Views & Reviews
On the Question of Nations and Their National Boundaries
I have stated in my book (The Naga Saga, Chapter 1), that no nation on earth has fallen down to earth from outer space but that every nation has its origins from a concrete geographical reference point. I had further argued that from within the boundaries of this geographical point (boundary), they evolve into nations with their own cultural ethos and norms.
In contrast to this anthropological fact of the origins of nations, empires and states have been created by emperors and dictators in the flow of human history. Such empires or modern states have however again and again fallen apart and nations reappeared to reclaim their rightful places as sovereign nations. This means that nations are not created by Emperors or modern nation states but that nations are evolved from one common people with a common culture and a common ancestral land. As for the common ancestral lands of a nation, such lands are not transferable commodities that can move from one place to another with the coming and going of empires and states.
For example, The British Empire upon which the sun was never supposed to set is no more and in its place have emerged many independent nations across Africa, Australasia, Asia and the Middle East.
As to territorial boundaries of a nation, though overwhelmed by modern colonial powers, native Americans have not moved into the United states or Canada but are still in their respective native lands in the present United states and Canada. Similar is the case with the Aborigines of Australia or the Maoris of New Zealand etc. I have therefore further argued in my book that the national identity of a nation is inseparable from the geographical identity of that nation and that this identity is also indestructible and unchangeable.
As for the present Naga identity under the constitution of India, it is but an artificial identity imposed on us through the force of the Indian modern nation state and its economic powers. But whatever the political and military might of that state may be, it can never change us from Nagas into Indians. Would “Safronization” or “Hindinization” of Nagas change Nagas into Indians? Such an attempt would be no different from thinking that a Native American (eg Sioux or Navaho) can become an American if you only put a suit and tie on him and make him speak English!
The Naga struggle for national and geographical identity is still not over and it will go on as long as the sun continues to shine over the hills and mountains of Nagaland.
Kaka D. Iralu