Isak Chishi Swu passed away on June 28, 2016. He was the chairman of the undivided Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland. He along with Thuingaleng Muivah and SS Khaplang were instrumental in the formation of NSCN on Janury 31, 1980, after opposing the “Shillong Accord.”
By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent
Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagalim or the (NSCN-IM) would be observing the 6th death anniversary of its former “Yaruiwo” (president), Isak Chishi Swu, on June 28, 10 am at Chishili village, Pughoboto, Zunheboto. For the occasion, a programme has been chalked out by the group.
A source from the NSCN (I-M), Sumi region, stated that the programme to be chaired by general secretary, Green Club, Zunheboto, Angukato H Achumi. It would begin with an invocation prayer by Pastor, Bible Believing Baptist Church, Walford, Dimapur, Rev Yehoshe Chishi.
Short speeches would be shared by members of the collective leadership, NSCN/GPRN, Qhevihe Chishi Swu, Rev A Paul, and MC,VC, Longvibu (Naga Army), Ningkhan Shimray, while a special number will be presented by granddaughters of late Isak Chishi Swu, Sheli and Azalia. Sumi Hoho (SH) and Sumi Totimi Hoho (STH) would also speak at the death anniversary programme. Member of the collective NSCN (I-M) leadership Eustar Chishi Swu, will deliver the vote of thanks after which a wreath laying ceremony would be held, followed by a benediction to be offered by Chishilimi Baptist Church, pastor, Tokishe Swu. Overall programme is being organized under the initiative of Green Club, Zunheboto, in collaboration with NSCN (I-M) Sumi Region.
Born on November 11, 1929, at Chishilimi village in the erstwhile Naga Hills District (now Zunheboto district, Nagaland), and passed away on June 28, 2016, Isak Chishi Swu was the chairman of the undivided Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland who along with Thuingaleng Muivah and SS Khaplang were instrumental in the creation of the NSCN on Janury 31, 1980, after opposing the “Shillong Accord”.
It was also learnt that late Swu was unable to attend the historic “Naga Framework Agreement” signed on August 4, 2015, due to his health conditions. Late Isak Chishi Swu’s father, Kushe Chishi Swu, was the first Christian and evangelist from the Sümi Naga Tribe.
He completed his early education at American Mission School, Chishilimi, and studied at Government High School, Kohima, and finally graduated with Honours in Political Science from St Anthony’s College, Shillong.
Isak Chishi Swu joined the NNC in 1958 and served as the Foreign Secretary of the outfit. Under the leadership of Angami Zapu Phizo, the NNC unsuccessfully campaigned for the Naga’s right to self-determination from India and creation of a sovereign Naga state. After he became the foreign secretary later was elevated to vice-president of NNC.
Late Swu was opposed to the signing of the “Shillong Accord” by the then Naga National Council (NNC) with the Government of India and following a disagreement, he along with Thuingaleng Muivah and SS Khaplang split NNC into a new faction leading to the formation of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN). It was later split again when SS Khaplang decided to part ways and created his own faction, NSCN (K).
Isak’s role in Naga Peace Talk: It was in the early part of the 1990s when top leaders of the NSCN (I-M) including Swu and Muivah escaped to Thailand after a crackdown by the Government of India. However, after getting a positive response for peace talks through intermediary, the then governor of Nagaland, MM Thomas, the government and NSCN started the political talks. Later, it was the prime minister of India, late PV Narasimha Rao, who met Muivah, Swu and others in Paris on June 15.
In November 1995, then MoS (Home Affairs), Rajesh Pilot met them in Bangkok, Thailand, subsequently, Prime Minister, HD Deve Gowda met them in Zurich on February 3, 1997, which was followed by meetings with officers in Geneva and Bangkok. With the then prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, meeting them in Paris on September 30, 1998, it is to be noted that the Government of India signed a ceasefire agreement with NSCN (I-M) on July 25, 1997, which came into effect on August 1, 1997.