Nagas need to put up united front, says Kiewhuo
KOHIMA — Former president of Naga Hoho, Keviletuo Kiewhuo, has underscored the need for Naga people to put up a united front to navigate the complexities of their shared journey.
Addressing the silver jubilee celebration of Naga Hoho on the theme ‘Unity and fraternity,’ held in Kohima on Saturday, the former Naga Hoho president reflected on the organisation’s two-decade journey, while addressing pivotal aspects such as unity, challenges faced by the Naga people and the intricate dynamics of peace talks.
Kiewhuo recalled the early vision of bringing Nagas together as a family, avoiding conflict and making friends instead of enemies. Highlighting the importance of humility, he cited instances where ego hindered listening to leaders, leading to overlooked issues and arrogance.
Expressing concern about power leading to arrogance and flawed decision-making, Kiewhuo shared his experiences of Naga Hoho members being made scapegoats during challenging times.
He emphasised the importance of a lesson imparted by pioneers during one of their meetings – the advice not to create enemies but to cultivate friendship.
Kiewhuo also asserted that Nagas residing in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam or Myanmar are equals. Noting the perceived notion among Nagas of Nagaland that Nagas coming from these regions are “taking away resources,” Kiewhuo said that, in reality, they have “contributed significantly.”
He advocated unity with a purpose, focusing on common issues rather than expecting uniformed consensus on everything. “When we talk about unity, we have to be very careful because there are more divisions,” he said and added, “one has to advocate unity from the right perspective.”
On the emergence of organisations like ENPO, Naga Tribes Council (NTC), Central Nagaland Tribes Council (CNTC), and Tenyimi Union Nagaland, he expressed skepticism about the historical foundation of these organisations, asserting that they lack a “basis since Nagas are inherently unified.”
Blaming both the Government of India and Naga people for the division within the Naga family, Kiewhuo said Nagas presently find themselves ensnared and unable to extricate from the challenges they face.
Need to shed colonised mindset — Rev. Aier
Rev. Dr. Wati Aier, convenor of Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR), said that Naga leaders need a paradigm shift to liberate themselves from colonised mindset.
Aier emphasised the significance of nurturing collective consciousness, breaking free from superficial narratives and reclaiming authentic historical and political rights. He advocated a new understanding of unity through cooperation, acknowledging differences while fostering collaboration.
He challenged Naga leaders to be creative in adapting to political realities, navigating the delicate balance between idealistic and constructive nationalism.
He also called for ethical leadership, combining intellectual mastery with moral fortitude and sincerity, to impact contemporary Naga society positively.
Naga Hoho president HK Zhimomi, in his address, said that the hoho was formed in 1998 with the aim to foster unity among all tribes. Reflecting on the past, he lamented that “diverse interests” led to a departure from this unity. Stressing on the importance of inheriting the legacy of unity, he said unity is crucial for realising dreams and objectives.
Recognising the prevailing political issues and disunity among Nagas, Zhimomi urged introspection.
While acknowledging grievances against the Government of India, the hoho president stressed that the responsibility to fulfill the dream of unity lies within the Naga community itself.
On the occasion, solidarity messages were conveyed by Neingulo Krome, secretary-general of Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights; Vilanuo Angela Yhome, president of Naga Mothers’ Association; Mteisuding, vice president of Naga Students’ Federation; Pauheu Newme, president of Zeliangrong – Rengma Joint Council Assam; L Wanglat, convenor of TCL (Arunachal Pradesh); Lg. Lorho, president of Naga United Council and and Inavi Swu, president of Sumi Aphuyemi (Pughoboto) Hoho.