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Op-Ed

Speeches on 69th Naga Plebiscite Day May 16

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By EMN Updated: May 15, 2019 11:21 pm
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Senka Ao, Vice President, Naga National Council

My dear Naga brothers and sisters,
I greet you all in the name of our Almighty God. Today is a historic day for the Naga people for it was on this day in 1951 that the Nagas under the aegis of the Naga National Council boldly stated, openly expressed and exhibited to the world the desire and aspiration of the Naga people to live as a free and sovereign nation; made a solemn and irrevocable pledge of the desire and the right to determine our own future, popularly known as the PLEBISCITE of May 16, 1951. A remarkable feature of the PLEBISCITE was the overwhelming 99.9% in favour of Naga Independence which today stands as a testimony of the unity of the Nagas and the Nagas’ affirmation of the Memorandum to the

Simon Commission of 1929 and the declaration of Naga Independence on 14th August, 1947. It conveys a strong twin-message: the spirit and aspirations of the Naga people and the resentment against the forceful occupation by India and the territorial division of the Naga inhabited areas without the knowledge and consent of our people. We celebrate this historic day to contemplate as to why we have a sense of pride and think ourselves fortunate to be Nagas and also to rededicate ourselves to pursue the Naga National Cause with renewed vigour and vitality.

Nagas from the very beginning have always been fierce lovers of equality and freedom. Our ancestors believed that equality and freedom are unquestionable values and principles by which people should liveby and live for. Each village was a sovereign republic and enjoyed unquestionable freedom and no matter how powerful a village was, it did not have the intention or desire to conquer other villages, threaten other villages into submission or to rule or dominate over other villages. We lack even the colonial-imperial vocabularies like “submission” or “surrender”. It is no doubt true that powerful or mother villages were recognised in terms of certain nominal tax or tribute, however, the practice was more of recognition either of their political leadership or for customary roles rather than surrender of their autonomy. The autonomy and freedom of any Naga village was non-negotiable and inalienable.

The commemoration of the Plebiscite Day gives an opportunity for our people to ponder on our foundational and fundamental belief and principle, the legitimate right of the Nagas to choose our own destiny and also bring to the attention of the world that the Nagas still continue to suffer against her will in the imperialistic hands of occupational forces, viz., India and Myanmar.

Modern civilization with its values, including democratic values have unfortunately till date failed to truly educate these occupational forces that no people group, big or small, can be forced to live under the domination of another against her desire. In spite of our unfulfilled dream and aspiration to live as a free nation, we still remain proud and continue to live with dignity because on this day, about Seven Decades ago, the Naga people boldly stood up to express our resentment against the dehumanizing practice of imperialism.

Let this occasion remind us that we are a group of people resolutely determined and committed to live as free people, free to be who we are and who we want to be. Let us all remember that a great event in our history took place on this day, where the citizens of Nagaland, from the mountain tops to the valleys, courageously registered themselves to live as a free and independent nation. The Naga Plebiscite of 16thMay, 1951 is a pillar on which our rights and aspirations are embedded, a foundational pillar which cannot be undone and which will not perish so long as heaven and earth exist.

May the Almighty God who guided our people in the past and gave uscourage to so boldly declare to the world that we are a free and sovereign nation continue to guide our path and instill the same desire in each one of us today as we celebrate and commemorate the Naga Plebiscite Day.

Kuknalim

Yilow Humtsoe the Acting President of NNC, Parent Body

Dear Naga people,
Today the 16th May 2019 is our 69th anniversary of Naga National Plebiscite Day, therefore, let us all observe and celebrate our National Freedom Day. On 16th May 1951 our elders, leaders and people conducted Plebiscite to decide democratically the fate of the Naga people to remain independent as a result of which 99.9% voted in favour of sovereign independent state of all the inhabited land of the Nagas. This has become our inalienable political right for freedom of recognition as a people and nation.

I also on behalf of the Naga National Council greet all the Naga people throughout the inhabited land of the Nagas and beyond on this occasion of our National Plebiscite Day.

Let us also remember our elders, leaders and martyrs’ who conducted this historic Plebiscite and moreover the sacrificial deeds of our martyrs for Naga freedom. The Naga people of the present and future generation must remember and honour this Day in memory of all the sacrificial deeds done by them for our freedom.

At this crucial stage of our fight for freedom of recognition in negotiation it is truly necessary for the Naga National Political Groups who stood firm for Historical and Political Rights to come together to reason out the best political solution for the entire inhabited land of the Nagas before it is too late.

The NNC with regret must say that we the National leaders/Groups missed some of the best political opportunities in the past because of our stubbornness, hatred, jealousy and division within ourselves. In fact, it is because of our sin we are suffering too long and our fate is at stake. Let us reflect upon ourselves and realized the reality. May God help us to realised the urgency at the last moment for the betterment and achievement.

The Government of India (GOI) is taking full advantage of our weaknesses and divisions by creating more problems and dragging the political issues intentional to finish it. But GOI cannot trample the Naga inalienable rights of the people of seven long decades problem of occupation which are well known to the entire world and the Naga people in to will never give up our right of freedom till we achieve politically for posterity.

The North East Indigenous people must stand firmly together geographically, politically, culturally, religiously and physically to defend our God given precious and rich land for survival as our existence are threatened by the immigrants and religious fanatics.

The North East Christians must always stand strong together to defend and protect our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour as this is being seriously threatened by others’ religious extremism.We cannot remain silent in this matter of serious threat as invading forces are advancing to dominate our race and blessed land. God forbid.

Let us rise together in this time to defend ourselves with one and only strength to overcome all these dangerous fanaticism emerging out openly to take over our land by force without any mercy. Therefore, let us rise up together before it is too late.

The Naga people on behalf of the North East Christian people appeal to the Christian community of the world to help and defend our stand and cause for posterity.

In conclusion, I once again wish to greet all the Naga people and the North East people on this occasion of Naga National Plebiscite Day. God bless us all.

Kuknalim

Z Royem, President NNC, Parent Body

Dear Countrymen,
As we commemorate the 68th Plebiscite Day, we salute all the Nagas who have sacrificed their lives and their families for the freedom of the Nagas. On this day, May 16th 1951, Nagas in one accord and in one spirit have declared that we are a ‘Sovereign Nation’. This covenant has withered numerous political and social storms yet its flickering flames continue to burn until today. The flame of the Naga plebiscite remains alive because of the Nagas who continues to remain firm to the covenant.

Over the past few decades, Nagas have been divided by ideologies, factionalism and political differences. Our political aspirations have been sabotaged numerous times, thereby delaying in fulfilling our national goals. Like a cancer cell, our Naga society was crippled by the malicious tumour of suspicion, hatred, dissensions, division and ism. Nevertheless, God in his grace gave wisdom and strength to our civil societies. Under the leadership of various Naga organizations began to tirelessly broker for peace and reconciliation between political groups. Their sacrifices and efforts came to fruition in the year 2016 with the formation of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs). NNPGs, a conglomeration of seven Naga Political Groups came together for one common Naga political solution.

During the last 3 years, after many rounds of talks and negotiations with the Government of India, the Indian Government has finally recognized the “historical and political rights of the Nagas to self-determine their future in consonance with their distinct identity”. Over the years, NNPGs have reached out to various civil societies and organizations had evaluations and discussions with Naga scholars and experts to critically examine and revise the ongoing political talks with the Government of India. The contents of the talks have been made known to participants and their valuable reflections and suggestions have been incorporated during the talks.

My dear countrymen, the progress is slow but not stagnant. Our charter of demands is not scripted in closed-door by few but in consultation with the Nagas. We do not strive for an NNPGs solution but a comprehensive solution for all the Nagas. Your unfeverent support and contributions will be in the chronicles of Naga history. Let us not dance to the tunes of alien ideologies nor allow the spirit of ism and the propaganda of the dissents to create dishevel amongst us. Let us remain firm in one accord and true to our covenant. May God continue to give strength to all the Nagas to finish the race that our leaders have their lives for our future.

Published by Information and Publicity, NNC Parent Body

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By EMN Updated: May 15, 2019 11:21:59 pm