N Mar Ao & I Tongpang Imchen
Chümoukedima Town, Dimapur
Lt. Aliba Imti (Temjenliba) was born on 27th September 1918 at Impur Mission Centre, hails from Longjang (Ao) Village under Mokokthung District. He was the 2nd eldest son of Lt. Mr. Imlilepden and Lt. Mrs. Amakjungla.
He did his early education at Impur and passed his matriculation from Shillong Govt. School with 1st division and did his college in St. Edmund’s College and Calcutta University and completed P.A (Honry).
Lt. T. Aliba Imti was the first graduate from his village and the 6th from among Nagas. After completion of his studies he came back to Nagaland and started to work for the self determination of the Nagas just as the Naga ancestors had been living for thousands of years from BC era. Owing to his love for the freedom of motherland he had initiated the Naga political movement with some Naga loving youngsters comprised of 29 persons as its founding members with over whelming mandate of the Nagas in general and fully endorsed the Nagas to do entire work for the political future of the Nagas and selected him as the president of that newly formed NNC. Thus as the responsible person as the 1st president of NNC he had shouldered the entire burden for political rights of Nagas just as ancient period whose ancestors had been living as free nation.
During his short tenure as his Excellency president of Naga Nation Council Lt Aliba had done many incredible and most significant work for the right of freedom of Nagas. As a man of great statesmanship and warm hearted whose conscience did not accept the ‘ISM’ and ‘ego’ issue but an optimistic and ambitious person whose plan for the future of Naga political rights.
He was a man with great determination and a wise leader whose wise and brave decision and statesmanship had saved the Naga political rights in many aspects. His work and selfless sacrifices made for the Nagas will never be denied nor can be erased from the history of the Nagas struggle for the freedom out of many significant efforts in regard to political and historical rights of the freedom of Nagas following are the few works he had contributed for the sake of Nagas future which will be ever cherished by the Nagas and entire world and shall be ever present in the History of Nagas struggle for freedom.
1. Lt. T. Aliba Imti had organized a group of people who had a great desire to safeguard the Nagas from the forceful dominion over the sovereign Nagas. The people comprising 29 persons led by T. Aliba Imti had declared to the entire world about the legitimacy of Nagas right to freedom on 2nd Feb’ 1946 under the nomenclature as NNC and began to work for this Self determination of Nagaland as a free nation where as Lt. T. Aliba Imti was unanimously selected as its president of that newly established NNC from that day.
2. After the formation of the NNC His Excellency president of T. Aliba Imti was selected as the honorary member of the North East India Sub-Committee of Indian constituent Assembly. Thereafter the members of the said committee had held several rounds of talks and meeting in regard to the constitution of India. The meeting of those members of the North East Sub-Committee at Shillong the entire states of North India representatives had put their sign joint the Indian union as and when India gets independence from British Empire. However as being the committed patriot and responsible president of the NNC over swelteringly appointed on the mandate of Nagas who had the veto power to decide the future of Nagas political status, strongly defended the rights of the freedom of Nagas bravely stood firm on the legitimate rights of the freedom of Nagas and said “that’ we the Nagas cannot sign our names to be under India. We do not agree with it and we resign. I cannot return to my people as a Traitor” this most incredible and significant statement had saved the Nagas as a people with its own legitimacy to be self determined nation. In fact when we seriously analyze this statement there would have nothing wrong on his part if he had decided to sign that the Nagas would join the Indian Union as he had the veto power on the virtue of his presidentship. But his love for his own motherland was much dearer than any other thing on earth that is why he refused to sign to be with Indian union under any circumstances. Besides if he did sign on that day, the rights of Nagas that has been inherited for centuries would have been vanished there and then and would have made the foreigners (Indian) the master of their entire properties and land etc. But the wisdom that God has given to T. Aliba Imti had saved the Nagas and his will power and patriotic spirit one can force and understood how dearly he loved the Nagas above all else under the leadership of T. Aliba Imti the Nagas on 19th Dec’ 1946 had strongly appealed to the three member British Cabinet Mission who had come to India to make further plan for the post independence of India that the British Parliament must not make any arbitrary decision nor make any future plan for Nagas without proper consultation with the NNC such strong worded statement made to the mighty British Empirical ruler had make known that the Nagas are as strong as any powerful nation.
3. Infact the Britishers had a plan to make the Naga Hills as “British Crown Colony” under a name called Coupland Man. However owing to strong resistance by NNC leaders that plan could not be materialized.
4. During the making of plan by the three members cabinet mission on 19th Aug’ 1946, the NNC under the leadership of T. Aliba Imti promptly rejected the proposal of the Cabinet mission which is known as “Coupland plan” proposed was to set up” the British crown colony in Naga hills where as T. Aliba Imti and his colleague did not compromise on the proposal. During the course of that discussion Jawaharlal Nehru was fully aware of the aspiration of Nagas that Nagas and Indian are two separate neighboring nations thus he himself declined in support of Nagas saying. “The tribal areas (Nagas) are defined as being that long frontier of India, which are neither part of India nor Burma nor of any foreign power”. Thus for T. Aliba Imti has played most significant and diplomatic role in regards to Nagas right to independence and freedom from being subjected to any outside nation.
5. From 9th Dec’ 1946, the Indian constituency assembly begun to make their own constitution to be applied after their independence in the same way the Nagas had also begun to prepare our own constitution apart from customary law. However owing to lack of peer knowledge in making of written constitution, the NNC leader led by T. Aliba Imti had resolved to set up an interim Government ad live with India for a period of 10 years, during that period the Indian Government would act as a guardian power over the interim government of Nagaland.
6. As per the resolution of NNC T. Aliba Imti his Excellency president the NNC had signed and submitted a memorandum to the Government of British India on 20th Feb’ 1947, in regards to live with Government of India for the period of 10 years.
7. After that during May 1947 the Indian constituent assembly delegation had appealed the NNC Leader to join with Indian union. However T Aliba Imti and his colleague stood firm on the 20th Feb’ memorandum. Therefore the Indian delegates went back without any concrete decision.
8. After that, Sir, Akbar Hydari the term Governor of Assam had held a meeting with T. Aliba Imti and his fellow NNC Leaders from 27th – 29th June 1947. However despite repeated request to the NNC leaders to join with the Indian union the NNC did not agree to the appeal of the Indian leaders, therefore an agreement called 9 point agreement was made on mutual term where as T. Aliba Imti has signed on behalf of the Interim Government of Nagaland and Sir, Akbar Hydari has signed on behalf of Government of India. This agreement was made with the wider scope. So as to unite entire displaced Naga inhabited area under the common National umbrella of NNC (Nagaland). Most obviously it was the dream of T. Aliba Imti that every Naga inhabited area including illegally displaced Nagas living in Mayanmar to be brought under the common national jurisdiction of Nagaland and to integrate the entire Nagas inhabited areas as one nation and one people.
9. T. Aliba Imti His Excellency the 1st President of NNC had fought for the Nagas on the principle of Non-violence and non-cooperation with India.
10. Under the leadership of His Excellency, Lt. T. Aliba Imti NNC President had fought a significant political war and had made tremendous achievement in the matter of the right to freedom of Nagaland.
11. During the tenure of his Excellency President Lt. T. Aliba Imti, the Nagas had declared it independence on 14th August 1947 and made known to entire nation and specially conveyed its message of independence to U.N.O. where as U.N had acknowledged and felicitated the great achievement of Nagas as a free nation and put the name of Naga country in the member list of nation under U.N.O. on the same date. Being the 1St president of NNC, Lt. T. Aliba had done his level but that had safeguard the right of Nagas as a free nation from being hijacking away by the cunning Britishers and the Indian in many areas. As such owing to his selfless efforts he had done his level best and did outmost sacrifice for the NNC Nagas must honestly acknowledge his works and gives patriotic salute to the 1st President of NNC and must honour his tireless efforts whose patriotic act had till date made the Nagas to be broughtly called as a free nation over the face of this earth.