Resurgence Of the Village Guards (2003-2007)

(A DIPR Feature)

The period starting from the year 2003 witnessed an unprecedented achievement that has brought about a massive transformation both in the mindset of the VG personnel and the VG Organisation. The first ever Raising Day of the Village Guard was commemorated in the 47th Year of its existence on 1st march 2004 at Tuensang Town with Yeangphong Konyak, the then Hon’ble Minister for VG as the Chief Guest. The Tobu land dispute of 1990 saw a mass exodus of Konyaks from Tuensang. For the first time after this particular incident, good sense prevailed among the two tribes and a large contingent of officers and VG personnel from Mon District came to Tuensang Town and took part in the event. This celebration marked a beginning of friendship and brotherhood afresh among the Changs and Konyaks after a gap of many years. Thus, a true sense of brotherhood and oneness amongst the member of the VGs is growing from strength to strength with the celebration of Raising Day each year on rotation basis in all the five VG Districts of Tuensang, Mon, Kiphire, Longleng and Meluri sub-division of Phek District. Concurrently, with the commemoration of the 47th Raising Day, the adoption of VG Flag and introduction of VG Badge marked the beginning of a more systematic organisation. The experimentation of VG Parade contingent in traditional attire with a Naga dao as a whole became the centre of attraction since such contingents is a rare sight to many people.

To be at par with regular police force in terms of handling assorted weapons and other conventional trainings, the JCOs and Officers are sent to NAPTC each year. Weapon drills and parade inspections are carried out in all the VG post from time to time. However, any kind of conventional training inline with the regular force are not deliberately imparted to all the VG personnel with the objective that the natural ability and skill of a true Naga inborn quality of a fighter is not diluted with modern trainings. The uniqueness of a Naga Warrior therefore is preserved which is one of the main reason for success story of the Village Guards where not a single battle or encounter with armed rebels is lost in the last 50 years of the Village Guard existence in the State.

Today, much of the protection to high dignitaries during their visit in the interior region along the International Border is left to the Village Guards. This has resulted in the additional requirement of both heavy and light vehicles for quicker mobility. As maybe seen from the present context, the regular security and police forces are mostly deployed in the Towns leaving a bigger gap for the Village Guard to take over the burden from them. The fleet of vehicles have increased marginally though not satisfactorily for ensuring security during such frequent visits.

The Village Guard Organisation has also embarked on the path of economic self-reliance which will start contributing to the common cause of the Village Guard as well as the individual member. With these in view, the Office of the Commissioner, Nagaland has initiated a noble idea and formed a Village Guard Society under the name “The Naga Indigenous Crafts Promotion and Production Society of the VGs and Rural Artisans” registered under the act of the State. The office will examine ways and means to promote traditional handicraft, metal and wood works to the talented personnel which has been inherited down the generations. This will result in preserving the culture and tradition of the forefathers and at the same time, the products will be marketed which will uplift the economic condition benefiting the society as well as the members individually. 

Despite financial and manpower constraints, technological changes are also taking place in the Village Guard Organisation. This has eased the working of the VG Offices that is handling almost 10,000 personnel in the State. District offices are provided with computers, digital cameras, video cameras etc and efforts are on to create a website that will be integrated with the E-Governance initiatives of the District Administration.

With the commemoration of 50 Years Anniversary today, a new uniform shirt is introduced for the VGs on this auspicious occasion. With the change of uniform shirt that remained unchanged for the last fifty years, a new heckle is also introduced that has added another feather to the cap of the VG organisation.

Undisputedly, the Village Guards are located only in the interior areas that are completely cut off from the rest of the world. The importance of linking up with the outside world was felt imperative. In this regard, transistor radio, wall clock and brass bell were issued to all the VG posts. The essence of right living and updating of the outside world being the basic need of all human being, the VG as well as the villagers are attended to in this area also. Poor power supply has also prompted the Department to issue solar lamp in all the VG post that has definitely brighten up the organisation.

Truly, the latter period may be rightly known as the Golden Period in the history of Village Guard Organisation.

(Source: Office of the Additional Chief Secretary & Commissioner, Nagaland)