My Dear Countrymen,
Let us all give thanks to God who has preserved our Nation through all the past many years. God’s plan for the Nagas to be one among the Nations is undisputable and our existing today still together as a people and as a nation, is a perfect testament of God’s unfailing Love.
We have had a long and arduous journey. For 900 long years, villages along our Southern border fought against the Manipuri Kingdom and Western Frontiers were engaged in sporadic conflicts with the Ahoms for 600 years. The British came in the 19 century and occupied portion of our land administered their laws for 115 years (1832-1947) till we declared a Sovereign Nation on 14th August, 1947. This prompted the era of force Dominion by India which continues till today. Our journey has been one of “untold sufferings and bloodshed”. But throughout this perilous period, God’s faithfulness and protection have been with us and today, together, we proudly celebrate the 74 years of Naga National Historic Declaration.
On this most auspicious day, we pay homage to our past torch-bearers who tirelessly laid the foundation of a “Free and just Nation”. The most important events in our history;
- Memorandum to Simon Commission - 10th January, 1929
- Formation of Naga National Council (NNC) - 2nd February, 1946
- Naga Voluntary Plebiscite -16th May, 1951
- Establishment of the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) - 22nd March, 1956
Our God-given inalienable historical National rights made richer by the blood, sweat and tears of our patriots, and upon which our nation was built. May it be that we, as a people, remember and live up to the legacy of our martyred patriots and continue to live, thrive, succeed and pursue happiness in freedom.
We are eternally indebted to the thousands of brave Naga Soldiers, and tens of thousands of men, women and even children who laid down their lives for our cause. Many suffered indescribable pain and humiliation at the hands of our enemy. But they never gave in. They are our heroes; they are our inspiration. We salute them. Their spirit will continue to live in us, guiding us and inspiring us.
It is our solemn promise that we shall not let their priceless sacrifice go in vain but continue to build and strife towards an “honest and God fearing Nation”.
After the Indo-Naga war culminated in the Ceasefire of 1964 between Government of India and the Federal Government of Nagaland, India resorted to waging proxy war against Nagaland by sowing seeds of division which led to violence, extortion and unlawful taxation.
But today, by the grace of God, the younger generations have realized this and can clearly see the pitfalls on their path. The sight of our young people working honestly with passion and zeal fills our hearts with hope and strength. The destiny of our Nation is in their hands. With God given ability and wisdom they shall lead our Nation towards a brighter future.
My fellow Countrymen, a new dawn is coming upon us. Stand strong and have faith in God. Be loyal to your Nation and do not yield to divisive plans. We are living in the most opportune times. Let us forgive one another and work together as one people, one nation under one God. We must be honest in our endeavour as only through honesty and sincerity will God make our Nation a shining example among the Nations.
Together, let us build a “just and God fearing Nation” just the way our fore-fathers envisioned.
74th Naga Independence Day speech by Gen (Retd) Viyalie Metha, Kedahge, FGN.