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: delegation of 'rebel' Nagas to Delhi, 18th July 1947
medium: diaries
person: JinnahBardoloiRoy/ Nichols
date: 29.7.194718.7.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: 29 July. Mokokchung.
text: News is at last coming through of the 'rebel' Nagas in Delhi. The Statesman has just reported that on 18 July the delegation met Mr. Jinnah in Delhi and informed him that 'on August 15th Naga independence will become an achieved fact.' Mr. Jinnah is said to have replied, 'it is a matter entirely for you to decide and I am not in a position to say anything. You know exactly what the situation is, but I have every sympathy for your welfare. I work for the people and my sympathies are always with the underdog. I am opposed to their being exploited by anybody.'
text: The Assam Premier, Mr. Bardoloi, on the other hand, seems to have taken a petulant line. 'The question of the Nagas remaining independent of the Indian Union is absurd. A section of the Angami tribe under the leadership of persons from the village of Khonoma is misguided and their number is small. They have, under the British patronage in the past, been led away by the belief that they would be well off if they remained aloof. But if they judge things dispassionately it would appear crystal clear that their destinies are completely bound up with those of the Assamese.'
text: The Assam Tribune, a Congress paper, does not however regard the matter as quite so simple. 'We do not quite understand why a section of the Nagas should be so intent on having a separate existence outside the Indian Union. Sj. Bardoloi and Rev Nichols Roy would seem to suggest that the (22) spirit of aloofness inculcated among the Angami Nagas by the British in the past is responsible for the demand for independence made by them now. If that is true, it is also true that our leaders have not at any time made any serious attempts to bring home to these sturdy but simple people that their salvation lies not in isolation but in remaining part and parcel of Assam. The relations between the Assamese and the Nagas, which can historically be traced to the days of the Ahom kings, have not been strengthened. Not before the stage had been practically set for the transfer of power to India was there any contact of political value. It matters little whether the question of Angami Nagas remaining independent of the Indian Union is absurd or not. What matters is that the demand for independence is there. Instead of waiting to see them realize their mistake and join Assam again, will it not be better to have full and frank talks with them so that they may be persuaded not to break away from Assam?'