‘Naga Voluntary Plebiscite was not just a vote; It was a testament to the resilience & strength’

Thepuswuyi Keyho
President, Naga National Council

Respected chairperson, distinguished Naga patriots, leaders of all the Naga civil societies, all the Naga tribal leaders present today, Church leaders, Human rights activists, Indigenous peoples rights advocates, student body leaders, Shisha Hoho, Forum for Naga Reconciliation, ladies and gentlemen.

Firstly, I give all glory and honor to our Almighty God who is our defender, champion and our protector. And I also thank particularly the FNR and Shisha Hoho for bringing us all together to commemorate and celebrate the 74th anniversary of Naga Voluntary Plebiscite without whom this gathering would never have happened.

Today, I am indeed very much delighted to be standing here in front of you and be a part of you. Welcome everyone! Nagas from Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern part of all Naga inhabited areas.

This is what I always wanted to see; All the Nagas coming together in one accord, respecting and honoring what our predecessors achieved on this day the 16th of May by showing to the world that Nagas are an independent nation and that Nagas do not want to live under any other nation. Be it now or even in the future. 

So, today, as we reflect on a pivotal moment in history, the Naga voluntary Plebiscite of 1951, which was conducted by the Naga National Council (NNC) under the leadership of Dr AZ Phizo, the then President of NNC. We remember that it was a time when the Naga people exercised their right to self-determination, boldly asserting their identity and aspirations for sovereignty.

The Naga Voluntary Plebiscite was not just a vote; it was a testament to the resilience and strength of a people striving for freedom and self-governance, not a governance under India or Myanmar but a governance without fear or prejudice. So, my dear Naga patriots why should we surrender or sell our birthright for a little morsel? We shall never sell our birthright or our identity in exchange of a little development or modernization or civilization. We cannot be bullied, and will not allow ourselves to be bullied now or ever.

However, as we reflect on this momentous occasion, we are reminded of the importance of Naga unity. The journey towards self-determination is fraught with challenges, but it is through unity that we can overcome them. Division only weakens our resolve and undermines our aspirations for a better future.

Naga unity is not merely a concept; it is a necessity for progress and prosperity. When we stand together, we amplify our voices, strengthen our cause, and pave the way for meaningful change. It is through unity that we can build a more inclusive society, where every Naga voice is heard and respected.

As we commemorate the Naga Plebiscite of 1951, let us reaffirm our commitment to unity. Let us set aside our differences; Let us bury our mistakes and work towards a common goal. We are a team; Therefore, let us together go back to our roots; our political and our historical rights – the advancement of our people and the realization of our collective aspirations. Together, we can forge a brighter future for generations to come. We shall overcome!
Urra Uvie

Urra pie miatsülho (our nation will not be given to others)
Thank you and KUKNALIM

Speech of Thepuswuyi Keyho, President, Naga National Council on the occasion of Naga Plebiscite Day on May 16.