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NSCN(IM) reminisces ‘deceitful India on Plebiscite’


The outfit, in its bi-monthly news bulletin Nagalim Voice,  said India firmly believed in the will of the people in the case of Junagadh plebiscite as the vote was overwhelmingly in favour of joining the Union of India. However, three years later, when the Nagas under NNC conducted plebiscite with thundering 99% in favour of Naga Independence, the then prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, refused to entertain when it was brought before him

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

Citing that one of the most beautiful episodes in the political history of the Nagas is the Naga Plebiscite of May 16, 1951 as this high-profile national occasion emboldened the spirit and approach of the Nagas towards the Naga political issue with the new-found nationalism became the growing trend, Nagalim Voice the NSCN (IM)’s bi-monthly news bulletin (May-June 2024) in its editorial column has stated that it was significantly all the more beautiful because the God-given Naga nation was given a new political dimension as the historical and political truth of the Nagas was brought before the United Nations (UN).

The editorial column said that if one looks into the pages of the history of India after her independence, there is one princely state, Junagadh, located in what is now the Indian state of Gujarat that was annexed to the Union of India through plebiscite after a dispute arises with the dominion of Pakistan.

It said that the Junagadh plebiscite took place in February 1948 ultimately leading the ruler, a Muslim, who had already signed a pact with Pakistan to be a part of the latter’s territory.

However, India firmly believed in the will of the people as the vote was overwhelmingly in favour of joining the Union of India. That decisively put an end to the issue of Junagadh political status.

However, three years later, when the Nagas under NNC conducted plebiscite with thundering 99 percent in favour of Naga Independence, the then prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, refused to entertain when it was brought before him where the “world” found the stand of as “controlling, manipulative, duplicitous, immoral, and obstructive”.

73 years later, the Nagas joined together to commemorate the Naga plebiscite, the NSCN (IM) said it was a significant development as the Nagas demonstrated their political attachment to the truth of Naga history that shall remain indelible.

Change of geo-political landscapes in many parts of the world

The NSCN (IM) also said that the 20th century witnessed the change of geopolitical landscape (s) in many parts of the world and also the nationalist development in accordance with the historical and political rights of concerned nations.

Stating that it has changed the world in unprecedented ways, the NSCN (IM) mentioned that Naga too was not lacking behind as they exercised their democratic and sovereign rights to find a place in the comity of nations and thus, declared Naga Independence on August 14, 1947, and four years later Naga Plebiscite was conducted to reaffirm the Naga independence.

It said that the whole process of the plebiscite took six months with a resounding 99.9 % in favour of Naga independence and that the copies of the plebiscite with signatures and thumb impressions were compiled in book form that weighed “80 pounds” and despatched to the UN while also sending it to the President of India and President of the All India Congress Party in order to avoid any room of underpinning the authenticity of the plebiscite, every requisite process was followed.

However, it was learnt that India under Jawaharlal Nehru stood against the Naga independence and plebiscite, determined to hold on the Nagas under its dominion power leading the successive governments that followed Nehru-led government continues with their aggressive and suppressive hold on the Naga people’s legitimate rights.

Significantly, Naga Plebiscite becomes the foundation for timeless struggle for the historical and political rights of the Nagas and the intensity and passion of the Nagas for freedom simply refused to give way to the interests and convenience of the government of India. As stated when the Nagas joined together to commemorate Naga plebiscite after 73 years it become all the more important for the Nagas as government of India started going astray from the historic Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015, that it has signed with NSCN with the world community as the witness, importantly, when this political agreement between government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) was signed, the world was made to understand that Framework Agreement was based on the recognized unique history and situation of the Nagas that was recognized by the government of India as per a joint communique, Amsterdam, on July 11,2002.

The historical and political meaning of unique history of the Nagas as stated meant three things which included that Nagas are never Indian either by conquest or consent, Nagas had not accepted the Indian Constitution and join the Union of India, and that Nagas were independent sovereign people as declared on August 14 in commemoration Naga Plebiscite termed as the “Deceitful India on Plebiscite”.

AZ Phizo Architect of Naga Plebiscite

Terming that the the year 1947 and the day, June 16, 1951, was a red letter day for the Nagas in history towards its struggle for freedom, vice-chairman of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM), Tongmeth Wangnao, in his speech has articulated that everyone must praise the Almighty God for giving the courage to commemorate together the Naga Plebiscite Day after 73 years and that the day was observed to reaffirm the declaration of Naga Independence that was announced before the world on August 14, 1947.

It was the day Nagas portrayed themselves loud and clear with their thumb impressions in which 99.9% of the Nagas voted for a sovereign Naga nation, he said and was the occasion of an episode that is more than making a striking statement on Naga independence.

Adding that it was the most powerful symbol of Naga people’s inalienable right for sovereignty and not only does it represent the virtues of being Nagas, it also ignited the flame of the irreversible political identity of the Nagas as a sovereign nation”.

He also quoted a few lines from the speech delivered by NNC President AZ Phizo on the Plebiscite day, May 16, 1951 “We are here today to reaffirm the stand of the Naga nation that we do not need India and we do not want her. We are here today to prove to India and the world that Nagas are united and that our nation aspires to the same conviction to continue to be independent as a distinct nation as we have always been the sovereign nation-state of the Nagas.”

This is to put on record once again the inalienable rights of the Nagas to be a sovereign nation, thus, the sovereign rights of the Nagas as flaunted on 16, 1951 would continue to remain imprinted indelibly in the psyche of the Nagas.

In God who has power and authority over the universe, we put our trust”, it is reminded that Lieut. Gen VS. Atem VC (Retd), Dy Ato Kilonser in an assertive tone in defining the Naga nationality when he stated that India is a union of states of their own volition and Nagas are under Indian forcible occupation.

He went on to add that no Naga can be made Indian by force nor can an Indian be made Naga by force as Nagas have declared their nationality, independent from the British rule on August 14, 1947, while also adding that Nagas have nothing in common with the Indians, be it origin, history, politics and policy, languages, customs or culture.

It was only because of the British occupation and their ‘divide and rule’ policy that the Nagas are where they are today.

He gave full credit to the NNC leaders who took the right step at the right time by conducting the Naga plebiscite.

Driven with passion as a leader, Atem explained that the dream of Naga national independence did not happen with a sudden stroke of nationalism in the heart of a leader but it had remained in the DNA of the Nagas. Various Naga civil society/organizations participated in the commemoration of Naga Plebiscite held in GHQ, Naga Army and expressed their deep respect to the NNC leaders for their political foresight.

NSWON to stay abreast about Naga political issue

The NSCN (IM) latest news bulletin (May-June 2024), Nagalim Voice, has also mentioned that the National Socialist Women’s Organization of Nagalim (NSWON) was in the spotlight when they arranged a political programme to stay abreast of everything about the Naga political issue, including how they could contribute better for the Naga nation.

It was informed that the NSWON wanted to be well informed and stay educated on the Naga political history, how things went wrong in the hands of the government of India after the British India government ended its imperial rule and what finally brought about the 1997 ceasefire and what transpired during the Indo-Naga political dialogue that has crossed 27 years.

With this objective in mind, they organized a “Two-Day Political Awareness Program” in Council Headquarters (CHQ), Hebron, on May 14 and 15.

Information was also shared that three resource persons from the NSCN (IM) attended the 6th General Assembly of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organizations (UNPO) held at Munich (Germany) on May 12 where issues related to the Nagas was raised by Apam Muivah, Steering Committee Member, NSCN & Co-ordinator Alee (Foreign) Affairs, Europe.

Apam Muivah highlighted the Naga political history and the blatant human rights violation by the Indian security forces in no uncertain terms.

Lieutenant Gen (Retd) Atem VC, Deputy Ato Kilonser, GPRN/NSCN also spoke where he highlighted that “Naga history is not a fabrication” but an official negotiation where the Nagas had always uphold their position without compromise.

He said that during the official talks with the Government of India on November 14, 2023, the Indian representatives had stated that Nagaland was “inherited” from the British and that the government of India is acting accordingly and that

Ato Kilonser Th Muivah had retorted saying that  “The unique history and the rights of the Naga people cannot be interpreted according to the interest and convenience of the Government of India.”

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