PRAISE THE LORD! PRAISE THE LORD! PRAISE THE LORD!
I thank God of all people and nations and God of the Nagas, who brought us thus far. Once again on this 36th Republic day of the Nagas, I greet you all the people of Nagalim in the Name of our Lord Saviour Jesus Christ!
I pay homage to our fathers, who started this historic journey of freedom. What inspired them to move? There is a concept behind of every movement or action. I am quite sure they were inspired by the concept of a society of higher order. The movement of the Nagas is inspired by the spirit of change from bondages to freedom, from darkness into light, from village-state to nation-state, from traditionalist world to the revolutionary world and from the rule of autocratic kings to that of democratic people. We have started the movement and we must finish it.
The Naga were ruled by the council of hereditary elders of the clans headed by kings in their respective village-states. In some areas, governments were run by weak councils under autocratic kings, but in some others a kind of democratic rule was in practice. The traditional hereditary kings were adored by many people. In course of time, the old system was rocked by the waves of national movement and it has brought the Nagas from one historical stage to another.
This is the Era of democracy where voice of the people rules. Democracy prevails over the rule of hereditary kings and titles are no more to be inherited, but it is to be earned with sweat and tears. The second Republic was declared by the National Hoho on 21st March 1980. The Nagas have stepped out of the shell and there is no question of going back. We will keep moving.
There was a time when we were compelled by circumstances to confront with the aggressors. Except for a few traitors, all Nagas of both genders, of all ages and status were deeply involved in the movement and indeed, they have paid the price in full. However, that did not bring any tangible result.
This is now the time of negotiation. And that NSCN has been engaging in talks with the government of India since 1997 with a view to solving the problem through political dialogue. No one denies the truth that Nagalim belongs to the Nagas and that is our principle. But the fact is that our land is under heavy military occupation by the aggressors. The objective of NSCN is therefore, how the problem is to be solved. The government of India has admitted that military solution is not possible. At the same time the Nagas also have realised the futility of military approach. Both parties have agreed to go for political solution. We believe solution can be worked out only through discussion and interaction between the contending parties. Some groups say India must quit Nagalim, some say they will go for a separate solution for a part of the people and some others say they prefer prolonging the movement to solving the problem for commercial motive. Overlooking the present they glorify the past and dogmatize the future. They are indeed road blocks, not solution. But NSCN is for a negotiated settlement that guarantees the future of the Nagas.
Our past generations were equipped with the spirit of self-reliance. They were productive force, who used commodities of their own make. But generations today are departing from the work culture. They are entirely dependent on others for their livelihood. It is a dead philosophy. It is now high time for us to rise up and rebuild our thinking before we are totally ruined. We are not a strong people until and unless we can stand on our own feet economically and politically. Rebuilding of our economy is paramount. Therefore, we must decide and soar.
Every Naga young and old should be oriented to and guided by our own culture. We see most of the people today are totally disoriented or not oriented at all. It is meaningless accumulating wealth and learning knowledge without correct orientation. One should be future-oriented. “The people perish when there is no vision.”
Tribalism, factionalism, communalism and the spirit of other people and our people are eating into the vitality of Naga nationhood. It is seen that any incident of individual crime is often communalised by negative elements for their vested interest. We must combat them. Tribalism, communalism and factionalism are the weapons of enemies of the people. The psychology of the Nagas today needs to be rebuilt.
I believe the Lord will give us rest from this long political journey to build our country. Let us enlarge our heart and mind; let us enlarge our towns and cities; let us enlarge our highways and let us enlarge our resources. I urged upon you that each and every Naga should be a productive force. If God wills better days will come soon.