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: Mayang's views on the outcome of the NNC meeting at Wokha
medium: diaries
person: MayangKevichusaHopongkiImlongPawsey
location: Wokha
date: 31.10.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: After presenting the trophies, we called on Mayang who today had refused the post of Education Minister in the 'rebel' Government. He has sent out a circular letter saying, 'I have the honour to inform you that I feel incapable of carrying out the trust with which you have honoured me....' He spoke very shrewdly this evening and he has the issues clear in his mind. He said that the Wokha meeting had virtually torn up the Governor's 'agreement' and any provisional government set up would obviously be illegal. 'If Kevichusa and I formed a provisional Government, we would go to jail while the place-seekers looked on.'
text: We asked him how it was that although the Aos, Sangtams and Changs before leaving for Wokha had all agreed to the draft constitution, such extreme resolutions were passed at the meeting. 'If you had attended an N.N.C. meeting,' he said (121) 'you would understand. The same people speak without stopping. At the end a vote is taken and everyone agrees without knowing what is really being decided. Theoretically,' he continued, 'most of the resolutions passed at Wokha were right, but practically they are absurd. We would be bound to fail primarily through a faulty budget. Moreover they passed all those resolutions without considering the view-point of the villagers.' Even some of the members who were there were just overruled. Both Hopongki and Imlong, the Chang and Sangtam shopkeepers have returned very angry that their plea for the 'control area' to remain under Assam was just voted down. It is obvious that for a very long time the N.N.C. with its limited finances could not develop this area as it should.
text: Nevertheless Mayang is not altogether depressed by the deadlock. 'I want to wait and see how things develop,' he said. He knows that if he had attended the meeting he could have persuaded it to pass very different resolutions. Most of the members are his ex-school boys and still preserve some respect for their headmaster. But, perhaps wisely, he thinks it is best for them to have their own way and find that it leads them to an impasse. 'It might not be a bad thing,' he said, 'if the Governor replied to their ultimatum and said, "Very well, fight us." Then,' said Mayang, 'we should see which of them is really brave.' But Mayang blames the Governor for not actively implementing the 'agreement' and for letting all this time elapse. 'This delay has given the Nagas time to talk and talk. If he had acted quickly, none of these present difficulties might have arisen.' But Mayang is very worried about the future. 'While you and Mr. Pawsey are still here,' he said, 'the villagers have not yet realised that there is any change in the Government. But when you have gone and they see no more white faces, they will refuse to obey the interpreters and the old feuds and quarrel will break out (122) again. The Naga Hills will be all "tribal area" again.'