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: abortive sub-committee visit to Kohima, May 1947
medium: diaries
person: KevichusaMayang NokchaAliba ImtiThakkar/ A.V.
location: Kohima
date: 18.7.19475.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: After the Delhi fiasco, there was a gap of some weeks during which little appears to have happened. As the days went by the Nagas sat waiting for an answer to their memorandum. March came and then April, but both H.M.G. and the Indian Government were silent. Then news arrived that the Delhi sub-committee was visiting Kohima in May and the N.N.C. met once again to decide its policy.
text: This time a group of five leaders including Kevichusa and Mayang met first. Everyone expected them to draft some detailed proposals but to the Nagas' blank astonishment, they did nothing of the sort. After five days' discussion the committee resorted to the shock tactics of a surrealist artist. A resolution was drafted ignoring the present issues and urging the Assam people to declare their own independence from both Pakistan and Hindustan. It added that only with an independent Assam would the Nagas be prepared to negotiate and that the most they would offer would be a ten year treaty. This amazing suggestion, however, proved far too fantastic for the N.N.C. itself. Again there was a long and heated discussion. The Lhotas pressed strongly for joining Assam. The Aos argued for the Kohima memorandum and in the end the demand for 'a ten years interim government' was readopted. This interim government was to have full powers in respect of taxation, legislation, the executive and the judiciary, while a guardian power was to give it a financial subvention and to place some armed force at the Nagas' disposal. (16) When the Committee reached Kohima on 20 May, Aliba Imti had taken Mayang Nokcha's place as a member and A.V.Thakkar had fallen out from illness. The Committee found the Nagas in a militant and angry mood. They refused to discuss any of the Assam premier's suggestions. 'Give us a reply to our demands,' the Nagas said,'then we will answer your questions.' The Premier tried again and again to discuss his own proposals. At the end he said,'you are really very obstinate' and took his Committee away.