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Op-Ed

Indo-Naga Ceasefire Day

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By EMN Updated: Sep 06, 2013 12:54 am
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T. M. Keyho 

The Indo-Naga Ceasefire Day falls on September 6th again. The significance of this ceasefire is that it represented the Government of India at last directly or indirectly recognizing the Naga National Sovereign right for which the Nagas had launched their struggle.Through democratic means of non-violence and non-cooperation, the Nagas under the banner of the Naga National Council conducted their struggle on a moral high-ground. The first Indo Naga Ceasefire of 1964 was acknowledgement by India of the moral and political legitimacy of the Naga struggle based on the facts of the history of the Nagas as understood by them.
There was no alternative for the Government of India to claim Nagaland except through force of arms. So, in 1954 the Armed Forces of India invaded Nagaland.
Though the Nagas had declared their independence before India did, the Nagas did not form their Government so as not to lose the sympathy and understanding of the Indian leaders and also for fear of giving an excuse to the Government of India to crush the nascent Naga nation.
But since the Government of India had invaded Nagaland in 1954, the only way for the Nagas sto defend themselves was to fight defiantly and using weapons of war. So they were compelled to form and declare their Government, the Federal Republic Government of Nagaland (FGN) on March 22, 1956, that is after a gap of ten years.
Since India under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi got her independence from the British Imperial Government through non-violence and non-cooperation, Nagas expected India will respect the same means which Nagas had also adopted. But forgetting the values and principles of the great Indian struggle, the Government of India invaded a small, weak, and unarmed Naga nation shamelessly. Thus, Nagas were compelled to fight though they were so unprepared and extremely outnumbered.
We were compelled to organize a resistance force haphazardly with no weapons in our hands. We started from zero, but by the grace of God, we easily learnt the art of fighting and we withstood the forces of India’s aggression into our land. The source of our supply of arms was our enemies themselves!
After fierce fighting for another nine years, the Government of India agreed to have a ceasefire with the Federal Government of Nagaland in 1964 with effect from September 6. Thus from zero to reach this much was an historic and heroic achievement our people should be proud of.
Will the present generation, who are enjoying the fruits of our labour and daring sacrifice forget and dishonour our achievement? That is a question that must not be dismissed without thought about the consequences because the struggle of a people has long-term meaning coming from their history.

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By EMN Updated: Sep 06, 2013 12:54:36 am