Naga Day Presidential Address - Eastern Mirror
Monday, January 30, 2023
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Op-Ed

Naga Day Presidential Address

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By EMN Updated: Jan 11, 2023 7:45 pm
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Mr. Kuolachalie Seyie, President, Naga Club

We commemorate the auspicious Naga Day on 10th of Jan. every year since the Naga Club Memorandum to the Simon Commission was submitted on 10.01.1929 at Kohima. This was the first written document from the Nagas declared to be free and independent that ultimately became the written Magna Carta of the Naga National Politics which has chartered and changed the historical aspects of the Nagas. Other earlier protests to be free and independent were only in the form of violent warfare albeit that caused much loss of life to the Britishers during their expeditions to the Naga homeland as a No Man’s Land, which had compelled them to seek peace with the Nagas and sought for written treaties to which the Nagas refused, consequently a verbal and ritualistic ‘no-more-fight agreement’ was negotiated upon in our customary practices in the interest of peace, tranquillity and development without any binding terms on the Nagas.

Our humble yet erudite legendary forefathers had then been proud and strong enough with a courageous force to declare (quote) “Leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times” (unquote), which has sought to withdraw the Naga Homeland from the Reformed Scheme of India, they were aware and apprehensive that foreign laws and customs would be introduced that would supersede our values, customary laws and traditions. Accordingly, the British India Govt Act of 1935 excluded all the Naga inhabited areas outside of the British India Empire and also it clearly demonstrates that the Naga Hills are not a homogenous part of India as a consequence of the said Memorandum.

None other than a renowned Indian social activist, journalist and historian had once stated that how could a young civilisation of a few hundred years old such as Nagas have the wisdom to write to Simon Commission about their rights to be free and independent if it was not for God’s leading them. The same historian appreciated because of the Naga Club Memorandum to the Simon Commission in 1929 and later the declaration of the Naga Independence on 14th Aug. 1947, a day before India and the re-imposition of the Naga’s earnest desire to remain as a free people through the observance of 16th May, 1951 Plebiscite, as such we can conclude that the Naga Political Movement can never be considered as an act of secession. The “Naga Minds” and the “Naga National Soul” were never colonised from the beginning till date and it shall never be compromised at all cost.

Our erudite legendary forefathers such as Mr. Rheichalie Pienyü and Mr. Rüzhükhrie Sekhose and their fellow Naga tribes recognising that the Nagas like any other nation who have had survived economically, socially and politically during turbulent times of British Govt expedition into our Homeland stirred by far-sighted and dedication founded the Naga Club on 7th Jan. 1918 and then submitted the Memorandum to the Simon Commission in 1929 while many other kingdoms in India and Burma were still slumbering who then surrendered to the British Govt without any protest. Our forefathers who faithfully upheld their time-tested unfailing courage and great human values and virtues by remaining committed to what they believe would be best for the Nagas as a whole without borders especially those coming after them have left this great legacy to all of us. When asked the draftee of the Simon Commission, Mr. Rüzhükhrie Sekhose, about how he could draft such a magnificent and thoughtful Memorandum then he said, “I do not know how I did it, but it was God’s own wisdom guiding my hand with a clear vision, that’s how I was able to write with the full consultations of the Naga Club leaders”.

Gratefully accepting our great heritage and legacy of simplicity yet erudite, mutual respect, selflessness, frankness, integrity, humility, hospitability and courage and an illustrious and distinguished history in all fields, such as, tradition, social, economy, politics and governance, ecology, community living, etc. from our forefathers should be continued with integrity and dignity so that there may be unity and brotherhood amongst our Naga society that Nagas as a people and a nation may stand strong on our own feet socially, economically, politically and live in harmony to pave the way for prosperity, development and fulfilment of life’s purpose.

Truthfully acknowledging that we are currently manoeuvring our life rapidly into the modern world and our values, traditions and unity being assailed by new threats, confusions, lies, corruptions and challenges, we realise it is our due responsibility to prepare our people to wisely and courageously respond to these threats and challenges with clarity of thought and steadfast moral courage like our forefathers who were able to overcome all those challenges.

In exercising its privileged mandate to think and act for the long-term welfare of the Nagas, the Naga Club following the footsteps of our forefathers shall adhere firmly to the belief that no differences or disputes should be allowed to weaken and divide the Nagas with lies, hatred, groupism, tribalism and bitterness. Nagas, facing greater challenges today, should acquire the wisdom from our Almighty God to let their differences, whenever they occur, make them stronger by showing the capacity to rise above narrower interests to achieve what is right and best for all.

We should take the example of our erudite forefathers to make factual review of the past, truthful and bold assessment of the present reflecting and admitting our own mistakes and shortcomings instead of trying to find fault in others, or give to the society as our forefathers did instead of selfishly grabbing the public money through manipulations and corruptions so that there may be God’s blessings, peace, harmony, equality, unity, development and prosperity in our land.

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By EMN Updated: Jan 11, 2023 7:45:06 pm