I would like to begin my congratulatory letter by extending my heartiest appreciation to the so called educated Nagas residing within the provisionally comforted administrative land mass of 16,579 km2 under the Union of India. I am writing this to share my concern as our future generations will judge us according to the contributions we gave today for tomorrow. For our posterity to have a dignified life, it is our bounden duty to give our best in preserving, defending and protecting the rights of the Nagas.
Inspite of knowing the reality between the right and the wrong, many chose to remain silent by sitting on the fence, ready to jump on either side when they so wish to according to their conveniences. Meanwhile, the majority seems to have wilfully opted to assist the ‘pilot project’ of the government of India and the government of Myanmar, i.e., to completely disintegrate the Naga family. The writings and the action by some educated Nagas with decorated names have somehow managed to fool many gullible Nagas.
I also extend my gratitude to all the visionary leaders who have tirelessly worked hand in glove with our adversaries. Our Nagaland would be again divided into the original size of the Naga Hills District created by the Britishers in 1866 and will cover only about 9,446 Km2 (approximately). Much smaller than a district in Assam. Our cry for accepting the reality and also our favourite talk ‘only for Nagas of Nagaland’ may soon be a dream comes true if we continue to vigorously work. We have shown the world that the blood and sweat our forefathers shed for a cherished dream for a land mass of more than 100,000 Km2 to be called ‘Naga Nation’ was only a wishful thinking! We have proved our worth before the world that we are also a group of people where materialism is greater than truth and dignity. We have once again demonstrated that we don’t have the moral fiber to stand against the forces of imperialism that seeks to divide us.
Having congratulated you all, I would also like to remind us all that there are more than two millions of Nagas outside the present Nagaland state, whose blood runs like ours yet divided by colonial forces. Whose rights are trampled to the core and every opportunity and basic rights denied just because they refuses to accept the arbitrary boundaries. The spirit of all the brave Nagas who have made supreme sacrifices for a ‘just cause’ must be crying in pain. The bones of the Naga martyrs must be rattling beneath us, wanting to wake up at least for once and tell that we are wrong and also tell us how they have started the movement. How do we meet our forefathers, who have passionately given their thumb impression with their own blood during the Naga plebiscite held on 16th May, 1951? How do we response if they asked, as to why have we fallen into enemies’ game? Our forefathers may not forgive us for the mistake we are committing against our own brethren. And scarily, the generations to come after us may judge us as the weakest generation Nagas ever had.
Many fear that poverty will strike upon us if we achieve independence. Many say that we are too small as a nation to survive. Many think that tribalism will take over us if we are made to live by ourselves. Many assumed that civil war is inevitable if India set us free. Many consider that Indian security forces are too mighty for us to face. Many are of the opinion that we don’t have enough righteous man to lead and be a tall personality among the nations of the world. Many feel that living under India is much better than to live under another Naga tribe. Many leaders are openly sharing that their importance among the Naga society will be lost if Nagas get solution. Many speculate that all the Nagas from outside the state of Nagaland will come and buy all the land and we the Nagas in Nagaland will become landless. And many more apprehensions which are illogical and baseless.
Dear brother and sisters, we have enough natural resources and human resources to sustain ourselves as a free nation. Not just sufficient but even have the capacity to become a wealthy nation. Nagas land is vast enough to do anything at international standard. We have enough population to play vital role in changing the course mankind history. We have stunning cultural practices that the world preach about but are never put into practices. All we need is to believe in ourselves and steadfastly hold on to the invaluable culture of our forefathers. And also preserve, defend and protect the land that has given us ‘life’ since time immemorial.
Violence is not always, the only solution to achieving one’s political aspirations and that is the reasons why our Naga leaders have always resorted to democratic means of; letter, memorandum, protest, demonstration, etc. However, due to sheer negligence, humiliation and tyranny by the colonial government, our leaders where compelled to take up arms. Realizing the great potentialities of the Nagas in arms, government of India was brought down on its knees for peace talk. Almost all the contemporary great nations once went through the stages of violence and negotiation. Nagas have come thus far because of the unrelenting spirits of our forefathers’ sacrifices. We are a unique race not defeated by any nations or kingdom. We have won so many battles and might have lost some as well but our spirit is not bogged down even for a minute.
Respected educated leaders, let us not repeat the mistake of our past leader. Do you believe that having a palace like structure with immense wealth at the cost of Naga nationalism will keep us and our bloodline happy? Never, not at all. I have friends who bow their head in shame every time the topic of Naga political issue, Naga identity, Naga sufferings starts in every gathering. Shamed, self-humiliated and guilty consciences creep up just because their parents and grandparents betrayed the nation. The wealth accumulated as a fifth column has no value for the children and grandchildren when they know the importance of Naga political movement. I have seen some reasonable youths wanting to rectify their parents and grandparents mistake by joining the movement or by working in the mainstream civil society organization but no Nagas will be able to trust them. How unworthy is the palace like building when the people living in it are too ashamed to tell whose house belongs too. The surplus funds received from the government of India are not because they love and care. They are pampering us so that we become an instrument for them in crushing our beloved movement. The Indian tax payers’ money will not keep coming once they completely defeat the spirit of nationalism.
As I congratulate for the achievements made thus far, I also would like to appeal you all to think about the consequences. Regardless of the various plans and policies schemed with our adversaries to erase Nagas rights from the face of the earth, it shall not work at all. It is natural for a mortal man to go astray when we become desperate for needs. But having achieved almost all the things you wanted you in life, now it is time for you to rectify and return to the mainstream. It is essential for us to understand the political dynamics of the Nagas and also about other established countries. History will forgive and forget if you could come back on time and speak and write for the larger Naga interest and not for a small Naga nation. Thousands of Nagas daring to cherish the dreams of our forefathers as a free people are continuously sprouting from every corner. The spirit of patriotism and the common aspirations to live under one unified nation shall continue to germinate with every fallen Naga heroes. The legacy of the Naga martyrs shall one day be in the books of every child. And the dream of annihilating Naga struggle will just be a dream.
Eno Azo Wetsah