REMINISCENCE: A GLIMPSE INTO THE JOURNEY OF THE TANGKHUL KATAMNAO LONG DELHI

Dr. Rammathot Khongreiwo, President, TKLD 2004-2005

The capital city of Delhi was understandably an unknown land for the Tangkhuls in the yesteryears;  TangkhuI forefathers might never have imagined that someday this strange and unknown city would  become a home for many of the descendants . As we glimpse into the journey of the Tangkhul  Katamnao Long, it is imperative to sail back to the roots of this long voyage. To begin with, the  history of the ‘Tangkhul Diasporas’ in the National Capital Territory of Delhi and National Capital  Region goes back to as early as the early 1950s. From a handful of Tangkhuls in the 1950s to a few  hundred Tangkhuls in the late 1990s, Tangkhul population in the NCT of Delhi and NCR has now  soared up beyond ten thousand. Mostly landing in Delhi as students, many a good number of  Tangkhuls have achieved their goals and settled in this capital city or in other states or at home;  many are serving in government and private sectors in various capacities or running their own  trades; many of them also have found their fortunes abroad through this city. If, for many, Delhi is a  destiny, for many others, it is just a transit or a city of sojourn; and for many, Delhi is a hope, for  many others, it is a mirage. With all these ironies, Delhi has been a promising ground for the  Tangkhuls, as it is for many other communities of Northeast India; for many, especially students, it is  still a hope and a destiny, the present and the future. 

The Tangkhul Katamnao Long Delhi (TKLD) was established as late as in 2003. The roots of the union,  however, dates back far beyond 2003, indisputably to as early as 1963, when the apex Naga  students’ union – i.e. the NSUD (Naga Students’ Union Delhi) was established. Not only that the first  President of the NSUD was a Tangkhul (viz. Dr. Aryo Shishak), many Tangkhuls served the NSUD in  different capacities during the first three decades of the union, when it functioned on the basis of a  unitary system/structure. Then, in 1994, considering the exponential growth of Naga students’  population in Delhi, the NSUD adopted a quasi-unitary system as a necessary substitution, for the  original unitary system. Under the quasi-unitary system, full-fledged students’ unions at tribal levels  were denied, but each Naga community was to constitute a unit headed by a Convener, assisted by two representatives each to the NSUD. Under this system, Tangkhuls in Delhi were represented in  the NSUD by Tangkhul Katamnao Delhi (TKD), with the motto, Knowledge in Service. Thenceforth, till  September 2003, the TKO shouldered responsibilities concerning the internal affairs of the Tangkhul  community (in the NCT of Delhi and NCR) under the umbrella of the Naga Students’ Union Delhi  (NSUD). Under the stewardship of the TKD also, many Tangkhuls served in the Executive Council of  the Naga Students’ Union Delhi (NSUD) in various capacities. It was also during the TKD period that  the official magazine of the TKLD, Khanrin, was launched in the year 2001 as a “bi-monthly news  reader/bulletin” (Resolution No. 3, General Body Meeting, TKD, 19th September 2001). 

The year 2003 was a defining year in the history of the TKD (as part of the NSUD) and of the  Tangkhul community in Delhi and NCR. With the amendment of Article 6, Clauses 3 & 4 of the  Constitution of the Naga Students’ Union Delhi in 2003 (1st February), the NSUD adopted a quasi federal system wherein all Naga tribes/communities were entitled to form their respective students’  union under the NSUD. It was the strength of this amendment that the Tangkhul Katamnao Long  Delhi (TKLD) was established as a full-fledged union under the umbrella of the NSUD, and adopted its  own constitution on 27th May of the same year (2003). The constitution of the TKLD instituted an  Executive Council, headed by a President, to run the union, to shoulder responsibilities concerning  the internal affairs of the Tangkhul community in the NCT of Delhi and the NCR, and to represent  Tangkhuls (as a federal unit) in the NSUD. The first election of the union’s Executive Council was held  in September 2003. After a year of heuristic experiments, necessity arose for reviewing the union’s  constitution during the tenure 2004-’05. With this constitutional review, the TKLD adopted a new  motto (Build A Better Tomorrow), an emblem and a flag (both still in use), and two new posts were added in the Executive Council, viz. Joint Secretary and Accountant (approved in 2004-’05 tenure,  but put into effect in the succeeding 2005-’06 tenure). During the tenure 2011-2012, another  substantial improvement was brought about: considering the unprecedented and exponential  increase of Tangkhul population in the NCR township of Gurgaon, necessity compelled the TKLD to  add two more posts (specifically reserved for Tangkhuls in Gurgaon) in the Executive Council of the  union (viz. a Vice President and a Public Relations Secretary),devised for better and more effective  functioning of the union across the territory under its jurisdiction. 

Since its inception, the TKLD has been diligently representing in the NSUD in various ways, and has  also sent a good number of its members to serve in the Executive Council of the NSUD in various  capacities. The TKLD has been ardently committed to its noble objectives: “cultivate and instill  excellence in the pursuit of education”, “enhance strong and progressive outlook”, “preserve,  promote and uphold socio-economic and cultural heritage” and “consolidate the unity and integrity  of the Tangkhul community in particular and Nagas in general”. The union has been, more than any  other organizations, an organization that makes Tangkhul Nagas feel at home in the NCT of Delhi and  the NCR. 

One of the most important socio-cultural events organized by the TKLD is Yarthot Kazip, a legacy of  TKD celebrated every year in the latter half of the year in conjunction with a program welcoming  Tangkhuls (students and others) landing in Delhi for further studies, competitive exams and other  fortunes of life. The term Yarthot Kazip literally means “a get-together of peer groups, of old and  young, married and unmarried, boys and girls men and women”, but technically, it is an annual  gathering of the Tangkhul community living in the NCT of Delhi and NCR. Another is Luira Phanit  (Tangkhul Naga ‘seed sowing festival’ or ‘New Year festival’, based on their traditional lunar calendar  – changshan) an age-old tradition that can be considered as an identity-marker of the Tangkhul Naga  community. In Delhi and NCR, Luira Phanit was celebrated by the TKLD for the first time on 28th  February 2015. Both the occasions have been culturally significant events for the community, in that  such occasions provide platforms to exhibit/experience talents among the youth, to relive their  glorious past in the present, to inculcate a sense of social responsibility, belongingness and oneness  among the Tangkhul diasporas in the NCT of Delhi and NCR, to promote and nurture the  community’s rich culture, customs, traditions, etc. A third engagement is its annual sports meet that  spans over a few months starting with a league stage and represented by all localities (wherever  substantial populations of Tangkhuls live) within the NCT of Delhi and NCR. Through this sports  meet, the TKLD aims at inculcating among the youngsters a spirit of sportsmanship and to nurture  talents among them, in both universal games (like football, volleyball, badminton, etc.) and Tangkhul  Naga traditional games. 

The TKLD is significantly engaged with various academic and educational activities concerning  Tangkhul students and youth in Delhi and NCR. Here, mention may be made of such activities as  organizing career orientation programs and legal awareness programs for students in general and  special lectures for students preparing for competitive exams (in Delhi), and seminars and  workshops on relevant issues/aspects concerning students, Tangkhul community and Nagas at large  (occasionally organized in Delhi and Ukhrul). The TKLD also responsibly looks into all social matters  concerning the wellbeing of all Tangkhuls living within its jurisdiction. Besides the responsibilities it  has been executing towards the wellbeing of the Tangkhul community, the TKLD has also been a  productive training ground for honing the youth/students towards leadership in the present and  future of the Tangkhul community, the larger Naga community and even beyond. The TKLD also has  been ardently engaging itself m promoting young talents among the Tangkhuls, especially singers,  actors, musicians and other artistes, by creating space for them at important occasions of the Union.  Every executive council, elected annually, is impressively taking the Union and the community to  new heights in various areas/fields.

Long Live Tangkhul Katamnao Long Delhi 

1. As per a source, it was in 1952, when for the first time five Tangkhuls were in Delhi. They were:  Qr. (Late) Rishang Keishing (Bungpa Khunou), as Member of Lok Sabha (1952-1957), his wife Qr.  Khathingla Hungyo Keishing and eldest son Yaruingam Keishing (as a little boy), Qr. (Late)  Wungmareo Shaiza, IAS, (Hunphun), as a Post-Graduate (in History from Calcutta University), and Qr.  (Late) Solomon Lunghar (Teinem) as a student.  

2. In 1998, Tangkhul population in Delhi and NCR was around 600 only. 

3. They are: Dr. Aryo Shishak, as President (1963-’64), Qr. Wungazan A. Shishak, as President (1964- ’65), Qr. John Sr. Khathing, a s Assistant Secretary (1964-’65) & Secretary (1966-’67), Qr. Ngaraipam  Ningshen, as General Secretary ( 1967-‘68), Qr. Darlando Khathing, as General Secretary (1970-’71)  Ql. Primrose Raikhan, Assistant General Secretary (1970-’71), Qr. Home Raikhan, as Vice President  (1971-’72) & as President (1973-’74 & 1978-’79) Vitsomeno Shaiza as General Secretary (1971-‘72),  Qr. Stilwell Rumthao, as Treasurer (1971-’72) Qr Max Phazang, as President (1972-‘73), Qr. Ahao  Shaiza, as Vice President ( 1975-‘76), Qr. Shangam Rungsung, as General Secretary (1975-’76), Qr.  Luingam Luithui, as President (1976-’77), Ql. Christianson Raikhan, as Assistant Treasurer (1976-’77), Qr. Mark A.S Tharmi, as General Secretary (1977-’78), Qr. Ramthing Hungyo, as Assistant Treasurer  (1978-’79), Qr. Ameising Luikham, as Librarian (1978-‘79) & as Cultural Secretary (1979-’80),  Qr.Sebastian M. Hongray, as Treasurer (1980-’81), Qr. Grinder Muivah, as Vice President, instated as  President later (1981-’82) Qr. Roland Keishing, as Assistant General Secretary (1981 ’82) & as  President (1983- ‘84 – resigned), Athem Muivah, as Treasurer (1981-’82) & as General Secretary  (1982 ’83), Qr. Maranchan Luikham, as President (1984-’85), Qr. Sanejob Horam as General Secretary (1984-’85), Qr. Lucky Sareo, as Public Relation Secretary (1984-’85), Qr. Khashim Vashum,  as Vice President (1985-’86), Qr. Phungreikhai Shimrah, as General Secretary (1986-’87), Ql.  Chonchon Keishing, as Treasurer (1986-’87), Qr. Tamchon Raingam, as Public Relation Secretary  (1986-’87), Qr. A.S. Shimreiyo, as President (1987-’88), Qr. Ringkahao Horam, as Public Relation  Secretary (1987-’88), Ql. Thingamchon Arthur, as General Secretary {1989-’90), Qr. Vareingam  Horam, as Public Relation Secretary (1989-’90), Qr. Victor Ahum, as Vice President (1990-’91), Qr.  Steve Khapudang, as Vice President (1992-’93), Qr. Pamlei Lungleng, as Games & Sports Secretary  (1993-’94), and Qr. Yangmi Ruivah, as Public Relation Secretary (1993-’94). 

4. From 1994 to 2003, the TKD was headed by 11 (eleven) Conveners and was represented to the  NSUD by 19 (nineteen) Representatives/Co-Conveners.  

Conveners: Qr. Luckyson Kashung (1994-’95), Qr. UA. Shimray (1995- ’96), Qr. C. Kharmi (resigned) &  Qr. Henry K. Shimray (1996-’97), Qr. George Theimi (1997-’98), Qr. Yuingam Jajo (1998-’99), Qr. RA.  Shimreingam (1999-2000), Qr. Wungramthan Shongzan (2000-’01), Qr. Chingreiso Rumthao (2001- ’02), Qr. Shimreishang Zimik (2002-’03) and Qr. Keen Kazingmei (2003).  

Representatives to NSUD: Qr. R. Masakui & Qr. Garn A. Shimray (1994-’95), Qr. Shimreishang  Kengoo & Qr. Theophelus Zimik. (1995-’96), Qr. A.S. Hubert & Qr. Redeemson (1996-’97), Qr. Paisho  Keishing & Ql. L.W. Thingreiphy (1997-’98), Qr. Ningreisem Ronra Shimray & Qr. Omi Ningshen  (1998-’99), Qr. A.C. Kharingpam & Nakhedei & Ql. Yuimi Varam (2001-’02), Qr. Chihansung Raman  (resigned), Qr. Keen Kazingmei & Qr. Kevin Ngalung (2002-’03).  

5. They are: Qr. Reisang Vashum, as President (1995-’96), Ql. Monalisa Arthur, as Women Co ordinator (1997-’98), Ql. Worthing Kasar, as Women Co-ordinator (1998-’99), Ql. Elizabeth Phazang,  as Vice President (2000-’01), Qr. Khanngam Muivah, as Assistant General Secretary (2001-’03). 

6 Qr. Thansing Ramsan and Qr. Peimiya Khangrah were the first Editor and first Assistant Editor of  the news bulletin/magazine respectively. 

The name Khanrin was coined by Qr. Rammathot Khongreiwo and shared with Qr. Thansing Ramsan  during a Naga mass rally organized in Delhi (in protest against the arrest of Th. Muivah in Bangkok).  It was then discussed in, and approved by, the General Body Meeting of TKD (Resolution No. 3), held  on 19th September 2001.  

7. TKLD _Presidents (2003-till date): Qr. (Late) Hangmi Raihing (2003-’04), Qr. Rammathot Khongreiwo (2004-’05), Qr. Somiham A. Shatsang (2005-’06), Qr. Yurreikan Hungyo (2006-’07), Qr.  Tamyo AC (2007-’09), Qr. Roviso Marza (2008-‘09), Qr. Tungrei Ngakang (2009-’10), Qr. lemza Raising  (2010-’11), Qr. Ruskan Ngachonmi Jonah (2011-’12) Qr. leiyaza_Hushu Wunga (2012-’13), Qr.  Thotthuingam Shinglai (2013-’14), Qr. Phungshok Khongreiwo (2014-’15), Qr. John Zimik (2015-’16),  Qr. Shimri Raising (2016-’17), Qr. Sorinthan Haorei (2017-18), Qr. Ngakuipam Shaizak (2018-’19) &  Qr. Masotmi Kashung (2019-‘2021) 

8. The First Executive Council Member were: Qr. (Late) Hangmi Raihing (President), Qr. Lanmiyo  Luikham (General Secretary), Ql. Ellin Ramsan (Vice President), Ql. Seema Awungshi (Finance  Secretary), Ql. Lynette Shimrah (Women Co-ordinator), Qr. (Late) Elson Ngalung (Public Relation  Secretary), Qr. (Late) Ningpam Rephung (Social and Cultural-cum-Games & Sports Secretary) 

9. They are: Qr. Ashang A. Shimray, as Vice President (2003-’04), Qr. Canaan Kasar, as Finance  Secretary (2004-’05), Qr.Aristo Humbumthing Zimik, as Public Relation Secretary (2007-’08), Qr.  Gideon Shadang, as President (2008-’09), Qr. Nganingmi Shimray, as Assistant Social & Cultural  Secretary (2008-’09), Qr. Sira Kharay, as Vice President (2009- ’10), Qr. leiyaza Hushu Wunga, as  Assistant General Secretary (2011-‘ 12), Qr. Horngachan A. Shimray, as Asst. General Secretary  (2012-’14), Qr. Ngakuipam Shaizak, as Asdsistant Public Relation Secretary (2014-’15), Qr. Yaruingam  Hongchui, as Assistant General Secretary (2015-’16), Qr. Reimeishang Ramsan, as Socio-Cultural  Secretary (2015- ’16), Qr. Phungshok Khongreiwo, as President (2016-’17), Qr. Hashokmi Kamkara,  Public Relations Secretary (2016- ’17), Qr. Chingriso Siro, as Socio-Cultural Secretary (2017-’18), Ql.  Philapam Sareng, as Asst. Public Relations Secretary (2017-’18), Ql. Sokhami A. Shishak, as Assistant  Public Relations Secretary (2018-’19), Qr. Yaorei Horam, as Assistant General Secretary (2018-’19) &  Vice-President (2019-till date).  

10. Yarthot Kazip” was coined in 2000 as a substitution for the term, because the latter was realized  as too limited a term as it was resolved in the GBM of TKD to organize only one get-together (”yarui  kazip”) of the Tangkhuls in Delhi & NCR beginning from the 2000-2001 tenure onwards (Resolution  No. 1, TKD GBM, May 2000). Thenceforth, the ”yarui kazip” was organized as ”Yarthot Kazip”, of  which “freshers’ meet” ( or welcoming the freshers) formed just a part. Thereafter, “Yarthot Kazip”  came to be associated with (inherited by) TKLD when it was established in 2003 within the quasi federal structure of the NSUD. Since then, it is in vogue as a hallmark of the TKLD.  

11. The grand occasion was graced by Qr. Weapon Zimik, then President of the Tangkhul Naga Long  (TNL), Qr. Gaidon Kamei, then President of the United Naga Council (UNC), and Qr. Seth Shatsang,  then President of the All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM), as Guests of Honor. 

Sources- 

– Collective Memories.  

– Constitution of the Tangkhul Katamnao Long (TKLD), 2003 (Constitution Drafting  Committee).  

– Constitution of the Tangkhul Katamnao Long (TKLD), 2004 (Constitution Review Committee).  – Information from some Tangkhul seniors and friends, gleaned through personal  correspondences.  

– Khanrin (2001 Issues). 

– Tangkhul Katamnao Delhi (TKD) General Body Meeting Records.  

– Tangkhul Katamnao Long Delhi (TKLD) General Body Meeting Records.  – What Happened in the 50 Years History of NSUD? By Golden Jubilee History Committee (A  publication of the Naga Stud~nts’ Union Delhi), 2018.

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