NPMHR: A pledge to reach out to a besieged people

Dimapur, Dec 10 (MExN): Strong calls for retrospection on the standing and task of Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) vis-à-vis the past as well as tests ahead pertinent to the Naga political unrest, is the underlying challenge set upon the organization. The need for retrospection and to “go” to the people at grass-root levels was highlighted at the commemoration of International Human Rights Day held December 10 at Highway 39 conference hall, Dimapur. 

Dr PS Lorin, first convener of NPMHR expressed concern over ‘intimidation’ and threats made against the frontline organization by sections of the entire Naga socio-political gamut. “I worry about the organization because of the intimidations” he told the gathering which saw in attendance various Naga organizations including the Naga Hoho, Naga Students Federation and Naga Women’s Union Manipur. “We are an enemy to nobody. We are friends of the world, whether rich or poor. Intellectually we have professional skills. The matter now is to go to the people. The organization should focus on the people” he said. He said majority of the Naga people are villagers and it is imperative that the masses be reached. “The Indian people should also (be made to) know our issues and case and not only to the elected representatives but the people themselves” Dr PS Lorin said. 

Recollecting the early years of struggle following the Naga human right body’s inception in 1978 in New Delhi, Dr Lorin reminded the gathering of this challenge – the organization has achieved at least “20 percent” of its 11-point objectives while the rest 80% is not going to be possible now. “But we can achieve at least 50% and if we do that I think we will be doing our job” he asserted while expressing strong conviction that the church is the best platform to reach out to the people. 

Dr Lorin also related a few of his bitter experiences in the early years of struggle in the Naga movement. Dr Lorin said that he was only about 5 years old when he witnessed his village razed twice by the Indian Army. “My two elder brothers were forcibly made to join the Nagaland federal government (sic) as secretaries to serve the organization. One of my brothers did his B.Th and as soon as he graduated he was kidnapped to serve the organization. Then my other brother, as soon a he completed his BA was also kidnapped and made to serve. My elder sister and a younger brother also died due to need of medical facilities. Our granaries were razed. Villagers were shot and animals ate them. This is the first time I am sharing this” Dr Lorin said. With this as background, the NPMHR was formed in Delhi so that the Naga people would live in dignity as dignified people, he added. 

Ahu Sakhrie – one of the organization’s founding fathers – also released two NPMHR publications ‘Harmony through culture’ and a chronicle ‘Taking the peace and Human Rights agenda forward’. The function, chaired by Chanmayo Jajo Aier, also held a session where critical interactions and opinions were made on the organization, as well as an open conversation. The gathering was also treated to music from Gugs, Labu, Ahu, Athili, Dr John and Vikheho.