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Friday, June 14, 2024

Forcing the Nagas to accept the Indian constitution can never make the Nagas to be Indians: ANSAM

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SENAPATI, AUG 14 (NNN): The All Naga Students’
Association, Manipur (ANSAM), while extending
its ”warm greetings to all the Nagas on this historic 77th
Naga National Independence Day, said that, on this very
historic and remarkable day of Nagas, the Naga student
body gratefully remembers Naga revolutionary leaders,
martyrs for the cause of Nagas, Naga visionary leaders
and ethos of Nagas’ struggle for free Nagalim”.
The ANSAM during the period of British Rule, Nagas
were by and large on their own and continued their
social, economic and political activities according to their
own values and customs. The Nagas intensely resisted
and opposed any attempts of invasion and imposition by
the British led combined forces. Nagas were politically
conscious of their future and did not want to be part of
British India and British Burma.

The ANSAM then said that, determined to decide “our
own future”, Nagas in 1946 formed the Naga National
Council (NNC), a political organisation described as “a
natural extension of the traditional system of the Naga
village/tribe to the ultimate scale-the whole of the
Nagas.” In order to avoid acrimony, the NNC in the
February 1947 memorandum to the British Government
and British Government requested an interim
government for themselves, and proposed a “protected
state status” with India as a guardian power for an
interim period of ten years at the end of which the Nagas
would be left to decide their own political future.
According to the ANSAM, on July 19, 1947, Mahatma
Gandhi told the Naga leaders that, “Nagas have every
right to be independent. We did not want to live under
the domination of the British and they are now leaving
us. I want you to feel that the Naga
Hills are mine just as much as they are yours, but if you
say, it is not mine then the matter must stop there. I
believe in the brotherhood of men, But I do not
believe in force or in forced unions. If you do not wish to
join the Union of India, nobody will force you to do that”.
Not wanting to accept any form of foreign domination,
alien subjugation and exploitation, the Nagas in the
“Naga Hills District” formally declared their

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Independence on August 14, 1947 from British Rule, and
subsequently merged with the “Free Naga territories,”
the Naga student body also said. Together, the “Naga
Hills district” and the “Free Naga territories” constitute
Naga homeland-Nagalim, the Naga student body further
said. The declaration of Naga Independence states that
Nagas were reclaiming the status they held as
an independent people before the British came. The
declaration was sent to the King of England, the
Government of India and to the secretary general of
the United Nations, the ANSAM reminded. As a historical
step in strengthening the Naga national movement, the
NNC took a critical decision to organise a Naga
Voluntary Plebiscite, and informed the Government of
India on July 1, 1951, of their intention, the ANSAM
further said. The Plebiscite was held on May 16,
1951with a symbolic and irrevocable solemn vow. The
Naga people had never been a part of what
today constitutes the Indian Union and Nagas will never
be a part of Indian Constitution, the ANSAM also stated.
“Forcing the Nagas to accept the Indian constitution by
the Indian Government, enticing to a few avaricious
Nagas in the Naga society can never make the Nagas to
be Indians,” the ANSAM added.
It then said Nagas are bound by their own culture,
language , religion, traditions, history and aspirations.
The ANSAM also said the Nagas are fully committed to
pursuing democratic norms and principles. “It should

therefore be left to the will of the Nagas to decide how
we choose to exercise our sovereign rights with Naga
flag, Naga constitution and integration as the inalienable
rights of the Naga people. Let us all strive in unison to
achieve our collective aspirations ‘without fear and
without reproach’”, the ANSAM further added.

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