Nagaland Northeast

Nagas hoist ‘Naga national flag’ to celebrate Naga I-Day

When the country is gripped in the “Har Ghar Tiranga movement” to mark the 75 years of India’s Independence, the Naga tribals hoisted the “Naga national flag” and organised programmes in Nagaland and at many villages in the Naga-dominated areas of Manipur on Sunday to celebrate the “76th Naga Independence Day”.

Several programmes were held on the occasion in different places of Nagaland besides organising small programmes in many villages of the Naga inhabited areas of Manipur, the Naga flags were hoisted in the houses, shops, and various other establishments.

A considerable number of Naga tribals inhabited in many of the 16 hill districts of Manipur while there are Kuki tribals in these hill districts, bordering Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram, and Myanmar.

In Manipur’s Ukhrul district, which is the birthplace of several top Naga leaders of the major rebel group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) including the General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah.

A statement signed by Muivah said: “All Nagas unite with one decision, one faith, and one politics on the principle of Nagalim for Christ.”

It said that the Nagas have endured 25 years of gruelling ceasefire living up to “our commitment for a peaceful solution of the Naga political issue”.

“We have also waited patiently for seven long years after the historic Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015. We have not left any stone unturned of what it takes to bring a solution that is honourable, inclusive, and acceptable to both the Nagas and the Government of India. The ball is now in the court of the Government of India to make the right move and to fulfill the commitment given to the Nagas,” the statement said.

The NSCN-IM statement said that political movement without looking into sustainable economic development is an outmoded policy.

“We have to feel comfortable about the fact that Nagalim is immensely rich in terms of God-gifted natural resources and human resources. The Nagas are blessed with physical, mental, and spiritual potentialities to grow.

All the nations move forward through the spirit of self-reliance in all fields-political, economic, military, and in the field of education. In order to build a strong nation, it is imperative for us to build a strong economy. Therefore, we should be ready to explore all avenues for the generation of revenues to build our nation’s economy.”

Referring to the Emergency National Assembly of NSCN-IM held on May 31, the statement said that the meeting was one of the turning points in the history of the Naga political movement.

“We have taken the stand before God and Naga people that NSCN will uphold and protect the unique Naga history and the Naga National principle at any cost. The Naga flag and constitution are indivisible parts of the recognized sovereignty and unique history. We believe the Indian leaders too understand it,” the statement said.

Manipur based All Naga Students’ Association (ANSA) in a separate statement referring to a Manipur government notification said that the blanket order to hoist the Indian National Flag on August 15 circulated in various departments including the education department whereby “directly and indirectly confronting the rights and sentiments of the Nagas and provoking us is condemned”.

The statement signed by the ANSA Information and Publicity Secretary Thohrii Khrasi said “for the Nagas we have been celebrating our Independence Day on August 14 since 1947 and we hope the Government of Manipur will take note of this history whereby a political negotiation has also been undergoing at the Prime Minister level Indo-Naga Peace Talk as two entities”.

“Such (government) order negates the spirit of Framework Agreement and negotiation between the two entities. We will not allow any imposition of flag hoisting. Mention may be made that the notification of the Education Department’s blanket compulsion to hoist the Indian national flag in all schools reminds us of the government wilfully denying us the quality education for decades since Independence.”

It said that the recent expenditure statement of the allocated budget of four years reflects a mere 5.7 percent of the total proportion in the hills.

“An insult such as this cannot be celebrated with hoisting of Flag on Independence Day rather it amounts to rubbing salt in the wound. In order to avoid confrontation we are cautioning the departments, especially the education department, to refrain from compelling people to hoist flags in our villages,” the ANSA statement said.

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