KEDAHGE, Federal Government of Nagaland | March 22, 2016
As we gather here today to celebrate the 61st anniversary of the founding of our Federal republic, let us all give thanks to God for His faithfulness in all the trials and adversities that the nation had faced in the past six decades.
In the history of nations, the founding of a nation’s republic is always a joyous occasion celebrated in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. But in our case, the founding of our government was done amidst the sound of gunfire, bombs, destructions and deaths. This became the reality, because though we had declared our independence on 14th August 1947; before we could establish of our government with goodwill to all our neighbors, Indian troops started to invade our country from 1954 onwards. As proof of these facts, I would like to quote B.N. Mullick who was then, the Director of the Indian Intelligence Bureau. Mullik had written thus:
“Troops moved into Tuensang by October 1955, and the war with the Nagas started from then.”
(B. N. Mullik, My years with Nehru p.308)
Here it must be noted by every government on earth that it was not Naga troops moving into India; but Indian troops moving into Tuensang Nagaland, that caused the Indo-Naga conflict and compelled us to establish our Government amidst our own blood and our tears. This tragic tragedy befell our nation at the stage of its birth because these invading Indian troops burnt our whole country side into ashes. But whatever adversities our nation had to face at its birth, the founding members of our nation nevertheless laid down the basic infrastructure of our newly established Government. Though on the run and always relentlessly pursued by the Indian troops, our leaders from both the then British district of the Naga Hills and the then Free Nagaland of the British Un-administered territories joined together and established our Federal Government on the historic day of March 22, 1956.
Based on our national polity with its diverse customs and traditions, our national leaders laid down a unique system of governance where every region was given autonomy for conducting their own regional affairs. This was achieved in a way where, besides the Central Government of Nagaland embodied by the Tatar Hoho (Central Parliament), Regional Leacy Hohos (Regional Legislative Assemblies) with their own Regional Executives and Sub-Regional Committees were also established. The various regions were also empowered to establish their own Regional Courts and Sub Regional courts right down to the Village Courts. This system of governance was evolved from the traditional village sovereignty which was a unique feature of the pure form of Naga Democracy. Naga democracy is a system, where every village was a Sovereign Democratic Republic. And these are the foundations upon which our Sovereign Democratic Republic was established in 1956.
In the present changing world where centralization of political power is nullifying the individual’s right to freedom and liberty, our people must take the utmost caution against all alien political ideologies that are threatening to overtake our Naga system of pure democracy.
On this historic occasion of our 61st Republic Day, I also want to draw our nation’s attention to the fact that our national government has been carrying out its duties to the nation through an unbroken and un-interrupted chain of Presidents (Kedahges) and Council of Ministers (Kilonsers) right from Mr. Khrisanisa’s Presidency, to my present incumbent Presidency. From Khrisanisa’s Presidency to my Presidency, altogether, five other Presidents (Kedahges) have served the nation in continuity. Their names and terms in office are as follows:
- Khrisanisa Seyietsu 1956 to 1959
- Scato Swu 1959 to 1966
- G. Mhiaseiu 1966 to 1968
- M. Chumbemo Murry 1968 to 1971
- Zashei Huire 1971 to 1996
- Brig. (Retd) S. Singya 1997 to 2005
- Gen. (Retd) Viyalie Metha 2005 to the present.
On this historic occasion, I also want to draw our nation’s attention to the following historical facts and achievements pertaining to our nation. After the end of the Second World War in 1945 when the Whiteman’s Colonial rule over Asia and most of the world was drawing to an end, the NNC became the first political institution in South East Asia to declare Naga Independence on 14th August 1947.This historic achievement was further preceded by a defiant Naga resistance against the British Empire for 115 years (1832-1947). Prior to the British advent too, Nagas had always defended their sovereignty against all neighboring kingdoms like the Manipur and Tripura Kingdoms to their North and the Ahom and Kachari Kingdoms to their West. These self defense wars were fought right from the 3rd century to the advent of the British in 1832. And while the rest of Asia was completely conquered and ruled by the white races for nearly five centuries, in the case of the Nagas-except for a verbal treaty of peaceful co-existence with the British- Nagas as a nation, never bowed down to the British rule as British subjects. Hence, though Nagaland is a small nation, it had persistently withstood all attempts by foreign powers to rule over it.
In the light of all these national achievements, I call upon all my fellow countrymen to rededicate ourselves to the defense of our national sovereignty through non-violence. I also call upon every citizen of Nagaland to give their best in the task of our nation building. In conclusion, Nagaland is but a small nation in the global family of nations. But as far as national pride and honor is concerned, Nagaland’s performance in the past six decades of national defense has been outstanding and honorable. Let us all carry on that proud heritage of honorable freedom and liberty.