Don’t deviate from ideals on which the federation was formed — Naga Students’ Federation told
Kohima, Oct 29 (EMN): Former president of Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Achumbemo Kikon on Friday advised the NSF not to deviate from the ideals and ground on which it came into being and urged for reaffirmation of its commitment.
Kikon, who served as the president of the federation from 2003 to 2005, said this on the NSF 75th Foundation Day programme held at Japfü in Kohima.
Recalling the background and foundation laid by the pioneers, Kikon stated that the NSF was formed just months after the Naga National Council (NNC) declared the Naga Independence on August 14, 1947.
He said that the Ao Students’ Conference was one of the first Naga student organisations to raise the urgent need of forming All Naga Students’ Federation, which at present is called Naga Students’ Federation, ‘in order to consolidate the Naga students to awaken the spirit of Naga nationalism’.
“On this ground, the NSF was formed and till today we have proven ourselves and I hope we have not deviated from that even for a single moment from our nationalism, from the foundation that had been laid by our elders for this organisation,’ he stated.
He informed that NNC president T Aliba Imti took the initiative of launching the federation on October 29, 1947 in Kohima with Zasinihu Ahu Zinyu as the president, more than a year after the council rejected the invitation of Jawarharlal Nehru to join the Indian Union. He added that the then Governor of Nagaland and interlocutor of the Naga political issue had tried to misconstrue the truth on the same during his farewell speech.
The NSF took active part in the non-cooperation movement launched by NNC in the subsequent years with unrelenting spirit of patriotism, by being the intellectual support system of the Naga national movement, which he said, the federation still effectively plays that role to this day.
While stating that the federation should continue to address issues confronting the student community and social unrest in its day-to-day activities, Kikon maintained that the most important aspect is ‘what the leaders had laid and which the federation cannot deviate’.
“Unless we achieve this, the many bloods, ambitions of our youth will go in vain because we will not get the right opportunity to progress, shine ourselves because of the situation- the unresolved political issue,” he asserted.
He urged the NSF and the Nagas to reaffirm their commitment to the cause, saying that if the issue is addressed, the rest will follow upon the permanent solution.
Kikon also highlighted different turns of events in the history of the Nagas including various agreements, memorandums, independence declaration, signing of Naga Plebiscite, boycotts of election, imposition of Arm Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), statehood, and interim government.
NSF founded on principles of Naga Unity
Speaking on the occasion, former NSF president K Temjem Jamir (from 1991 to 93) said that Nagas were politically enlightened as early as the beginning of 20th century, even before India attained her independence from the British. “This is evident as the Naga Club, on behalf of Naga people, expressed their political aspiration to remain as a separate Independent nation from India to the Simon Commission on January, 10, 1929,” he said.
He said that the members of the Naga Club were visionary leaders who saw the changes of political maps around the world. They envisioned that one day Nagas would be restricted and controlled, even their food habits, if they live under foreign rules, he stated.
Jamir maintained that after a gap of about 17 years since the submission of Naga Political Memorandum to the Simon Commission, NNC emerged mostly from Naga students movements for securing an Independent state for the Naga people.
He informed that even before the formation NNC, the need for a common platform for Naga students was felt during the 8th Ao Students’ Conference held on December 30, 1940.
‘The quest for political freedom was more important and serious than pursuing academic career for Naga students under such given circumstances. During this period of post World War II and subsequent political development in India that led to partition of India and Pakistan as two separate Independent nations, the NNC was demanding for an interim government for ten years with India as guardian power after which Nagas would decide their future and at the same time NNC also unilaterally declared Naga Independence on August 14, 1947,’ said Jamir.
In this regard, he stated that a good number of Naga students enthusiastically took part in celebrating the Naga Independence in Kohima and Mokokchung, a day before the Indian Independence Day was declared.
“Naga independence movement was, in fact, students’ movement. Many students were seriously involved in the NNC activities. They reached out to the people in villages on foot with political messages and also met the government officials for political negotiation. This situation demanded an urgent need to form a common platform for Naga students,” he stated.
He reiterated that the NSF was founded on the democratic principles of “Naga unity” and their political and cultural right, adding that ‘the legacy and responsibility has been passed on to the present generation and everyone is equally responsible to pass on to next generation so that ‘the spirit of Naga unity is not diminished and the Naga aspiration to live as a nation with dignity is not forgotten’.
‘In the course of the last 75 years of our journey, we have fearlessly confronted the power that threatened our existence as one people. We have overcome so many destructive elements and adversaries that keep on attempting to weaken the strength of the NSF. NSF story is a Naga story where we see many of our past NSF leaders committing their lives for the cause of the Naga people,’ said Jamir, adding that many were imprisoned, tortured, and some even gave their previous lives defending the rights of Naga people.
‘Let there be continuous strong NSF leadership for Naga solution to fulfil the dream of founding members of the NSF,’ he added.
NSF president Kegwayhun Tep delivered the presidential address earlier in the programme.