Nagas rally for peace at Delhi
Newmai News Network
DIMAPUR, Jun 11: The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) in collaboration with the Naga Students’ Union, Delhi (NSUD) organised ‘A Peoples Rally’ under the theme “Call for Peace” in New Delhi today with active participation from members of federating units, Nagas in Delhi, leaders, church pastors, elders, well-wishers and people from "mainland India" who supported the cause of the Naga movement.
The organising committee of the student body, in a press statement, said that Kegwayhun Tep, president of NSF in his address underlined the purpose of the rally. He stated, “Nagas' call for peace in its essence is simple; it is a prayer for harmonious and peaceful coexistence. It is a symbol of our inherent desire to pursue peace building, both within and without".
The NSF president then called on the Government of India to honour its political commitment. He categorically stated that there should be only one solution as there is only one Indo-Naga political problem. The NSF president also said that the proposed political settlement should be inclusive, honourable and acceptable that recognises Naga people’s identity.
The message of the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) was read out by Fabiola Chinir on behalf of the association. The NMA stressed on the "killings and atrocities committed by the Indian armed forces in the Naga homeland". “Today, we call upon the Government of India to honor the peace negotiations and bring about sustainable peace in our Naga homeland by an honorable, acceptable and inclusive solution to the Naga people at the earliest," the NMA also said.
The Naga Mothers' Association then called for recognition of "our Naga Flag under which thousands have marched and laid down their lives and a working Constitution that will protect our Naga identity, basic Naga laws, our land and resources". The NMA also reiterated its demand for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, "which has violated every form of human rights in our Naga homeland".
Also speaking on the occasion, K Elu Ndang, general Secretary of Naga Hoho, urged the Prime Minister of India not to backtrack from his commitment in resolving the Naga issue. The Naga Hoho leader also appealed to “all communities and nationalities in India” to extend their fullest support in resolving the decades old Indo-Naga political issue.
Gentleson Vashum, on behalf of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) stated, “The experience of yesteryears has shown India’s inability to accept the Naga historical and political rights".
He also said, "This has resulted in what seems like an enduring stalemate where aspirations were conveniently side-lined and people turned to mute spectators. The Government of India’s quest for peace was fraught by political one-upmanship, political manoeuvring and political mismanagement which did not lead to any constructive, meaningful or transformative outcome. Rather, it led to a botched peace where Naga life was turned upside down and basic fundamental rights suppressed for decades”.
Dr Kh Pou of the Global Naga Forum GNF) underscored that “Nagas did not attack India or create problems for India". He also said that Nagas are not anti-India.
"What the Nagas have been doing since the British left the sub-continent is merely to stand up for our birth-rights as human beings". He also said that Nagas wanted to safeguard their God-given autonomy and freedom in the lands of their birth, just like Indians and Burmese did in theirs. "Nagas wanted no trouble with India or Myanmar.”
The Global Naga Forum leader then stressed that the Naga people expect an honorable solution based on the respect for Naga historical and political rights, official recognition of Naga Flag and the Constitution, inclusive solution, not partial solution, but solution for all the Naga areas, repeal of AFSPA and demilitarization of the region and complete autonomy in governance over all the ancestral Naga homeland.
Thirtung Wanglar, president of All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM), noted that the Nagas “were placed under two Nations and four States, thereby arbitrarily dividing the Nagas to suppress and repress our aspiration.” He also emphasized that the “adversaries had been trying to divide and crush the Naga people with different designs and schemes that suit their interest.
He stated, “They had drawn artificial boundaries, they had militarized our land, they employed different economic packages and other means to subdue us ever since she gained her independence".
Tapan Bose, former Secretary General, South Asia Forum for Human Rights and member PIPFPD, also sent a solidarity message stating that the Nagas are “one of the most upright, honorable, compassionate and peace loving people.”
Vijayan MJ, General Secretary, Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy underlined that “peace is neither a generosity of the occupier State nor a subject matter of solicitation or negotiations! Peace is a right of all civilised people and communities".
Neingoulo Krome, the Secretary General of the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) reminded the gathering of the various stories of human rights violations and atrocities committed by the Indian armed forces.
He stated, “Naga history is written in blood, fire and ashes.” He added, “Every Naga family has lost a son, or a daughter, or a father or a mother."
He further added, "But in recent years Nagas have become stooges of divisive politics". He then cautioned the youths not to be “caught up with tribal egos or degree egos”.
According to the organising committee, the rally saw the participation of all the federating units of the Naga Students Federation (NSF) and also the constituent units of NSUD along with members of Delhi Eastern Nagaland Students’ Union (DENSU).