KOHIMA, MAY 12 : A biography of late Vizol, former Chief Minister of Nagaland and MP Rajya Sabha, titled ‘Towards a Better World’ compiled by Akhale Vizol Khamo was released at a solemn function held at Ura Academy, Kohima on Thursday. Considered by many as a simple yet tall Naga political leader, late Vizol was a member of the first Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) and had served as the Chief Minister for two terms, 1974-75 and 1977-80.
The biography, constructed from the Naga leader’s writings and notes in his journals, talks about his childhood, college life, his stint with the Royal Indian Air Force during the WWII, entry into Naga national movement and into the state politics.
“He (Vizol) was a simple and kind hearted man, yet he was a giant among few Naga leaders who lived for the cause of the people,” said Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu, president of Naga People’s Front (NPF) & president Ura Academy, who officially launched the biography here today.
He said it was a privilege and an honour to speak on the occasion, about Vizol, with whom he worked with for more than 40 years. He described Lt. Vizol as a pioneering figure in the history of Nagaland, that the latter had been a guide and a mentor who played a major role in the Naga politics. Nagas today are facing a time of turmoil but in the past, the people were united. Our predecessors were illiterate and very few of them could read or count with their fingers, it was at such time that the Naga movement was started.
Talking about the unique history and struggle of the Nagas, Dr. Liezietsu said many Nagas have suffered for the cause of their people and their politics. He recalled that in 1957 when the Naga People’s Convention (NPC) was formed, Vizol was appointed as the vice president of the convention and he had stood firm for the cause of peace and amicable solution to the Naga political problem with deep integrity.
Close on the heels of Nagaland attaining statehood in 1963, he said, Vizol along with some other leaders were very concerned for the future of the Nagas and had decided to enter the first general election of the state in 1964 by co-founding the Democratic Party of Nagaland, which later became the Naga People’s Council and further evolved to the now NPF.
Liezietsu stated that the Nagas are a small group of people and though they may not have worldly riches or wealth, they are a people known for their honesty and their history was built on this background. It was pioneering leaders like Vizol who carried the legacy of good and staunch qualities of the ancestors, he asserted and underscored the need for the present generation to uphold and preserve those qualities. “In today’s world of ‘I, me and myself’, if we are able to look past this and emulate the values for which our people were known in the past, we can revive our society,” he added.
Rev. L Suohie Mhasi, who was also a member of the first NLA, also delivered a brief speech on the occasion. He recalled briefly of his association with Vizol, the times of struggles and happier memories that they shared. “He was not just a truthful leader, but was a true leader,” the 94-years-old former politician described his friend.
Delivering an introduction to the book, Akhale Khamo, the youngest daughter of late Vizol, gave all glory to the Almighty God for the opportunity to bring out her father’s biography. She remarked that it had been her father’s desire to pen down his autobiography but unfortunately, he passed away while in the process of doing so. She took up the responsibility of gathering the manuscripts he left behind and compiled them into the biography.
Late Vizol is said to have had a vision to see the Nagas change to a better society and had coined “Towards a Better World” which he used as a letterhead for all his official letters in the later part of his life, and aptly, his family decided to use the phrase as the title of his biography.
The book launch was attended by family members, friends and well wishers, including present NLA speaker Chotisuh Sazo, former minister KV Pusa, Angami Public Organization president Dr. Vilhousa Seleyi and his colleagues, among others.