Speech delivered by I. Temjenba Lkr, Kedallo, FGN, on the 28th death anniversary of Dr. A.Z. Phizo, former president, NNC and Father of the Naga Nation, April 30, 2018 at Phizo Hill, Kohima, Nagaland
Madam Eli Adinno Phizo, President, NNC, Gen. (Retd.) Viyalie Metha, Kedahge, FGN, National Leaders, Pastors, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Firstly, I thank you all for being here to pay respect and honour the life of Dr. A.Z. Phizo, Father of the Naga Nation. This Graveyard is a place of Reverence, of Peace and a Heritage for the people, the present and the future. It was organized by a Funeral Organizing Committee (FOC), who was selected by the unprecedented crowd of Naga Public, who were assembled at the Naga Club Building and its premises on the morning of 1st May, 1990 for the Funeral of A.Z. Phizo- The accepted Father figure of the Naga People and Nation.
Later, it was formally approved by the Tatar Hoho (Parliament) of the Federal Government of Nagaland.
Twenty seven years ago, on 30th of April, 1990, Dr. A.Z. Phizo suddenly passed away at the age of 86, quietly and peacefully at his house in Bromley, London. Our Nation lost his invincible leadership. Every nation is led by a leader. The success or failure of a nation is seen through its leader.
The legacy of leader A.Z. Phizo to our people is the foundation of Nagaland. Because of his visionary national leadership and sacrifice our nation stood out alone in the sea of changes around us from the old order to the new era during 1946 to 1990.
A.Z. Phizo on becoming the President of NNC in 1950 immediately began to direct the course of NNC into a political consciousness, and brought all regions (tribes) together as single collective nation. He next took a national referendum, by conducting a National Plebiscite on May 16, 1951 by giving a choice to the people to decide whether to stay Independent or join India. The result was 99.9 percent of the Naga people were against joining the Indian republic. He also brought in our Eastern Nagas to join the mainland, and established the Federal Government of Nagaland on March 22, 1956.
The indisputable right of the Nagas, stated that the Nagas are not Indians and that Nagaland is not a part of the Indian Territory, Phizo said.
1. Your birthright as a sovereign person.
2. Your possession of land as your own personal property.
3. And that the way of life in Nagaland which is rooted in the system of pure democracy.
These institutions are the highest Human achievements. Human kind has been yearning for this is what we have inherited from our Forefathers.
I would like to state a few remarkable achievements and extraordinary worked he had carried out for the Naga nation.
1. The declaration of Naga Independence on the 14th of August, 1947, was informed to the UNO, New York and the British India Government, in New Delhi by Telegram.
2. January 1, 1950, A.Z. Phizo wrote a letter to the United Nations regarding the 16th May, 1951 Naga Voluntary Plebiscite to remain sovereign and a free democratic nation.
3. March 29, 1951 inviting Government of India in Delhi to send delegates to witness the Naga Voluntary Plebiscite.
4. May 16, 1951 Plebiscite was successfully conducted.
5. March 22, 1956 formed the Federal Government of Nagaland.
6. July 26, 1960 held an International Press Conference in London.
7. October 8, 1960 submitted the memorandum entitled “The Fate of the Nagas” to the United Nations Head Quarters, New York.
As significant, he registered our nation in the consciousness of the world. He was really the architect of Naga nation.
And also like him other leaders, late Imkongmeren former NNC Vice President, Late Zashei Huire, Kedahge, many of Phizo’s contemporary leaders and many Naga Valiant voluntary soldiers and national workers from different Regions of Nagaland were staunch supporters of him and have sacrificed their whole lives for our nation. Let this generation of Nagas never forget that it was because of their sacrifices of yesterday that we are, what we are today. Therefore, let us together again prepare to face the challenges ahead with conviction, determination and rectitude for our nation.
In 1955 his (Phizo) family members were arrested by Indian Armed Forces and put them into Kohima jail, after five months they were all again transferred to Nowgaon Jail in Assam at the completion of 19th months in jail, They were released.
Lastly, I on behalf of the Naga National Council and the Federal Government of Nagaland, salute the Father of the Nation, his late Lady wife Jwane Phizo and children, who have endured indignities and sacrifices they have rendered to the nation.
I have faith that God alone will lead us towards the destiny of the Naga nation.