Imphal: Almost all houses of the Naga people living across Manipur hoisted the national ‘Naga flag’ and observed their ‘74th Independence Day’ amid the pandemic lockdown on Friday.
The students’ community led by the All Naga Student’s Association of Manipur (ANSAM) under the aegis of Naga Student Federation (NSF), an apex body of the Nagas, widely celebrated the occasion in the Naga-inhabited areas of the state despite the presence of security forces.
ANSAM, which is an apex students’ body of the Nagas in Manipur, observed the historic occasion at its Secretariat Complex in Oking, Senapati district.
In a solidarity message by ANSAM president Joseph Adani, the body stated that “Nagas do not hate India nor are they our enemy. However, we also do not have any reason to be Indians. We admire the incredible Indian sub-continent and its greatness. But our conscience does not allow us to become what we are not”.
“Nagas do not ask for independence from India; indeed, we do not want anything from India. We are independent and sovereign in our own by nature. What we ask is not to interfere in our administration and life but to leave us alone to self-determine as we were in the past,” it added.
“In the true spirit of freedom, we shall continue to embark on our journey of common hopes and dreams in cohesion, transcending all differences and rifts to achieve our cherished goal,” said Adani.
The student body also urged the government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sincere commitment in dealing with the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process and bring about an honourable solution based on the true spirit of the 2015 Framework Agreement, and the unique history and situation of the Nagas.
ANSAM also appealed all the Naga people to stand unitedly against any divisive forces within and without until they achieve their rightful place.
“As we continue our journey, let us also be watchful of the diabolical design of our adversaries and their policy to divide us to further repress and suppress our freedom,” it said.
Meanwhile, in Ukhrul district, which is predominantly inhabited by the Tangkhul Nagas, saw a massive response to the clarion call made by the Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) under the aegis of NSF.
Despite the absence of huge public gathering due to COVID-19 pandemic, each unit in the hill district led the celebrations by hoisting the Naga national flag.
Braving the cold and rainfall, people in the hill district were seen actively participated in the celebration while reaffirmed their belief and determination as a free people.