The Discourse: “Bridging Tomorrow For A Shared Future”.

8th June, 2013 : The Discourse : “Bridging Tomorrow for a Shared Future.”
On 27th April, 2012, we conducted a consultation programme exclusively for the ANSAM and its
constituent Units at Katomei village, Tahamzam. Today, UNC is to take part in the discourse on the
theme : “Bridging Tomorrow for a Shared Future.” We thank the ANSAM Executive for giving us the
opportunity to participate in this discourse.
To build up upon where we stand today let us share the Naga story. Having done that we can look at
the possible bridge or connection with the future, a future that is shared, because of our political
aspiration as a people.
The Naga story – the Naga Boat and its voyage
The Nagas once lived in blissful isolation in the respective village republics. It was community feeling
and the sense of a shared future among the members of the village that made the village vibrant and
resilient. Over the years, this feeling was enlarged and the tribes’ councils were formed by the
village republics. The formation of tribe councils led to further evolvement of the Umbrella Councils
such as the UNC and the Naga HoHo. The political journey of our people, as we developed political
consciousness over the years can be analogised to a voyage in the sea on a boat.
The Nagas in Manipur are today on board the boat called Alternative Arrangement. The boat of the
Nagas in Manipur had already been built before Manipur became a state under the Union of India.
During 1930-31 the “Naga Raj” movement was launched under Haipou Jadonang against colonial rule.
In September 1946, the Naga National League (NNL) was organized to consolidate the Nagas of
Manipur in order to bring together the Naga people separated by colonial boundaries. The “No House
Tax Campaign” was launched in 1948 when Maharaj Kumar Priyobrata Singh was the Chief Minister of
Manipur where the Nagas in Manipur refused to pay the annual House Tax to the Government of
Manipur and under the aegis of the NNL submitted their annual house tax to Charles Pawsey, then
D.C. of Naga Hills of Assam at Kohima. Though the campaigns were forcibly suppressed resulting in
the martyrdom of heroes and wounding of many, the seeds of political aspiration sown during those
critical moments never died. Having realized the futility of the non-violent movement to secure their
inalienable right to live together with the rest of the Naga people, the Nagas of Manipur took to arms
and became a part of the mainstream armed Naga National movement spearheaded by the NNC.

  • The first Indo-Naga Cease-fire which came into effect from Sept. 6th 1964 and lasted till 1967 was
    operative in the whole of Nagaland, and also in the areas inhabited by the Nagas in Manipur, Cachar
    hills and the North-East Frontier Agency. The second Indo-Naga Cease-fire came into effect on 1
    August, 1997 and which today offers to bring about a lasting and honourable solution to the Naga issue
    which is about their land, the people and their rights.
  • The inherent and organized expression of the desire of the Naga people to live together also
    continued as a civil movement of which the United Naga Integration Council movement of the 1970s.
    The demand of the Naga people for integration of the contiguous Naga areas into one administrative
    unit also finds clear mention in the 9 Point Hydari Agreeement of 1947 and in the 16 Point Agreement
    of 1960.
  • The Naga Hoho, passed the resolution on Naga Integration during its 6th Session at Dimapur on 11th
    & 12th March, 1999.
    *Nagas in Manipur in NPC held on 8th and 9th August, 2001 at Tahamzam (Senapati) declared
    “…that our identity and history have to be defended and preserved at all cost, and the firm
    political stand of the Nagas of Manipur is to uphold the resolution of the Naga people for
    integration of all Naga areas under one administration”.
  • Another NPC was convened 4th of November 2005 at Taphou village Tahamzam(Senapati), which
    reiterated the 8-9 August, 2001 Declaration. To further the realization of this declaration, the NPC also
    declared the launching of Non-cooperation and Civil disobedience movements against the Government
    of Manipur.
  • In the subsequent “Declaration and Memorandum” submitted to the Prime Minister of India on
    December 15, 2005 at New Delhi, the Chiefs/Chairmen/Headmen of Naga villages in the present state
    of Manipur stated in no uncertain terms “that any honourable solution to the Naga peace process
    must begin with the unification of the Naga areas.”
    *Joint meeting of the Naga Hoho, UNC, NSF, ANSAM, NPMHR (South), NWUM held on the 18th June,
    2010 at Kohima endorsed the United Naga Council’s decision to declare the imposed District Council
    Elections in the Naga areas of Manipur as “null and void” & also fully endorsed the decision of the UNC
    to sever all political ties with the Government of Manipur.
  • In the 3rd NPC declaration of 1st July 2010 at Senapati, the Nagas in Manipur declared that the Nagas
    will sever all political ties with the communal Government of Manipur, and henceforth there shall be a
    total political non-cooperation movement against it. The imposed ADC election was declared “null &
    void” and under no circumstances the district councils are to be allowed to function in the Naga areas.
    Because of the severance of ties, the vacuum in governance and administration created thereby must
    be filled with an alternative arrangement by the Government of India in consultation with the Naga
    people at the earliest possible time, pending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue.
  • The 3rd Federal Assembly of the Naga HoHo at Mokokchung held 16th July, 2010, the UNC’s
    declaration for severance of political ties with Manipur State Government and to opt for an alternative
    arrangement pending the settlement of the Indo-Naga issue was endorsed.
    This are the landmarks of the voyage of our people – recorded, registered and established.
    Today, we are here at this point of time in history where we, at the civil society level are
    engaged in a democratic process of dialogue on our demand for alternative arrangement
    wherein 5 round of talks(now it is seven) have taken place. On the other hand the higher
    negotiation of the Indo-Naga issue is nearing settlement. This is the story of the Nagas in Manipur.
    Who are on board the Naga boat ? All the Naga tribes in Manipur. They decided to come together and
    build the boat. The boat may have any name given the situation. It sails in the ocean of history. At times
    the ocean current changes, at times strong wind blows, at times rain and storm breaks out on
    the way. The rowers in the boat must row in tandem or else the boat may not sail in the way and with
    the speed that is required at that particular moment. Some of the rowers cannot row in the opposite
    direction because that will cause the boat to start going round and round. When the boat goes round
    and round, there is confusion. The sense of direction is lost. Sometimes we see land, sometimes we
    see ships, sometimes we see just plain wide ocean. We are in the ocean of history. The destination is

fulfilment of our aspiration. What is our aspiration ? The right to administer ourselves, so that our
identity, our culture and way of life, our land and resources are recognised, protected and safeguarded,
so that we can live with honour and dignity, individually and collectively. Thus according to the winds,
the ocean currents, the weather, we have to row at different speed and in suitable directions. We are
already on the UNC boat. If the Nagas lose sight of this vision and ignore this collective journey, the
Naga boat, the UNC boat will sink or go round and round, or be swept away from the course.
Some of the rowers may be tempted to jump out of the boat because it does not seem to be making
progress. They might want to swim, too impatient and wrongly presuming that would be faster. If we
swim individually we will not reach the same destination, our aspiration which unites us will no more be
the same and we therefore will not be united. Swimming individually away from the collective out of self
centred interest causes confusion and distrust among the folks. The inability to uphold the common
interest, the common good, the common aspiration has, as seen in the past will be the cause of our
failure. When consciousness and conviction of the greater issue is clear and we march together with
commitment it is just a matter of time. The Israelites lost their sense of direction because of petty side
issues and which made them take longer to reach the promised land. The promised land has been
promised to us because of our inherent rights, which nobody can deny us forever. Only thing is the
promised land will not be available to us so long as we do not truly, sincerely, seriously and unitedly
struggle for it as a people.
The Naga boat must not be rocked. It must not be allowed to spin into confusion, everyone on board
must row together in tandem. From within there are people who slice and cut away the movement by
attacking individuals, particular decisions, dwelling on specific issues where failures or inconsistencies
have been perceived, various other reasons – for what purpose, they want to swim. They cannot wait
for the boat, they want to row their oars out of tune and out of sync, they want to row in the opposite
Unity in letter and spirit is our strength: Whatever the turns of events in our collective lives, we
cannot abandon the Naga boat. Some of us, at uninformed and illy considered instances may have
jumped off or stepped out of the Naga boat or stopped rowing or may have rowed out of tune. The
progress of the boat had slowed down. But they have come back because they know their destiny lies
with the collective Naga boat. Swimming will not help them reach the destination, it will only be
temporary gratification, temporary respite but at the cost of loss of speed, loss of direction, confusion to
the journey of the Naga boat. We the tribes, we the Nagas will have to uphold the Naga boat, for the
present and for our future.
My young student leaders, settlement is coming, it will come. It is the way of the world. When issues are
recognised and registered, they are to be addressed with settlement. Therefore changes will take
place. But the Naga story is not only about settlement, about reaching our destination. When the
settlement comes, there will be much more responsibilities, greater challenges, overwhelming
difficulties. Because changes for the good also disturbs the life that we have been used to for a long
This is the message that we want to get across to the ANSAM and its constituent units.
This is the message we want you student leaders to take back to the tribes, to the villages, to the Naga
people. We have to strengthen ourselves, our tribes, our organizations so that the Naga boat is

efficiently maintained, so that when we reach the shore, the destination, we will be able to build up the
best life that is possible for our people.
United Naga Council

Courtesy: Seth Shatsang
President, ANSAM.

Edited By Khanrin Editorial Team 2021-2022

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