While the Nagaland government is giving final touches to celebrate 75 years of Independence of the country, people of the Naga community in a mountain village of the state on Sunday celebrated the 75th anniversary of the community’s declaration of independence. Seeking self-rule, leaders of the Naga National Council (NNC), the first political organisation of the community, had announced Independence a day ahead of the country.
Over the years, the NNC has disintegrated into several groups. The Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN), the administrative organ of the NNC, during the day celebrated the 75th anniversary of the ‘Nagaland Independence Declaration’ at Chedema village, an Angami Naga village in Kohima district.
The mountain village is just below the Peace Camp occupied by NNC since the signing of the first ceasefire agreement with the Government of India in September 1964. National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM), currently engaged in negotiations with the Centre to resolve the decades-old Naga political problem, is a break-away group of NNC.
“This day is an occasion for thanksgiving. We Nagas are blessed in many ways at the individual and the national level,” said FGN ‘kedahge’ (president) Viyalie Metha while addressing a gathering of Nagas from different regions, including Manipur.
Among the participants were octogenarian NNC president Adinno Phizo, the daughter of A Z Phizo, considered by many as “the father of the Nagas”, church leaders, and villagers.
Even as the negotiations between the Centre and NSCN-IM have faced a roadblock over the latter’s demand for a separate constitution and flag for the Nagas, the occasion witnessed the blue Naga flag with rainbow and star on it being held with pride by the attendees.
The hoisting of the Naga flag was followed by a community feast.The Naga Students’ Federation, an apex body of Naga students in Assam, Arunachal, Manipur, and Nagaland observed the day at Parashen, the place where the Naga flag was first hoisted on March 22, 1956.
Naga dances performed by different tribes and prayer for the unity of Nagas and an early solution to the Naga political problem also marked the occasion.
(With PTI inputs)