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Morung Express News
Chedema | May 16
The 67th anniversary of the Naga Plebiscite was commemorated on May 16 at the Peace Camp, Chedema. Commemorated annually by the Naga National Council (NNC), the event was marked with the presence of NNC veterans and sympathizers.
To strengthen the declaration of Naga Independence on August 14, 1947, the Plebiscite began on May 16, 1951, and continued for three months. Naga people gathered at the Khuochiezie Kohima Local ground to give their thumb impression asserting Naga independence. The plebiscite, recorded through thumb impression, included both Naga women and men above the age of 16, born before 1935.
Recollecting the 1961 Plebiscite in Kohima, Adinno Phizo, President NNC, expressed that the voluntary plebiscite took place with great enthusiasm by the Nagas. “When a copy of the Naga Plebiscite was delivered to the first Indian Prime Minister Nehru, he was outraged. After that, an order ‘Dead or Alive’ with a price was put on Phizo’s head and Nehru sent his armed forces to Nagaland,” stated Phizo.
Addressing the gathering at the hall in Peace Camp, Phizo spoke on the history of the Naga national movement and accused Nehru of arranging the ‘present puppet Nagaland state government with easy money’ while also claiming that ‘since the Nagas are not demanding anything from India, bargaining is not there.’
“Nagas are living in their own country; no connection with India at any time. The first contact was in May 1947 by their representatives from the Constituent Assembly who came to Kohima and talked to NNC inviting us to join the Indian Union but NNC categorically refused,” stated Phizo, conveying encouragement to see young people concerned about the present situation, expressing their views and not resorting to desperation.
“The right is on our side. NNC is not a political group but it is the voice of the Nagas to keep a watch on the situation for the good of the people and keep the people in harmony. We all know that there is no common history between Nagaland and India and therefore to term our situation as ‘political problem’ is wrong. In Naga Voluntary Plebiscite, almost one hundred percent declared not to join India,” asserted Phizo.
Phizo also noted the atrocities and violence that Nagas faced under the regime of the Indian armed forces, reminding how the Naga people have undergone so much suffering in the hands of the Indian armed forces. The armed forces, according to Phizo, behaved like savages, yet the Naga people have carried on with resilience especially with their faith in God. “Many died but their sacrifices brought a normal life to our people today. That should be remembered always,” she remarked while concluding that Nagas are ‘a nation by our own right not given to us by others.’
Special numbers were presented by the Old Ministers’ Hill Women Prayer Fellowship, Kohima and the Chedema Baptist Youth. The commemoration was chaired by Kolezo Chase, CEC, NNC, while Bible reading and prayer was delivered by Rev. Savito Nagi. The closing prayer was pronounced by Sano Vamuzo.~MExN