Kaka D. Iralu
In a recent interview by an Indian T.V. News Channel, I was asked the question: “Now with the NSCN IM- GOI talks having given up the issue of Naga integration under one political entity, will the Naga integration issue become just a dream for the future?” My immediate reply was: “Naga integration under one political entity is not a future dream but a living reality that has been going on for the past more than 2000 years.” Now, what I meant by what I said, are based on the following facts.
Nagas have always lived as an integrated people and nation in a continuous territory for all the past thousands of years.
Within this continuous territory, no other peoples or nations have had a territory within the Naga territories whether by conquest or subjugation.
Attempts at invasion of their continuous territories by their immediate neighbours like the Manipuris, the Ahoms, the Tripuris and the Kacharis were made. But the Nagas had never surrendered even a single village to these neighbouring kingdoms over the centuries.
Attempts by the British to subjugate the Nagas from 1832 to 1947 (115 years) also failed and they were finally compelled to leave Naga lands as “Excluded areas” when they left their South Asian Empire in 1947.
In modern history, in the case of Germany and Korea, both the countries were dissected and disintegrated by foreign powers. Concrete walls and electrified barbed wires were set up by these foreign powers and even families were separated from one another. But Germany finally rose up and smashed these walls and re-united themselves. But in the case of Korea, because of the personal political ambitions of the Kim Jong family, Korea still remains divided.
Such a situation however, has never been the case in the Naga context. Never has any long walls or barbed wires ever been able to be built across Naga territories by any foreign powers so far. The so called boundary pillars that had been set up by the Indian and Burmese troops across Naga territories have been again and again smashed and dismantled by the Naga army and the Naga villagers.
And in the absence of any such physical walls or barbed wires, communications and travels between Naga villages has been going on, UN- INTERRUPTED in a CONTINUOUS Naga territory, for the past thousands of years. In this context, some Indian and Burmese politicians may be thinking that some Nagas have their houses in Indian Territory and their fields in Burmese territory. But Nagas don’t give a damn about such an imaginary Indian or Burmese boundary line existing in the heads of some incredulous Indian and Burmese politicians. Nagas are not living inside the heads of some Indian or Burmese politicians. They have always been living only inside their own heads and in their own Naga lands. Nagas do recognise the actual international territories of sovereign India and Burma. But they do not and will not recognise any so called Indian or Burmese state boundaries running across ancient Naga territories. These ancient Naga territories are also equally as ancient as the Indian and Burmese territories.
In the face of such glaring facts and reality, how can Nagas be asking India or Burma to integrate them under their foreign Constitutions? Far from any such demands, all Nagas should instead be rallying together to defend their own integrated nation and their own continuous ancient territories.
Finally, any Naga political group that will attempt to integrate the Naga nation into the Indian or Burmese nations should face the wrath of the Naga nation that has bled for over 7 decades in modern history, defending their sovereignty and their territories.
Author: Kaka D. Iralu