When we go back to an early part of Naga history it was amazing to hear how the Nagas lived. During those days there was no money nor Gold to exchange like other nations had, but they lived with a pure democracy way of life. Moreover, cultivation were done with scientific system better than the civilised countries do. Though there was no Hoho (Parliament), every Naga Village abide by the customary laws with respect and honour. No Naga go against the customary laws for one personal gain, though there was no written document during those days as they were illiterate. Forbidden, Shame and Taboo were the most important words that govern the mind of every Naga. Every Naga Village leaders controlled the Village not with educational degree, but with their wisdom and love of their people.
With the coming of American Missionary formal, education was introduced in Nagaland and School were opened wherever an American Missionary happened to settle. To this some came out to learn and write which opened the eyes and mind of the Nagas how to live with other nations. Some few Naga educated were merged to the British India Civil Service for their daily wages, and failed to come out with full support of our nation. But to those who came out gave their best and sacrificed wholly with their strength and wisdom to save Nagaland and its people from foreign aggressor India.
The qualification of our past leaders:
1. They know what is right and wrong.
2. They know who is our enemy and who are friends.
3. They know when to say/comment and when not to say.
4. They firmly kept the Oath of Allegiance they took.
5. They know it is the will of God that Nagas to be a Nation.
6. They know where to go and where not to go.
Though they didn’t have much degree like of the present Naga scholars, they have done what is possible on their side and wrote memorandums to the United Nation and a copy was also timely send to India. Though with limited education and knowledge they went to China and Pakistan several times to make friendly relationship and peaceful co-existence following the Indians aggression against Nagaland in 1954.
The Naga visionary leader A.Z.Phizo went to Europe continent and stationed in London, England. Legally he also won in the British Court that Nagaland is a nation when he reached London.There A.Z.Phizo conducted an international press conference and went to, many other foreign countries to make the World know that Nagas are not Indians and Nagaland is not in the territory of India. How vast and wonderful is our leader A.Z. Phizo’s wisdom. We can say his degree is scholar of scholars if compare to the present context.
The Church leaders had experienced the wonderfully miraculous works that God had shown His continue love on the Nagas in delivering our people from ups and downs. Though the Church leaders of those days don’t have the degree of PhD. as of now, seeing the tragedy of our people in Nagaland some few Reverends prayed with sincerity and worked for the restoration of peace in Nagaland. God answered the Naga Christian believers prayer and that peace was restored. The Indo-Naga Cease-fire of 6th Sept. 1964 between the Federal Government of Nagaland and the Government of India was brought through Peace Mission (PM).
The Nagas and India can never stay or live together in any manner even today or tomorrow, because we are a distinct people and nation by birth. The public leaders of yesterday used their wisdom that the truth will only prevail as true Nagas. Today we need this kind of public leaders who can work for the people to tell the truth that wrong is wrong. Naga people need Peace Initiative Workers (PIW) who really love Nagas and Nagaland and not Peace Initiative worker of India nor with India sponsored renegade groups.
The conflict that causes between India and Nagaland was that India has been wrongfully trying to put Nagaland into India territory with their armed forces power. Whereas the Nagas are not going to bow down our birth right even if a forceful aggression policy were applied on the Nagas, as they don’t have any right to claim that Nagaland is in India, To this our past leaders have come across many hurdles one after another to save our Nation. The history of Naga nation and the history of other foreign nation cannot be compared because we are a Christian Nation leading by God. By the grace of God we have now so many educated Nagas and many Naga scholars in Nagaland.
Nagas must be prepared and take a lesson from foreigners that “Nagaland is rich, but Nagas are poor”. They know well that Nagas are still begging on others though Nagas have much wealth in our land that God has given to Nagas. Even if our enemy could tell the truth of our weaknesses, what we should do. Is it not a challenging word for Naga educated scholars of today?
Let us also remember the words of Adinno Phizo, President NNC. “Whether others will support us or not is not the first thing, but can we save ourselves or not is more important.” Let us put our faith in God to march forward to uphold an Independent Nation, rather than depend on others. We also give thanks to our patriotic Nagas and the leaders of those days who have sacrificed their lives for us in defending Nagaland and save all the wealth which belongs to Nagas of today and tomorrow. To this we give all the credit to our past illiterate Naga scholars.
May God bless Nagaland “Urra Uvie”
Acüyi Vadeo, Joint. Secretary,
Naga National Council, (NNC)