Senapati: In a historic gathering, thousands of Nagas from across borders came together to unite under the theme ‘One People, One Destiny’, having walked for two days from Nagaland’s Kohima city to Senapati in Manipur.
The Naga Solidarity Walk organised by the Global Naga Forum (GNF) is an enactment of a journey towards Naga unity, cutting across artificial barriers and boundaries.
Braving the scorching heat, the Nagas, dressed in their colourful, traditional attires, congregated at Senapati ground for the valedictory session on Friday.
Addressing the fellow Nagas, GNF co-convenor Prof Rosemary Dzuvichu described the Naga Solidarity Walk as a community celebration.
“The Walk is a celebration of our beautiful and bountiful homeland which has given birth to and nurtured generations of free, brave, and generous people and who in turn have produced the colourful and vibrant festivals and rich cultures that Nagas are known for in many parts of the world,” said Prof Dzuvichu.
She further stated that the Naga Solidarity Walk is a unity walk for all Nagas, a Walk for a better future together as one people in an undivided ancestral homeland.
“It is a walk for lasting peace and shared prosperity, without exceptions, throughout the Naga homeland, which, even today, lies divided in two countries and four states in India and a province in Myanmar. This we know is a gross violation of our human and indigenous peoples’ rights,” Prof Dzuvichu said.
“Walking together these two days from Kohima to Tahamzan (Senapati), across Angami territory, Mao territory, Maram territory and Poumai territory was a way for us to emphasise the threat to our survival as a people, and therefore, the need to reclaim, sustain, and grow our precious Naga heritage. It would be a real shame for Nagas of this generation to lose it all. The choice facing us today is too real and clear to ignore,” she added.
Professor Dzuvichu also urged her fellow Nagas gathering at the programme and those who couldn’t make it, to introspect themselves whether their very existence is for the survival of the Nagas as a people with a precious salvageable heritage or with the small vested interest groups in Naga society whose main preoccupations are power and wealth.
The choice lies with each of us and with all of us as a people, she said.
Lauding the brave walkers who dared the sun, rain, mud and dust along the way, Naga People’s Organisation (NPO) President Solomon Arow stated that the historic walk is to prove that Nagas are one by blood and have only one destiny.
“Walkers, you are our hope, torch-bearers, pillars and hope of the Nagas. We respect and love you and so welcome you to Senapati once again. Your footprints become the remarkable landmark in the Naga history, your sweats, tears, strength, and courage brought the Nagas closer today as brothers and sisters and have overcome the artificial barriers,” said Arow.
The gathering also witnessed a theme song on the Naga Solidarity walk by Padma Shri Guru Rewben Mashangva. The theme song was composed by Dr Visier Sanyu, president of the Overseas Nagas Association and adviser to GNF.
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