NSF was formed 75 years ago. Since then the feeling of oneness has became stronger among Naga students outside the state of Nagaland and beyond.
By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent
Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), the apex body of the Naga students, is all set to celebrate its 75th anniversary culmination programme on October 29 at the Naga Solidarity Park, Kohima. The event would begin at 10 am with Nagaland chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, as the special guest while former Arunachal Pradesh home minister, Lowangha Wanglat, will attend the programme as the guest of honour.
Themed on “Call to Oneness”, the culmination programme with Chakhesang Baptist Church (CBC), Kohima, presenting an item on “Nagas Without Borders”, with former NSF president, Y Vikheho Swu, unfurling the NSF flag will start with an invocation by general secretary, NBCC, Rev Dr Zelhou Keyho, while convener, Planning Committee, and former NSF president, K Temjen Jamir, will share the context of NSF’s 75 years of its existence.
To be welcomed by NSF president, Kegwayhun Tep, the attendees would also be refreshed by a poem recital titled “Eli Sureno Melody Kikon” penned by Eli Ningreichon Tungshang, and also with a dance presentation by Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS), Eastern Naga Student’s Federation (ENSF) while North East Student’s O rganization (NESO) would share a message on the same dias.
“With 75 years of its existence since 1947 and the feeling of oneness becoming stronger among Naga students outside the state, it is urged upon all for required action”, said former NSF president, Zaku Tsukru.
The NSF being formed at a time when there were no proper educational institutions anywhere in the then Naga Hills and the few that got higher education also had to study from outside the Naga homelands.
In this regard, it was learnt that the first elected president of the NSF in the month of October in 1947 was late Zasinihu Zinyu who did his early education at Kohima and later did his graduation from Cotton College, Guwahati, Assam, and later on he served as a teacher at Kohima Government High School (KGHS) for want of qualified teachers.
It was during his tenure that the first NSF conference was ushered in for the formation of the same as a common platform for all Naga students where Naga National Council (NNC) elected president, late T Aliba Imti, immediately after two and half months after declaring the “historic Naga Independence” on August 14, 1947, which stays beyond any doubt the very exigency of the time to have an organized movement at all levels of the Naga society.
The following years after the formation of the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), its function was also interrupted at various stages owing to political upheavals in the entire Naga country where every community including elders, religious leaders, students and even the women and youth had to bear the brunt of the Indian Military atrocities making even the NSF impossible to function.
The call for the “Naga nation” to survive was more important for the NSF than to stay away from the risks even in the face of death for which the federation was revived in responding to the call of the “Naga Nation” since 1971 with the election of Vibizotuo Yalie (Abi Yalie).
Though the federation has seen its own “ups and downs” with additional affiliation of many new units while also experiencing the withdrawal of older units owing to various circumstances and compulsions, the federation with all its past glory and the occasion to celebrate its 75 years f its existence has provided with best opportunity to reflect on where one has not been able to live up to the visions of pioneers to reinvigorate ourselves as “leaders and pillars” of tomorrow.
Meanwhile when contacted, a former NSF leader, Theja Therie, said that during the initial years, the NSF was really focused on student identities. He also went on to add that students’ involvement morally towards the related issues has been very strong since then.