President, Naga National Council
Today we are here to commemorate the 69th Day of Naga Voluntary Plebiscite where the main event took place on 16 May, 1951 in Kohima. For love of our country the Nagas had shown to the world that Nagaland belonged to the Nagas and expressed in thumb impression. How wonderful and good it is to have such a history. Praise God for His guidance.
Voluntary National Plebiscite 1951: To let the world see the democratic wishes of the Naga people, on 01 January, 1951, NNC informed the Government of India that the Nagas intend to conduct a voluntary national plebiscite on a date to be announced soon. The primary purpose of the Plebiscite was to evidence the true position and desire of the Naga people by democratic process for or against Nagaland independence and rejection to join the Union of India. In a follow-up Press Release on 11 April 1951, NNC invited the Government of India and the World Press to send observers to witness Naga Voluntary National Plebiscite to be held on 16 May 1951. Beyond all expectations, every Naga aged 16 and above irrespective of gender enthusiastically participated in this historic Voluntary Plebiscite and gave a resounding 99.9% verdict in favour of Naga independence, and rejection of joining India.
Henceforth, NNC has been immutably entrusted with the democratic Naga Mandate. At the same time, the Nagas bestowed on NNC the accolade of the embodiment of the Naga people and apex Naga body. What the Nagas are facing today is, that after India got her freedom from Great Britain, instead of building understanding between Nagaland and India, she started to annex Nagaland; now it is 72 years (1947-2019). Within these years, the Nagas have gone through terrible times especially from 1954-1964 atrocities committed by the armed forces of India. The Ceasefire was initiated by the Nagaland Baptist leaders and an international ceasefire agreement was arranged by the Peace Mission and signed between the Government of India and the Federal Government of Nagaland, and it became effective from 6th. September, 1964.
Yet, Nagaland is still surrounded by occupational armed forces of India. But Nagaland’s stand is clear, and with India, it is not a territorial dispute nor a political problem. Nagaland always belonged to the Nagas from time immemorial. Nagas are not demanding anything from India except to leave Nagaland. The Nagas need peace with all her neighbouring countries.
May God bless Nagaland
Speech on 69th Naga Plebiscite Day, Peace Camp, Chedema