Nagaland independence war

Nagaland Wants Independence from India

Muthu Raman

TAMIL TRIBUNE, August 2005 (ID. 2005-08-02)
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On August 14, 1947, the day before British colonial rulers transferred power to the governments of India and Pakistan, Nagas declared their homeland, Nagaland, independent. The new Indian Government did not recognize the declaration and sent its army to hold Nagaland as part of India. There has been a war between Indian troops and Naga freedom fighters from that time, with occasional ceasefires and peace talks. Indian army was never able to defeat Naga freedom fighters and there is stalemate. At the present time there is a ceasefire and Indian Government is holding talks with the dominant militant group, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah).

Earlier this year the General-Secretary of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), Mr. Thuingaleng Muivah stated their position in an interview with British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and some local news media. Here are some salient points put forth by Mr. Muivah.

"Nagas would not accept occupation of Nagalim (Greater Nagaland) by any force."

"Sovereignty of the Naga people belongs to the Naga people and to the Naga people alone. There cannot be otherwise. Nagas have a right to decide their future, to determine their fate also. So long as that is there adjustments can be made... So long as the national identity of the Nagas is recognized and honoured that is possible... It should be a federation of India and Nagalim."

"Nagas would neither accept the Indian Constitution nor would they be a part of the Indian Union."

"Nagas can come as close as possible but it is not possible for the Nagas to come within the Indian Union or within the framework of the Indian Constitution... Nagaland was never a part of India either by conquest by India or by consent of the Nagas."

Mr. Muivah said that a solution within the Indian Constitution is not acceptable even if the constitution is amended, because future politicians could amend it again (without the consent of Nagas). He did not spell out what exactly he meant by "a federation of India and Nagalim" but it was clear that what Nagas propose is two independent countries, India and Nagalim, with two separate constitutions; these two sovereign nations may have a "federation arrangement" (whatever it means). In a later part of the interview, Mr. Muivah clearly stated that in case another country attacks Nagaland India may come to its aid because if Nagaland is in danger from an external force it would be a threat to India too. He added that Nagaland would have no obligation to come to India's aid if India was attacked by another country.


1. Articles on Tamilnadu Independence Movement

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