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NSF, FGN observe ‘Naga independence day’

By EMN Updated: Aug 15, 2013 12:13 pm

Our Correspondent

THE Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) also observed the “67th Nagaland Independence Day” at the Naga Solidarity Park in Kohima with well-known Naga social activist and chairman of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council peace committee Niketu Iralu as the special guest. Speaking on the occasion, Niketu Iralu said that it is imperative for the younger generation to understand and value the assets their forefathers and pioneers have passed on to them. They must use the legacy of those assets to build a future, the social activist said. According to him, the NSF observing the occasion on the grounds of Naga Solidarity Park established by the federation is a strong statement that today’s youth value the historic legacy they have inherited from their elders.
Asserting that August 14 is the certificate of the quality of that legacy, Iralu said if the Nagas declared their independence even a day later when India became a new nation, the act would become an act of treason against India.
Iralu said that the occasion gives people the opportunity to look back from where they have reached, to look at what might lie ahead and take stock of what they are to do. Quoting Arnold Toynbee that all of history can be written in two small words—Challenge and Response, Iralu cited this will be most helpful for a proper understanding of the Nagas’ struggle and the crisis it had produced. He stated that looking back, the Naga struggle represents Nagas’ response to unfamiliar and massive challenges that history thrust upon them and compelled them to respond to. He maintained that the history portraying the launching of the Naga struggle from 1929 when Nagas started to act politically, the creation of the state of Nagaland then onto the fragmentations of the national movement into different rival groups, are parts of the same struggle of Nagas to survive and move forward. The people’s differences represent the different ways the people, groups and tribes perceive challenges and respond to them.
“Instead of condemning or distrusting one another as enemies, we should really, with compassion, understand one another and the differences in our responses,” Iralu said. He added that an objective and truthful examination into the unhealed divisions that the people have will reveal that they are responding inadequately to challenges posed to them. “We cannot allow our differences and difficulties to destroy the Naga nation and its struggle to go forward,” he maintained, opining that if the Naga people take the broader view, which creates space for understanding, to grow then they will turn their most difficult problems and divisions into their common strength and wealth.
President of the Naga Hoho Keviletuo Kiewhuo also spoke to the gathering. He lamented that the Nagas are divided and made a clarion call to all Nagas, both young and old, to come together as one people in building the Naga “nation.” He said it is the duty of all Nagas to come together and render collective efforts to fulfill the people’s aspirations and objectives. He pointed out that the people cannot leave the nation building task to the underground workers alone because the Naga movement and aspiration belongs to all.
“We cannot keep on celebrating 14 August for years without achieving anything,” he said.
Others who exhorted the gathering at the event were NSF president Tongpang Ozukum, NSF general secretary Esther Rhakho, former president of NSF NSN Lotha and Gideon Chishi.

FGN celebrates “Independence Day”
Also, the “Federal Government of Nagaland” today observed its 67th “independence day” at Chedema peace camp in Kohima.
Delivering the message after unfurling the “Naga national flag” the leader of the group, “kedahge” (president) Viyalie Metha said that on August 14, 1947, “Nagas” had declared “independence” to the world under the leadership of AZ Phizo. Since then many patriots have sacrificed their lives safeguarding Naga rights as a nation. He lamented that the Naga people have wasted much valuable time because of violence by ‘renegades’ rife among what he called “national workers” The ‘renegades’ have fallen into the “enemy’s monetary traps” he asserted. He called it ‘unfortunate’ that some individuals under the umbrella of ‘occupational forces’ are persisting to indulge in unauthorized and willful exploitation of the mineral wealth of Nagaland, violating the “Naga national stand.” The FGN leader cautioned such individuals and organizations to refrain from the illegal activity to “save risking their future from national scrutiny”.

‘Factions’ national govt a  ridiculous fantasy’

Metha also termed it “fascinating” that there has been much publicity about the formation of a “national government with a mixture of all factions is in the offing.”
“This is a ridiculous fantasy of someone otherwise respectable elderly citizen and clergymen, obviously under evil influence,” he said. Nagaland has its “mandated national government” (FGN) established by what he claimed “Naga people.” It was ‘established’ on March 22, 1956 in accordance with the traditionally constituted “Yehzabo” (constitution) of Nagaland, he said. Pointing out that there is no nation in the world with parallel governments, he said any act or utterance in contravention of “the constitution” is a serious “national offence.”
Metha said that Naga people have been suffering for generations due to India’s attempt to annex Nagaland, however, India’s policies have failed and met ultimate “dead-end” in ‘stage managed talk’ by “self made so-called factions”. International conflicts cannot be resolved with imposters, he said and India has to be positive and open if it is willing in truth to resolve the Indo-Naga conflict. Stating that the Naga people have experienced much bitterness and endurance, Metha called upon all Nagas to stand for their rights and allow ‘submission to replace arrogance.’
Other highlights of the occasion included folk songs presented by member of the FGN’s Chakhesang region, Chedema village and Touphema village while Khiamniungan region and Rengma region members presented cultural dances.
Members of the NNC’s ‘Lotha region’ also observed its 57th “independence day” in Wokha. The function begins with a mass prayer. The “Naga flag” flag was hoisted by the president of the group’s Lotha region.

By EMN Updated: Aug 15, 2013 12:13:17 pm