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: Naga independence and the Angamis
medium: notes
person: PawseySaderullahLambert
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Kohima
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 17:27
text: Pawsey's personal problem - the Naga National Council is composed mainly of Govt. servants but is now the only political mouthpiece. Nagas have always looked to the D.C. for guidance and leadership. They will feel betrayed if D.C. now gives them no advice. If D.C. gives them advice and this is unpalatable to Congress or Muslim League he runs the risk of transfer. Today's 'Statesman' quotes a statement by Saderullah quoting some Nagas who demand complete independence - this is a better starting point than autonomy within Assam - if you demand independence you are much more likely to get effective autonomy than if you begin with autonomy inside Assam - Every Angami village has 3 clans and sometimes more - Kohima has 7 - constant friction - Kohima has a ring of 'suburb' villages - all of whom intermarry - the difficulty is the suddeness of the collapse of British rule - the sudden emergence of the Naga National Council - ie. during Pawsey's leave - the difficulty of getting any cohesion or unanimity. Angamis split into W, E and S. Angamis - none will listen to others - an Angami council impossible - educated Angamis differ from other educated Nagas in having lost very little of their tribal and village sense - ie. will return from school or college and plough. (An exception is carrying loads - Pawsey therefore issued a rule by which educated or wealthy Nagas could opt out of carrying service by paying a large house tax - this cheerfully done). Pawsey thinks that the Angamis will be able to get educated representatives who will express the views of the elders and not simply dictate or ignore them.
text: (cf. Lambert's view that the elders have no views - ie. in most of the issues no experience - no realization of the problems.) At present an Angami is at Calcutta reading for his M.B. - and playing as centre half for Mohon Bagan - Pawsey thinks that if he returns as an Assistant Surgeon he will work hard for his Naga people.