Braving sun & rain, hundreds from Nagaland makes it to Manipur
Participants of Naga Solidarity Walk

Kohima: Braving the summer heat and heavy rains, hundreds of Nagas, on Thursday joined the Naga Solidarity walk which started off at Kohima. At the time of filing this report, the participants reached Mao under Senapati district in Manipur. 

The walk, organised by the Global Naga Forum (GNF), a civil society comprising Nagas from across the world, will culminate at Tahamzam in Senapati district of Manipur on Friday.

During a short ceremony that was held at Lerie Junction in Kohima at 6 am, GNF Advisor Dr Visier Sanyü, lauded the participants of the walk for making history for the coming generation. 

“The Naga family is deeply divided. But there is a time for everything-to love and to cry. This is the right time for us to come together to build our nation as one people for one destiny,” he said. 

“While our ancestors and leaders in the past have fought to defend the land with guns, violence has an expiry date, and that the period is gone,” he added. 

“Today, we want to fight for our people with our heart and love. If there is hatred we will bring love. If there is division, we will bring unity in this walk,” Sanyü added. 

Through the walk, he said that the world will know that Nagas are one people, hoping that this event will encourage the need to do the right thing for the Naga people. The walk, he added, is to unite the Nagas as one people and to defend the land.

President of the Southern Angami People’s Organisation (SAPO) Kevipodi Sophie, informed that to acknowledge the sacrifices of the participants in uniting the people, the Southern Angami villages collectively supports and facilitates the walk by providing refreshments at all entry points in the villages. 

Appealing to the participants not to provoke people along the way, especially uniformed persons on duty, Co-Convenor of the walk, Kevitho Kera said, “This is a peaceful march. We will participate in it lovingly”.

GNF member Vichütuolie Mere, while interacting with locals and participants during a lunch break at Viswema Baptist Church said that solidarity walks for the cause began about 70 years ago when AZ Phizo initiated the solidarity walk. He added that doing away with the violence and hatred of the past, it is now time to get to know fellow Nagas. 

Speaking to EastMojo at Mao gate in Manipur, Kevitho Kera said “I am in the land of my brothers. To be honest, I’m feeling emotional. It’s a visit between brothers. There is nothing political about this walk and I feel ecstatic. I hope this walk heal wounds, build bridges, and add a whole new dimension to what being a Naga means”.

As the walk witnessed fewer participants of Nagas from Nagaland in comparison to Nagas of Manipur, Kera said “I think the divisive policy of our agressors worked to an extent that there is so much division and mistrust. But we have to start the healing process and today is the day”.

On reaching Manipur, the participants were joined by a cultural troupe and hundreds of residents, all clad in traditional attires. The participants will stay the night at Maram. 

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