Kohima: A day ahead of the Indian Independence Day, Nagas from Nagaland and across the globe commemorated the 75th Naga Independence Day through virtual and physical events to mark the day.

During the celebration at Naga Solidarity Park in Kohima organised by the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), General Secretary of Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) Neingulo Krome, who graced the occasion as the Speaker said “Remember, we are not Indians, we were not Indians and we will never be Indians because we are Nagas by blood.”

Addressing the gathering, Krome urged the Nagas to observe the occasion in its true sense by living it and not just as a mere observation. He added that at present, the Nagas are divided due to the “false promise” of the Government of India that there will be only “one solution”.

“After 60 years, India has come back alive asking us and leaders to sign an agreement under the Constitution of India minus the Naga flag, minus our identity, minus our nationhood, minus our people-hood, without our heart and mind to be citizens of India under the Constitution of India”, he said.

The activist added that freedom, independence, respect, and sovereignty must be earned. As Nagas have been spectators for long, he said that a time has now come to act.

Neingulo Krome addressing the gathering in Kohima.

“We (Nagas) don’t deserve to be treated like this by our own Naga ruling classes, dominant Naga ruling classes. If they want to continue to wage psychological war on us—to talk peace and give us the peace of the great citizen—only when you are dead and in your graveyard, you will have peace,” Krome said. He added saying, “When we wanted peace, our people gave us to war. So, if we want peace, we have to be prepared for war”.

NSF President Kegwayhun Tep said that the celebration is a “solemn assertion and a celebration of the historical fact that Nagas were free people”. The student leader said, “The forces occupying our Naga territory must and should no longer subject the Naga people to their diabolic and divisive policies”.

Although he acknowledged the contributions of the Naga national groups—NSCN-IM, NNPG, and all political groups towards the Naga cause, he said that the palpable differences in their ideology and approach have been “much harm” to the Nagas.

Tep said, “It is the collective aspiration of the Naga youth and students community for all the political parties to shed their differences and come on a common platform, to find the best possible path and solution for the Nagas in the present political circumstances, without losing the unique political history of the Nagas for a lasting peace in the region”.

According to him, the guiding principle should uncompromisingly remain “one issue, one solution”. “The future of the Naga society cannot be subjected to the nefarious whims of those self-interested individuals seeking to further divide and fragment our people. We cannot afford to allow the bitterness of the past to dictate the course of our future”, he added.

Further, he hoped that Nagas will create a harmonious environment where respect, democracy, justice and peace are the cornerstones of all relationships.

During a commemoration of the I-Day by the Global Naga Forum (GNF) over a virtual conference, prominent Naga author Visier Sanyü said that the arms struggle of the Nagas has expired. “All the arms struggle have an expiry date, and ours have expired,” he said.

He added that since the ideology and methodology of the Naga arms struggle are “outdated”, the Nagas are killing each other, further hoping that there are better ways of doing things.

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