History Of The Naga Struggle
A BRIEF POLITICAL ACCOUNT OF NAGALIM
When one looks at the map of Asia he will find China, India and Burma. The Tri-junction is the position of Nagalim. Nagas are a distinct ethnical stock of Mongoloid race. They migrated to the present Nagalim in two broad waves. Originated from Mongolia, according to oral traditional history.
Both the waves passed through western China (Yunan Province). The first wave passed through upper Burma and occupied the present so-called Arunachal. The second wave stayed in Burma and settled down there for a considerable length of time. And in course of time moved towards west to the present central Nagaland, Manipur, North Cachar Hills and Assam.
Before the advent of the British they remained Independent of any foreign domination. Each village was a republic of its own in most of the tribes-like that of Greek City States. The Nagas have a distinct social life, manner of living, laws, customs and their method of governance of the people is quite different. In religion, they practiced enimism before accepting, Christianity. The Nagas have an efficient system of Administration. Most of the tribes retain to a considerable degree their ancient laws and customs and village organization which have lasted through centuries and these form an integral part of their life. Democracy in its purest form existed among the Nagas. The basis of the Naga system is the village organiztion. Every villageis an independent unit in the tribe. Villages are managed by a Council of Elders and men of influence elected by the people. Such a polity, such a state of society and democratic life is rare to be found. History speaks of the frequent contacts between the Nagas and Ahoms of the plain areas of Assam during pre-British occupation of assam. These contacts were sometimes fierce resulting in battles and sometimes cordial for reasons of conducting peaceful trade relations which were conducted through the barter system. But the Ahoms never attempted to interfere with Naga way of independence.
The British took over a part of naga territory: The opening of a direct route between the Assam valley and Manipur necessitated the British to come in contact with the independent Nagas for the first time since the beginning of time and the result was the annexation of a part of the Naga territory to the British Empire in the first half of the 19th century A.D. It was in 1832 that a survey party to undertake a survey of the proposed route penetrated into the Angami country of the Naga territory led by Captain Jenkins and Pemberton from Manipur. The party met with strong opposition from the Nagas and the foreigners suffered some casualties at the hands of the independent Nagas.
The British realised that without showing the might of the sword it would be utterly impossible for them to penetrate through the Naga teritory. Thus during the period of 1839-1846 altogether 6 expeditions were sent out to suppress the Nagas and during the years that followed thereafter the Anglo-Naga history is marked with many bloody battles.
This period of control by a system of show of force from outside Naga territory did not prove sufficient to subdue over the Nagas permanently by establishing outposts within Naga territory during the British occupied portion of the Naga territory which was declared a “British District” and Kohima was made the Chief Administrative Centre of the area. When once a colonial base was founded the British imperialist were ambitious for further territorial expansion and thus the Sema country was made a “Control Area” in 1887. And in 1889 the Ao country was taken over and another sub-centre was established at Mokokchung.
The controlled Nagas found their world changed with the advent of the British. British administration came into force in the occupied territory through political Officers. Village Chiefs and Elders were encouraged to look after the welfare and civic needs of the villages. Inter-Village feuds came to an end and head-hunting became a thing of the past within Naga Hills District boundaries. The Nagas accepted what life offered, lived their own life in their own mountain villages, happy and content, peaceful and romantic.
The Free Naga Territory – “FREE NAGALIM”
The British could take over and control only the south-eastern part of Naga territory during the period of 1832-1880 which came to be known as the British District. But the North and eastern part which formed the larger part of the Naga territory, was left uncontrolled and unoccupied by the British.
This uncontrolled part of Nagalim, the “Free Naga Territory”, remained almost unvisited, entirely self-governing and completely independent even when India attained her independence from Great Britian in 1947.
The Government of India Act 1919
According to the government of India Act 1919 the “Naga Hills District” was declared as a “Backward Tract” and it was made clear in the above Act that no Acts passed by the Indian Legislature were to apply to this “Backward Tract” and thereby, the occupied Naga territory was treated as a separate entity from the British India Empire.
The Simon Commission 1929
The year 1929 saw the Nagas again demanding the restoration of their independence when the British withdrew their power from India and Burma. On January 10, 1929, the Simon Commission (The Indian Statutory Commission) under the Chairmanship of Sir John Simon and with Mr. Clement Attlee as one of the members of the Commission visited Kohima to ascertain the wishes of the Nagas on their political future. The Commission asked the Nagas whether they would join the coming “New Reformed Scheme” which became Government of India Act 1935. One of the Naga elders stood up and demonstrated the Naga cultural dance and said Nagas would remain free as before when the British would leave Nagalim. It clearly expressed the aspiration of the whole Nagas. In the memorandum submitted to the Commission the members of the Naga Club, the only all-Naga Organization existing then, speaking on behalf of the Nagas, demanded that the Nagas should be left “alone” whenever the British decided to leave India. The demand was couched in mild words but it represented their burning desire for independence. This memorandum is the first written do*****ent in which the Nagas had expressed the fervour of their national longing and political aspirations to regain their independence.
The Zeliangrong Uprising:
In 1929 and in the early 1930’s the attention of the British Government was drawn to the Zeliangrong country in the south of Nagalim. The Naga national longing for independence was demonstrated by the Zeliangrong Nagas in an uprising directed to overthrow the British power in Nagalim by force under the leadership of Jadunang who was apprehended and later hanged at Gauhati by the British. The staggering number of Nagas who were shot dead, hanged or otherwise imprisoned in connection with this herioc revolution, was never made public by the British authorities.
The Government of India Act 1953
Under the Government of India Act 1935 which was passed on the recommendations of the Simon Commission, the “Naga Hills District” (Backward Tract according to Act of 1919) was declared to be treated as “Excluded Area” on March 3, 1935. This Act empowered the Governor to administer the area in his own discretion. It was also stated that no Act of the Federal Legislature or of assam Legislature was to apply to the Naga Hills, and thus the Naga area was not brought within the fold of Indian policy.
Sir Robert Neil Reid, Governor of Assam, 1937-41, says in “History of assam Frontier Areas Bordering on Assam” “throughout the discussions previous to the forming of the New Act, the Authorities concerned had no diffisulty in agreeing that Naga Hills ought to be kept outside the purview of the New Constitution. They were accordingly declared to be an “Excluded Area” under the government of British India (Excluded and Partially Excluded) Order 1936 and have since the 1st of April, 1937 been administered by the Governor in his discretion” (p.178)
The Visit of British Cabinet Mission
The British Government sent a Cabinet Mission to India to study the political situation in the country in April 1946. The Naga National Council, which was formed in March 1945 to voice the national sentiments of the Nagas,waited upon the British Cabinet Mission in New Delhi on April 9, 1946 and informed the cabinet Mission that the Naga future will not be bound by any arbitrary decision of the British Government, and that no recommendation will be accepted without consultation.
The Naga National Council tried to make it clear that the Nagas would not accept any other kind of constitutional arrangement. Therefore the Nine (9)-Point Agreement was negotiated:
The 9-Point Agreement:
In June 1947, the Governor of Assam, Sir Akbar Hydari negotiated an agreement with the Naga National Council afresh in meeting on June 27, 28 and 29, 1947 in Kohima. This agreement came to be known as the nine-point Agreement. The Governor was acting on behalf of the Indian Constituent Assembly. Compromises on both sides produced the Agreement which gave increased administration authorities to the NNC.
In a memorandum submitted to him, the Naga National Council stated, “A constitution drawn up by the people who have had no knowledge of the Naga Hills and the Naga people will be quite unsuitable and unacceptable to the Naga people. It is our desire to make it plain to your Excellency that it will not be enough to say in the end that the constitution has been drawn up on the lines suggested by the Cabinet Mission.
“We know that Your Excellency will concede that the Naga people have as much right for self-determination as any other people. Our request to your Excellency is to do all that is in your power to enable the Nagas to stand on their own feet so that they may be worthy members in the civilized world.”
“When a deputation of the Nagas very recently waited upon Your Excellency. Your Excellency was appraised of the demand of the Naga people for the restoration of their old boundary. The ancient boundary with the Ahom Kingdom previously observed by the Ahoms, has been overstepped throughout its length. All the valuable forests previously a part of the Naga Hills have been transfered to the Sibsagar and Nowgong District of Assam.”
“In fairness, justice and equity Nagalim should be restored to the Nagas, for it is our great cry that Nagalim should be for the Nagas. We should urge Your Excellency to set up immediately a Boundary Commission to go into this very important question.”
“The Naga National Council stands for the solidarity of all Naga tribes. The present Naga Hills District has arbitrarily been carved out for administrative convenience only. It is now our desire that Your Excellency take all steps to bring all the naga tribes together, for they all naturally desire to be together.”
The Following are the Heads of the 9-Point Agreement 10-Year Akbar Hydari Agreement:
That the right of the Nagas to develop themselves according to their expressed wishes is recognized:
1. Judicial 2. Executive 3. Legislative 4. Land 5. Taxation 6. Boundaries 7. Arms Act 8. Regulation 9. Period of Agreement.
The Government of Indian Union will have a special responsibility for a period of 10 Years to ensure the due observance of this Agreement; at the end of this period, the Naga National Council will be asked whether they require the above agreement to be extended for a further period, or a new agreement regarding the future of the Naga people be arrive at.
But at the same time, one evening, Sir Akbar Hydari warned several Nagas that if the Naga Hills District, in fact, refused to join the Indian Union, India would use force against them.
Gandhiji’s Promise of Naga Independence.
There was only one thing to be done and it was to appeal direct to the Father of the Indian Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, the one man who above all others was shaping the destiny of the sub-continent in the name of peace and liberty. A Naga delegation went to mahatma Gandhi at the Bhangi Colony in Delhi on July 19, 1947, to tell him that they were resolved to declare their independence a day before India did so, on August 14, 1947 and ask him for help.
It must humiliate every right thinking Indian now to recalled that the Mahatma admitted the justice of the naga claim at once. He told the delegation, “Nagas have every right to be independent. We did not want to live under the domination of the British and they are now leaving us. I want you to feel that India is yours. I feel that the Naga Hills are mine just as much they are yours, but if you say, ‘it is mine’ then the matter must stop there. I beleive in the brotherhood of man, but I do not beleive in force or forced unions. If you do not wish to join the Union of India nobody will force you to do that. The Congress Government will not do that”. When the Naga delegate pointed out that Sir Akbar Hydari was threatening to do exactly that, Gandhi exclaimed, “Sir Akbar Hydari is wrong. He cannot do that. I will come to the Naga Hills; will ask them to shoot me first before one Naga is shot”.
Declaration of Naga Independence – August 14, 1947
According to plans and preparations, Naga independence was declared on August 14, 1947 one day before India became Independent. The Government of India and the United Nations Organization were informed by cable to which the UNO was kind enough to send an acknowledgement.
The cable runs:
Benign Excellency (.) Kindly put on record that Nagas will be independent (.) Discussion with India are being carried on to that effect (.) Nagas do not accept Indian Constitution (.) The right of the people must prevail regardless of size (.) Naga National Council
Assurances for implementing the 10-Year Agreement.
Following a statement made to the representatives of the NNc at Gauhati on February 2, 1948 by the Premier of assam to the effect that there can be no “Agreement” with the Nagas, a 2-man Naga delegation met His Excellency the Governor of Assam Sir Akbar Hydari, in Shillong on May 9, 1948. The purpose of the delegation was to ascertain the position of the 9-Point Agreement of June, 1947. The Governor said that the agreement would be incorporated in the Sixth Scheduled of the Constitution of India, although the 9-Point Agreement made no reference to the Constitution of India.
The Nagas took the Agreement on the basis of treaty. Further assurance for the 10-Year Agreement’s implementation was given to the NNC by the adviser to the Governor of Assam vide his Memo No. 490/C Dated 11th June, 1948. The letter reads:
“His Excellency the Governor of Assam, I am desired by His Excellency to state that the machinery necessary to that end is already in motion. There was never, nor shall be, any question of non-implementation of the terms of the Agreement”.
Advisor to the Governor of Assam.
The final assurance for implementation of the 10-Year Agreement was made in a signed statement to the Naga National Council by both Sir Akbar Hydari, Governor of Assam and Shri Gopinath Bordoloi the Premier of Assam under Memo No. 88-C/47-570-72 dated June 22, 1948.
The signed statement reads: “A deputation of Naga gentlemen had come to Shillong to receive a written assurance from His Excellency the Governor of assam and the Honourable Premier of assam to the effect that the agreement reached between His Excellency and the Naga Leaders in June, 1947 will be implemented. The deputation was given hearing by both His Excellency and the Hon’ble Premier and were given assurance by both that there was never any question of non-implementation of the Agreement. A misunderstanding has appeared to have arisen in the minds of certain section of the Naga people that the Agreement of June 1947 was nullified by the provision laid down in the Draft Constitution. It was explained to the deputation at length that the Draft Constitution is/was in no way inconsistent with the Agreement. On the contrary, it has prescribed the machinery whereby the Agreement might be translated into action. If, however, there still remains any doubt or apprehension in the minds of the Naga people regarding the validity of the Agreement, His Excellency and the Hon’ble Premier were prepared to give the written assurance that had been asked for. They have been pleased to do so accordingly and have both appended their signature to this do*****ent as a token of the assurance they have been asked to give”.
Governor of Assam
G.N. Bordoloi Hon’ble Premier, Assam
Part 5: The Betrayal of the Agreement by India
In order to extract a clear statement about the actual fate of the 10-Year Agreement (9-Point Agreement) a 3-man Delegation of the naga National Council met the represetatives of the government of India in Shillong on November 3, 1949.The Naga delegation was bluntly told that there was no Agreement made with the Nagas. Shri Gopinath Bordoloi himself sorrowfully admitted to the Nagas in the government House in Shillong on November 9, 1949 that the Agreement was no longer considered to exist by the Indian Government.
This betrayal of the Agreement by Indians in the face of repeated assurances given to the Naga National Council was a direct insult to the Nagas. It hurt tha Naga sentiments greatly. This deliberate lie to cheat the Nagas further widened the gulf separating the Nagas from the Indians. Men’s memory is short, yet, this betrayal is still fresh in the minds of the Nagas. And people such as Nagas will never allow themselves to be called Indians.
Rajaji’s promise of Naga Independence
Greatly dissapointed at India’s betrayal of the 9-Point Agreement on June, 1947, an 11-man Naga delegation met His Excellency the Governor general of Free India, Shri C. Rajgopalachari in Shillong on Novemebr 28, 1949, at the Government House. His Excellency told the Naga Delegation: “India wants to be friendly with you. India does not want to deprive the Nagas of their land. Nagas are at full liberty to do as they like, either to become part of India or be separated if it would be best for their interest to be isolated”.
Non-acceptance of the Indian Constitution.
On January 24, 1950, the NNC informed the Government of India the United Nations Organization and all the foreign ambassadors in New Delhi that NAGAS DO NOT ACCEPT THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION.
India informed about the Naga Voluntary Plebiscite.
On New Year’s day 1951, the Government of India was given advance information by the NNC regarding the holding of the Naga voluntary plebiscite on the issue of Naga independence. Later on the Government of India was requested to send its representatives and observers to Nagaland to witness the holding of plebiscite vide NNC letters dated March 30, and April 11, 1951.
The Naga Voluntary Plebiscite of 1951.
Early in 1951, the Naga National Council launched a voluntary plebiscite which was inaugurated on May 16, 1951 at Kohima by Mr. A.Z. Phizo, who was by then elected to the coveted office of the President of the Naga National Council to disprove the slander that the desire for independence was held by only a few ‘educated’ Nagas. But the result, when finally tabulated was 99.9 per cent vote for a sovereign independent Naga State.
A Naga International Support Center, NISC
a human rights organization
January 11, 2003
From the historic peace talks held in Delhi between the National Socialist Council of Nagalim and the Government of India
With the conflict spanning several generations now, over 50 years old, and the Naga leaders after 37 years taking up the invitation of Prime Minister Vajpajee the peace talks held in India are truly historic. In a special telephone interview Mr.Isak Chishi Swu, chairman of the Naga Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) an the president of the Government of the People’s Republic of Nagalim (GPRN), told Nisc that the peace talks being held now in Delhi, the capital of India and seat of government, are well under way and conducted in a very friendly atmosphere. Mutual understanding for each other’s background, difficulties and perspectives have been high on the agenda, which paves the way for the atmosphere to be a conducive and receptive.
“We paid our respects to Mahatma Gandhi for he understood the Nagas way back before the Union of India came into existence. I would like to praise the Government of India for the understanding of the issue and the recognition it has given to the uniqueness of the Naga history. Trust between the Nagas and the Government of India has been built and we will continue working of reaching a peaceful settlement.
I want to tell you that there will be no more fighting between Indians and Nagas. That is the understanding we have reached now. We have promised that, provided that both armies can be kept under control and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act can be revoked in the near future.”
Furthermore Nisc would like to clarify the stand on the election being held in Nagaland next month. Non interference with this election means that that the NSCN does not call for a boycott nor will it meddle in it. Elections don’t solve the long standing problem, solution does. This is what the people demanded in 1998 and though the boycott was successful, a state government was sworn in, a state government that did not reflect the will of the people. That is why this time the people decided to participate in this election and not too boycott it. For the time being and until a final solution between the Government of India and Nagas has been arrived at the people will then be able to run the state according to their wishes.
For further information visit our website: www.nagalim.nl
Naga International Support Center
Email: [email protected]
TENSION INTO DIRECT CONFRONTATIONS
Tension between India and Nagas grew as the government of India was determined to do away with the aspirations of the Nagas. The leaders and members of the Naga National Council became the first target of arrest and torture.
Indian Armed police were poured into Nagalim and massive indiscriminate ransacking and ravaging of Naga villages started. Shooting followed and on October 18, 1952 Mr. Zasebito of Zotsoma village was shot dead on the main road at Kohima by a Sub-Inspector of India police. He was a judge of the Kohima Central Court and was the first Naga to be shot.
Mr. Nehru the Prime Minister of India with Thakin U Nu, Burmese Prime Minister visited Nagalim on March 30, 1953. A few minutes before he was due to address the meeting Nagas were told that they were not allowed neither to make any representation nor to submit any memoranda to them. Nagas walked out en masse because they were denied the freedom of expression which they took as an affront to them.
Thereafter Indian government launched large scale operations in Naga territory branding the Nagas as ‘hostiles’, ‘insurgents’, ‘misguided elements’ ‘extremists’, ‘miscreants’, ‘terrorists’, ‘treacherously blood-thirsty’ and the like. Indian Army’s Reign of Terror started and the endless stretch of agony began all over. It is impossible to give in details the atrocities committed on the Naga people in the past 40 years. It is simply too many and too much to contain in a small note. It may, therefore, be given in general way with a few cases as examples here and there out of thousands. The behavior of the Indian troops was beastly and horrible. There was no human compunction in them. Whatever they did they did with sadism. They gloated over acts of cruelty wherever and whenever they performed. Mass arrest of men, women and children were done all over the country. They were mercilessly beaten, herded into concentration camps, carry supplies and what not, without payment. Men and women were often separated; women were raped in front of husbands, parents, brothers and then used chilli powder in their private parts, the sight of which no human being can stand. They would insert even stick into the private parts after tortured to death which would be hard for anyone to believe. Even pregnant women were so manhandled and ravaged that miscarriages would occur in the crowds. Assaults on women were such that Indian troops were in no way better than the irrational animals. Forced practices of sodomy upon men were strange to the Nagas. It was a new civilization introduced in Nagalim by the Indian soldiers. Torturing to death through rude less beating, thrusting stick into the rectum of private parts of men and women, hanging upside down were daily phenomena. Mutilation of the bodies of women and men who had been raped or tortured or shot, to death displayed to the public in some towns and villages with the warning that the same fate awaited those who refused to accept the constitution of India. Some people were even forced to eat their flesh before they were killed. Jails and concentration camps were full, but the process of indiscriminate killing, harassing, torturing continued all the more. Villagers everywhere were indefinitely terrorized. They were flushed out and gathered at open place days and nights together. Unbearable restrictions and curfews were imposed upon them and shoot-at-sight at the suspect was standing order everywhere in the country. There was no more law. Only the whims and moods of the Indian armed forces were in force. They were not allowed to cultivate their fields. Life was indeed precarious; it was completely at the mercy of the ruthless invaders. Side by side thousands of villages were incinerated across the country. Some villages were burnt down more than twenty times even. Besides, a large number of villages were uprooted from one place to another causing suffering beyond words. Granaries were burnt to ashes without exception. Standing crops were destroyed. Schools and Churches were razed to the ground. Scorch-earth policies were applied in every part of the land. Countless were shocked with electricity so that innumerable died or left crippled. Despite their high declaration of respect for religion, Christians were much hated. Pastors were killed; church buildings were set on fire. Rev. Pelesato Chase was put in sack and burnt alive. He was the first supervisor of mission centre Bible Hills at Phek.
They were out and out sacrilegious. The first Maratha Regiment raped four girls inside the Yankeli Baptist Church – Miss. Sacheno Lotha 17 years, Miss. Nseno Lotha 15 years, Miss. Thungteno Lotha 11 years, Miss. Nzanbeni Lotha 12 years. Time and again almost the whole population was driven into jungles where they live on roots and leaves without medical care.
They were daily hunted down. Thousands died of starvation and diseases. They used all unimaginable methods in their attempt to liquidate Nagas and their nation. It clearly amounted to genocide. The whole population underwent untold sufferings since 1954.
As a result of such inhuman carnage, starvations, diseases and deprivation of other necessities of life more than a hundred thousand died within 1954-1964. From the Sema tribe alone 47,000 deaths is recorded and it is supposed to be the highest in terms of tribe.
The first area to suffer the horrible onslaught was the Free Nagalim. Indian troops had been moving into that part of Nagalim for some years intimidating the population. Then on November 15, 1954 Indian Armed Forces raided the village of Yangpang in Free Nagalim and killed 60 men, women and children. Yangpang village was attacked on the morning of Monday Nov. 15 by Indian troops from Noklak camp. The killing lasted for two hours from 5 till 7, led by a political officer and his assistant. The political officer had been boasting previously that he would show the Nagas that Indians were better head-hunter and he carried out his boast with punctilious accuracy. All the victims were beheaded, some alive, some after being shot and their heads were taken back to Noklak to be photographed. He rewarded his soldiers that night with a feast of looted pork from Yengpang. Among the stories told by survivors was about Subonglemla the cheerful young woman who was the village school mistress, she was dragged on the ground by her long beautiful hair which was four feet long when loose, she begged for mercy and wept, but the killer scalped her while she was still alive and then cut her head off. The political officer took the scalp. Afterwards he was heard to have said that he would plait her hair into a ‘holy thread’ and would keep it for luck. Subonglemla’s husband and their two sons, one five years and the other seven months old were slaughtered too. Another 296 people were massacred in Yengpang village in the ensuing year.
And on Nov. 27, 1954 a battalion of the Indian Armed Forces destroyed the village of Chingmei also in Free Nagalim by bombardment causing an unknown total of deaths. In Chemong village also Free Nagalim Chenemong 23 and Shemshimong 25 were crucified – tortured for several hours and then finished off by gunfire. Yemkhotong 35 had his thigh bored through with a bayonet; a cord was passed through the hole to bind him to a post and after being taunted and flayed, he was soaked with petrol and burned alive. The chief of Longpha village, Ahng Yuwung, 60, was shot in his bed by Indian officers.
There are a few cases by way of example. There are innumerable cases of atrocities and killings of such nature committed by the Indian Armed Forces in Free Nagalim alone. The Indians developed their plan for wholesale village extermination and in the 1955 it was believed that about 10,000 Free Nagas lost their lives.
PROCLAMATION OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Similar armed repression mounted beyond description in the whole of Naga Hills. Out Posts was established non-stop. In no time terrors spread far and wide. Villages were raided without number and houses ransacked beating down the inhabitants without the slightest mercy. Indian army officers began a routine of displaying bullet-ridden corpses of death Nagas in town explaining that such fate would overtake anyone who refused to accept the Indian constitution. Thus, the dead bodies of Thepfucha, Purielie and Lhuphizhu riddled with bullet were exhibited in the Kohima market, and the dead body of Tozongchiba in Makokchung Market. But if the Government of India had hoped to terrorize the Nagas into giving up their rights, it failed miserably. Instead of being terrorized, the entire population was burned with added love for the nation and hatred against the Indians, Nagas could not make out the real meaning of Indian Ahimsa. They were completely skeptical now. But day after day the nakedness of the unbounded intention to snuff out Naga nationalism and to exterminate their nation by unleashing unscrupulous violence on the whole Naga population were revealed crystal clear. They were completely disillusioned. Face with common danger Nagas came closer and were more solidly united. To defend against the onslaught of population and their nation, Nagas were, thus, driven to take up arms. All hopes of negotiated settlement of the issue frittered away. In view of this imposing challenge Nagas promptly took decisive decision and solemnly declared the “Naga Federal Republic” on the 22nd March 1956 – a federated unit including the “Free Nagaland” and all other areas inhabited by the Nagas. An army organisation known as “Naga Home Guard” was set up to help the government and defend the country which was later changed into Naga Army.
The real process of exterminating the Naga nation through any methods went on full swing. Thousands of Indian troops were poured continuously into Nagaland. Massive operation in succession reached every nook and cranny with fierce fighting’s, horrible killings, torturing, arresting, burning of villages, churches, schools, destruction of grains and crops ceaselessly mounting daily. By 1956 the strength of the regular Indian Armed Forces had already reached one hundred thousands. To quote Mr. Mullik, the former director Intelligence Bureau, “there was nearly every security troop for every adult male Naga in the Naga Hills Tuensang Area, but there was never a time when it could be claimed that Naga guerrillas had been broken into submission. They have few odd varieties of arms, muzzle-loaders, for example. They suffered terrible privation and casualties but did not give in”. All the killings and brutalities inflicted on the Nagas could not make them Indian. They could only slaughter the masses, rape the women and carry out scorch-earth policies, but failed to win their hearts. One remembers the wise conclusion a British statesman made while dealing with the Irish National Movement. “We can only kill the Irish but not their nationalism”. Massive reinforcement with better commanders continued, by 1958 the Indian Forces came up well night two hundred thousand strong. At every three miles through the length and breath of Nagaland along the routes out-posts were securely put up. Every medium-size helmet two or three out-posts were maintained. Indefinite pressures of maximum proportions were exerted. But still no change in their favour could be brought about. Rather fierce fighting’s remained virtually everywhere with the people bearing the unspeakable and unlimited brunt of the Indian army’s reign of terror right from the inception. Out of desperation one after the other Special Powers for the army men were demanded to decisively deal with the Nagas. Consequently, Indian parliament passed the Armed Forces Special Act 1958, in addition to the several previous Powers Acts, giving thereby the army men the full authority to crush the Nagas once and for all. By 1960 the Indian armed Forces deployed in the Naga areas shot up far above hundred thousands. The best Generals, the best fighting units with the extraordinary powers, dealt with the Nagas, now almost reaching 40 years inflicting untold sufferings, indiscriminate killing of enumerable Nagas, innocent and armed personnel without letting the outside world know. But things remained unchanged. Thousand patriots undauntedly sacrificed in defence of their little country, Nagaland, leaving behind them the unconquerable pride to the generations yet to come.
Mr. Gavin Young of ‘Observer London’ visited Nagaland from February 20 to March 10, 1960 and met the Indian Air Crew captives. He also visited some destroyed and deserted villages including the refugees from Matikhru village where the Indian troops massacred 40 Nagas early on September 6, 1960. He later published the reports of the visit in a booklet entitled “the Nagas, An unknown war – India’s threat to peace”.
Until that time India was hiding from the world the massacres of the Nagas, bluffing the world that India stood for non-violence and world peace. But the actualities of situations went bursting and the tough reality of the people being solidly behind their Federal government defying brutal suppression could no longer be gainsaid. At the same time Delhi Bosses realized the fact that counting headlong on military brute force alone was a folly, it needed somehow gradual heading off for a time until suitable pretext to support it was established.
India really floundered for a moment without the alternative in sight. To wreck the solidarity from within was the only way left to be explored for possible achievement of their set goal. For this job Mr. Dutta, an intelligence bureau officer was employed. Dutta didn’t loose time to hatch a process for the formation of a puppet state of Nagaland by collecting a few Naga officials who were in the pay of the Indian Government. A show of representativeness called ‘People’s Convention’ was formed and the status of a puppet state was accepted in the form of the “Sixteen Point Agreement” in 1962. But this development did not influence the course in the slightest. India had to get down to the ground realities and admit the impossibility of slighting the Federal government. In the meantime revelation in the western press of the outrageous crimes of genocidal nature appeared that India could no longer conceal the enormous inhuman slaughter of civilian population in Nagaland and the seriousness of the issue. Thus, Cease-Fire Agreement was signed between the Indian Government and the Federal Government of Nagaland on the 6th September 1964 through the initiative of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council. The Naga Peace Mission was formed consisting of Rev. Micheal Scott, Mr. Chaliha and Jaya Prakash Naraya.
All along the past Nagas fought single handed with the mighty India. There were no other revolutionary groups revolting against the Indian Forces. The whole might of India was thus weighed on the Nagas for 10 years up to the 6th Sept. 1964 when a cease-fire agreement was signed. To add to the problem Burma joined forces with India since 1962 particularly when Newin took over the state power. From both sides Nagas were heavily pinched and it went on indefinitely. Innocent public were choked up oft-time without outlet. Thus the amount of death and other miseries inflicted upon the Nagas became enormous.
INDO-NAGA PEACE TALKS
The first session of the peace talks between the representatives of the government of India and that of the Federal government of Nagaland commenced on the 23 September 1964 at the peace camp, Chedema near Kohima. During the talks Indian representatives tried to treat the problem as “Law and order”, whereas the Federal government’s representatives took a firm stand that it was political one. Hence, the talks came to a stalemate. The Tatar Hoho (Federal Parliament) was summoned and in its Wokha session the Peace Mission were invited, who clearly admitted when asked in the session that the Indo-Naga issue was not ‘Law and Order’ but political pure and simple.
Thereupon, the talks were taken up at the Prime Minister level. And the talks took place in New Delhi, Indian capital, for six rounds. In the course of talks Federal government submitted 14 histotrical points to the Prime Minister of India. India could not tackle the problem and at last she unilaterally abrogated the Cease-Fire Agreement.
The Indian army atrocities continued unabated all over Naga inhabited areas. To cite a few examples out of thousands of similar cases. Women were assaulted:
Mass rape committed by indian troops against women residents of Cheswezy village on 9th December 1970, where 18 girls and 9 married women were raped 53 women molested.
The animal passion of the Indian Army personnel that fell upon the female population of Mao SongSong town on 24 March 1971 and Sajawba village women on 24 July 1971 left a good number of women raped.
In Ukhrul Miss. Rose of about 19 years committed suicide on the day after she was raped by two army officers Major Pundir and Captain Negy of 95 BSF on 4 March 1947, before the eyes of the helpless village elders who were held at gun point.
Miss Ngaithingla, girl of 24 years from Grihang village, was brought in a near-dying condition by the villagers, she had been tortured and raped for three days from 3 to 5, March 1974 by a group of 95 BSF personnel under the command of Major Prakash. On the third day she was dragged to the school building where the other villagers had been rounded up. She was dragged by her hair to the class room, kicked and beated and stripped. Sticks were forced into her private parts causing profuse bleeding.
Again on the eve of March 6, 1974 at about 6.30 p.m. Mrs. Paothingla, Miss. Shiningla were taken by two constable under the order of Major Dhram Prakash. They were taken to one mile distance from the village. One of the constable took Mrs. paothingla into the jungle from the main road. All her garments were forcibly taken off at gun point and she was pulled by her hair, severely beaten and raped her. Another constable took Miss Shiningla and repeatedly the same bitter-episode.
Miss Luingamla, Ngaimu village was assualted by two Army officers on Jan. 24, 1986, and was shot dead when resisted.
After the abrogation of the Cease-fire Agreement the Indian Army resumed their genocidal activities to exterminate all the freedom fighters. The capitulation agreement called ‘Shillong Accord’ was signed on November 1975 between the government of India and the representatives of Federal and NNC. The Federal and NNC representatives agreed on their own volition to accept the constitution of India unconditionally and surrender all arms.
The atrocities perpetrated upon the inhabitants of eastern Nagaland by the Burmese troops are equally cruel and inhuman. They burnt down villages, graneries, destroyed the standing crops, killed all the domestic animals. Women were raped and forced them to carry their loads during the operations and sent them to sweep mines before the troops. Thus they were often killed by the mines and during the encounters. Villagers were forced to carry their loads for months as long as the operation continued against the freedom fighters.
They operated all jungles and burnt them down. The food grains were all set on fire and destroyed. People were tortured and some were put inside the dug-out trenches up to the neck and stamped to death. many people never returned after they were arrested and taken away. Some were tortured to death inside the jails. The whereabouts of many could not be traced. Nobody could tell how their lives ended up. Starting from 1968 till today the situation remains unabated.
Nagaland had rich natural resources and is abound in minerals, such as gold, petroleum, uranium, cromide, coaland jade and vareities of precious stone. Eighty percent of the land is wooded and valuable trees, such as teak, pine, akhar etc. are found in abundance. But the past decades of ruthless exploitation of these mineral resources and indiscriminate logging by the colonial agents have completely tilted the ecological balance of our once beautiful richly-gifted land. In these past fourty years of Indo-Burmese occupation. Nagas have been kept subjected to bloody suppression, extensive economic exploitation with unrestricted influx of swamps of Indian nationsls which has reached alarming proportions, and massive assimilation process – all solely aimed at liquidating Naga entities and their nation. Nagas have been brought deeper and deeper into an irreconcilable world where fighting until victory is won is a must, if the aggressors wouldn’t hold themselves back.
SHILLONG ACCORD AND THE PATRIOTS
The representative of the Naga National Council (NNC) and its Federal Government formally entered into an agreement with the representatives of the Indian Government in Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, India, on the 11 th November 1975. This agreement came to be widely known as the Shillong Accord. The main terms of the agreement were (a) unconditional acceptance of the Indian Constitution of their own volition, and (b) the surrender of arms. To be appropriate, this agreement was not an accord in any sense; it was a prostrate capitulation to India – Beyond doubt, the most ignominious sell-out ever made in the history of the proud Nagas. But whatever it might be, it was bound to be condemned outright by the people so that it would inevitably become soon a thing of the past. As a matter of fact, the danger that would persist was the deliberate refusal of Phizo and his London-based group to condemn the accord. In this connection it should as well be remembered that a seven-man delegation then abroad, urged Phizo in all earnestness to condemn the accord unreserved and without delay. Further, they made their point unequivocal that they would take him (Phizo) to be a party to the accord if he failed to condemn it. But their voice went unheeded. People at home did urged him a number of times to declare that the accord was the work of the traitors and that they had nothing to do with it, for they knew it was a must. But Phizo in his perfidious high-handedness placed himself all the more above the people and above the National cause and contemptuously refused to condemn it right up to the time he breathed his last in 1990. Instead, to the utter insolence of the people, he went on welcoming the traitors including his own younger brother, Kevi Yalley, the architect of the accord, at his London residence and made no bones about it. These acts constituted a most national insult and created adverse impact on the crucial issue. Nationwide danger thus hung around. In view of that, and outright official condemnation became indispensable as the sovereign rights of the Nagas condemnation done earlier from some corner, the National Assembly held on the 15th-17th August 1976, totally condemned the accord as the work of the sole traitors once and for all. The Assembly elected Mr. Isak Chishi Swu to the Vice-Presidency. It also condemned the Zashei Huire Minitry for the high treason. The condemnation paper was signed by Messrs Isak Chishi Swu and Th. Muivah in their respective capacities as the Vice-President and the General Secretary NNC.
Since then Nagaland had been saved and its political wing NNC and Federal government started functioning on full swing. But Phizo’s men still in the organisation, in collusion with the confirmed traitors staged a coup on the 30th Sept. 1978 that is two years and ten months after the accord, on the grounds that the National Assembly condemned the accord which Phizo, the NNC President, did not. But matters could not be ended up there simply that way. Thrashing them out with reason was requiring as people had to live but only for the cause so dear to them. Arrogant irrationalism abounding then in the Phizoists made a bad job of the entire situation. Every sensible approach made for reconciliation was spitefully rejected. Every truth was suppressed in Phizo’s name. ‘Phizo, Phizo and all is Phizo’ was their undeniable ideology. The real issue had arisen. It was no more the Shillong accord that would continue to do the most harm. The catastrophe that could be spelled any time laid hidden in the treacherously staggered leader who held yet the mandate of the people. Surely, things had gone past compromise. Only the correct decision could save the nation. Capitulation or fight to a finish for one’s nation’s freedom was the only choice left. But the revolutionary patriots always chose the just cause of the people. The NNC leadership, high and low, invariably committed the fatal crime of losing faith in the people and in them. They waited shame and disgrace only. Disheartened to the hilt and backed down. The inevitability with the NNC was, thus, foreseen.
But to perish with the whim of a leader often became the painful reality of people elsewhere in the past history. Failure to see through and failure to get out from being subjected to danger of the kind sealed the doom of many a people in various revolutions. Nagas apparently found themselves situated in the cir*****stances of the same nature especially in the late 1970s when President Phizo on purpose declined to condemn the accord. This was, perhaps, the greatest challenge thus far Nagas were constrained to encounter. Stalwart Nagas, however, as stated above, were never deterred rather they were irrevocably opposed to the leadership who could not prove himself in the most crucial hours of national trials, for to them to be buried together with him was out of question. They knew of a certainty that the noblest task to save the nation from the precarious state of affairs was incumbent upon them. They wouldn’t fail whatever the ordeals; they had to see through the end. Accordingly, they revoked all confidence and stakes, took the fate into their own hands from the treacherous mess and entanglement which portended nothing but disaster of beyond salvage. They gave an outright unsparing rebuff to the NNC’s Shillong Accord. Further, they were determined evermore against the NNC’s all-cut satanic attempt at physical liquidation of the unquestionable patriots through direct collaboration with the Indian and the Burmese troops. But, notwithstanding the overwhelming challenges, this group managed to close ranks behind them and formed themselves into a force most authentic and formidable to defend the right of the Naga’s sovereignty against external invasion and NNC’s capitulation, at all costs. The long-awaited historic Merger of the East and West was also formally made at Nokpa village on the 30 January 1980. Subsequently they came to be known as the National Socialist Council of Nagaland with their Manifesto solemnly declared on the 31 January 1980.
Apart from that principal failure NNC did not envisage any system to ensure future to the people. Nothing clear-cut they upheld for the welfare of the people. Snobberies and hankering after power characterized their days. The cardinal issues: what existence must a society have? What future must be promised to the people and to the unborn generations? Were not thought of. People were just led about, eventually heading for a blind alley. They neither formulated workable system nor allowed others to work out. It is a pity that a people would be led without clarity. After all, what meaning a society has if justice is not assured? What is freedom if security – religious, political, economic etc. is not guaranteed? What is a government of a party or two if they are not for justice and welfare of the people! Being absolutely committed to the cause of the people NSCN solemnly declared themselves to the people that they would stand for the line enshrined in the Manifesto which ensured beyond doubt the best attainable for the people. In the NSCN system sovereignty of the nation and freedom of the people in all fields against exploitation and oppression is first and foremost. Their stand for justice and for the welfare of the people does not admit of distortion.
BASE AREA IN THE EAST
Starting from 1976 base areas were established in the Eastenr side against heavy odds from Indian and Burmese Forces. Series of cadres were trained. massive mobilisation was done among the people and progress was swift though ignorance of the public of the areas was still the major factor that stood in the way. Some important tasks like giving propagation of Christianity, teaching terrace cultivation, sanitation, stoppage of poppy plantation, opium taking and selling were successfully carried out. Further explanation may be worth doing.
It is not any of an exaggeration to say that much a larger part of the area remained unsurveyed even in the British time not to speak at all of being administered. They were free; they lived their own way since the time of their first settlement there. The impact of outside world was virtually nill. Head-chopping was held high as a manly honor until early 1980, when NSCN totally stopped it as a savage practice. But their ignorance of the sophisticated world around was a problem which they had never realized. Though their sovereign right had not yet been snatched, its exposure to increasing waves of danger had already become the issue to be reckoned with before late. The No. 1 handicap of Nagaland being sandwiched between two great hostile nations – India, in the west, Burma in the East – and the massive assimilation process to which Naga masses had been subjected could in no case be met with primitive standard. It demanded tough mentality and enlightenment on the reality of their existence. Of course, love for one’s country is a must, but it is not a reliable force for long as it has to have the embodiment of revolutionary rationalism if it is to be invincible. To engender, therefore, enduring motive power people had got to be taught to grasp the deep values of safeguarding national rights and what it would mean if they were lost to them. They needed equally to be convinced of the truth that NSCN alone stood for their future salvation. NSCN’s mobilisation works on this clear-cut line made a good headway and won the solidarity of the people across the eastern region.
But they had no end of problems. To raise them from the primitive stage needed much effort. To impart education was thus felt most essential. NSCN gladly took up that obligation as their bounden duty. Fifteen primary schools were established for the first time. Through selfless endeavours some hundred students were soon brought up within a few years’ time. Gradually they realized to a certain degree the value of education. They became conscious of civilized way of living. By our standards it was a considerable achievement. Their enthusiasm helped a great deal in enlightening the dark little world they had lived for generations. They could feel the change: they could now see the bright days ahead, for they had been persuaded of the future NSCN held for them. With confidence they began to look forward. But things had to face the brutal might of the Burmese troops time and again. Indiscriminate shooting, incineration of the villages, schools, churches and destruction of crops were ruthlessly carried out every time they launched operation.
Besides, being primitive, they were poor. They depended on primitive method of cultivation. Their fields were not productive owing to repeated cultivation in the same fields at short intervals. They could hardly garner in sufficient for the year round. Main crops are corn, millet, rice. The worst was that they grew poppy plant. A large number of them were addicts. To solve the problem NSCN taught them terrace cultivation wherever possible. Opium growing, taking and selling were all forbidden. The success of the programme attracted the Burmese government’s attention. Series of counter-drives then followed which did a lot of harm to many.
Though to hit out against everyone was not Nagas’ strategy, and the conditions in which they were also did not warrant it, the situations imposed upon them compelled them to defend themselves. Their earnest efforts to avoid confrontation at least in the eastern side were all the more taken advantage of during Newin’s time. Nagas were thus left practically without any option other than to resist the fierce offensive which India and Burma often launched jointly. After the signing of the Shillong Accord and the capitulation of the NNC and Federal government both India and Burma announced over the radios that Nagas were no more; the problem had been solved once and for all. But the euphoria was shortlived, for things were not that easy. They could not foresee the rising force of the Nagas who could never be taken any longer in their stride. These undaunted proudly refused to close with any shame and humiliation of defeat to show the history what sort of people lived in this part of the world. The battle they fought at Langnok village in the month of March 1976 in which two majors and one Lieutenant with other 56 were wiped out with all the arms captured marked again the beginning of a new chapter of stout resistance in the East, The emergence of NSCN timely ushered in the period of hope and salvation. They had been better trained militarily, better established politically, ideologically and even morally. They fought with a much higher sense of the cause they stood for. They won most of the battles, big or small, they fought. The victory won in the encounter at Namthilok in February 1982 in the West, gave a shock to the Indian bosses, permitting them no longer any easy calculation on the Nagas. Obviously, massive army operations from India and Burma side by side were launched on after the other in their attempts to nip the NSCN in the bud, but utterly to no avail, even hitherto. This failure brought them into the realization of the fact that they had come into confrontation with a force that was far more tough than the predecessors. Indiscriminate shooting, arresting, execution, burning of villages, destruction of crops once again marked the years. High death toll of people taken by diseases that often followed situations, and on account of lack of food and medicines, had to continue without solution. What is more, these sufferings and miseries had all along been kept sealed off. Access to information was never permitted except to one or two pressmen who served the interests of the adversaries.Those reporters gave out now and then the news contrary to actual happenings, to defuse outside attention. help in any form from outside became a far-cry. The helpless had to remain in that miserable state of affairs with no one to turn to. Yet Nagas shall gladly bear the cross if it is their lot here on earth. It is 17 years now since the fall of the NNC in the 1975 Accord, all along which NSCN alone fought beyond dispute with the unflinching supports of the people. Of the innumerable battles fought so far the capture of company Head Quarters Assam Rifles at Oinam village is the biggest acheivement, perhaps, in the so-called Indian Sub-Continent. One hundred and twenty seven peices of arms were captured.
Mention needs be made of the unprecedented service rendered by the Human Rights people in some cases in the western side. Their interventions saved many an innocent life, gave protections to the public from inhuman tortures and arrests. They rightly came down on the side of the innocent and challenged the outrageous killings and all atrocities committed on the people.
With unrivalled courage they faced the unscrupulous violence unleashed on the Naga people particularly in the hellish “Operation Bluebird”, 1987. Unprotected helpless people really found in them the just cause of humanity. Our society today is greatly indebted to them. Had it not been for their efforts situation would have certainly deteriorated further into dangerous proportions of killing from both sides. But what they could inform the Human Rights Organizations outside of the untold crimes perpetrated by the Indian and Burmese troops here in nagaland is only a little fraction of the whole lot. In this connection, it is befitting to state for sober understanding that the worst may be wisely averted: In spite of thousand of killings, rapings, burnings, in short “State Terrorism” perpetrated on the Naga population in the past 40 years by the callous Indian and Burmese troops, Naga army held themselves.
THE IMPORTANT POINTS:
Nagaland has always been an independent territory adjoining the territories of Assam and Burma.
Between 1837 and 1879 Great Britian sent military expedition into Nagaland territory.
In 1880 Nagaland agreed to Great Britain having military bases in a limited area which area was given the name of “Naga Hills”. Nagas refused to enter into any written agreement or treaty giving up their sovereignty over “Naga Hills” and there has never been any written agreement between Nagaland and Great Britain or Nagaland and British India to surrender their sovereignty over “Naga Hills”.
The Civil and criminal administration over the people of the “Naga Hills” has been in the hands of the Nagas from 1880 to this day.
After coming into force of the British government of India Act 1935, the ‘Naga Hills’ territory was named “Naga Hills Excluded Area” in 1937 to make it clear that “Naga Hills” had to be excluded as demanded by the Nagas.
In May 1947 the Constituent Assembly of India sent a delega-tion to Naga National Council and made an offer for Nagaland to join the Union of India.
A motified form was repeated in June 1947 in the form of a “Ten-Year Agreement”. Negotiations continued. India broke off the negotiations.
Nagas in British occupied territory declared their independence on the 14th Aug. 1947 at the withdrawal of British power from their territory.
A voluntary plebiscite was held in 1951 May to determine whether Nagas would join Indian Union, or live by themselves. The result was 99.9 in favour of independence. In persuance of their declared national decision, the Naga people launched Civil Disobedient Movement and successfully boycotted the General Elections of Free India. Therefore, the Indo-Naga issue is neither a question of “Separation” nor “Secession” from India. Separation or Secession comes only when there is a union. Nagaland was and is never a part of India and as such, Naga independence is neither a question of separation nor secession from India.
On March 22, 1956 Naga National Council and the Free Nagaland united as Federal Republic of Nagaland.
From March 1956 till Sept. 1964 there was continous fighting between the Armed Forces of Federal Republic of Nagaland and the Union of India.
On Sept. 6, 1964 Cease-Fire arranged between the two forces by Nagaland Peace Mission.
On Dec. 20, 1964 Nagaland Peace Mission made proposal that the leaders of Federal government should advise the people to agree to join the Union of India ‘on their own volition’.
In the Tatar Hoho session at Wokha, the Peace Mission members clearly admitted that the Indo-Naga issue was not “Law and order” as the government of India asserted, but political pure and simple.
India abrogated the Cease-Fire unilaterally.
Fierce fighting resumed between the Federal Forces on the one hand and the Indian and the Burmese Armies on the other.
Shillong Accord was signed between India and NNC-Federal delegation on the 11th Nov. 1975. The terms of the Accord: Unconditional acceptance of Indian constitution of their own volition and surrender of arms.
Phizo intentionally refused to condemn the most notorious Accord.
The National Assembly summoned by Th. Muivah Gen. Secretary NNC on 15th to 17th Aug. 1976 at Suphao, condem-ned outright the Shillong Agreement as the work of the traitors.
Phizo’s men Couped both the NNC and Federal government at home on ground of condemning the Accord which Phizo did not, and joined forces with the traitors to crush the patriots, starting the point of sanguinary war between the traitors and the patriots.
Merger of East and West was solemnly declared at Nokpa village on the 30th Jan. 1980.
Declaration of the founding of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland on the 31st Jan. 1980 was made solemnly.
Nagaland shall never yeild its sovereign independence to any state.
Nagaland has always been an independent territory adjoining the territories of Assam and Burma.
SOME PECULIAR FEATURES:
(a) In addition to being lan dlocked Nagaland is sandwiched between two big hostile nations- India in the west, Burma in the East. Population three millions (3,000,000). Area 47,000 square miles.
(b) Nagaland is kept sealed off from the rest of the world. No access to information is ever allowed except to the informers who served but the interest of India and Burma.
(c) Unlike other peoples in the world, helpess Naga civillians are often choked up without out-let to any sympathetic country.
(d) No help from the outside world- even food or clothings or medicines.
(e) No outside organization to voice against the untold atrocities perpetrated on the Nagas except the Human Rights Organisa-tions. These organisations were able to give but only a little fraction of the lot.
(f) The issue is political pure and simple. Therefore, it requires political solution. But India and Burma seek ruthless armed solution. This is the crux of the problem.
(g) Nagas are forced to fight eternally if India and Burma do not keep their hands off Nagaland and no force can stop us.
THE ABORTIVE COUP ATTEMPT BY KHAPLANG ON BEHALF OF HIS INDIAN PAY MASTERS
It was in the month of July, 1986, that Mr. Muivah was asked to go on a command abroad by Chairman lsak and Vice Chairman Khaplang. He had to obey the Council though it was not the right season for a considerable group. But before setting out, he told the top leaders in the presence of kilonsers and some regional authorities that he would stand put throughout the end come what may. He did remind them because undesirable things often took place whenever he went out; to see that nothing untoward happened during their stay apart. So far nothing clouded the leadership. On the 2nd August, about 200 or more Naga armymen started. But the trip was, on the whole, unfortunate in that many of our men and women fell sick due to adverse climate and heat in plain areas and a great number of them died there. Moreover, the Burmese troops launched major attacks on almost all the K.I.A. hqs. We are forced back and we reached home on the 17th December, 1987. Mr. Khaplang was not there with the council Authorities on account of his wife’s ailment. He was however, called upon on arrival to understand together the account of the command. He did not turn up though he was near by the area. However, he sent a letter that he would abide by whatever decision taken. Even then, to be on the safe side, we sent due information for every important meeting to him to at-tend. We moved our Council Hqs. to a place above Hangshen village. We discussed there, among other things, to hold an Emergency Session and to give a reply to Mr. Chingang Konyak, a member of Go between.
There was an information from Mr. Chingang that Indian Gov-ernment wanted to hold talks with the National Socialist Council “within the framework of the Indian Constitution”, which was a deliberate back out from the previous unconditional approach of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. We sent for Mr. S.S. Khaplang with all the regards to come for joint-consultation. The bearer of the letter never failed to reach him. But he did not come. As the nature of the matter did not warrant delay, we dispatched a reply to Mr. Chingang that NSCN would have no talks whatever with the Indian Government on any conditions, and he would not take the risk of reaching us for information of conditional talks. A copy of the reply was given to each authority. We are sure, it could be dug out from any Kilonser’s office. The holding of the Emergency Meeting was necessitated because of a proposal to send out a group, to be headed by chairman lsak. To that effect, enough circulation was served and we saw there no point to find fault with the Council Authority. But as the importance of his presence was most felt we sent men and letters repeatedly. They all reached him but to no avail. In spite of our regards and efforts he kept himself aloof on purpose from us. It was a clear manifestation of his dishonesty.
The number of the members who attended the Emergency Meeting was far more than the quorum stipulated. Most of the essential members from both civil and military were present. In the case of Brigadier Kholi, it would take several weeks allowing for possible information and situation delay. It may be also recalled that, he made it often times clear to the authority in the past that, he would not be able to attend all the meetings all the times and that he should not be taken otherwise on that score. Yet due information was also sent to him as it was done to others. In all these matters we have nothing to reproach ourselves with. In the meeting the main points of discussion were:
* Alee Command
* The Government and Party Seals and
* The explanation to be given on the stand of the National Socialist Council in the event of actual political talks with India.
After a lengthy deliberation, the house agreed that the foreign command to be headed by Chairman lsak be sent before the start of February, 1988; to keep sealed off misgivings which Indian bosses and their mass media often attempted to create among us by concocting lies against each other, particularly, when leaders would stay apart, leadership was called upon to give a concrete further explanation on the NSCN stand. In view of that, General Secretary Th. Muivah explained at length the firm and clear-cut stand of the NSCN. He recalled repeatedly the deci-sion of the house taken in 1984, at Imphal that NSCN would hold talk with India only if the talk be on equal terms. In other words, NSCN would, under no cir*****stances talk to India to her terms if, ‘Within the framework of the India Constitution, ‘within the Union’. In the process of the explanation, our reply of Pastor Chingang was also clearly made known to the house. Things were clear-cut and there was practically no room for misunder-standing. The house then offered a prayer and adjourned sine die. On the 30th Jan. 1988 Chairman lsak with other 29 including Brig. Vedai and CoI. Kakiho Tuccu left Council Hqs for abroad.
But some two weeks after, a report reached CHQ that Lt. Colonel kango, the fighting commander had run away to Konyak region collecting arms and Konyak boys. It was a serious case provoking the authorities and all into anger. However, to play it all, Army Hqs. were advised not to take immediate step against. In the meantime, a secret communication network had been discovered among some Konyak officers. A letter of Capt. Nokpao to Sergeant who was then in the First Battalion and some circulars about similar intention were seized. In the letter Capt. Nokpao made a purposed mention of four points in no uncertain terms:
* NSCN led by General Secretary Muivah was bent on surrendering to India.
* They were prepared to seize all the arms to surrender them to India.
* They are ready to eliminate all the Konyak and the Pangmi National Workers.
* Therefore, all the konyak boys should snatch arms and reach the region camp in the shortest time possible. “This is the order from the Commander-in-Chief, Brigadier Kholi’ he concluded.
Weeds grow apace! To our great surprise, we heard that Mr. Kwikhip, Pangmi Regional Chairman, had been fabricating and propagating the news that Chairman lsak and Secretary Muivah were prepared to talk to Indian Government to settle the lndo-Naga issue with the Indian Union, charging that it was clearly spoken in the Emergency Meeting. Unfounded propaganda of various sorts were made against us. With the view to thrashing out all those matters, we sent Kilonser Beyau to meet with Brig Kholi. We also sent for Vice-Chairman Khaplang to be present there at the Council to deal with.adverse happening around. Besides, as Chairman Isak was away, he had to address the nation on the 21st March, being the Republic Day and had to preside over the Budget and the Assembly Sessions, which had then been scheduled for the part of the month itself. But our earnest efforts were responded in the least. We waited for him even by postponing the Sessions several day. When no further time at our disposal was left, we got the Budget Session started. Mr. Khaplang’s indifference to the Council was naturally called into question by a unanimous voice. Moreover, his deliberate absence brought business to a standstill since the expenditure account of Food and Agriculture of the current year were not furnished the expenditures amounted to some lakhs which was a substantial strain on government resources. Mr. Beyau, Deputy Kilonser, Food and Agriculture, gave a straight answer when asked that he did not know anything except about the amount of 15 thousand rupees left to his charge by vice chairman Khaplang, and gave the vivid account Of the said amount. Members of the house became skeptical of Mr. Khaplang’s integrity and viewed such irresponsibilities with a great deal of regret. Indeed, behavior of that kind, especially of the man in the saddle of a nation left much to be desired. Then Chaplee Kilonser Hanong presented the Budget bill for the fiscal year 1988 March 1989 March. Paying critical attention to it members had long deliberation. Finally the bill was passed. The house was then adjourned for some-time and as usual. Assembly Session began after the Budget Sessions.
As the Assembly commenced the house was filled with questions about the genesis of the then prevailing imbroglio and the way the government had been dealing with it. The main points which forced Brig. Kholi into taking that reckless course of action were simple according to his letters and words sent through Kilonser Beyau. In the first place, he charged that Maj. Haw. 2nd Battalion Commander, was preparing to attack his hide-out and the Konyak region camp. Secondly, he felt that it was secretly arranged direct from the Centre for a treacherous end like the Shillong Accord. Thirdly, Mr. Muivah, General Secretary was insinuated as behind it. Making out his case, General Secretary Muivah clarified that it was altogether like a bolt from the blue. He categorically denied the existence of anything of the kind Brig. Kholi has suspected. He further said that no Central Authority had ever planned to do so. It was patently false to suspect any of the Central Authorities. The Centre on the contrary, felt that some external evil hands had been working within. If it was not the case, it must have been motivated by Brigadier himself or they are just figment of his imagination. To prove his total innocence, Secretary challenged to the solution of the matter through swearing in God’s Holy Name or by the soil as it is practised elsewhere in our society; and much more in the same strain in regard to the allegations that he attempted to surrender with all the arms by eliminating the Konyak and Pangmi National workers, that he had accepted immeasurable amount of money from the Indian Government. He also read out in the house all the letters written to Brig. Kholi at the time when kilonser Beyau was sent to discuss with him. Kilonser Beyau did regretfully report that he was not at all listened to despite his all out efforts to make them understand, the Konyak Authorities. He said they demanded a top authority be sent to settle the unrest. At the same time, it was reported that they would never go against the nation and authority, but help settle the problem peacefully. However, when asked as to why Secretary Muivah was suspected then, Brig, Kholi told him (Beyau) that he (Secretary) did not write him about his arrival. In fact, General Secretary wrote him three letters. Upon close examination, the affairs turned out to be nothing more than a case between Maj. Haw and a Konyak Regional Member, who accused the former of attempting to murder him. And the house promised prompt adjudication of the case. Members of the house also expressed their displeasure over Kholi’s letters which amounted to placing himself above the Council with despising attitude towards other National Workers. The letters might still be available. However, realizing that it was indecent to a stage like our, members kept themselves from being critical. Besides, making allowances for his ignorance was also essential. The exercise of restraint by the members in the face of such problem highly commended itself. The endurance displayed towards bringing about the solution was praiseworthy. For all the precarious situation created by reckless actions, the house cautiously decided that, the matters should be settled with patience, calmness and in the best amicable way. To that end, long letters from the Government side and several others from the high ranking friends were written asking Brigadier and his men to come to the Council Headquarters with all the things they seized. The Council assured them prompt adjudication. Since then everyone waited in faith and sincerity. We thanked all the members’ sober decision and individual disposition.
But Mr. Khaplang’s malicious fabrications against most of the leaders and snatching of arms went on unrelenting despite earnest effort from the Council Authorities for sincere verification. He whipped up frenzy and hatred among the national workers and innocent villagers all over. Good intentional people sadly came to realise his wicked cast of mind to its objectivity. His satanic motivation was obviously clear. In view of that of course, no wonder, everyone vowed to safeguard NSCN at any costs. But the solemn understanding we made was to resolve the issue through forbearance and calm discussions, and never by violence approaches, to which God Himself is the witness. Meanwhile, two letters written by Mr. Khaplang to Col. Ashiho, Deputy Commander-in-chief, Naga Army, read out in the meeting. The letters read, “Chairman Isak, General Secretary Muivah and Kilonser Hanong are ready to surrender to India by accepting Uncle Suisa’s proposal. It is fact, come quick over to my side”, Chairman lsak was not there, he was out. Secretary Muivah and Kilonser Hanong at once challenged the truth of the statement and straightway demanded immediate settlement. After maximum deliberation to solve the matter in the best way, it was decided that important men be sent to discuss with Messrs. Khaplang and Kwikhip Kilonser Beyau and Central Member, Shakiba with a letter clearly stating “Mr. Khaplang, propaganda you are making far and wide that Chairman lsak, Secretary Muivah and Kilonser Hanong are ready to surrender to India, accepting Uncle Suisa’s proposal and other allegations which cannot be accepted. In the interest of the nation, we need to verify them. They must be thrashed out right away. We are here prepared to resolve them, if need be, by swearing even in the Holy Name of the Living God to the fact that, we have never contemplated to sur-render to India, nor have we ever decided to opt for Uncle Suisa’s proposal. It is your own fabrication out of sheer jealousy. If we have done ever as you propagated, may God pass the last judgement on us or on you, the accuser. In case you prefer swearing by the soil, we shall even do that. Come to the Council Hqs. here. If however, you cannot afford to come here, we are ready to come to your place and get the issue settled. Make us know it soon”. They met khaplang and Kwikhip at Wonruk village about 40 kilometers from the Council Hqs. They came back and reported that they had made our points clear to them. But Messrs khaplang and kwikhip persisted in reiterating the aforesaid points of allegation. Above all, Kwikhip ardently told that Chairman and Secretary had openly spoken in the Emergency Meeting that they were determined to settle the national issue within the Indian Union. Being surprised, both Beyau and Shakiba replied, “they had never spoken that way, it is too much of a lie on your part to speak like that”. But Kwikhip retorted them by questioning: “Did you listen through anus or by ears? They have spoken it clearly. Moreover, Chairman Isak told me the same thing in his room”. They flatly told him that they did not believe his words. Nevertheless, in the course of discussion, they did tell Vice-Chairman Khaplang that they were not at all happy over the way he behaved independently of the organization. At the time of leaving, Mr. khaplang handed a letter which contained seven fresh points of accusation but omitted the principal one, that is: the three leaders were prepared to surrender to India. Taking exception to the omission of the point, Beyau and Shakiba right away asked as to why the point should be omitted, for it was because of that very point that the whole affair had gone hot among them. Vice-Chairman Khaplang was non-plussed when confronted in the face like that, the report added. lt was also reported that Mr. Khaplang did not respond when asked that they would come to the Council. He did not say either that we should come there, to his place. In order to ascertain the validity of the allegations, Secretary asked the members who attended the Emergency Meeting if they ever heard Chairman lsak and Secretary Muivah utter that they would settle the lndo-Naga issue within the Indian Union. It was a surprise to them all, and all of them said emphatically that they did not hear; that it was satanic of a responsible person like Mr. Kwikhip to tell such a whopping lie. In the official meeting the seven points were dismissed as childish and rubbish pretexts. The point which everyone took serious was that… .Secretary Muivah in collaboration with kilonser Hanong attempted to hatch a secret plot to oust Mr. Khaplang from Vice-Chairmanship and to degrade Chairman to Vice-Chairman position and above all, to get manipulated himself to supreme position of NSCN’s Chairmanship, all by votes. And then to place kilonser S. Angam in the General Secretary post. Secretary Muivah and Hanong categorically denied the allegation as totally baseless, a sheer desperate concoction of pretexts for his ulterior design and demanded face to face verification. They also expressed astonishment with regret over the depravity to which both Khaplang and Kwikhip had irretrievably sunk. Every member in the meeting then discerned fully who was who. They felt that a further preparation for a treacherous attempt to usurp the authentic authority had already been under way. Besides, going by how Mr. khaplang behaved independent of the Council, they did become apprehensive of the danger of being attacked before long, though it was the last thing everyone expected from among themselves. They felt the compulsion of the moment and challenged one another, and pledged anew that they would be firm to that last man for the ideals for which the Manifesto of the National Socialist Council had been brought into being. They would not yield whatever to Burma, India and to the internal evil forces which were then personified by Mr. Khaplang and his misled. Thank God, right men for the right moment to stand for Him were made available. Yet they never abandoned the faith they repose in the open discussions, Secretary put forward the proposal that the prevailing problems arising from the allegations be heard out in the congregation of all the national workers and the village elders in the base area through open discussions and swearing by God’s Holy name. Everyone gladly agreed to it and a fasting prayer to the effect was offered the following day. Then through a letter Messers Khaplang and Kwikhip were told to refrain themselves from being pugnacious and violent. We waited at least for a reply to the letter we had last written. Moreover the approaches made by our friends UNLF and ULFA, for peaceful understanding deserved a response of a sort. But very sorry, in the interim, Council Hqs. was encircled and attacked with volley of bullets and bombs. It was on the 30th April at 5:30 a.m., 1988, both by savage Khaplang’s men and the Burmese troops at the same time, Colonel Ashiho Chaomai, Deputy Chief, Naga Army, was shot with his beloved two-year old boy embraced to his heart there at the spot while shouting to stop shooting.
By the Grace of God, however, 230 of us could survive the onslaught mostly women and babies. But food problem mounted beyond solution at that moment. We had at our disposal about 20 kg of rice collected from all, enough for the babies and their mothers and weak for a day or two. Six days we cut through thick jungles and on the 6th May at 10 a.m, the Burmese troops attacked us while waiting for the ration from Lasa village. The attack was one of the worst in that everyone got scattered into the jungles where many got killed in the hands of the chasing Khaplang’s mad dogs. In the evening of the same day, Secretary’s group which had streamed accidentally into another group, was assaulted again, we were further scattered. Everyone was left with no food, no clothings, no plastics and so on, badly destitute. The cries of the babies and the groaning of the sick out of starvation and pain were too much to bear. Rainy season had also just set in with incessant pouring which made one and all exposed to more danger. Mosquito and leech bites were beyond words. At Kako village, Kilonser Hanong, men of integrity to bow down, were ordered to dig their own graves, everyone for himself, and mutilated alive. The same party of savage Khaplang attacked Secretary’s group the next day. Being unarmed, everyone had to be on the run to escape the brutality of a savage man. But no strength was left. Green leaves and the leftover bits of fruits by beasts and birds here and there could not sustain for long. Many broke down but we could not afford to leave them behind, in anticipation of the cruel death they had to face. After several days of helpless mudding, we luckily came to view a jhum field, that lay a distance away. We proceeded towards it and stayed in a small stream in the vicinity. But the following morning, we were brutally assaulted and scattered no more to see again the life-long comrades in the noblest cause of Motherland. We only heard after wards of how they were tortured and bayonetted to death. True to the reality of the cause they proudly sacrificed their all to be with Christ, Hallelujah! Yes, we are proud because they have chosen the ever glorious death for the sake of the generations yet to come. Cruel hunting for the upright workers went nonstop, killing here and there by Khaplang’s ravenous murderers and thereby the Burmese. It is impossible to give in this writing the details of how every martyr faced his/her death. We shall do that as we pass through queue of ordeals still in front. After a month of fatal cir*****stances, we could manage to go across the Chindwin river. Thank God, we had not been let down. The local people helped us there much. Many thanks to them. But only 33 of us could reach there. We met there Chairman lsak and party. We believed some unseen force really worked to shake things down to reality and when it began, it reached everybody, indeed, only few could stand through when it comes to the real test. Some days later we were informed of the desertion of Brig. Vedai Moire, preaching Chairman with his wife Rose and Col. Kakiho Tuccu, preaching Secretary with a sum of three lakh odd in Indian Currency. It was too much to see such an act of betrayal in Judus way. Moreover, illness caused during the months of Khaplang created satanic situation could not be cured. Several reliable boys and girls died there. Chairman Isak also could not recover from his long sickness. He was thus, forced to stay back with some men.
About 40 of us started to make for home in the later part of Oct. 1988. On the way, we were chased and assaulted four times and we lost eleven including our highly honoredveteran Masasui Vashumnao Shimray. 2/Lt. Shebnah Muivah and P. Khamrang, Agriculture Officer. After three months of perilous marching, seven of us reached some where in the lower part of Konyak area. We heard from the people who returned from the actual scenes of how Kilonser Hanong, Kilonser Angam, kilonser Beyau, Col. Pruining, General Staff Official Commanding, Lt. Col. Luita, Council Commander, Capt. Lungmi and all other were murdered in the most inhuman ferocity. Perhaps, it is incarnation of Eichmanns sadism in Nagaland! More than a hundred professional Christian Socialist Revolutionaries have so far been murdered on the accusations of what they are absolutely not guilty. This is the work of a jealous criminal, S.S. Khaplang. May God judge between us.
A short background and other contexts:
In order to get at the whole truth, one has to be acquainted first with the background of the criminal and other contexts. Mr. Khaplang was born and brought up in an arrogant family who called themselves Ahngs of all the villages in the area. This family class conciousness has much influence in him. The history of the area his parents lived in had been one of suppression and exploitation. The clan Mr. Khaplang belongs to was more powerful in almost all the villages so he claimed and he would talk no end of his clan’s superiority. No doubt, he suffers from superiority complex. He would accept none above him and above his clan’s men. Their old religion was Animism. Perhaps, the worst type of it was practised. They used human sacrifice, they are the only section of people among the Nagas who has this system to maintain their social status. Unfortunately, the wave of modern civilisation reached the areas very late. Their areas remained virtually unsurveyed even during the British times. In fact, he is not far from head hunting stage. The last part of his areas was brought under control by our forces in 1978. Mr. Khaplang received his High School level education in Burmese in Kachinland and Chin Hills. He could however, hardly read and understand simple written note of English. He has inferiority complex in this regard. They have nomadic nature. He migrated to the present village not long ago. But the superiority complex being deeply rooted drove him on for power and status. Because of this trouble awaits anywhere and any time, for, what is bred in the bone comes out in the flesh.
With such domineering temperament, he entered into the arena of Naga politics. The area he could cover were about ten small villages around his village, Woktham. But none of the village was organized on proper basis. Many favorable years passed but he could not make progress. People could not believe him because of his weakness. His sense of superiority complex towards his fellow workers and the people made things incompatible ; his mania for power was perceived as dangerous at any time. He was morally depraved and financially corrupt, yet, would not stop boasting that the was righteous. He would often say dangerous at any time. He would often say that he knew all and impudently claimed the monopoly of every good achievement of the party for his self glory. No compunction held him back from committing murder on personal grounds untill NSCN came into being. Certainly he did not hesitate to stoop to anything when it came to the point of his self-gratification. Indeed, he was never guided by scruples. Most of the time, he abused with power and placed himself above the organization, nay, he was a law unto himself. He often demanded perfection from fellow workers, though, he was the least to deserve it. What is more, he was treacherous towards anyone who genuinely criticized him. No doubt, he was averse to democratic practices. One sees in him the mentality of a savage tyrant. Obviously, sensible men could not tag along with him for long. When shameless ‘coup’ was staged and Martial Law declared by Lt. Col. Subong in the month of August, 1988, Mr. Khaplang was happy. He was invited to be the President. He gladly accepted it. After assuming the presidency, he came to meet Messrs. Isak and Th. Muivah at Hasik when they were in ‘custody’. In the course of discussion, he was baffled and was unable to hold himself. He shouted. ‘You people from the West go back to the west. We Easterners will be Communists’. Three times he shouted and stopped only when Brig. Thungbo hushed him to stop He and his men objected to the incorporation of ‘Nagaland for Christ’ in the ‘Manifesto’. But when things were explained perspectively, after a while, he lost confidence and parted company with them. He came over to our side totally condemning the Shillong Agreement and the NNC. But what bothered him most about was the Lion’s Share he wanted to grab whatever he might be. Losing no time, he began his usual game of jockeying for the topmost position of the party. His men even went to blackmail us with threat of staying apart if the most covetous post would not be offered. He desired to be pampered with special power and position which is destructive for the organization and for the political institution whose ideals demand cohesive integrity. When there was no other way out, he accepted the second in command and his men were accommodated in several high position, much better than any other regions as an act of concern and justice. Historic MERGER was then effected in Jan. 1980 and everyone came to work as one for the first time for the common cause. Since then, one noticed in him the spirit to work with clean slate with his grievances against the West seemingly burned though the grievances were hardly genuine as there has never been a close association and collaboration before.
The failure of the Naga National Council manifested in the Shillong Accord, 1975 and its further attempts to crush the Revolutionary Patriots through direct collaboration with the Indian and Burmese forces on grounds of condemning the Accord completely shattered once and for all the hope of reconciliation. Such state of affairs compelled all revolutionary defenders to converge themselves into a force which subsequently came to be known as the National Socialist Council of Nagaland with its Manifesto solemnly declared in January 1980. But the achievements to be made of the ideals enshrined, called for better discipline and higher integrity of the organizations. For a nation, big or small, is made by the people. Therefore, to build a nation of higher order, it is indispensable that the leadership aspired for it, have to dedi-cate themselves first, that is, they have to deny counter productive practices and set the trend for the people. They must be above board whatever might be the cir*****stances or else their professed ideals shall be nothing else than empty slogans deserved just to be jeered at.
The strategy in necessity of establishing a base area in the virtually uncontrolled eastern side was immense since consolidation of a position was indispensable for protracted confrontations. But to bring the people these under our effective control needed tremendous efforts. To demonstrate through fighting battles that were a force in ourselves the first and foremost task was not easy by various considerations: To mobilise the masses through political teachings, the imparting of primary education and better way of life, also became real necessities above all the legacy help in the “sands of time” but these swift feet of God’s messengers who brought to the head hunting, the message of salvation in the crucified Christ, did not lose upon us though it is unworthy to mention. The mighty express of the perilous oceans they sailed across, the thousands rivers and streams they ferried across, rocks and hills they walked past, the most serious cir*****stances they encountered to save the heathen souls of the far away Nagas, worked in us as the sweetest of inspirations. The voice they cried in the wilderness of the heathen Nagaland to make highway for the Lord reached down to us too. Indeed, in them alone we found the noblest cause of Nagas’ salvation. They are to us, the greatest of human beings. In the circumstances we felt called upon to preach the Gospel in that darkest left behind by the world gone ahead of us. With missionary zeal, we took the historic responsibility upon ourselves. Massive political mobilizations, social reforms and religious preaching were carried out side by side. Our Volunteer Gospel Teams, carrying babies preached the Messiah everywhere with armed squads standing guard throughout, encountering many a time, dangerous attacks. Thank God for the good time unfolded for NSCN to do His Will. We ourselves have chosen, we could make a substantial progress in all the fields we undertook. Villagers now could realise the doom of the heathen world they had lived in. The persuasion over to the path of life brought a tremendous change is contrast. Besides, to react to the glory of His purpose in this part of the world, healing powers begin to work through some of His chosen women. Through prayers and the medicines of the Holy Spirit’s revelation, a number of incurable diseases of years were healed in the full view of the people. Thousands were converted to Christian faith. Churches sprang up at villages and hymns chanted to His Name for the first time. By 1985, the converts reached around 40 thousand. Shattering of the old wrong world into a new one of hope really began. In the fullness of time His ‘Amazing Grace’ manifested itself. We are persuaded. Christ surely remembered our little Nagaland, the darkest of all, at the time of His Crucifixion. Thanks, no part of Nagaland is left out of His salvation purpose. Schools were opened and the progress of the pupils were, by our standard, considerable. Conferences were organized for the welfare of the students. Campaigns were conducted from village to village which importantly contributed to the well being of the people. Social reforms were also jointly carried out with much success. Head hunting was totally stopped. Poppy plantations, opium taking and smoking, selling and buying were strictly prohibited. Immoral practices were taught to be abhorred, harmful traditions were gradually abolished through education. NSCN could get things moving towards something real and higher. They understood the fact that NSCN alone cared for them, they reposed their trust in them. We praise the Lord for using us as humble labourers in the harvest of His field, Eastern Nagaland.
But the Devil does not stop working; he is not reconciled to his shaken state of affairs. He is not tired out by whatever defeat inflicted on him. He always counts steps to reach the point. He works through human beings, because he knows who is who. This makes him a shrewd manipulator. He seizes every opportunity and rides on it until he could make the best of it for himself. Soon the seeds of jealousy were sown and burgeoning began to undo all that had been achieved. Though credit goes its way, jealously works in human hearts. Anti-climax started and Mr. Khaplang actively took the lead of it. Slandering against the honest workers across the areas, making his personal prejudices. The dangerous tendency towards self-destruction apparently made every sensible worker gravely concerned, It was definitely let loose by Khaplang as he embarked on the wicked policy of establishing himself above all to fulfill purely his selfish wishes. It caused rampancy of undisciplined behavior among the officers and the ranks. Conscious men apprehended that the real challenge that could possibly uproot the NSCN had arisen from among the national workers themselves. The pains that we had on our con-science on account of lapses from virtue into vice in the process of national service could no longer be borne in silence, for reversion of the kind could please neither the heaven above nor the sensible world below, before whom we professed that we would do the better. Wrongs of others were punished even condemned with sword ; but the worst sins freely committed in the highest quarters were white washed without a sense of remorse. What a scene it tended to be! The Bible teaches us:
“Thou therefore which teaches another, teaches thou not thyself? Thou that preaches a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that abhorrent idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the Name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles through you, as it is written”
Here we see the principle cause of self-destruction. In the heap of their rebellious sins lies the doom of a people and the latter end of a nation in the displeasure of the Maker. The backward drift also necessitated the re-examination of one’s grasp on the revolutionary process. A revolutionary should not just work about; he must have a clear line to work upon, as set of disciplines to abide by and a point to start from. The basic step he has to take is to revolutionize himself first without which he cannot be of any help to the revolutionary cause. A leader who loves to save nation or a party from lawless degeneration must first be above board himself. Only then could he streamline the forward march. Therefore, to turn the tide and avert the danger, sanctification of the leadership and rectification of the organization became topmost room because revolutionaries believe more in the practical values. We are constrained and we shall not hold it back on any account. This is our conviction. The Chinese saying, “Clean your compound and the whole village will be cleaned”, has an undying value to us. After several years or strenuous efforts, most of the national workers were persuaded of the danger of being indulgent in immorality and wickedness. This necessity of upholding the integrity of the National Socialist Council had been realised and to that end, a resolution was passed in the house in 1987 but a man who was non other than Khaplang vehemently opposing it. The resolutions were:
(a) Henceforth national workers shall abstain from smoking tobacco and from taking all kinds of narcotic stimulants
(b) Drinking alcohol is prohibited.
(c) Stealing, misappropriation and defalcation of government funds are strictly forbidden.
(d) Immorality in sex is prohibited.
The house also decided that these four stipulation be first applied to leadership. The Triumvirate and Kilonsers were put under obligation that they should confess every year in the house at the Budget session what they had done with regard to the four points. In case of dishonesty, the man concerned and not the nation, should be responsible for all the consequences that might arise therefrom. Mr. Khaplang’s aversion to the resolution gradually isolated him from the people. In fact, his misdeeds had already earned him the displeasure of the masses. He desired no rules and regulations above him when it comes to the question of one’s reality, hypocrisy and affection cannot stand and Mr. Khaplang was found there. His inner reality could no longer be kept under wraps. He relapsed, that is, when he existed solely on his terms of unscrupulous autocratic whims. His evil self antagonism did not give him comfort, he was about to burst with them. He had to seek the opportunity to take them out on anyone whom he thought to be standing on his crooked way. He perceived that his reactionary policy had already taken him on a collision course with the rest of the enlightened NSCN. Yet he wilfully refused to reconcile to the correct line. Malice had truly blinded him; for a self-righteous person never bowed down to the ground realities of his weaknesses. He went on casting about for pretexts to justify himself. He did bide his time to do away with the leadership in his own way and seize power for himself. But his fear on Assembly mounted as he could not have a hold on it. He abandoned any thought of bringing himself into monolithic power through legal parliamentary means. He understood the impossibility. He disdained democratic proceedings. Moreover, he had neither the guts. nor temperament to stand his long list of guilt being questioned in the People’s Hall by democratic forces. He only wanted to have his underworld outlook dictated on the people. Obviously he got into a fix. He withheld coming to the Council Headquarters though nothing hindered; intention-ally avoided important sessions like the Emergency Meeting, the Budget Session and the Assembly Session, of his own accord on this or that pretext in spite of constant insistence to be present. He was called officially even as many as eight times. Despite urgency of works to be done and his sheer disregard for the Council, we awaited him with the greatest of patience and regard, because he was our Vice President, and moreover, sorting out of matters in an amicable way through open discussions had been the NSCN’s standard of modus operandi. But his absolutely irresponsible and high handed orders to his boys, to snatch every arms and desert over to his side had really taken a serious turn not withstanding our ceaseless clarifications of his allegations. Complete stoppage of food to the Council Hqs. added to the already complicated conditions. Because to blackmail the Council, if possible, through starvation into submission to his whims was an essential part of Khaplang’s treacherous plan. But his resort to such diabolic policies, however, could not intimidate us into his calculation nor deter us from our stand for peaceful solution to the problem. We remain hitherto well disposed believing that he would come to his senses.
But to a wicked man, whether he be weak or strong, a devil is available any time. The unfavorable situation unleashed by the traitors through some officers who were not critical of the enemy instigation, offered Mr. Khaplang the finest opportunity to carry out his long smoldering aim. Certainly, nothing was so precious for him than the propaganda that Chairman lsak, Secretary Muivah and Kilonser Hanong were ready to surrender to the Indian Government, that they were determined to capture all arms for this treasonous purpose. He at once, exploited the situation and joined forces with Brig. Kholi who spread the news against the leadership. It is a pity that Brig Kholi spread the news against the leadership. It is pity that Brig. Kholi was sometimes too blunt and credulous of enemy motivated rumors. Mr. Khaplang now in collusion with Kwikhip made vociferous propaganda out of the rumours through the length and breadth of the base areas, whipping up bitter antagonism from the people against us, establishing his self glory side by side. He was able to win the simpletons and the weak armymen over to him. Very soon, hatred was fanned up to an unlimited fever pitch among the villagers and in the rank and file. Unconvinced people were also just coerced into serving him. Without delay he ordered them to attack the NSCN Hqs. He told them, “It is not the time to talk but to shoot them down and save the nation before we all are sold out or finished by them. We all have served and suffered so many years, is it now the time to permit them to sell out the nation as they wish?” He made the opportunity to overshadow his guilts and carry out the coup. Lt. CoI. Tsusangtsu was given the command-ership. On the 30th April at 5:30 a.m. the NSCN Hqs. was surrounded and the ever most traitorous attack was launched by savage Khaplang’s men and the Burmese troops simultaneously.
The following are the main points of allegation with which savage Khaplang and his henchmen stirred up burst of angry feeling in all nook and corner and committed the most horrible killing of absolutely unqestionable partiots, more than a hundred, the like of which Nagaland has never witnessed:
Allegation No. 1. Chairman Isak together with other 29 had been flown by helicopters to New Delhi to work out the terms of settlement within the Indian Union.
Allegation No. 2. Chairman lsak, Secretary Muivah and Kilonser Hanong were ready to accept Uncle Suisa’s proposal, that is, to have the lndo-Naga issue settle within Indian Union.
Allegation No. 3. General Secretary Muivah was determined to do away with all the Konyak and Pangmi national workers to sieze all arms to surrender them to Indian union.
Allegation No. 4. General Secretary Muivah had accepted immeasurable sum of money from the Government of India.
Allegation No. 5. General Secretary Muivah had constructed massive buildings in Dimapur, Golaghat, Jorhat and in Arunachal.
Allegation No. 6. General Secretary Muivah in collaboration with Kilonser Hanong attempted to hatch a plot:
a) To oust Mr. Khaplang from the Vice-Chairmanship.
b) To degrade Chairman lsak to Vice-Chairman position.
c) To fill Kilonser S. Angam in the General Secretary post, all by votes.
Allegation No. 7. Colonel Pruining, the General Staff Commanding Officer, Naga Army, met with Rajesh Pilot, an Indian Minister, at Mon Town, Konyak area to make clandestine arrangement of capitulation.
Allegation No. 8. Chairman lsak and General Secretary Muivah furtively sent a man to arrange for surrendering talks.
These entirely unfounded but serious accusations can, in no way be allowed to pass off as genuine by default. They have to be retorted still verbatim that they might be driven home and that man-made history might have its say some day and declare that truth forever despite wilful counter-drive.
Fact No. 1. Chairman lsak and 29 others with him had never flown nor been to New Delhi to work out terms of settlement with the Indian Union. We sent them out towards the East for some political mission. They have come back and now they are with us.
Fact No. 2. General Secretary Muivah had not contemplated whatsoever even for a moment to displease or hurt in any matter, let alone his being determined as accused of, to eliminate physically the Konyak and Pangmi national workers to seize arms for laying them down at the feet of the Indians. Neither had he the slightest grudge toward them. He loves them from the bottom of his heart.
Fact No. 3. Chairman lsak, Secretary Muivah and kilonser Hanong had never mediated upon the Suisa’s proposal either separately or together with anyone, to speak practically nothing of having to accept them.
Fact No. 4. General Secretary Muivah had not taken even a single pie from the Government of India since the time he joined the national service in 1964.
Fact No. 5. General Secretary Muivah has no building erected anywhere which could be called his own. Anyone may go to places mentioned by Khaplang and see for himself.
Fact No. 6. General Secretary Muivah had not contemplated in any sense to remove the two highest in the organizations nor had he ever planned to manoeuvre himself into the Chairman’s seat nor had he ever projected to place Kilonser S. Angam in the General Secretary position. It is the concoction, pure and simple, of the fear, suspicion, jealousy ridden men like Khaplang and Kwikhip who, it might safely be recalled, struggled for Chairmanship when formation of the National Socialist Council was on the verge of being declared solemnly.
Fact No. 7. CoI. Pruining the General Staff Officer Com-mander, Naga Army, had never gone to Mon town since 1979. He had never met Rajesh Pilot, an Indian Minister either anywhere on earth.
Fact No. 8. Chairman lsak and General Secretary Muivah sent a Section Official in the early part of 1988 to hand over a letter to Mr. Chingang a Go-between member, it was necessitated because a word from the Government of India was already there through Mr. Chingang, that the former would like to hold talks provided NSCN would accept to carry the talks within the framework of the Indian Constitution, which was a complete back out from the previous understanding of unconditioned basis. In this connection it may be remembered that Indian Government made overtures for political talks as many as seven times from two angle during Mrs. Gandhi’s time in spite of our repeated refusals. Initiative had never been taken from our side. Stupid men barked without knowing head or tail just to malign NSCN. Chairman, Isak and Secretary Muivah called Vice-Chairman Khaplang several times through letters and some times by sending officers directly. Both letters and men reached him positively. But for all anxiety, he did not come. As waiting idefinitely was not possible, we sent a letter to Mr. Chingang, stating clearly there that NSCN would not hold talks with India whatever on the be-trayed terms, within the framework of the ‘Indian Constitution’, ‘within the Indian Union’ and the like. He should not therefore, take the risk of coming to us for such information as conditional talk. That was also the standing of NSCN since 1984. It was circulated among the Kilonsers. It was also read out in the Assembly Session. We are sure it can be available from every Kilonser’s office. What wrong then have we done that dastardly backbiting Khaplang had to raise a hue and cry that he had to make an issue of it? Even the Government of India may be asked for validity of the blatant charges. We challenge for all times to come and we mean what we say.
Time and again, adequate verifications were done in the house and in the official meetings as well. The members fully understood the indisputable fact of our integrity on one side and the malicious wickedness of Mr. Khaplang on the other. To come straight to the point, General Sacretary Muivah and all others who had been accused of the aforesaid points, earnestly offered the challenge that the cause be settled face to face without delay, of course, in the most amicable way through open discussion and in the Name of the Living God. But Mr. Khaplang would neither say that he would come to the Council Hqs. nor could tell us to come to his place. The Authorities, both civil and military decided to resolve the matters in the Assembly of all national workers and village elders through frank and free discussions, and information about it was duly sent to Messers Khaplang and Kwikhip. We had fasting prayer the following day to update about our intentions of the past and the present for the Lord knows the hearts of men. But, as the devil would have it, after two days the NSCN Hqs was assaulted with an irrational spirit of vengeance.
No reasoning of sanity anymore appealed to wicked man. Their vicious preplanned p4ot to liquidate wholesale the legally instituted National Socialist Council Authority and capture power, had taken them headlong without the least thought that they themselves would heavily pay back for that. Messers. khaplang and Kwikhip and their henchmen had profusely made vicious allegations and mounted verification. But when it came to be burden of proof eyeball to eyeball, they absolutely dared not come forward. They behaved in that way and solely created the most treacherous bloody scene of the day among us. It has been developed into an open struggle between the reactionaries and the revolutionaries, between the evil and the good, between irrationality and rationality. They have yet to learn the truth that NSCN leadership were not to be weighed in terms of Khaplangs’s lightness, for they carried the whole value of Nagaland’s freedom in their sacred hearts too strong to be challenged or branded as he had done. We are bound to declare as we did in the Assembly Hall before that All the charges are absolutely baseless. They are sheer fabrications made by some external elements and Messrs. Khaplang and Kwikhip including one or two army officers from konyak region out of sheer jealousy. Most of the accusations are frameup pretexts to justify Khaplangs wicked attempt to seize NSCN power through bloody elimination of the top leaders and all other honest workers. Most of the allegations are the motivated rumours of Khaplang, deliberately spread by himself and his accomplices to deceive the people’s hatred unreserved against the ccmpetent legal authority of the NSCN led by Chairman Isak Swu and arouse people’s support by fraud for Khaplang himself. By so doing you have gladdened the adversaries and the traitors for a moment, but mind that we are more proved with the truth we know and stand for. To us the hardest of all is to say ‘NO’ to TRUTH and ‘YES’ to FALSEHOOD. This is the essence of our PHILOSOPHY. We shall remain ever undaunted for the truth of this statement. Over and above we may just as well say that we are prepared to face the solution to the problem through swearing by God’s Name at any time in our life time on whatever conditions the people of Nagaland may lay down. Because we believe in the Biblical truth, “Your sin will find you out.”
And you Mr. Khaplang, we have more to say. We gave you power we placed you in the leadership, and in all sincerity, co-operated with you with the best of regards. We bore the brunt of criticism both from the national workers and public on your account for the last decade of our days. The damage done to our NSCN’s image by your unrestrained behavior was not negligible. What a harm your defiance of the Council discipline did to the integrity essentially required by the organization! Your crooked setting of mind; your nature of instigating on the sly, the bad elements in the society everywhere for selfish interest brought, how much antagonism! How often you went back upon the decisions which you yourself championed, and stirred up backlash against your co-leaders? Your jealous disposition towards others’ good achievements never made you allright any time. And not to mince words, you did not work for the achievements of the NSCN objectives but labour to satisfy your own underworld desires. But far be it from the People to condescend to that standard of your pleasures. However, to do the best we could for the country’s cause, we tolerated you that long in the hope that you would realise yourself. But it was altogether unrequired. A revolutionary is opposed to snobbish mentality and you never knew it. Things need viewing in their right perspective. But a wicked man takes jaundiced view of them and keep them titled. You are cast in the true Michivellian mould and we experienced today the danger of an unprincipled treacherous power monger in you. You wanted to snatch all powers; you attempted to make short work of it by launching an assault on the NSCN you calculated it to be. The dastardly butchering of the unarmed patriots of above reproach is by no means a head start over them. Instead, it is the spectre that would inevitably haunt the criminals down to what they deserve. You think you can bury the truth with the corpses of the martyrs, even you and your men gloated over the way they had been murdered. Do not over-reach yourself, the world we live in is not that easy, for the truth and martyrdom are above the graves you dug. Do not be comforted in the dream of a fool. Truth is never tarnished. It is above the finest of gold and martyrdom above the graves where corpses lie. NSCN too, is in no case crestfallen; it is precisely where they proved their reality for the cause they so dearly uphold. The pretentious declaration in pretentious languages of whose? You and your self-made Chairmanship by branding blameless Chairman lsak and Secretary Muivah as traitors. Published through the fourth grade In-dian pressmen, who only feed on collection of garbage around, shall be wholly to your own shame. What a shame trying to deceive the world! Shatter the illusion that you can bluff Nagaland and the world through hypocratic pronouncements. You can never find a trace of treachery in us and in all those martyrs whom you have slain. The problem is with your jealousy, treachery and pretentiousness. The scene you created simply reminds one of the time of ldi Amin, that dastardly cruel man. Surely you have set things poles apart. We tell you the virtue of power lies in upholding the truth or else it is cause: History shall witness the most nefarious bloodshed in our time wrought by the treacherous savage S.S. Khaplang the like of which is condemned forever and you can never alter the verdict try as you may. We declare the National Socialist Council of Nagaland will not bow down whatsover to the treacherous power monger nor condescend to his underworld standards. We shall gladly hold our ground to the last and it no longer admits of argument. Every Naga must know that our politics is to fight eternally if India and Burma do not keep their hands off Nagaland. We shall be all out in our support to all the revolutionaries in Burma and India.
LONG LIVE NSCN
ISAK CHISHI SWU
The National Socialist Council of Nagalim
The National Socialist Council of Nagalim