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: meeting of Naga National Council in Mokokchung, July 1947
caption: the Governor's 'agreement'
medium: diaries
person: KevichusaNehru
location: Mokokchung
date: 23.7.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: 23 July. Mokokchung.
text: This morning the N.N.C. had its first formal session. It began with a court of enquiry into the Naga delegation to Delhi. No one in the Angami group could explain it and the discussion ended with everyone feeling baffled and annoyed.
text: The Governor's 'agreement' was then debated and though it is now ten o'clock and the hills have sunk into darkness, the council is still sitting and no decision is yet in sight. Everyone is satisfied that since the Delhi Committee is not proposing to honour the Governor's 'agreement', the N.N.C. can now demand whatever terms it likes. But while the Angamis, who never approved of clause 9, desire that this should be altered, the Ao members still think it wiser to stand by the present 'agreement' and press for its enforcement.
text: At five o'clock this afternoon, the session adjourned for a short time. There was a football match - Outsiders versus the School. But here also it was as if the spirit of deadlock was abroad for the match ended in a draw.
text: While the ball was swinging about the pitch, Bill and I sat talking to Kevichusa, the Angami leader. He has a shy intelligent face and his speech reflects his slow deliberate thought. He is still obsessed with the idea of full independence. 'We should be neutral like Switzerland', he said. 'We cannot surrender foreign affairs. In no circumstances can we ever fight Burma.' Bill tried to reason with him. 'Supposing you get full independence', he said, 'what would be the use of it? (20) If there is war, the Naga Hills will be overrun. Neutrality will not save you. If the Nagas disapprove of the war they need not participate. You could passively resist. But India will never give you full independence. What is the point of losing the other freedoms for a right which, even if you have it, will be of no use to you? If you want independence, ask for it within the Indian Union. There is just a chance Nehru will give it to you.' But Kevichusa was not convinced. He sat shyly smiling and a little later he walked quietly away.