‘Liberation Must Come From Within’ - Eastern Mirror
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‘Liberation must come from within’

By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Feb 18, 2024 11:20 pm
Naga leaders affirm ‘The Kütsapo Proclamation’
Kutsapo village choir presenting a special song (EM image)

DIMAPUR — Acknowledging the plight of the ‘wounded Naga nation,’ and recognising its need for healing and liberation, the Naga people gathered at the ‘Nurturing Naga Peoplehood’ event in Kütsapo village, affirmed that true liberation begins from within.

Pledging to introspect and rectify their internal divides and foster a revitalised and united Naga community, the gathering on Sunday, came out with ‘The Kütsapo Proclamation,’ which was affirmed and adopted by the congregation comprising representatives from at least 160 prayer centres, churches, various Naga cultural bodies, gaon buras, Naga political groups, civil society organisations, state and public leaders and citizens.

During the event organised by the Naga Shisha Hoho and Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR), Convenor of the FNR, Rev. Dr. Wati Aier spoke on the ‘Liberating the Naga Spirit,’ and said that liberation must begin from within. He asserted that the Nagas cannot expect liberation to come from India but must study what is within. This, he said, must begin with one another immediately, and with a sense of urgency.

‘We must be sincere, honest, demonstrate and practice the Naga spirit through Christ,’ he said.

Rev. Dr. Wati Aier (EM image)

Addressing the gathering, MLA Kuzholuzo Nienu called on the Nagas to understand that Government of India is trying to ‘fragment’ them by granting statehood, grant-in-aid, schemes, etc.

Initially, it was just the Naga National Council (NNC) but now there are 24 Naga factions, he said, contemplating how and where Naga unity broke up.

Nienu maintained that the Naga national workers did not give their lives for the Framework Agreement or the Agreed Position, but for sovereignty alone.

“If we stick to plebiscite and sovereignty, then I think we will see the light of the day,” he said.

Calling upon the Naga people to introspect and retrospect as to ‘what really happened,’ he went on to state that the government of India would never respect  the Naga aspirations as long as the Naga groups keep asking for a solution.

Stating that reconciliation is a collective effort, President of NSCN/GPRN , Gen. (Retd.) Niki Sumi, said the Naga people are not united and that is why reconciliation has not been achieved.

‘Why not come together and take the people’s voice instead of the Agreed Positions and Framework Agreement. The early Naga national workers sacrifices taught us to fight for sovereignty but now people are suppressing it,’ he said.

He called on every tribal hoho to come under the Naga Hoho, every mothers’ association to come under Naga Mother’s Association, and every students’ union to come under the Naga Students’ Federation, adding that only then, the Naga voice will be one.

Ato kilonser of NSCN/GPRN (Isak) and co-convenor of the Naga National Political groups (NNPG), Col. Retd. Isak Sumi, maintained that the national principle is to safeguard the birthright and secure the future of the people. If one is really working for the Nagas, then there is a wider path but because the Naga political groups are working for their own interest, there is no common ground to meet, he said.

‘We are breaking and distancing from one another because we don’t work for God,’ he said.

Opining that there will be liberation only if all the groups come to God and seek divine intervention, he said that, ‘in order to save ourselves, we are taking other’s life. There is a trust deficit and solution is not possible.’

Among others, Rev. A Puni, member to the collective leadership, Ikato Chishi Swu, executive member of steering committee, NSCN-IM also addressed the gathering. Michael Yepthomi, Ato Kilonser, NSCN/GPRN, Yung Aung, President of NSCN/GPRN, as well as N Kitovi Zhimomi, Ato Kilonser of GPRN/NSCN and Convener of WC, NNPGs also sent in their messages.

The Kütsapo Proclamation (Box item)

The mission of liberating the Naga spirit, the Kütsapo gathering acknowledges that the wounded Naga nation is sick and stuck as it cries for liberation. Recognising that liberation always begins from within, we commit to discerning and correcting ourselves from within in order to mend divisions and nurture a renewed, healthy, and intact Naga peoplehood.

In our journey to Naga reconciliation, we uphold the “Covenant of Reconciliation” signed on 13 June 2009, through which violence ceased among the Naga political groups. We will continue to uphold this in words and actions. With this common sense of belonging, the Naga public calls on the Naga political groups to sincerely find ways to enter into genuine relationships of cooperation.

For peace and harmony to prevail, and in order to transform to being self-determining people of free will, we call upon the Government of India to revoke building fences that separates the people of same cultural groups. We further urge the GoI to peacefully consummate the Naga political issue with dignity and respect that is founded on Naga historical and political rights.

Appeal to all the churches across Naga-land to humbly pray for peaceful resolution, reconciliation and unity, and the rebuilding of the Naga homeland.

Towards regenerating cultural values, our appeal is holistic in nature that values reconnecting with our deep cultural values, the land, and our way of life. We recognise how structural violence has institutionalised many conditions leading to corruption and impunity which are eroding our quality of life. We can become whole again by uniting to bring healing through a shared vision of Naga peoplehood.

By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Feb 18, 2024 11:20:59 pm
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