A TRUE NAGA GUERRILLA: BRIGADIER LIVINGSTONE NAGA
By: Dr. Thohe Pou
Late SK Livingstone a retired Brigadier and Steering committee member (GPRN) passed away on 13 Sept. 2007 after 10 years and 2 months of Assam Rifles Camp, Oinam attacked. He was from Kachai Tikhor village in the western part of Ukhrul district, Manipur. He was born on 4 April 1951 and joined in NSCN in 1974, and was in the service for 33 years and 6 months.
According to one news report in Sept. 2007, “he considered one of the most outstanding “tiger hearts” who believed in a “no retreat, no surrender” philosophy in conducting the guerilla war for the Naga cause, earning him the nickname, “Ngalunkui” meaning Stone in Tangkhul… His name is among the Naga underground fighters who had the highest reward on their heads and were in the “most wanted” by the Indian government”.
I don’t know if the NSCN is observing his birth day on 4/4 every year. Personally I have never met or seen him but the news spreading in the village about him became my motivator and inspiration during my teenage.
Indeed he became the “living corner stone” after the famous Assam Rifles camp, Oinam attacked on 9 July 1987. His strategy and deadly plan to attack the Indian Armies was very well-known in early 1980s even to the grass-root level of the school boys. I don’t know even his rank until he was passed away but his brave story as a Naga Army was told like the story of Jesus in the village.
Today he has completed his mission as a brave Naga Army and left for his heavenly abode but his brave story will remain immortal. Late Livingstone, the “corner stone” during my teenage period was one of the main Naga Armies who inspired and motivated me to be a good Naga nationalist through his “living examples” .
I don’t know how I became a Naga Nationalist till I reminiscence my childhood days and the ambience I was brought up. I do believe that it is because of the hero in my time inspired and motivated me to be what I am today. I firmly believe that today the young boys and girls in our villages, towns and cities will have the same or similar inspiration and motivation from our present NSCN depending on their “Present Living Examples”. So we can easily anticipate what will be the future generation in our nation, society or community.
Our parents, elders and leaders are the main source of inspiration and motivation and we will always up our heads on them and live according to their living examples shown to us.
Not one is perfect in this world and as a human being, he might have his own weaknesses but I learnt only his good deeds. I was told that he (Livingstone) used to go on fasting and pray days after days before any ambush or attack is carried out. I came to learn only recently about his philosophy of “no treat, no surrender” in guerilla war. But I knew earlier that one of this best strategy and tactics in ambushing the Indian armies was “Fasting and Prayer” . Once I also thought why they have to fast and pray to kill someone? But I believe that they are using the tactics of the Israelites from the living Bible.
During my teenage, I also learnt that he possess the spirit of God to feel the present of the Indian armies, thus he could always avoided and escaped from them. He became the hero of my generation and every party (group) in my village longed to christen the name of their group after Late Livingstone name.
However ultimately only those strongest party (gang) would take the name of their gang after Livingstone. During my time, we used to play in the jungle like the monkeys; impersonating to be the NSCN taking physical training in the jungle.
Under the leadership of the group leader, we went for physical training by climbing on the tree, swimming, shooting birds, and did lots of hide and see games. It was indeed a great fun impersonating to be the NSCN and patrolled in the jungle. Every boy in the village would join in their own group and enjoyed the patrolling in the jungle. In fact that was the favorite game the village boys used to play in the jungle impersonating to be the NSCN in early 1980s.
But today the whole thing seem changed from village boys to NSCN. Every parent in the village longs their child to be well educated and there is no time for the boys to impersonate to be the NSCN and play in the jungle like in olden days. Secondly I think today there is also not a single NSCN like Late Livingstone who became their (village boys) motivator to impersonate to be the NSCN. Today the village boys also have different perception and projection on NSCN; the perception on NSCN might have changed tremendously due to their “Present Living Examples” and many others unseen reasons. It is our parents and leaders or someone influential person who influences us in our lives subconsciously during our childhood and teenage, and later it become our philosophy in life.
Today how many teenage boys and girls in the villages and towns are inspired and motivated by the NSCN? Who is the present hero of the NSCN giving inspiration, hope and unity for the village boys and girls? Let’s pray and hope that we may have another Livingstone who will motivate, inspire, courageously and neutrally lead all the Naga tribes or people in the right direction.