STATEMENT ON ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENT FOR NAGAS IN MANIPUR

6th January, 2011

In view of the war that was waged upon the innocent and unarmed Naga citizens at Mao on the 6th May, 2010 by the Manipur State Government the Naga Hoho on the 8th of May, 2010 issued a statement that “…henceforth, we derecognize any artificial boundary lines drawn across our ancestral lands in the so called Manipur State”.

The Nagas in the present state of Manipur declared the severance of all political ties with the GoM in the Naga Peoples’ Convention which was convened at Tahamzam on the 1st of July, 2010. This declaration was based upon the unmistakable fact that it was impossible to protect our right to life, land, time-honored institutions, customary practice and values under the administration of the dominant and communal Government of Manipur (GoM), and that our history with it, has clearly confirmed the harsh reality that the GoM has never recognized and respected the identity and dignity of the Naga people. The vacuum in governance and administration created thereby, it was further declared, must be filled with an alternative arrangement by the Government of India in consultation with the Naga people at the earliest possible time.

This declaration was endorsed by the Naga Hoho in the 18th June, 2010 declaration at Kohima and subsequently confirmed in the 3rd Federal Assembly of the Naga Hoho, dated Mokokchung, 16th July, 2010.

Although the Naga inhabited areas was arbitrarily sliced off and annexed by the British in 1891 to Manipur, which was then only the Imphal valley, the Britishers, recognizing the distinctiveness and separateness of the Nagas, administered the Nagas and their lands through the Crown’s political department. Before India’s independence, the Nagas were never subjected to the rule of the Maharaja of Manipur. After India’s independence, Naga areas were arbitrarily transferred to the Maharaja of Manipur without the consent of the Nagas, through acts of subterfuge and deception. The story of the Nagas in Manipur since then has been one of complete marginalization, victimization, discrimination and Meitei domination. The entire system of governance is conceived, designed and engineered towards systematic degradation and obliteration of Naga history, culture and identity. The Nagas in Manipur have suffered loss of rights and privileges, loss of due share in economic development, and most materially loss of their honor, dignity and identity.

It is only in the indivisible common destiny that the history, identity and honor of the Nagas would be safe. It is with this clear conviction that the Nagas in Manipur have embarked upon the historic mission to secure an alternative political and administrative arrangement independent of Meitei domination and subjugation. In accepting this responsibility, we have neither sought direction from anyone high or low nor has anybody named or unnamed given us instructions. We the Nagas in Manipur who are compelled to seek for the alterative arrangement have no ulterior motive other than the firm conviction that all avenues for rapprochement for meaningful and peaceful co-existence have been exhausted and therefore the best way forward for the Nagas and the Meiteis is to part as good neighbors. It is a wake-up call to every self-respecting Naga whether or not we pass on to posterity a legacy that is fragmented and disfigured, shamed and pained to no end.

The demand for alternative arrangement is for an emergency intervention to change the unbearable and intolerable conditions under which the Nagas in Manipur have been compelled to subsist on, so that we may live as a people with our dignity, identity and fundamental rights intact. The intervention must be urgent and interim in nature so as to accommodate our immediate administrative needs without any prejudice to the legitimate political aspiration of the entire Naga family. It shall not and cannot undercut and upstage the larger Naga national issue. What the Nagas in Manipur are seeking, with the blessing and goodwill of all Nagas at large is to save and protect our future and identity and to ensure our survival with honor and dignity.

(SWORD VASHUM)                                                                                                (L. ADANI)

Chairman                                                                                                         Member Secretary

Committee for Alternative Arrangement                           Committee for Alternative Arrangement

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