Response to “An Open Letter to Her Respectable and Honourable Adinno Phizo, President NNC”
Dear Mr. Featherman,
Your article “An open letter to her respectable and honourable Adinno Phizo, President NNC”, Eastern Mirror dated May 24, 2018 has put forth some questions in regard to the speech of Adinno Phizo. President NNC on the Plebiscite Day of the Nagas. This Letter seeks to clarify and answer those questions you have put forth. Note that this letter therefore, is a response and not a reaction and is without malice.
Firstly, to clarify and answer the sentence in question i.e. “The strange thing is that no honest Indian among a billion people”, here are a few points to ponder upon-
This sentence does not refer to corruption in India or Indian related governance. I/We have no intention in meddling or interfering, or making remarks on the internal affairs of a neighbouring country.
This sentence also does not mean that there are no Indian well- wishers who means well for the Nagas. I/We do acknowledge that there are many Indians with good intentions toward Nagas and Nagaland.
What this sentence really means is that there seems to be no single Indian who would believe the truth that Nagaland is not India as established by legal and historical facts and events. For this very reason inspite of your (Indians) many good intentions, the Indo-Naga conflict is hypocritically viewed with a patronising attitude as a socio-economic and political problem.
The truth is however, far from being a socio-economic problem or a political problem. The truth is that the Indo-Naga conflict is a case of India invading our country, Nagaland. It is an act of aggression and not an internal political problem of India but is rather a bilateral issue. Nehru himself said, “Those….. Frontiers which are neither India nor Burma” and yet it was the patronising Nehruvian policies and the legacy of the colonial period that has created the problem between India and Nagaland.
In the light of these reasons, as mentioned, I/ we am/are not blaming every Indian individual. But what is surprising is that no Indian individual seems to realise the fact that India has invaded a neighboring foreign territory. Therefore the day any Indian sees the truth and acts upon it will be the day we will rejoice. Just having good intentions and wishing us well and offering us monetary help will not do us any good for it is said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. This is exactly what has happened as India with all good intentions have poured in money to keep the Nagas and Nagaland under her occupation and has perpetuated the Indo-Naga problem and also brought about myriad of other problems while many Indians still starve and stay homeless.
We Nagas cannot afford to live in enmity with our neighbours. We would rather bridge the gap. India was not even our immediate neighbor until Assam became part of India and we do know India and Indians only through British colonial administration of Assam. Today we therefore, hope to live as friendly neighbours rather than feuding family members for we are neither from one father nor from one mother but born of different stock. Neighbours are friendly when both respect each other’s boundaries and borders. The problem begins when borders are disregarded. Globalisation does not mean sacrificing your national boundaries and borders but inspite of borders two countries can co-operate on many terms such as trade, economy, et al. This is how the relationship between two countries should be. So, we envision that India and Indians can come to the realisation that we (Nagaland and India) can live as two distinct but extremely friendly neighbours. This then will not just be the gate but the beginning of the golden age or era-together) as friendly neighbours).
Furthermore, the mentioned sentence for which your article was written and this response has been stated is not with malicious or derogatory intent but to provoke the intellect of conscientious citizens of India. I/we therefore am/are glad that at least one intellect has been provoked. I/we also hence, thank you for your very thought provoking and sensitive response to the sentence of the speech of the President, NNC and for giving me/us this opportunity and privilege to respond.
My /our generations have suffered much under Indian occupation but I hope that this little communication between us serves to bridge the distance and bring lasting friendship between our two countries. You are also most welcome to personally get in touch with our office for any further discussion of interest. Thank you.
May God bless you.
Spokesman of the Naga National Council.