Ukhrul: In a first, students from Ukhrul district in Manipur visited the NSCN-IM’s headquarters at Camp Hebron in Nagaland as part of their educational cum exposure tour.
A total of 40 students from Pettigrew College, Sentinel College, Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School and KTL Excel Higher Secondary School were part of the three day tour which concluded on Monday.
At Camp Hebron in Peren district, located about 35 km from Dimapur, the students from Manipur interacted with top leaders of the NSCN-IM.
According to Easternlight Zimik, one of the organisers who led the exposure trip, the main objective of the tour was to visit the General Headquaters (GHQ) of the NSCN-IM to interact with the leaders and have a better understanding of the Naga identity and the position of the Naga National Movement.
He also informed that the students also interacted with the chief of the Naga Army (Longvibu), self-styled General Ningkhan Shimray, MC, VC, on Sunday.
“Revolution invites us to expand our perspectives, challenge conventional thinking, and strive for transformative change. It calls for redefining societal structures, fostering inclusivity, and pursuing progress that benefits everyone. It’s a call to push boundaries, embrace diversity, and create solutions that cater to the needs of a rapidly changing world. In a Revolution, we must think beyond,” said Shimray during an interaction with the young Naga students.
The NSCN-IM army chief goes on to say, “When I was in Tihar jail, I thought beyond the wall. I know there is freedom beyond the wall. Sacrifices endure in the belief that freedom awaits the Nagas. It’s this unwavering hope that fuels our resilience amid challenges, driving our commitment to achieve the cherished goal of freedom for our people”.
Talking about the present Israel-Hamas war, Shimray said that the conflict between Israel and Hamas is multifaceted and encompasses historical, political, and territorial aspects.
“The recognition of Israel’s history by Arab nations has been a contentious issue, contributing to the complexity of the situation. The conflict has roots in a long-standing history marked by territorial disputes, differing narratives, and geopolitical complexities. The conflict’s root cause lies in the lack of recognition of historical narratives by Arab nations, contributing to ongoing tensions. This historical divergence in perspectives has played a significant role in shaping the complexities and dynamics of the conflict between Israel and the Arab world, including groups like Hamas. There is great danger if the history of the nation is not recognised,” the NSCN-IM leader added.
Shimray said that the Government of India recognised the unique history and situation of the Nagas on 11 July 2002 during a joint communique at Amsterdam.
“The recognition of our history is a rare privilege, often absent in the narratives of powerful nations. Gratitude for this acknowledgment is paramount, reminding us to humbly appreciate and honor the intricate tapestry of our past, an acknowledgment for which we attribute our gratitude to a higher providence. Nagas should be grateful. This is one great achievement,” said Shimray.
Meanwhile, the students also interacted with other officials of the NSCN-IM. During their stay, the students visited important places at Camp Hebron GHQ.
The students departed to Ukhrul on Monday, cherishing the memories created during their brief stay at the NSCN-IM camp.
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“The tour helped me understand the history of the Nagas better. It will be beneficial for students to learn about the Nagas in educational institutions” said Thangmeirin Zimik of Sentinel College.
Another student, Thanrei Vashi said “It inspired me to see the service the Naga Army sincerely fighting for the Nagas cause. I pray and hope that the public will love and care for the Naga nation in the same way”.
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