Dear Naga people,
I praise and thank God on this 74th Naga Independence Day celebration. 73 years ago on this day (14th August, 1947) the Naga National Council declared the Naga Independence Day which was acknowledged by the United Nations and ever since the entire Naga people has been observing and Celebrating the 14th August as our official Independence Day, and this is known to the world and also specifically known by the Indian and the Burmese (Myanmar) Governments.
This day has been observed and celebrated every year by the Nagas as a people, and this is an inalienable right which is a product of our blood, tears and pain for the last 7 decades as our adversaries forcefully occupied our precious land with their military might.
As a result we the Nagas have been greatly impacted and are suffering till date because we stood firm and fought for our rightful political freedom as a people and nation. Until we achieve our freedom of recognition as a sovereign state, the Nagas will not give up but will continue to fight for our God given destiny for generations to come.
On this auspicious day we salute our brave martyrs who laid down their lives for the purpose of national freedom. The Naga people will always remember their great deeds and sacrifice.
The NNC also greet all the Northeast people and other nationalities and also ask for their support to join the cause of Naga freedom as a people and nation. We thank and appeal those who are standing and supporting the Naga political freedom, and we encourage them to support more vocally and strongly at this crucial stage of Naga freedom of recognition.
On this occasion I appeal to all the National workers to stand true and upright for the Sovereignty of Nagaland which will decide for both our present and future generations, and never forgetting that a great number of patriots had laid down their precious lives for this very cause of freedom of Nagas.
The Naga people as a whole too must stand true to those national workers who stood firm for Naga sovereignty for entire Nagaland of all the inhabited areas at this critical and crucial stage of our fight for freedom.
The NNC also must remind the Naga people to examine with utter seriousness at this deciding moment of our politics, to think rationally and support those national workers who stand true to Naga freedom without compromising for the best interest of our future goal.
The NNC will once again make it very clear to all concerned that Nagas are not rebels, secessionist, underground, armed gangs etc as labelled by individuals, agencies and Government but rather they are Freedom fighters fighting for their historical and political rights for freedom. As our political history is distinctly clear of Naga memorandum submitted to the British Simon Commission in 1929 and subsequently the House of Lords during British India rule, and the 1935 Act called “Naga Hills Excluded Area” was passed by British India. Thereafter the Naga National Council declared Naga independence on 14th August 1947 which was acknowledged by the United Nations Organisation. And after these the Naga people informed and invited Government of India to observe Naga Voluntary Plebiscite conducted on 16th May 1951- the result of which came out 99.9% who voted in favour of the Naga Independence. And this result was shown and presented to the Government of India in particular and all the foreign Embassies in New Delhi as well. Therefore the Naga political history and the legitimate rights are exceedingly clear and hence there is no room for dispute and confusion regarding this matter of inalienable rights for sovereignty, however due to some vested interest there are some trying to twist and distort the political history of the Naga people, but the Naga people will never acknowledge the twisted version of those vested and wicked interest.
The Naga people’s political history is immensely clear and hence, nobody can nullify or erase it, and we praise God for this.
I must also mention that the Naga educated youths in the homeland are doing their part in vindicating and defending our culture, social life, food etc however our political freedom is more important than anything else at this critical stage of our faith for freedom, therefore, we encourage our Naga youths to come forward and speak out boldly for our rights and our political freedom.
The NNC is happy and grateful to those NGOs and state parties who are now courageously speaking out against the aggressor’s politics of oppression and suppression at this crisis in the homeland. This is a true representation of patriotism on our people’s part for our freedom, may our people in different walks of life come together without any hesitation in defending our genuine rights for freedom.
The NNC is really encouraged and grateful to Naga mothers who are vocally expressing and speaking out the truth about what is currently happening in the homeland as a strong stalwart for our rights politically and against the suppression and oppression imposed on us at this crucial moment of our history.
This is a virtuous step taken by our Naga mothers; therefore, every Naga should support and solidly stand behind them for the right cause.
The NNC must say that because of the pandemic the economy on a global scale is collapsing rapidly and hard times are approaching fast even in the Homeland, therefore, we encourage and also recommend that every Naga man, woman and youth in the homeland move towards producing and cultivating for ourselves so that we can be self sufficient and self reliant for survival as the future seems to be very grim from an economical standpoint. At this time it is really important for the Nagas to work hard for self sufficiency in the homeland so that we will not be dependent on others. The world is fast changing from bad to worse, therefore, let us also broaden our perspectives and move effectively.
The Naga people in the past was never dependent on others, prior to 1970s the Nagas were self-sufficient in terms of food production and everything from grass-root (village) to community level was self sufficient as we all worked and produced, therefore, let us work hard from self to village to community level again to overcome all the crisis for the better and stable future.
Regarding the ongoing talk with Government of India (GOI), the NNC must say that if GOI is really serious to peacefully settle Naga political problem then they must appoint or entrust politicians who can understand and handle the seven decades old political problem that has been existing between the Nagas and the Indian Government. The Government of India must officially invite all the stakeholders so that a logical conclusion can be drawn, which will be honourable and acceptable for the best interest of the region.
The GOI should not appoint any more retired bureaucrat officials to deal with Naga political problem as everyone has vividly seen failures till date. Bureaucrats are not politicians and the political nature of issues and problems are immensely different from those which bureaucrats deal with, hence a bureaucrat cannot fully understand or comprehend the complexities and entanglements that are involved in a political issue. Hence a bureaucrat cannot deal in depth to solve or settle a political problem and this is very much proven through RN Ravi the interlocutor of peace talk with the Naga political problem which has seen failures after another. Instead of solving the problem he has stirred up more problems and is clearly playing with the Naga politics, this is a waste of time and the huge amount of money sanctioned by GOI is flushed down the drain, and the only person who benefitted out of this at the cost of Naga people and GOI is the interlocutor himself.
Lastly but not the least, the NNC with much sincerity states that the Naga people want peace and tranquillity in the Homeland and in the Region. As the Naga political problem could not be resolved for the last 70 long years this has greatly impacted and is still affecting the political, economic and far more than that human lives and real peace in the region is compromised due to this.
Therefore, the NNC being a model of Non-Violence Institution advocates real peace in the Naga Homeland and Region.
74th Naga Independence Day Speech by Yilow Humtsoe
Naga National Council (Parent Body)