The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript 'Journey to Nagaland', by Mildred Archer. An account of six months spent in the Naga Hills in 1947

caption: various views on Naga independence from the newspaper 'The Naga Nation', from October 1946
medium: diaries
date: 18.7.194710.1946
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: But although the Wokha resolution was passed unanimously the Angamis were not convinced and when the N.N.C. started a (12) cyclostyled monthly paper, The Naga Nation, all the issues were again debated. In October, a young Angami wrote 'The Nagas are a nation because we feel ourselves to be a nation. But, if we are a Nation, why do we not elect our own sovereignty? We want to be free. We want to live our own lives. We love our own people. We like our own country. We do not want other people to live among us.' ....'Bhutan, for instance, is not a civilised country. Her government too is backward. She is not represented in international affairs, and as a matter of fact, she is not heard of in many parts of the world. Yet, she is independent. She has freedom. Parental rule? Maybe so. But whether good or bad, however backward or civilised her government may be, she is free. We all know how much better liberty is than bondage.'
text: In the next issue, on the other hand, an Ao doctor voiced the doubts of many Aos. 'The idea of having complete independence' he wrote, 'is much heard of. This idea is not a bad one provided that we are able to do it. But the possibility or impossibility of it must be considered. We must think it over seriously before we make a sudden jump into a definite decision. At present, it seems to me, the idea of independence is too far off for us Nagas. How can we run an independent Government now?
text: Independence of the Naga Hills will mean the complete cutting off of the Naga Hills from the Provincial and Central Government. Without their help, the Naga Hills is nothing. How will we run our own Government; how can we maintain it without the support of the Provincial and Central government? The question of finance is the great problem. We have no resources at present to improve our economic situation. Even if the resources are seen, we do not have the technicians to develop them. We must have a good number of technicians in many departments. We must have much up-to-date scientific (13) equipment before our resources can be developed. We have none of these at present.
text: We want to stand with other civilised nations, and therefore we must have more schools, Hospitals, Dispensaries etc., - many more than we have today. We must have at least one college. How shall we maintain all of these? Can we find the money for these things? I am sure that we shall not be able even to finance a High School by ourselves.
text: Roads and communications are to be improved, and these are of great importance for the advancement of any country. I fear lest we shall not be able even to maintain the Dimapur-Kohima road.
text: It is a known fact that the common people will surely blame the leaders when the taxes (house and land) are imposed upon them. Many of these people are living from hand to mouth. The time may come when they may resort to violence. Who knows - even head-hunting may reappear. This will bring calamity to us rather than the peace which we are seeking.
text: Suppose some foreign power invades the Naga Hills. Who will defend us? We do not have any force. Will our Naga daos and spears suffice in these days of scientific wars? We all know the answer.
text: So, the idea of independence should be abandoned, as it cannot be achieved now. If we really want peace in our Naga Hills, we should come to terms agreeable to all. In my opinion, we should hold to the resolutions that were passed at the Wokha meeting.'