The meet was aimed at bringing about better understanding within Nagas of the region in order to strengthen “unity and cooperation” while also keeping the focus on the Naga political issue.
By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent
A Consultative meeting of parliamentarians of Angami, Chakhesang, Rengma, and the Pochury regions of the NSCN (I-M) was held on August 23 at Hotel Vivor, Kohima.
According to MIP NSCN/GPRN, kilonser “Major (Retd)” Kewe Mero, in his keynote address highlighted that the very purpose of organizing such consultative meeting was to bring better understanding in order to strengthen “unity and cooperation” while also keeping the focus on the Naga political issue.
For this, Mero said it would help establish “positive link” with the public while pointing out to its members that the NSCN (I-M) has a “hierachical rank structure” starting from Tatar, Dy Kilonser, Kilonser, members of steering committee and executive members, steering committee in which everyone’s status is defined with a place for all individual initiative.
Mero appealed to the members of Angami and Chakhesang to live up to the spirit of NSCN/GPRN’s guiding slogan “Nagaland for Christ” as one people and to reflect the “unique history of the Nagas” through commitments and unity.
Mero’s appeal drew significant importance as the meet was held against the backdrop of reported “grumblings” within the Angamis and the Chakhesangs.
“Lt Gen (Retd)” VS Atem, VC, and member of the collective leadership, who was one of the resource persons in the meet while quoting a verse from the bible, Acts 17: 26 which read “And He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and boundaries of their dwelling”, pointed out that one find the truth of everything reading the Bible.
Mentioning the names of historical figures including Mahatma Gandhi and Sheikh Abdullah, Atem said they went to jail as many times as 13 and 7 times respectively because of the belief that defending the truth was not only a sense of duty but it was a reward in itself.
He also mentioned and took pride about the Naga historical figure, Haipou Jadonang, who dared to raise his voice against the British rule asking the Nagas not to pay tax and not to cooperate to the British government and putting his own life at risk in defense of truth for his land and identity.
Atem also pointed out that Nagas are not far behind in political consciousness as compared to the Indians as Indian history itself says that Mahatma Gandhi launched the quit India movement on August 8, 1942, following the All India Congress Committee session in Mumbai.
Also Atem said that the truth of history as recorded mentioned that Nagas strongly resisted British rule when they first set their foot in Naga territory in 1882 and in 1929, when the Naga Club was formed. The Naga Club submitted a memorandum to the Simon Commission to leave the Nagas alone in order to protect their identity. He further reminded the historical truth when the Nagas refused to join India by signing the Instrument of Accession like the princely states of northeast and India.
He stated that NSCN was given UNPO membership on January 23, 1993, on the basis of of historical truth, the NSCN/GPRN Gen also added that the Nagas under NNC signed the 1964 Ceasefire accepting to solve the Naga political issue through peaceful means but it was abrogated by India and not by the Nagas. Atem later said that until 1972, Nagaland was under the Ministry of External Affairs but brought under Ministry of Home Affairs.
Kilonser, Kihoi Swu, while sharing his concern that India might “play” with the Constitution of India to exploit the huge mineral resources in the Naga areas also touched on the truth of the Framework Agreement of August 3, and added that notwithstanding political shortsightedness of some group/people, there is no alternative to the framework agreement and that the Naga political issue was made known to the world for more than 70 years and no fault was found.
On the issue of Register of indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN), Atem and Brig (Retd) Akho Naga, president, Tenyimi National Worker’s Forum (TNWF) said that the same was not in keeping with the socio-political interest of the Nagas and not going to be allowed.
Education Kilonser, Jongpong, shared that all have to show unity, reconciliation spirit and commitment to win the public support and cooperation.
Meanwhile, collective leadership member, Zarsie Nguthe, encouraged the Tenyimi national workers to take “heart” as government has given them the prestigious post of Kilo Kilonser to Kewe Mero, and steering committee convenor to KK Angami.