The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript notes made by W.G. Archer between 1946 & 1948, and miscellaneous papers and letters

caption: Kevichusa Angami's views on a future government
medium: notes
person: Kevichusa AngamiMerhema khel
ethnicgroup: Angami <Western
location: Khonoma
date: 13.1.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 17:22
text: 13/1/47 In the afternoon Mr Kevichusa Angami came to tea. He is Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner and during his service as a Subdeputy Magistrate, he has been transferred not less than 17 times. Almost all of his service has been spent in non-tribal areas (where his special knowledge is at a discount) and it is only since 1942 that he has worked in the Naga Hills. He has a remarkable command of English and combines much charm of manner with considerable intelligence.
text: He told me that tribal councils have so far done very little work and it was only the urgency created by the Cabinet Mission which led to the formation of the Naga National Council. Even now opinion is much divided on objectives and while Khonoma and the Western Angamis proper desire complete independence from India, other Nagas are doubtful whether this is possible. At the same time none are hopeful of Congress safeguards. They fear that when administration of the safeguards is in Congress hands, they will amount to very little and in this connection they regard Nehru's letter to the secretary and his subsequent action as symptomatic. The letter acknowledges the need for Naga autonomy was admirable. Its sequel - a directive to the Assam Governor requiring the withdrawal of the Chind Hills Regulation - (an enactment controlling the entry of foreigners into the Hills - ) dealt a great blow to Naga security. This directive, they point out, was obviously designed for party purposes and it was made without any reference to the people most concerned. The Naga National Council may shortly be protesting but almost all its members are in Government service and only an attitude of kindly tolerance by the Governor and the Deputy Commissioner will make any protest possible at all.
text: Another cause of despair is the constitution of the Constituent Assembly. Tribal matters will be settled by an advisory committee but only members of the assembly will sit on it. As there are no Naga members of the Constituent Assembly and none to represent them, they expect a constitution which will merely reflect the wishes of Congress.
text: It is not perhaps surprising that Kevichusa himself should come from the Merhema or partially Christian khel of Khonoma - for this is certainly the village which is intellectually to the fore in Angami life. Coming from Khonoma, he was able to explain the absence of house horns and of mithan carvings.