid? Are they ashamed? Will they rather celebrate India’s independence on 15th August sitting under a foreign flag and saluting it while their own flag lies crumpled – betrayed and trampled by their own feet? India has every right to proudly celebrate her own independence with pomp and gaiety for she has rightly earned and achieved her own independence from British Colonial subject hood. But must Nagas celebrate India’s independence in Nagaland when India has denied us that which she herself had fought and gained?
Today, if you look up at Pulie Badze peak, you will notice that a huge Cross has replaced the Rainbow flags that used to adorn the peak on Naga Independence days. And as you once again turn your back on your own flag and celebrate somebody else’ Independence Day in your own independent lands-REMEMBER this, that, that cross on Pulie Badze is looking down on you. Remember also that, that Cross symbolizes God who “From one man, created all the nations of the earth and gave them their respective periods and the boundaries of their habitation.” (Acts 17: 26) In the light of these Biblical truths, remember that denial or infidelity to your God given national identity is a denial of your creator who made you a Naga (And not any other national). Fellow citizens of Kohima and Nagaland, as that cross on Pulie Badze daily looks down on you, will you be faithful to your God given Mongolian national identity or be a believer of the Indian political propaganda that says- you are a Dravido-Aryan Indian?

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By EMN Updated: Aug 13, 2014 10:46:08 pm