NSCN slams Nehru on ‘Naga I-Day’
Sixty-four years after it declared independence from British India along with Pakistan, the militant National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) has slammed former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the Naga crisis.india Updated: Aug 14, 2011 21:11 IST
Sixty-four years after it declared independence from British India along with Pakistan, the militant National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) has slammed former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the Naga crisis.
"Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru held divergent views on the Naga political problem. While Gandhi believed Nagas had the right to be independent Nehru wanted to crush them by force," said NSCN (I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah at Camp Hebron, the outfit's peace headquarters near Dimapur, Nagaland's commercial hub 75 km west of capital Kohima.
Muivah was addressing cadres on the 65th 'Naga Independence Day' on Monday. Nagas had on 14 August 1947 declared independence from British India. Many have resented the 'annexation' by 'colonial India' days later.
"The political right of the Nagas was fully acknowledged by Gandhi," said the NSCN (I-M) general secretary. "But things started to change soon as Nehru did not exercise wisdom and patience and wanted to crush the Nagas by force. Nehru treated the Naga issue in a despicable manner."
According to Muivah, Nehru never considered that the Nagas had a history and political rights. "His stand was to crush the Nagas but he was proved wrong with the Nagas standing undefeated even after more than 60 years," Muivah said.
He added that the Naga problem began to be respected only after the NDA came to power, hoping that the ongoing peace talks with New Delhi would yield a favourable result for the Nagas.
The NSCN (I-M) had declared ceasefire in July 1997 after two decades of a secessionist war with Indian armed forces. Rival outfit NSCN (Khaplang) - it split earlier this year after the 'ejection' of chairman SS Khaplang - too called truce in 2001.
Meanwhile, a security blanket has been thrown across strategic locations in Assam following a threat by the United Liberation Front of Asom (anti-talks faction led by military chief Paresh Barua) to disrupt Independence Day on Monday. In northeastern Assam's Dhemaji district, local authorities have announced an official mourning for 13 children who were killed in a blast the Ulfa executed on 15 August 2004.