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Naga Club issue: Kohima village council unhappy at dispute

By EMN Updated: Dec 17, 2018 12:07 am

Dimapur, Dec. 16 (EMN): The Kohima Village Council is unhappy that “reconciliation” could not be brokered between the Naga Club members and the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) concerning the recent centenary celebrations. The KVC issued a press release on Sunday.

‘The KVC, along with all fellow Nagas, desired a grand and unified Naga Club centenary celebration in the true spirit of the Naga Club. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts and appeals of the KVC, reconciliation could not be brokered between the Naga Club’s members and NSF,’ the press release read.

“Consequently, the KVC was compelled to take the decision not to participate in the separate twin celebration program of the Naga Club and NSF. This was necessary so as to maintain a neutral apolitical stance as well as to express dismay over the tragic disunity between two mature and respected organizations.”

The council said to be obligated to issue the press release following a meeting that was held on Nov. 11 2018. “To this effect, the KVC reiterates its earlier stance regarding the origin of the Naga Club as understood through historical facts and events,” the press release read.

According to the council, the club was formed by a few salaried people comprising school ‘masters,’ Interpreters, clerks, and “potars, chaprasis” etc., of the deputy commissioner’s office of the then Naga Hills district.

“The Naga Club was formed on 7th January 1918. This is substantiated by written documents of Naga Club which held its traditional annual meetings on that particular day since time immemorial.  It is also a fact that Rheichalie Pienyü of Kohima village was the first president and at the initial stage, held multiple posts of presidentship (sic), secretary and treasurer till 1942. Later on, the presidentship was handed over to Krusiehu Belho and the post of secretary was held by Mr. Ziekro-o Theünuo in 1942.”

Further, the council stated, around 2000 Nagas comprising 1000 Sema, 400 Lotha,200 Rengma, 200 Ao, and 200 Chang people and other ‘trans frontier tribes ‘ were known to have been recruited.  These groups of men were designated the 21st Naga Labour Corps, the council stated.

“After the war, the first batch of Naga Labour Corps arrived from Europe in June 1918 and the second group arrived in October 1918. The Naga Club was already in existence by then and they also formed the Naga Elders conference,” the press release stated.

The signatories of the representation to the Simon Commission, which took place on Jan. 10 1929, after 11 years of the formation of Naga Club, included mainly the staff of deputy commissioner, and  a Khosa,  who was a  returnee from the Labour Corps, the council stated.

“The letter to Simon Commission was drafted by Ruzhükhrie Sekhose as requested by the Dobashis of the deputy commissioner office.  It is acknowledged that the returnees of the Naga Labour Corps influenced the Naga Club and played an important part in the memorandum of the Simon Commission, which was considered as the beginning of political consciousness of Naga nationalism.”

“It is the desire of  the Kohima  Village Council that none  should distort  the history  of the Naga Club to suit  their own  interest  but let  historical facts  remain  as pure facts so that truth may be preserved for posterity,” the statement added.

By EMN Updated: Dec 17, 2018 12:07:08 am