Memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister of India by the Naga civil organizations in Manipur on June 22, 2001, in support of the extension of Indo-Naga cease-fire without territorial limits
Full text of the memorandum is as follows:
We, the undersigned Naga apex organizations in Manipur including The United Naga Council (UNC), Naga Women’s Union, Manipur (NWUM) and All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) hail the extension of Indo-Naga Cease-fire for another year starting August 1, 2001 without any territorial limits. We also appreciate the political will of both the parties to embark on a journey for bringing about a lasting political solution to the Indo-Naga issue.
We are cognizant of the steps taken by the Government of India and the State Government in Manipur to allay apprehensions and fear arising from the Bangkok agreement of 14th June 2001. We affirm the wisdom of the Government that the need of the hour first and foremost is PEACE.
At this point of time we, on behalf of the Naga Peoples’ take this opportunity to apprise the Government of India that the desire and aspiration of the Nagas to live together as a PEOPLE under one political roof is based on historical facts.
When the Nagas refer to Nagaland, they mean the entire Naga area partitioned by the British between India and Burma (Myanmar) without the free and informed consent of the Nagas. In post independent India the Naga areas were left in the four states of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Before the British left India the Nagas made it clear that they should be left to decide their own political future in a representation to Simon Commission on 10th June, 1929. A referendum was conducted in 1951 where 99% of the Nagas unanimously voted in favour of independent Nagaland.
The Nagas in the Indian sub-continent whose aspiration is to live together as a people inhabits the contiguous and compact areas of Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The Nagas are one racially, with close social affinity, common customs and traditions and a common heritage – A legendary stone and a tree in Mao-Makhel clearly indicating their common origin and historical dispersal to the present areas where they are settled now.
That there were organized movements by the Nagas, which was an expression of their inherent desire to live together as a people. Just to give few examples,
(a) There was a unification move in 1932 under the leadership of Jadonang and his sister Gaidinliu against the British government.
(b) A clause was incorporated by the hill leaders in the Manipur constitution drafted in May, 1947 on page 12 which read,
"The principle of equality and freedom as applied to all without discrimination of caste, creed and race shall include the right of any section of the hill people to secede at the end of the five year period, should conditions within the constitution not be satisfactory".
(c) The Mao-Nagas started the movement for integration of Naga areas in Manipur with the Naga Hills which was then a district of Assam as "the integrated Manipur administration of hills and valley started functioning on 15th August, 1947 with high-handedness". On 15th August 1948 they launched a no-tax campaign against the government.
(d) Innumerable memoranda were submitted to the Government of India and several resolutions were also passed for the unification of Naga areas. To mention few points,
(i) Nagaland Assembly resolution adopted on 12-12-1964
"It is hereby unanimously resolved that the Government of India be urged for the integration of the Naga areas adjoining the State of Nagaland to fulfil the aspiration by the Naga peoples convention held at Mokokchung in 1959".
(ii) The 1st Convention of the Naga people of Manipur, held at Mao Town (Gate), May 16, 1970 in its resolution number 1 unanimously resolved that a common organization for all the Nagas of Manipur be formed. The Convention also endorsed the various steps taken by the Naga Integration Council (N.I.C.) for Integration of all Naga inhabited areas into Nagaland State. The convention further authorizes the N.I.C. to continue to work for integration till such time when the organization is actually brought into existence.
Resolution No. 2 reads, "It is unanimously resolved that since the British days, now for about four decades, the Nagas of Manipur along with their counterparts in Nagaland have been demanding to unify all the Naga inhabited areas under one administrative roof. The Naga people move to live together in One State has undoubtedly been motivated by genuine patriotic urge. Moreover, it is based on solid and unchallengeable facts such as that all the Naga inhabited areas in Manipur, Nagaland, NEFA and Assam are contiguous to each other and constitute a compact area, that the Naga racially, socially, culturally and in all aspects of life are the same, that wherever they are and under whatever administrative set up they may come, the sense of oneness among them remain ever strong and that integration of all Naga areas into Nagaland State will be a fulfilment of the common political aspiration and also an implementation of the 13th point of the 16-point Delhi agreement entered into between the Government of India and the Naga People’s Convention in 1960. The Peace Mission’s inclusion of the major portion of the Naga areas of Manipur into Cease-fire agreement with the consent of Government of India is but recognition of these facts. Legitimate demand like this has never been denied to anyone, anywhere and anytime in the country. Denial of the same to the Nagas, therefore, will be tantamount to suppression of the genuine democratic aspiration of patriotic citizens.
The plain people and their Naga agents’ plea that on granting statehood of Manipur, the Nagas will cease their demand for integration into Nagaland State exposes only their political immaturity and utter incapability to measure the depth of Naga political mind. The talk of granting District autonomy makes no sense at all. Nothing short of complete integration into Nagaland State will be acceptable to the Naga people. No interference from any quarter in their decision to join in Nagaland State will be tolerated. Even if the Government of India wriggles out of its earlier commitment and retrace its steps, the Nagas would unilaterally uphold the sanctity of the 16-point agreement.
The Convention, therefore, moves the Government of India to take an immediate and firm decision to integrate all the contiguous Naga areas into Nagaland State and bring forward a bill to this effect during the Autumn Session of Parliament."
There were agreement that gave concrete promises and assurances by the Government;
1. The Nine Point Agreement 6th Clause, June 27-29, 1947 between the Naga National Council and the Governor of Assam, Sir Akbar Hydari,
That present administrative divisions should be modifies so as to – bring back into Naga Hills District all the Forest transferred to the Sibsagar and Nowgong Districts in the past, and – bring under one unifies administrative unit, as far as possible all Nagas. All the areas so included would be within the scope of the present proposed agreement.
No areas should be transferred out of the Naga Hill without the consent of the Naga National Council.
2. The Sixteen Point Agreement arrived at between the Naga Peoples Convention and the Government of India in July 1960.
12. Consolidation of Forest Areas
The delegation wished the following to be placed on records; The Naga delegation discussed the question of the inclusion of the Reserve Forests and of contiguous areas inhabited by the Nagas. They were referred to the provision in Art 3 and 21 of the constitution, prescribing the procedure for the transfer of areas from one state to another".
13. Consolidation of Contiguous Naga Areas
The delegation wished the following to be placed on records; The Naga leaders expressed the wish for the contiguous areas to join the new state. It was pointed out to them on behalf of the Government of India the Article 3 and 4 of the constitution provided for increasing the area of any state, but that it was not possible for the Government of India to make any commitment in this regard at this stage".
The first point agreement for the merger of the United Naga Integration Council (UNIC) with the All India Congress Party, which was signed on 4th August, 1972 reads;
1. Agreement on Political stand:
It is agreed upon that the Congress Party does not oppose Naga integration movement and does not consider Naga integration movement as anti-party, anti-national, anti-state and unconstitutional activity.
Further, it is agreed upon that no Congress Party member will be subjected to disciplinary action on the ground that he or she as the case may be is involved in Naga Integration Movement.
It is also agreed that the Naga Integration problem should be discussed and settled at the government level. The party members can also discuss the matter at different party levels"
The brief historical facts mentioned above, shows that the extension of Indo-Naga Cease-fire without territorial limits to all the Naga areas is a step in the right direction. The facts stated above has been critically tested and we welcome and support the extension of Indo-Naga Cease-fires without any territorial limits to all the Naga areas including Manipur.
The aspiration of the Nagas to live together as a PEOPLE is inherent as self-determining peoples. The Naga peoples do not wish to encroach upon the dreams and history of other communities but we are resolute in our political stand that our history and democratic aspiration cannot be easily wished away by an undemocratic outburst of a section of the people in the valley.
We particularly take note of the belligerent stance and attitude taken by some of the valley based organization including All Manipur United Clubs Organization (AMUCO) and All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) on the issue of extension of Cease-fire area coverage to that portion of the ancestral home of the Nagas, which form part of the present Manipur. These organizations purporting to represent the whole of Manipur is false.
The United Naga Council, Manipur (UNC), the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) and the Naga Women’s Union, Manipur (NWUM) which represent the apex social organization of the Nagas in Manipur would like to make it clear that they are not party to any of the of the statements made by the valley based organization for the territorial integrity of Manipur. We reiterate out stand that we were divided as a people without our free and informed consent and that the Nagas are here in Manipur not by choice. It is for the Naga peoples to decide their own destiny.
We also would like to reiterate the stand that, no Naga elected representatives in the Manipur State Legislative Assembly have the mandate to represent the Nagas if their views and statements goes against the interest of the Naga peoples.
We appeal in the greater interest of the Nagas and the other communities and the Indian Nation to impartially and honourably deliberate the issues emerging from the 14th June Indo-Naga Bangkok Agreement in order to usher in an era of PEACE through an HONORABLE POLITICAL SOLUTION.
Dated the Imphal 22nd June 2001
(K.S. PAUL LEO)
(DR GINA SHANGKHAM)
(S. KHO JOHN)
1. Shri L.K. Advani, Hon’ble Union Home Minister, Government of India,
2. Shri George Fernandes, Convenor, National Democratic Alliance.
3. Smt. Sonia Gandhi, President, AICC, Leader of the Opposition, Lok Sabha.
4. Shri Jana Krishnamurthi, President, BJP.
5. The General Secretary, Communist Party of India.
6. His Excellency, Governor of Manipur/Nagaland/Assam/Arunachal Pradesh.
(K.S. PAUL LEO)