On the coming of Naga National Day

Rtd. Gen TM Keyho
A freedom fighter

The Naga National Day, 14th August, Naga Independence Day, is with us again. So, every one of us should observe this sacred day with clarity of thought and proper understanding of the Naga political rights, based on the facts of our history, so that under any circumstances we are not easily misled by the diverse alien agendas that threaten to confuse our people today.

We are never demanding or struggling for ‘independence’ or ‘freedom’ of Nagaland from any one. We were never ruled by any power from outside our homeland before the far superior might of Imperial Britain defeated us in the 19th century after our resistance of their invasion for over half a century. 18 years before Britain relinquished her Empire in South Asia the Nagas categorically told Britain in writing that they retained their right given by their history, to be left alone to decide their own future. The declaration of our independence made to the world on 14th August 1947, one day ahead of India, was reaffirmation of the position Nagas had already declared. India therefore has no legal basis to treat the Nagas as secessionists as if they had broken a prior agreement to be a part o the new India.

Nagas had never been a part of India before the British came and before they left, Nagas reclaimed their status before they became a part of the British Empire. Nagas were not and are not anti-India. Nagas are an honorable, though small, neighbour of India whose history India should treat with respect. Nagas have paid a heavy price just to make this position clear to India. We shall not therefore be misled by the alien agendas or interpretations of secession. The reported talk of presenting a so-called “Charter of Demands” in negotiations with India reveals superficial understanding of our history. It cheapens and damages our position to defend for which so many Nagas-for have suffered or lost their lives. Demanding anything from anyone was never an issue in the Naga political movement till date. The Nagas were formerly divided into a few fractions by the alien forces without legal validity and the slightest consent of Naga people. The integration of all Naga inhabited areas, along with their traditional lands was made on 22nd March 1956 by the Federal Government of Nagaland. The big Naga family by blood shall remain undivided at all costs and always.

What we are doing and struggling today is defending our God given sovereign Naga Nation, and fighting for its recognition from the world, especially from our neighbouring State of India. Let us not confuse our God-given sovereign Nagaland with that of the Puppet State of Nagaland which was created by India by excessive use of her military might and treachery. We have never recognized such a puppet, illegal and unethical State made under the Constitution of India by the Government of India ignoring the facts of our history and our utmost protest.

However here, then, our present problem is the absence of a National Government and a National leader to lead, guide and defend our Nation. One political faction alone or two, however powerful they may be, can never represent the whole Nation. The need of the hour is therefore to form a National Government and elect a National leader to guide and defend our Nation. As such, each political faction leader and every freedom lover should give his/her best endeavor to meet this utmost important need. The sooner will be the better because time waits for no one and if we fail to do this, then the future generation and history will curse us. All that I want to tell you today is never to forfeit our future and place our political history into shame. Have a good day and may God bless you abundantly.